People who are preparing in today’s society are making their most valiant attempt at acquiring large volumes of hard assets so that their “normal” habits and practices are not significantly impacted if a SHTF event ever happened. Some of these resources make sense; food, water, clothing, tools, etc. However, living in our current world view paradigm, some have the tendency to confuse “luxuries” as “necessities”. Toilet paper is one such thing. In this article, we’re going to have a little bit of a laugh at preppers who are storing TP, as well as discussion of practical and better alternatives.
The most vivid imagry of this concept comes from an old Doomsday Preppers episode featuring a lady name Christine H who is preparing for a mega tsunami. Her plan is to bug out to a water way, inflate multiple rafts, and bug out. However, during her episode, they crammed their rafts full of so much frivolous luxuries (including toilet paper) that they toppled over. It made for a good laugh, but it highlights the concept of preparing for survival vs. preparing for comfort.
As you all know, toilet paper takes up A LOT of room and disappears quickly! This is especially true if you have a household of females :) However, with my personal experience of using cloth diapers for my baby daughter, I can tell you that you can certainly survive without it.
Baby Example – Cloth Diapers
If you haven’t already read my article Preparing for Baby, definitely do so for prepping tips for the little ones. One part of that article focuses on cloth diapers as opposed to disposables. Cloth diapers are cheaper and take up WAYY less room than an equivalent amount of disposable diapers. Take a look at this photograph:
For $500, you can buy 24 cloth diapers that will last you a year and take up less than a hamper’s square footage. However, a year’s worth of disposables is worth over $1,000 for 3,800 diapers. The space constraints are just insane! The negative aspect is dealing with #2. I must tell you, it is not the prettiest thing in the world but you can man up and get over it. This is probably a little TMI, but all you did is dump out the solid stuff, use a little bit of water to spray off the cloth, and then wash as normal. They do in fact come out white and clean at the end of the wash! Before I talk about off-grid washing, let’s look at the simple adult alternative.
Adult Example – Cloth wipes
For the adults, all you need to do is start gathering old fabric or purchase cheap wash clothes. As you can imagine from the image above, 20-40 wash clothes would take up no where near the space of the toilet paper roles you would need for the year.
Off Grid Washing
So you see, these two options can satisfy our essential hygiene survival needs; we are keeping our bodies clean and avoiding infection. Also, it’s hardly “survival”. All it really is, is a change to our habits and practices a little bit until we get used to it. In order to prepare for the off-grid washing, I would recommend that you do stock up on detergent and other soap. There are homemade recipes for detergent using borax and other ingredients that will make more detergent than you know what to do with. It’s also SUPER CHEAP! Sigma 3 Survival’s wife has an excellent video on how to make your own which you can view HERE.
For the physical part of washing, you have a couple options:
This little guy is an EXCELLENT tool that is under $20. The design of the plunger creates very turbulent water which cleans the garments. All you need is a 5 gallon bucket, detergent, and hot water! As you can tell from the amazon reviews, it’s almost a full 5 star product!.
I have this unit and it does work fairly well. The vessel pressurizes itself via the bubbling action of the soap paired with the heat of the water. The pressure is the benefit of this washing setup as it gets deep into the fabric.