Putting Pressure on Gravity Showers
Gravity is great and all, but when it comes to portable showers, you're going to crave a bit of pressure.
Able to seek out each nook, cranny, and crack on you, Helio is an 11L portable shower that uses a foot pump to pressurise the container allowing water to find its way into the deepest corners of your darkest nether regions. The simplicity and effectiveness is a great luxurious feat. The capabilities are much broader than a gravity fed camp shower that require you to hang them from a high tree branch or another overhead fixture.
Nemo claim a 5-7 min pressurised shower from the Helio. It feels sturdy and well constructed. The base contains a strong and rigid stand that allows the unit to stand up on uneven or grassy surfaces. The foot pump has two valves. The valve on the grey side when open allows for air intake when pumping. I never figured out what the one on the black side did, nor is it explained in the instructions or on the Nemo website.
I managed to leave it out in the sun for a while and found the first few bits of water actually quite hot. This would have been the water in the hose that wouldn't take long to heat up in the right environment. Take a note of this before you start off a shower by spraying yourself in the face!
It seems like quite a luxury, although I do find that the Helio would be well suited to adventures junkies who often drive to their destination. That may be a camp site, mountain biking trail, remote beach for surfing or kayaking, or even just to leave in the car to return to after a multi day hike. I have used it to hose down salt water from my kayak gear and waterproof cameras, as well as for showering and washing up utensils, plates and muddy shoes.
The one thing I would like to see in the future is an attachment you can plug onto the top fill port so you can submerge the whole unit into a river to fill up without letting sediment get in. The shower is unable to use water with dirt as it collects and can create blockages. The only other solution to refilling in a remote location would be to take with you in your car, pre-filled Jerry cans. It's not the best solution but it is possible for those with large groups and large vehicles.
At the end of the day, if you wish to pay for such a luxury, the benefits from having a Helio Pressurised Shower would be priceless when you gain the satisfaction of proper hygiene without washing in a river, a convenient way to wash down bikes and boards in remote locations, and the ability to use the nozzle as a microphone as you imitate Freddy Mercury in the wondrous great outdoors. Trying doing that with a gravity fed shower!
And on that last point, I will shamefully take this opportunity to share an amazing song for all Freddy Mercury and David Bowie fans. If you haven't already heard it. Enjoy their acapella rendition of a favourite classic that I'm sure you will be playing in your head as you wash yourself down with Nemo's Helio.