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Preparedness

Alternatives to Toilet Paper In Survival Situation

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Alternatives to Toilet Paper

What to use for toilet paper in the woods? When reading through common preparedness concerns, humble toilet paper is seemingly worth its weight in gold. Rough and rugged men, prepared to spend weeks in the wilderness foraging for grubs to survive, are near to panic at the thought that they might run out of that most precious wiping material. 

Of course, I would always recommend keeping some extra rolls on hand: it’s convenient, you already use it, and it might be one of the more valuable barter items should a long-term emergency arrive. But what happens when even your extra rolls fail you? 

What happens if you simply don’t have the space for all of those bulky rolls or if they’re too expensive to stock? Let’s look at some practical alternatives to toilet paper, so you don’t have to become also “handy” when that last roll is used up.

Natural Plant Alternatives To Toilet Paper

Probably the first thing most people think of as an alternative since you can just grab some leaves or grass and clean up! However, there are a few considerations before you grab whatever comes to hand:

Never, ever, apply any plant known to be poisonous to your behind. Although this should go without saying, many people underestimate just how easy it is to poison yourself through the “back-door” if you’re not careful.

For the sake of your hind-end, check the leaves you’re going to use. Poison ivy obviously should be avoided, but individual famous “toilet plants” aren’t as safe as they may seem either. Both Lamb’s Ear and Mullein have a reputation as great natural wiping material due to their large size and velvety texture, but many people can react to the leaves’ tiny hairs and get itchy rashes from them. 

I recommend rubbing a leaf from any potential specimen on your inner arm or below your knee to ensure that it won’t irritate your skin before applying it to more delicate regions. With that said, let’s look at some standard natural TP solutions.

Moss

Moss can be great if you can find it, mainly if it is thick and slightly moist. Beware peat moss: again, commonly recommended owing to its softness, but it is a potential vector for Sporotrichosis, which can cause extreme discomfort, damage to the body, and in severe cases even death.

Sticks and Stones

Can they break your bone and also wipe your bottom? Oddly as it may seem, many people recommend using smooth stones and de-barked sticks when nature calls.

Corn Cobs and Husks

A Home-grown solution to keep yourself clean. One source even recommended using two: standard corn for initial cleansing, then a sweet corn husk to finish with. The sweet corn husk’s texture was more agreeable on the skin and helped reduce scrubbing irritation.

Sustainable Alternatives To Toilet Paper

Of course, many people would instead not take risks with plants, particularly if they want to survive even during the winter or in an area they don’t know. For that, we come to the reusable methods for maintaining bathroom hygiene.

Sponges

I’m not a fan of sponges primarily because they are too absorbent and difficult to clean thoroughly. However, if you could find a skinny sponge and tie it to a stick, you might have a durable, reusable butt scrubber. Be sure to wash it vigorously in a mixture of vinegar and hot water to remove all traces of harmful substances.

Old Clothes 

Rag toilet paper Before you jump ship, no, you do not share one cloth with the whole family each day. Ideally, you would have an entire stack of fabric available for everyone’s convenience in the home. These cleaning rags are made from anything: old ruined clothes, blankets, ripped up towels, you name it. If you have time and some essential sewing skills available, some work adding a hem to the edges of this cloth will make them last much longer since they’ll need to stand up to daily vigorous hot water washings.

There are many methods of using a family cloth: some prefer to wet it first before wiping. Once you’re finished, however, the process of cleaning it is pretty simple.

  1. Have a dedicated bucket near the toilet that contains a mixture of water and vinegar. The soiled fabric should be tossed into that bucket to begin the cleaning process and keep the smell down.
  2. Take the day’s fabric out of the bucket and let them sit in a boiling mixture of vinegar or laundry detergent and water for an hour. During this time, agitating the rags with a plunger or a stick to dislodge particles is optional.
  3. Wash vigorously in hot water until clean.
  4. Dry in the sun. Dispose of all wastewater from water sources and never throw it in your garden or into a compost heap.

Alternatively, if the grid is still available, simply take the cloth out of the bucket and throw it into your washing machine separate from another laundry. Again, boiling water is recommended.

I do not recommend bleach because of the damage it does to the cloth, and it’s much more useful for more significant necessities like purifying water. This is the method I would choose for keeping clean during a survival situation since it’s simple, reusable, and the cloth can be used for a variety of other purposes when clean.

Using Water Instead of Toilet Paper

Bidet

An electronic bidet. Note the jet of water intended to be fired at your behind.

Thus far, you’ve seen different materials that can replace the mighty power of toilet paper. However, many countries go without wiping altogether! Instead, they turn to a simple hygienic rinsing for their cleanliness needs. Many modern homes can have their toilets equipped with a bidet: basically a nozzle that directs water in an arc that thoroughly cleans any mess right off your behind.

However, relying on an electronic bidet drawing on pressurized water to clean you is unrealistic when it comes to preparedness. That’s why many have created their own manually powered versions of the concept. 

These can range from a small squeeze bottle with a squirt nozzle on end (useful for bug-out bags or minimal water use) to a full-size hand-pump with a gallon-sized reservoir to draw upon. Once you’re clean, all you need is a small cloth to dry off with, which can be washed along with all your other clothing since it won’t be soiled with leavings.

The only issue I have with these is the total reliance on a water supply to keep these in use. Cloths can be used dry and left to be cleaned later if necessary, but a pump only works if there’s water available to spray. If you have constant, easy access to clean water, these are great, but if the water is already a burden on your planning, I will stick with wiping over spraying.

As much as we rely on toilet paper for our cleanliness, its days are numbered once an emergency sets in. Keeping your options open is vital to staying clean and comfortable, and these reusable solutions might keep you from trading your valuable preps away to save your butt.

Any suggestions? Plenty of campers, travelers,  and preppers alike experiment with alternative TP, so let us know if you have any ideas.

Sources:

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Prepare_Today_Survive_Tomorrow/OzrQAgAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Alternatives+to+Toilet+Paper&pg=PT131&printsec=frontcover

Preparedness

Fundamentals of Water Filtration & Purification for Emergency Survival

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Water Filtration & Purification for Emergency Survival

Water filtration is when a contaminated water supply is prepared and made safe for human consumption. There are several methods of water filtration that can be used. Still, the main aim is to render the water fit for use by removing or killing bacteria, microbes, and other contaminants. The type of water filter that one can use depends mainly on the contaminants’ nature present in a particular water supply.

Purpose of Water Filtration

The main purpose of water filtration is to remove impurities from water. The designing of water filters is done so that they can facilitate cleaner water from existing sources reliably and as quickly as possible. These filters provide safer water, improving the taste, and removing bacteria that could otherwise cause infection or sickness if ingested.

Types of Water Filtration

As mentioned, there are several different forms of water filtration used. These include reverse osmosis, which condenses the water before forcing it through a semi-permeable membrane at high pressure. It then removes large particles such as bacteria. Besides, sand filters work similarly, though on a larger scale. They remove bacteria and large particle contaminants.

Another type is ultraviolet filters that bathe the water in radiation, thus killing bacteria. Activated carbon filtration reacts to the pollutants with carbon and removes them from the water, while distillation boils off the water, leaving pollutants behind.

Benefits of Water Filtration

Many benefits come from the water filtration process. Among these are the improvements to health. Research shows that filtering out chlorine from any drinking water reduces the risk of some cancers, such as colon and rectal cancer. Simultaneously, by removing bacteria and other microbes from the water, the risk of disease is significantly reduced.

This is particularly important for both children and the elderly, whose immune systems are not as strong, especially during emergencies. Water filters should be replaced regularly to prevent a buildup of microbes and other contaminants. If this is not done, pollutants will build up. Once they reach a critical level, they can easily overflow into the water supply, making it more contaminated than before filtering took place. This should be considered, especially during an extended period of a disaster.

Emergency Water Filtration Techniques

In any emergency water treatment, you should always filter water as a first step. If municipal water supplies falter or electrical power fails, you can turn to unusual sources. Serious illness can result from drinking water without filtering or treating available water from plumbing reservoirs, waterways, and swimming pools. In most cases, homemade filters or commercial filters do help to avoid these problems. There are different filters used, which are discussed below:

Crude Filters

One of the real defenses against water-borne diseases is by boiling or chemically treating water. Filtration helps by removing many water contaminants. When the water is cloudy, it should be left to settle and then filtered through clean cloth layers. Some experts recommend boiling water for ten minutes. Besides, five to eight drops of chlorine bleach per gallon of water kill harmful viruses and bacteria, but crude filters only remove obvious debris in the water.

Ceramic Filters

Ceramic water filters effectively remove harmful organisms, providing immediate drinkable water. They remove particles down to one micron in diameter. Not all filters in the market meet these standards. You should therefore check with the manufacturer to find out if additional steps may be needed. In emergencies, filters that depend on a pressurized water system to operate will not be of great help.

Homemade Filters

The Homemade water filters built in stages do filter water in large amounts, though not perfectly. These filter stages should run from coarse to fine, where first stages screen out large pieces of debris, and later stages remove finer particles from water. In the last stage, the water could look clean if there is a deep layer of activated charcoal. It should be disinfected with chemical treatments or boiling before drinking it. Homemade filters are not considered enough to guarantee potable water, though they can be used in a crisis.

Backpacking Filters

Small backpacking water filters are a great idea for the home emergency kit, although their total output can go as low as 200 gallons per filter. They are combined with simple cloth filters to remove coarse debris, producing drinkable water from emergency sources such as water heaters or even from toilets’ reservoirs.

Survival Filters

Emergencies indeed happen in the cities and a wilderness situation when clean water runs short. An emergency filter pit can be dug in the bank of a creek or even the shore of a lake in such situations. The ground itself is used as a primitive filter. Before filling a container, one should wait for the hole to fill and the water to clear. At this point, stage filters with found materials such as dry grass or clean sand can be rigged from spare clothing to serve the purpose

Related:

Things to Consider When Preparing Food and Water for Emergencies

Basic Rules for Stock Your Prepper Pantry

How to Start Your Food Storage Plan

Must-Have Foods for Your Prepper Pantry

Sources:

https://www.outdoorlife.com/survival-skills-ways-to-purify-water/

https://www.skilledsurvival.com/survival-water-filter/

https://www.happypreppers.com/water.html

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Be_a_Prepper/NkttjwEACAAJ?hl=en

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Food Storage

Must-Have Foods for Your Prepper Pantry

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Foods for Your Prepper Pantry

For any prepper, consistent stockpiling of nourishing and long-lasting food is an imperative priority. It means that the more individuals prep, the more secure they will be in an emergency or disaster situation. If you are searching for the right foods to store in your pantry for survival and sustenance before a crisis, here are some suggestions.

Purified and seltzer water:

First and foremost, you need to have water to make it through the disaster. Therefore, as described above, you need to make plans to have some bottled water available.

Canned food:

It’s also a good idea to stock up on canned goods with high fluid content. Two good examples are canned pineapple juice and canned vegetable juice, easily accessible at your local market. These will provide both water and nutrition ions to the body system.

Powdered milk:

This type of milk can last for 2 to 10 years. You only need to add a bit of water to have a nutritious drink any time of the day.

Hard cheeses packed in wax:

It is not always easy to find waxed cheeses, but they are worth the effort. For example, sharp cheddar, Swiss, or parmesan in wax are extremely difficult to find. They last and also provide a great meal option.

Protein bars and protein drinks:

As mentioned above, protein is a key source of energy for your daily nutrition. Canned protein drinks and protein bars last a long time, and they can be a key component of any pantry prepping strategy.

Dried and canned meats:

This is another great source of protein. These meats are prepared to last. Examples of these are canned tuna, beef jerky, and chicken. A good stock of canned meat products is definitely critical for your prepping pantry.

Bouillon cubes, espresso coffee, and tea:

These combinations provide nutrition for your drinking needs. Tea and coffee provide caffeine as well, which can be important for survival in the course of a disaster. Bouillon cubes will provide you with a bit of a pick-me-up through a dense flavor with a small bit of sodium. Meanwhile, instant coffee and tea can be used to keep you awake with caffeine. You might want to have a bit of water with the coffee and tea, though, as they can dehydrate your body.

Oils:

If you are going to do any cooking, the oil will be vital. Although most oils last one to two years, you can consider coconut oil, which can last years before going bad.

Wheat flour:

For many years, wheat has been a key diet constituent. It contains vitamins, fiber, some protein, and minerals. If you have access to water and other basic cooking ingredients, this product becomes a key baking ingredient even for the simplest meals.

Baby food:

For many people, baby food and infant formula are expensive. In case you have a baby, boxed baby cereal and canned formula are easy to store and are also in great demand. They can serve as alternatives to those expensive brands for children’s survival.

Related:

Things to Consider When Preparing Food and Water for Emergencies

Basic Rules for Stock Your Prepper Pantry

How to Start Your Food Storage Plan

Fundamentals of Water Filtration & Purification for Emergency Survival

Sources:

https://adventuresofmel.com/beginners-guide-to-stocking-a-working-prepper-pantry/

https://blog.survivalfrog.com/must-have-foods-to-put-in-your-survival-pantry/

https://www.happypreppers.com/preppers-pantry.html

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Be_a_Prepper/NkttjwEACAAJ?hl=en

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Food Storage

How to Start Your Food Storage Plan

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How To Start Your Food Storage Plan

It is important to have an emergency food pantry that ensures a consistent supply of food that your family can survive on if a disaster cuts off normal access to food, water, and other utilities. An emergency food pantry that is well equipped is a necessity for every family. One point to note is that emergency foods should be non-perishable.

They must not require cooking, refrigeration, or even water. It is up to you to determine the foods that you will stock in your pantry. It is critical to understand how to go about the whole process of starting up and getting your pantry ready just in case there might be emergencies in the future.

Long-term Food Storage Plan

Planning for your pantry is easier when you know how to get started, what you need to do, and what you need to buy. Preparing for a time when food is in short supply is not always an easy task, and you can also rest assured that this is not one of the easiest things to think about.

However, you can equip yourself with the knowledge and skills you need to plan and build your home emergency pantry. By using all the available information to you and applying that knowledge gained in the preparation process, you can efficiently stock your home pantry with the proper foods.

Location: The first step is to ensure that you have your long-term emergency pantry designed in a dry, cool, dark area. Many people choose great basements. Large closets and garages are also good.

Available storage space: The next step is to measure and note your available storage space’s exact size. This should be done before you can decide on what to store. You should be realistic and determine exactly how much physical room you have to spare for food storage.

Layout: The last step is to layout the space for access. It is good to plan where large water stores will be put, where you will store cans, and where you’ll store bins or boxes. After this, proceed to install the shelves properly.

Food Storage How to Select Necessities

Water: In the selection of items to stock, it is prudent to store water first. This is because the human body can survive weeks without food but can only go for a few days without water intake. It is recommended to set aside a gallon of water per person for every single day.

If you are creating a long-term stockpile, this could take up a lot of space. Therefore, you should limit the amount of water that you will need to set aside by stockpiling water purification tablets, a gallon of bleach, or, if need be, a portable water purifier such as the ones that backpackers use.

Carbohydrates: You should then stock up on carbohydrates. In case of any crisis, you’ll get most of your required calories through carbohydrates such as pasta, grains, and rice. It’s best to buy in bulk quantities. It should be noted that carbohydrates account for about 50 to 60 percent of the foods people put in long-term storage.

Protein: The next category should be canned meat and beans. These are excellent and long-lasting sources of protein. At the same time, protein bars are also useful sources for protein and other essential dietary needs. You should expect protein sources to account for about 25 percent of the entire storage.

It is recommended that you supplement the storage with dried foods such as powdered eggs, dried milk, dehydrated vegetables, fruits, and ready-to-eat dehydrated meals. All these are ideal space-saving long-term food items. You will also need to include dried beans if space allows. These should take up less space than canned beans, though water will be required to cook them.

Supplementary items: Other items such as salt, garlic powder, pepper, and sweeteners should be set aside. Sweeteners could include sugar or any sugar substitute. Favorite spices should be included in the list. This is because tasteless food can sometimes be demoralizing and can easily lead to a loss of appetite, which soon translates into malnutrition. Corn or olive oil for cooking and also flavoring food is great!

Utensils: The last step in selection is boxing up basic food preparation tools and utensils to store with emergency food supplies. You should ensure that you have the proper eating utensils, a can opener, and a cup.

It is good to remember to store a butane stove or gel-fuel with backups of cooking fuel. This will save you when you cannot make use of any other sources of energy, which is a common scenario in the event of an emergency.

Emergency Food Stockpile Process

Depending on the space available for your pantry, water needs to be placed in a large plastic drum with a pump, in gallon jugs, in five-gallon buckets, or individual bottles. Whichever one of these alternatives best fits your needs should be applied.

Besides, loose bags of dried beans, rice, and vacuum-sealed packets of dried foods need to be in containers. They should be kept safe from insects and vermin by putting them in plastic or metal bins with sealable lids.

Furthermore, jars and cans need to be organized on shelves, lined up by type with labels facing forward. This will help you with easy rotation. Rotation of foods in long-term storage should be done regularly as you buy new supplies. It keeps your long-term stores from spoiling. Expiration dates need to be routinely checked on your stored food and water. Any expired items should be thrown out.

Non-perishable foods that can be eaten without refrigeration, water, and cooking are great for emergencies. You are free to pick any foods that your family likes. You can also consider including a few treats or any other comfort foods, which might help the family stay calm during the stressful time that comes after the emergency has struck.

It should not be forgotten that you need to stock enough food to feed your family for at least three days. If there are any pets, emergency food should be included for them as well.

At the same time, you may experience a few changes in your family in the aftermath of the emergency, for instance, the addition of new family members or pets. Therefore, you need to regularly monitor and determine whether or not your emergency pantry is equipped to sustain the whole family in the event of a disaster. You need to discard or purchase items as new needs arise.;

Related:

Things to Consider When Preparing Food and Water for Emergencies

Basic Rules for Stock Your Prepper Pantry

Must-Have Foods for Your Prepper Pantry

Fundamentals of Water Filtration & Purification for Emergency Survival

Sources:

https://preparednessmama.com/food-storage-plan/

https://blog.gunassociation.org/kick-start-food-storage-plan/

https://www.familysurvivalplanning.com/food-storage-for-beginners.html

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Be_a_Prepper/NkttjwEACAAJ?hl=en

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