Submissions     Contact     Advertise     Donate     BlogRoll     Subscribe                         

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wiping you know what without toilet paper

By Joseph Parish
In every survivalist mind we have the following question sitting and waiting an answer however in most cases the individual is too embarrassed to openly ask the question. I will save everyone the red face of mortification and bring the topic out into the open at this time. When preparing for emergency situations people are often curious as to what they would have to do about toilet paper usage when the infrastructure declines and possibly remains permanently disabled.

In the past we have covered articles which dealt appropriately with extended loss of electricity, the storage of sufficient food and water supplies and other miscellaneous emergency equipment however the topic of toilet paper rarely surfaces in survival conversations. Consider for a moment a situation where the nation simply runs out of this bathroom commodity. What would you use in it’s place? Would you use clothes and simply rewash them as you would baby diapers? Would you look to Mother Nature for assistance by utilizing her fallen leaves from a nearby tree? Perhaps you would think back a few hundred years at early American ingenuity and grab up on corn cobs while they are still available. If you did stockpile some toilet paper how could you ever save up enough to provide your continued needs? Think slightly as to how life must be changing for the people in countries such as Haiti that have been devastated and the “nice-to-have” supplies simply are not getting into the country.

I have in the past during an emergency used large leaves in the woods for the obvious purpose and discovered that although they were a discomfort to use the process really was not as bad as I would have expected. Being realist about the issue we find that toilet paper is a valuable resource when the balloon goes up and none is around. Alternatives could be rags which have the edges hemmed. If this seems like an option you might wish to consider be advised to prepare them now while you can. Make as many as you feel that you would need. With proper washing and sanitizing as you would a small toddler’s diapers they should be usable for a very long period of time. 

By laundering your toilet clothes by hand you will find that they last much longer than if they were washed in a modern washing machine. The same applies to drying them. If you hang your clothes on a line they will have an extended life expectancy as opposed to the electric dryer as well as additional sanitization as a result of the hot sun’s rays. 

When creating your toilet clothes use a dark color material preferably fleece or terry cloth. Make each cloth at least a four inch by four inch square. With using dark colors the cloths can be cleaned but none of the stains will show visibly on them. Now let’s offer some equal opportunity advice here. Everyone and I mean everyone assuming they are old enough, capable mentally and physically should assume the responsibility of laundering and drying their own toilet cloths. An interesting point to ponder may be that each family member should have a different color cloth. 

If cost seems to be a major factor a search on your local Freecycle will net you an unusually large abundance of old towels, wash cloths or clothing that can be used for this purpose and they are free of charge. Your other alternative is to use a sponge and a pail of water as the ancient Romans used to do.

Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish

1 comment:

  1. Do not forget the use of a personal lavette bottle as an option as well. They are inexpensive and would keep the body and cloths cleaner. You can use less cloths in a day if you are simply drying off with them. Less cloths used = less laundry.