These widespread practices in the Far West demonstrate how very wild the times were
Too cold to swim
What we might recognize as a modern bathroom was more than rare in the Old West. If you remember correctly, you had to pay a fortune to take a nice hot bath in Western movies, which was a fact of life. A warm bath brimming with soap foam and fragrant oil was not for a poor slob! They were forced to settle for a wash outside in a wooden tub. While this may seem unjust, it was the reality for many people at the time.
The fighters, pioneers, and cowboys who roamed the lands of the American West could go weeks, even months, without taking a real hot bath. Indeed, they were content to bathe in the streams and rivers, which seemed relatively clean. Therefore, given the temperature of the river water even in summer, it is easy to imagine that winter baths were excluded. However, it is less pleasant to do so in the Wild West during the cold, harsh winter months. The people had to freshen up at some point, regardless of how cold the temperature was. If they were fortunate and had enough dry wood on hand, they could heat the water over an open fire.