I'll say one thing for Marines - they are ingenious. Every day during my two-week reserve training, I looked forward to my evening shower. There were very few women (less than 30) and about 600 men - so we were allotted a very generous hour for female showers. But how do you shower in the middle of the desert? For that matter, how do you take care of other basic hygiene needs? Well, let me take you along for the tour.
First things first. You follow the rules for the shower tent.
- No shaving
- No trash
- No female product trash
- 3 minute showers
- Turn off shower when done
Seems fair enough. But you are probably wondering what military field showers look like, right?
Not what you were expecting, right? Pretty cool actually. Gotta love Marine Corps engineers! Fortunately for me, there were very few women, so we actually had a decent amount of privacy (well, as much as open showers allow).
The bathrooms were provided by none other than Nevada Johns. They were actually some of the cleanest heads I've ever seen in the Marine Corps owing to the fact that Nevada Johns cleaned them every day. The deluxe sinks are a hoot. You use your foot to pump the water so you can wash your hands. I was just glad for the soap and water. Enough said.
Laundry was done expeditiously in the shower, or in an ammo can filled with water, and then dried - in minutes! - in the desert heat in my field expedient 550 cord clothes line (with 2 very nice half hitches, thank you very much).
I think my favorite field item is the hygiene pits. There are 2 chest high tables constructed by the engineers for putting your dopp kit, canteen cup (for shaving) and then two trenches on either side of the tables. Basically, the trenches are your sink/sewer. So you brush your teeth and spit into the trench. The men shave, and the waste goes into the trench. You really have to see it to believe it.
So, are you ready to go take a shower in your indoor plumbing yet?