Pro Tip: Homemade Hand Wash Station
Hand washing has always been important. It is especially important on extended wilderness trips to prevent passing the "stomach bug" to your fellow adventurers. So remember, wash your hands often, for 20 seconds, and when it doubt, wash 'em again.
What You Need:
- Braided PVC tubbing - 1/4 inner diameter, about 9'
- High out-put primer bulb
- Small hose clamp - 2
- 1" spring clamp
- Buckets: three and five gallon
- Copper tubing - about 1.5'
- A box knife and metal snips
All of these parts can be purchased through a "Hand Wash Parts" list on Amazon.
The above list is what we have been using to make these for a couple of years. Feel free to use larger buckets, different tubing, and/or more clamps to hold things. This is a minimalist hand wash set up that can easily be modified to fit your needs.
Step 1 - Tube Cutting:
You will want 2 pieces of the braided PVC tubing. One will be about 60" and the other about 50". Make your pieces slightly longer or shorter if you are using different sized buckets. A box knife should do the trick. You will also want your 1.5' of copper tubing. Some type of metal snips should work here. The copper tubing will go inside one end of your longer piece of PVC tubing to become a rigid faucet.
Step 2 - The Faucet:
Soak your PVC tubes in some hot water for a few minutes to make them easier to work with. Take out your longer tube and slide the copper tube into one of the ends. Push it all the way in so no sharp edges stick out. Give it a nice u shape bend. Attach your spring clamp to the bottom end of the faucet and you are set.
Step 3 - The Pump:
Your primer bulb will have an arrow indicating which way the water will flow. Our bulb had a red intake side, and black outflow side. Your newly made faucet tube will go on the black outflow side. The other shorter tube will go on the red side. Take out the shorter PVC tube from its hot soak and use your hose clamp to tighten both PVC tubes to their respective ends on the bulb.
Step 4 - Wash your hands:
Give your station a test and wash your hands. Fill your larger bucket with water. Place the short end hose into the water. Stack the second bucket on top (this helps hold that hose in the water) to catch the dirty water. Use the 1" spring clamp to attached your faucet to the smaller bucket. Arrange the tubing so that the bulb is on the ground and ready for you to step on it with your foot.
To prime the pump, plug the faucet with your finger and step on the bulb. Before stepping on the bulb again, let it refill and release your finger just briefly from the faucet. Repeat these steps until you have flowing water. Grab your soap and start scrubbing.
If you are more of a YouTuber head over to Gear Garage to learn more.
There are a couple of modifications you can make to this really simple set up. Some like to attach the spring clamp to the faucet tube via a larger horse clamp. I have seen people add a nut or some weigh to the tube that goes into the water bucket. This system could even be installed in a van or camper for a simple water system. The easier you make washing your hands, the more everyone will do it. Go wild!