How Important Is Personal Hygiene In A Shtf Situation?

Discussion in 'Ladies Section' started by joegirl, Jul 4, 2017.

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  1. joegirl

    joegirl Member
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    On a scale of 1-10, how important is personal hygiene in a survival situation? Bath, wash, brush, soap, clean. Do these words even matter when you are trying to stay alive?
     
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  2. Rhodolite

    Rhodolite New Member
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    Normal hygiene like keeping your hair clean and arm pits odor free you can definitely pass- it's not life threatening. As for the under carriage... that needs care regardless of the situation cause women are biologically more prone to infections in that area if it's not kept clean. UTIs are gonna mess you up bad in a horrible SHTF situation cause they can turn into kidney infections and you'll die.
     
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  3. SouthernMama

    SouthernMama Active Member
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    Top and bottom should be clean! And you know what I mean!
    Teeth need to be clean to keep cavities and infection away. Women especially need to keep their bottoms clean to make sure they don't get infections. I don't think anything else will matter too much. We will be too trying to survive to worry if our hair looks oily.
     
  4. sakakimakio

    sakakimakio New Member
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    I don't even think of it once actually and quite surprising it definitely important for your survival. I need to alert on surrounding where am I first and identify what was the risk and the threats it posed to my survival needs. For example, there's leakage of nuclear plants in my place and radiation reading was high, I don't think waters around there safe to use for the hygienic purpose.
     
  5. koolhandlinc

    koolhandlinc Expert Member
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    It depends on what is going on. If possible always attempt good hygiene. Survive first, hygiene second.

    Edit: sorry 1 to 10?

    Long term it becomes a 10. Poor hygiene leads to sickness. Many sickness' are spread due to feces or blood getting into the digestive track or an open wound.

    Still survive first hygiene second.

    I am not talking about smelly arm pits are sweating and stinking or bad breath or stinky butts. I am talking hygiene required to prevent getting sick.

    So disease prevention hygiene is a 10. Setting next to a person who smells nice is a luxury.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  6. Scarlet

    Scarlet Member
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    Hygiene is very important. If you focus on staying alive then keep yourself clean as much as possible. Many die because of poor hygiene regardless in survival period or not.
     
  7. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    First and foremost, before you get distracted or get soap in your eyes make sure you are safe! Water courses attract attention from predators and other travellers alike.

    If you have the opportunity to clean yourself up, brush your teeth, shave and put on a change of clothes it'll work wonders for your state of mind. Washing before and after preparing food helps prevent bacterial contamination so is an absolute must in the field.
    Sterilise your water, you can do without a case of the squits.
    Cuts and rashes can easily get infected in the field, they should be treated and if possible covered to prevent infection. Fungal infections, parasites and insect bites will all have a debilitating effect, they need to be treated with respect and dealt with before they effect your ability to travel.
    I would reccomend unscented soap and minimal amounts of toothpaste. Perfume is a total no-no. Washing after visiting the hole in the ground will make you feel a damn site better as well. I'm not saying that you need to do your whole routine but cleaning up and cooling off when you're getting hot and crusty is a welcome luxury...
     
  8. CivilDefense

    CivilDefense Expert Member
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    It is of supreme importance. Poor hygiene, for any length of time, subjects one to infection, illness, and eventually death. There is a reason why our forefathers didn't have particularly long lives, and this aspect is one of them. One of the major issues posed by a disaster that is large enough to impact infrastructure is proper hygiene and medical care. It will be the worse in the cities, but I digress.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  9. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    Poor hygiene = body lice, staphylococcal infections, ...
    Dirty hands = dysentery, intestinal worms, human to human communicable diseases, ...
    Going barefoot = pin worms, hook worms, and in other countries there exist all manner of parasitic worms I know nothing about
     
  10. GS AutoTech

    GS AutoTech Expert Member
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    Hard to put a priority number on this. All depends on the situation in the moment. Stay as clean as possible whenever there is opportunity. Clean is important in the big picture, but not when fending off looters or being chased by a thug.
     
  11. zeedollar

    zeedollar New Member
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    There are some cases where i would just rate personal hygiene zero = 0, because in such situation, how you look or how neat you are doesn't really matter, what is paramount on your list is surviving. other cases, you will just require to keep your underneaths clean and you are good to go.
     
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  12. Tina Thompson

    Tina Thompson New Member
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  13. Tina Thompson

    Tina Thompson New Member
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    If I am literally fighting to stay alive, I'm not going to be too concerned about my hygiene. If I find myself by some water and I'm not in a life or death situation and I'm starting to get ripe I will take the opportunity to grab a leaf or something and wash myself down. I'm definitely not gonna be worried about makeup or how my hair looks.
     
  14. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    i'd be more worried about the water you drink and the food you eat than actually being scrupulously clean, disease prevention post SHTF is more important than being a bit dirty or a bit smelly.
     
  15. Maria_C

    Maria_C New Member
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    Bathing and toothbrushing are extremely important. You can bath so far there is a stream of water around. For teeth, there are a number of tree branches that can be used to brush teeth. Check salvadora Persica.
     
  16. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Expert Member
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    Do not for one second think that hygiene is not important. If you do not keep yourself clean you are inviting a host of viruses, parasites, and other organisms. A simple cut could be life threatening.

    In Venezuela diphtheria, and malaria have both returned. People are shaving their heads to avoid head lice. There is a new virus called Chikungunya which is mosquito born, that has infected thousands of people. This is all due to poor hygiene and a lack of medical supplies.
     
  17. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    It would depend on the definition on "Poor Hygiene". Failing --- daily baths, weekly baths or monthly bathing? hand washing after potty breaks or what exactly is the definition?
     
  18. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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  19. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    OK, I agree that keeping reasonably clean in VERY important for health reasons but I want to address the other aspect of it. One of the first signs of a person having a mental break down is a declining level of personal hygiene. You need to keep yourself clean and neat as much as possible because at some level you will see yourself and judge yourself in reflection to this. The military has known for a long time that appearance is important and that is why they push how you look anytime that you are not actively in combat.

    Personal hygiene also needs to extend to your clothes and your surroundings. You need the comfort of clean and as close to normal surroundings whenever possible. In a disaster situation, people are going to struggle with dealing with the massive emotional reactions to having their world turned upside down. ORDER in both your appearance and the conditions surrounding you will be critically important.

    We all hear and have seen the results of PTSD (POST traumatic stress syndrome). Let me tell you, that will be like NOTHING compared to the basically never-ending trauma of a world gone down the tubes and basically never getting right again. There is an old saying about the sort of insanity that may be rampant. Sometimes insanity is the only SANE response to an INSANE situation. You will need to fight this urge and one of the ways is by maintaining order in both your personal hygiene and the cleanliness and order of your surroundings whenever possible.
     
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  20. coffee

    coffee Expert Member
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    I carry packages of wipes, and store lots of them everywhere: in BOB, inside car, in car trunk, in every room in the house, almost.
     
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  21. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Now let me put this into a different light. I live in the desert. Shower daily. SHTF, water pumps go off line. Now water is a very limited and precious commodity. Do you still try to showier / wash daily or do you alter your bathing schedule?
     
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  22. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    in a SHTF i'll be more concerned about contamination of my drinking water supply and what others do with their waste(poo) and general hygiene than washing all over every day.
     
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  23. Yenix

    Yenix Well-Known Member
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    In this scenario, you surely have to alter your bathing schedule, but especially in the desert, the combination of heat and dusty environment would be extremely irritating.
     
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  24. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    In my environment, bathing and showers would go right out the window. At most, there would be a daily wet cloth wipe down. Contaminated water would be used for other secondary purposes but I can guarantee you that you would not be tossing out the bath water, until you had used it several times, for several purposes.
     
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  25. koolhandlinc

    koolhandlinc Expert Member
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    My brother was taught in the military to perform all hygiene in a helmet of water. Start with brushing teeth. The wash face and move across the body ending at the anus.
     
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  26. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Expert Member
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    TMT: I certainly understand, and agree with the water conservation; reusing several times etc. I would not expect daily showers or baths. More than likely we would go back 150 years, and bathing would be once a week, and everybody bathed in the same tub with the same water. Dad went first; then Mom; then the kids. A little water was added as needed. You are also in an area where water is a precious resource.

    I guess my thinking is more along the line of general cleanliness; washing your hands as much as possible to avoid germs and contamination. Trying to keep any type of cut or scratch clean. Trying to keep your face, hair, and scalp as clean as possible. Maybe as much as anything else being aware of what can happen, and how important it is to at least try.

    Water is not an issue for me, so I have the luxury of being able to jump in the creek or pond. I know how different it is in the desert.
     
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  27. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    Bathing like so many other things these days is an exercise in extreme wastefulness. My family was a farming family and my Dad had never lived in a house with electricity or running water until after WW2. Back then a "bath" was mostly something that you did in a wash basin and a pitcher of water. Occasionally in the warmer periods, you would heat up enough water to fill up a washtub and take a real bath.

    More often you went swimming or took a shower under the eaves when it rained. During the winter you didn't take full baths very often at all and got by on what my Mom called a spit bath that used a pan of water and a washcloth. When you have to haul water from a water source anywhere from a couple hundred yards to a couple of miles you don't waste it.

    Now, days people think of a bath in terms of many gallons of water because it is easy to just turn on a valve. Wiping yourself off and washing your face doesn't take much water. In the desert with sand and dust every place you will stay clean or live with chapped skin in all the most sensitive places. Imagine wearing clothes made from sandpaper with the rough side on the INSIDE!
     
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  28. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    TD, you paint a very vivid and accurate picture of what it is really going to be like, when the power drops out and never comes back. Even people with wells and pumping systems will soon realize that ALL mechanical systems have a life spans. The more you use a piece of equipment, the faster is is going to break down. As TexDanm pointed, out, hauling / carrying water is not fun or easy. Folks would do well to test and learn how to do do basin wash up. I am old enough to remember how and why basin washing is done. Sand blasting is fine on rusty steel, not so good in your under clothes.
     
  29. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    in a society where everyone seems to shower at least once a day and many several times a day, once the power goes off and the water mains don't work there will be a lot of dirty people!
    keeping yourself at least minimally clean by doing what is called a "strip" wash over here because you have stored water for the event .
     
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  30. koolhandlinc

    koolhandlinc Expert Member
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    Many issues in survival are actually interrelated. Hygiene is many things. So bear in mind. I am trying to stay on the side of hygiene and Don't get hijacked by the fact I discuss what I believe to be inter related issues.

    For example, Brushing the teeth with purified water. Then re purposing the water. Others have talked about this.

    My grandparents didn't bath weekly even. When they new we grand children were coming, They took a spit bath. We started with brushing our teeth. Then using the old warm water and wash cloths. When we stayed with them for days. We would also take spit baths. We each had our own wash cloth. Wash a face and then necks, arms and pits, stomach and then legs and the front private area and then back. Then wash out wash cloths by hand and hang to dry. The water was carried out and dumped on various plants.

    Washing hands with bad water doesn't help so having clean water for hand washing becomes an issue.
    I have non scented bleach. A tea spoon per 6 gallon plastic contained and let set for a time will purify water in the beginning. I have 4 6gallon plastic containers. This can be used hand washing, brushing teeth and spit baths. This can also be dumped into the crock I have for drinking water. The crock was moms. I purchased a valve for the bottom of it. It will then have the evaporative cooling thing going on. (if we don't drink to fast. )
     
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  31. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    current water flow on my homestead..3000 to 5000 gallons a minute. depending on rains and snows melting away.

    rub a dub dub...elk likes flopping in a tub...lol


    86495de7090fb58218deae7b91fc91e3.jpeg
     
  32. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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  33. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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  34. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Haha! Where there is a will, there is a way! I love the one in the middle picture. A friend of my brother did that and was able to plumb hot water into his bathroom and kitchen.

    For years, I just plopped a pot of water on the woodstove in winter; solar heat in summer. Back when I had no running water and was living in a campsite, I learned to conserve the precious water that I had to haul in by hand. I learned how to bathe in a quart or two of water; similar to how soldiers were taught to bathe with only a helmet of water (which may come in handy again someday).


    .
     
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  35. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    yep...my new place..if and when i build it...will have hot water one way or another...i have a meal master wood cook stove in storage. it will either have a SS pot sitting on it for hot water or if i can fit the SS heater coil in firebox plumed into a tank.

    oh and looking into a cistern tank with 12volt pressure pump...advanced living i tell ya.

    lots of ways to skin a cat ya know...
     
  36. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    In the summer I often will hang a black water buffalo bag in the sun. I've done this many times camping and even made one out of a plastic bucket that I painted black. I have also done it with a black rubber water hose on the roof of my house but that got too hot! Being clean is important and I like my outdoors showers in the summer.
     
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  37. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    OK, them thar thangs aint moonshine stills, but let me tell you bruther, iff'n you git one'a them thar revenue agents all riled up, he'll go t'choppin-up all yore perdy copper eeekwipment faister then you kin yell, "Quit that you idjit!"

    Them thar thangs is mighty dang fine. You done give'a buncha folks some idyeers fer to be'a workin' on fer theyselves.
     
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