Personal Hygiene

Discussion in 'Finding, Purifying, and Storing Water' started by meganisonfire, May 23, 2016.

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  1. meganisonfire

    meganisonfire New Member
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    What is the best way to stay clean when access to soap and water maybe limited? Would you walk down to the nearest river and rinse yourself off or would you just stay dirty? I never really thought much about this or how I would handle this personally until now. I would like to know what everyone else would do. I know that I wouldn't wash as much as I do now. I would probably find a source of water and "rinse" off if it was up to me.
     
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  2. Endure

    Endure Expert Member
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    In my opinion, good hygiene can be the difference between life and death literally in survival situations. Our modern hygienic habits prevent us from having a natural stronger resistance to viruses like flu. But also our improved habits provide a great protection to most common bacterial infections. Therefore, We don't have too much choice but to maintain our personal hygiene even under survival situations. I would also walk down to the nearest river and rinse myself off. But is more important to keep your mouth clean, because of bacteria activity there, you can take a small twig with pine needles, cut the pine needles to a small length and brush your teeth. It is not as effective as a tooth brush but it works. The second method is to take a small branch of a tree and cut the twig with the cut side at an angle. Then use the angled side to scrape your teeth.
     
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  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    When away from home I carry a bar of soap & a hair comb. Mostly if I NEED to wash my hands before handling food, I pad a wet hand in fire ashes & wash my hands that way. If there is a good water source then I can bath, if not then I don't bath. If used sparingly a bar of soap can last a long time. I use the laundry soap, it seems to be harder than most bath soaps.
    If you just take a twig & chew on the end, you can make a pretty good toothbrush. Works just fine.
    Keith.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  4. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    If you just take a twig & chew on the end, you can make a pretty good toothbrush. Works just fine.
    Keith.
     
  5. meganisonfire

    meganisonfire New Member
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    I am very impressed with the responses about personal hygiene. I would have never thought to use pine needles or even twigs to clean teeth with! I was thinking that I would use my finger nails to scrape the goo off my teeth, but that seems a bit unsanitary. After being in nature for some time without the proper cleaning supplies I would imagine that the underneath of the fingernails wouldn't exactly be the cleanest around. I don't have a reliable source but someone told me that worm eggs can get under the nails and if you put your nails in your mouth then you can actually ingest the worms (tape worms).
     
  6. DaBozzLady

    DaBozzLady Member
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    Personal hygiene is definitely a must in terms of survival. Once disease or sickness set in, it is going to be that much harder (though not impossible depending on the scenario) to survive. Try to keep yourself as clean and dry as possible, which includes teeth, clothing, hair and especially hands. Like the Mod posted above, a comb works wonders for your hair against parasites/insects as well as a chewing stick for your teeth. So one good method for everyone, but especially women, is to keep a good survival kit with things like hand sanitizer, soap, toilet paper, nail file, cotton swabs, hand wipes and wet/baby wipes.
     
  7. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    A cotton hand towel and a bar of soap!
    Warm water and a little soap, face, neck, armpits rinse face, neck, armpits add a little soap, crutch rinse and crutch
    Clean hand towel! pick a colour hand towel and use only for that!
    Add one of another colour and keep separate for the butthole!
    Wash boil often!
    You don't need to brush teeth often! but a tooth brush weighs little!
    On a warm sunny day bare and spread legs and get 15-20min of sunshine down there! boys and girls! once a week is fine or more if there is a rash or sores etc!
    Sunshine is free and it works miricles!
     
  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    hygiene will certainly be an issue post collapse, many people will die of disease more than will die by violence.
    however people these days go overboard on washing, keep clean but don't go over the top, a certain level of dirt is to be accepted.
     
  9. iseeyou

    iseeyou Member
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    I think during these hard times, personal hygiene will take a backseat. There are far too many more important things to worry about, food to eat, safety and just learning to survive in general. Going by the post apocalypse movies and tv shows I've seen, every character looks rough and dirty and they definitely don't make a big deal of it, i guess you kinda just get used to it, there's really not that much of a choice.
     
  10. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    The best method to keep body hygiene in the absence of water is to use alcohol based cleaner or dilute antiseptic containing ethanol. Examples of such liquids are methylated spirit which evaporates when applied on the body surface or when exposed to the environment leaving a clean feeling as well as killing germs. Application of baby powder is also very effective as it leaves a clean feeling and absorbs sweat and grime. When time comes to bathe, it is very easy to remove the dirt.
     
  11. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    that's okay when stocks of such things still exist but eventually everything will run out, we'll all have to use simpler methods then.
     
  12. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    While out hiking, we would take advantage of streams and rivers whenever one was available. When backpacking you have to keep your pack as light as possible, as the thing is heavy to lug around anyway. We kept a small bottle of dish liquid in our pack. We used this for washing our dishes as well as our bodies and hair. Only a drop of dish liquid will do a lot of washing. so it lasts a long time. When we came across a river, we would take a little break, go upstream a little for privacy, get naked and jump in. Sometimes the water was very cold. But it was very refreshing after a long hike.
     
  13. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    Long term the body needs regular doses of sunshine! especially where the sun don't usually shine!

    With my past job there was a lot of walking and sweating! like being soaked in sweat and dripping everywhere!
    Just soap and water was not cutting it and crutchrot was a major problem!
    In the arvo soon as I got home and showered I would sit outside and lean back and spread the legs!
    10-15 minute of sunshine really made a difference, and shocked the bejesus out of the nosey old lady peeking through the fence next door!
    It is free and it works!
     
  14. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    Call me prima donna but that's one of the reasons why I cannot go on a rough mountain camp out. I couldn't sleep without freshening up with a good bath. The mountain camps we go to have electricity and running water in the tap. Even my husband is the same, he needed a good bath at night. Even when he goes hunting in a remote mountain with no amenities, he would take a bath in the river or in the stream at dusk so he feels refreshed at night.

    In fairness to me, I have a kit that comes complete with bath soap and kitchen soap plus kitchen towel too. So for food purposes, we have clean utensils and plates as well although sometimes we use the banana leaves for the plate.
     
  15. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    Corzhens
    You might need to change that!
    When it gets rough you get caught washing in the river by a rapist or two it might just be a bit late!
    A group of armed men should collect water and return with it, females need to steer clear of those sort of locations!
     
  16. Cara

    Cara New Member
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    Its like a catch 22. Our first line of defense against disease is our skin. If you have a scratch or an open wound of some sort bathing in a pond or lake or river for that matter can be deadly. There are all kinds of micro organisms that live in ponds, lakes and rivers that can cause big problems if they find their way into a scrape or cut. Yet if you don't maintain some sort of hygene that could be an issue too. I guess you have to weigh the options and see what resources you have available to you.
     
  17. Deeishere

    Deeishere Member
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    I know for me, I would not wash as I normally do either. As a couponer, I am already stockpiling on whatever I can get for cheap. Now is the time to buy up. You can get really good deals on personal products. Just a week ago couponers were getting the CVS store brand liquid bath bottles for .25 cents each. Actually, I think it was a glitch in the system and it was corrected. So my thought is stock up on as much as you can. :)
     
  18. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Expert Member
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    I've read that they have invented some sort of "quick access" in Africa, where you would just mix these two substances, and coat your body with it, like sunscreen, but it is the equivalent of having taken a bath. I think it's a pretty good idea, especially in dry areas where water isn't all that accessible, if not valuable, and using it for anything other than drinking would be a pretty bad move. So I think if they can commercialize it, or make it global, then hygiene in the wilderness would be solved, as it is fairly cheap (since it needs to be targeted to African needs) and is easy to place in your pocket, and I really think it was a pretty brilliant invention.
     
  19. crimsonghost747

    crimsonghost747 New Member
      8/23

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    There should always be a natural source of water such as a lake or a river. If there isn't, then you better find one. Not for hygiene purposes but for actually having a steady supply of drinking water. And once you found that... well you have water to wash yourself with, right?
     
  20. SirJoe

    SirJoe Expert Member
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    There are certain plants and fruits that have the same properties as soap. They were readily used in the past and still used now. One of those fruits is lemon, it can really get rid of that stubborn dirt that just won't get out.
     
  21. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    I been searching for recipes on making your own soap in the wild. I'm sure everyone here can jump in a pool of water somewhere, but without something to lather up in, we might feel cheated. As for toothbrushes you can make one with a particular branch and use a sharp blade to create small fibers as bristles. What I would be more worried about is floss. You can't get that in the wild.

    http://wildernessarena.com/skills/f...make-homemade-soap-in-wilderness-for-survival
     
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