Sanitation and hygiene.

Discussion in 'Safety' started by Charles R. Stevens, Feb 8, 2016.

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  1. Charles R. Stevens

    Charles R. Stevens Active Member

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    Not seeing an appropriate category, I desides to broach the subject of sanitation and hygiene here.
    As this site covers the spectrum of servival, from the first 72 hours, playing in the woods, digging in for the long haul etc. sanitation and hygiene will mean different things to different peapl, and different situations.
    As ex-infantry dry sox and foot powder was your first line of defense . Face it a ground pounder lives or dies on his feet. But this was far from the end of it.
    Tho many military and medical references will talk about personal and camp hygiene, most folks will find it easer to think of it as personal hygiene and camp or personal sanitation (you already write a check to the sanitation department for trash and or sewage.
    As I mentioned before, at its most basic, dry socks and foot powder. But that isn't the end all, be all by any means.
    As a minimum one should plan to wash ones face and hands before meals, wound treatment and after bowel movements (their are some very nasty things living in your gut you do not want colonizing a cut or scratch). Washing your feet, armpits and crouch daily are also nessisary for your continued health.
    As we have coverd the who (you and any one dependent on your care) and the when, let's examine why.
    Tho colds and the flue are uncommon in the bush, they will greatly imp are your ability to care for your needs, not to mention intestinal bugs. Also remember that under stress our immune systems are suppressed (and most of us are already stressed in our daily lives). Many bacteria we encounter on a daily basis can become isues, cloriform bacteria from our, or others digestive trac can cause serious infection (the smell of a wound infected this is unmistakable) as well as natural soil bacteria such as anthrax become risks. Not to mention skin infection and rashes. Do you really want to deal with prickly heat when you are trying to keep body and soul together? For those of you playing in the woods, or planning on quick rescuer (most situations resolve themselves in 72 hours) you may be thinking so what? Well your weekend trip can turn into a need to be found and extracted with a round of diarea and vomiting, and in a situation where rescuers are trying to extract you the difference in your servival and them humping out a body may hinge on your ability to help them help you.
    Off to work, I'll address hygiene beyond 72 hours next.
  2. Charles R. Stevens

    Charles R. Stevens Active Member

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    For a go bag, bug out bag or car kit a travel size pack of baby wipes is fast and conviniant for quick cleaning of the essentials, beyond that classic old fashion soap, be it ivory or field's/naphtha, a small washcloth or bandana, and a hand towel or shammy will suffice. On can was your butt and your butt cover with it, it will get out the dirt from your hair as well, but you want to be conservative as its a bit harsh and will strip out the natural oils.
    Longer than 72 hours we need to look at cleaning our whole body, clothing, hair and teeth. As mentioned above a simple bare of honest soap will do for the first three wile the last requires something different. In the absence of a toothbrush and toothpaste we have a dentafrick (chewing stick) white ashes and charcoal. Simply take a fresh stick about the size of a pencil that is non toxic and chew the ent to break the fibers out, use this either alone or with ground charcoal or charcoal and white ashes (white ashes can be used as a substitute for baking powder as well) be aware that if you are scrounging and "living off the land" a diet free of cutivated grain and sugar is nearly cavity free, but your packaged "servival food" is very high in nonstructured carbohydrates.
    The washing of your clothes is most easily accomplished with a bucket and a dasher. A simple set up seen today is a plastic 5-6 gallon bucket, with a hole in the lid, and a toilet plunger with 3-4 page holes cut in it. One places clothes, water and soap in the bucket, puts in the dasher and puts on the lid and pumps the handle (yea I know get your mind out of the gutter) 5-15 min, drain, add clean water and repeat once or twice to rinse. Old school was to rig a barrel up next to the water jack and clap an arm to the sucker rod with a dasher. Thus your windmill not only pumped water it did your laundry. Seabees during the island campaigns during WWII built small windmills (usualy battle axe or pseudo wind rotors) expressly for laundry.
    A simple clothes line can be made by twisting a peice of cordage and stringing it up, by placing the corners of your fabric between the twists it will act as clothes pins.
    Now I have taken many a bath in a canteen cup (they only gave us steel helmets in basic) shaved and washed my hair. Not Ideal but it will get the essitials, easer is a black one gallon bug sprayer outfitted with a sink rinse wand. Set it out in the sun for an hour or two (may have to place it in a plastic roasting bag with a foil reflector on a cold day) and you now have a shower. Wet yourself, lather, rinse yourself (hair is washed and rinsed first! Then body! Scrub your butt last!
    A kidie pool is ideal to catch the run off, but at least use a "duck board" this is a wooded grid or mat that lets the water run under and keeps you out off the mud. Gravel, stones, sticks all will work.
    So now we have simple ways to keep ourselves, our clothes and bedding clean. Good old hot water will deal with body lice, so consider boiling your clothes and bedding if you get them, but cleaning the skin flakes and body oils from your clothes and bedding will prevent this.
    Your personal hygiene kit should include a small pair of scissores (mustache and nail trimming. Plus it is useful for cutting thread and fishing line) the small pinking shears sold for cutting thread work, as do the ones in a equinox or the ones that came with your beard trimmer. A stick can be cut to push back your cuticals, as a hangnail can lead to a painful infection.
    Dentile flauss is not essential but it is useful as thread as well as for oral hygiene.
    A comb or small brush (small hat or boot brushes with the hand strap are small and have boar brissels) brushing and combing your hair and beard will remove much of the dirt and detritus that collects as well as stimulating and distributing your natural oils. This puts off hair washing with soap, and replaces the oils when you do.
    This covers most of your pysical hygiene, tho a bit of exesize if your hunkerd down some where and not moving around is good for both your body and mental hygiene as well.
    Got to feed the critters and start dinner for my lady. I'll address sanitation in a bit.
  3. Dave3006

    Dave3006 Active Member

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    And I thought I was the only one that got the baby wipes. There are also wash clothes that are about the same, except larger. I have also found out that Sham Wow are good for cleaning, soaking up water, wringing out and using again.

    Very nicely written, and a very serious issue that should be covered. In the military, it was always 3 pairs of socks and a couple pair of underwear. I was a captain of a rescue squad (though the captain of it, I was an E8). We have brought back many from wounds, and some just from their personal hygiene. The ones coming back with bad feet really got the crap laid on them.
  4. Charles R. Stevens

    Charles R. Stevens Active Member

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    dont have time this Am to start on sanitation, but rest assured I haven't forgotten.
  5. Charles R. Stevens

    Charles R. Stevens Active Member

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    Sanitation, simply put is the group of skills and methods as to how not to render your immediate surroundings unhealthy.
    Tho we live in a closed ecosystem, and "sanitation" on a world wide scale would be wise,it is beyond the scope of this post.
    With sanitation we are primarily concerned with trash, garbage and excrement.
    Trash is non edible waste, clean cans, paper, plastic etc. Trash comes in 3 major types. Compostable, burnable and other.
    Compostable trash consists of organic materials such as paper, wood, cotton and straw, in a long term situation composting is advantageous.
    Burnable trash consists of dry organic matter and plastics, generally not suitable for composting such as oily cotton rags, waxed or oily paper synthetic fabrics and the like.
    Dry compostable trash may be burnt of corse as can wet trash that has been dried.
    Tin cans and such comprise the last category.
    On a camping trip one is expected to pack it all out with you, wile in other circumstances we pack it as to not leave evidence as to who and how many of us their are.
    As trash doesn't present a major risk to health but may be a safety hazard one must depose of it in the most appropriate manner possible. In a long term situation composting, recycling and reuse should be the priority.
    Garbage is much more important to deal with, as it will attract scavengers, pests and vermin. This can be as large as a bear or as small as a fruit fly. Obviously attracting bears, feral dogs and raccoons to your camp is an issue, so are mice, rats and flies.
    Garbage is weld rated into broad categories of wet and dry, as well as compostable and non compostable. Generally meat, grease and bones do not compost, they can be dried and then burned, recycled or buried. Burial is least desirable as if not done properly may contaminate water sources or attract scavengers, pests and vermin.
    Drying and burning is a waste of what may be a valuable resource.
    Traditionally fats were made in to soap or refined to be used as lubricants, leather dressing and lamp oil, other edible scraps were fed to hogs, or dogs, in the case of hogs, even the dishwater was not wasted.
    Compostable garbage may be fed to hogs, fed to dogs, fed to worms (vermacomposting) composted, buried, or dried and burnt.
    Garbage may also be used to bait traps for scavengers, pests or vermin.
    Cooking and dish water are also considered wet garbage. Generally if the fats are skimmed off, either can be added to compost heaps (cover with fresh brown material and soil) they certainly can be fed to hogs or one may use a soaking pit.
    Soaking pits are for large or simi-permanent encampments, generally one locates a sandy or gravely place a safe distance from camp to dig a shallow pit. The issue is that it will, certainly attract scavengers, pests and vermin.
    Disposal of urine and fescies is certainly of great importance, burial,
    Drying and burning as well as composting our the primary means of disposal.
    "Cat holes" are familiar to most hikers and campers, some remember great grandmas outhouse as well. Improperly handled human waste can spread infection, as well as attract predators, scavengers and pests.
    Cat holes, outhouses, septic tanks and camp latrines are all burial methods. Ash and dirt are used in latrines to control pests and odor that could attach predators and scavengers.wile ash, screens and venting are used in outhouses.
    Human waste can also be composted, the simplest is to use a plastic bucket for solid waste, and add a bit of sawdust or soil to it to control odor and pests, wile liquids go in a separate bucket.
    Urine can be deluded and used as liquid fertilizer, despised of in a soaking pit or added to a compost pile and covered with brown material.
    Solid waste and the sawdust or dirt can be composed as well, tho one should maintain a desperate pile as it will take longer to be certain that all pathogens have died or have been consumed by soil bacteria.

    Next I will address controlling pests and vermin in and around camp
  6. Charles R. Stevens

    Charles R. Stevens Active Member

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    Vermin and pests are best dealt with by keeping a sanitary camp, and excluding them (window screens, but nets, tin lined food store age) but site location and trapping are also part of the program.
    Why is any of this important, you ask? Vermin chew up, carry off and contaminate your food stores (not to mention the insulation on your house and automotive wiring), and carry a couple of zoological illnesses, such as plague, haunta and rabies. Wile flies, do to their predilection for "shit" spree those nasty bugs that normally live sadly in people and animal guts.
    The classic water trap is probably one of the best for vermin, but is 5 gallon bucket isn't deep enough for rats, and as far traps can catch other small critters (squirrels come to mind) they should be part of your survival trapping kit anyway. As to flies, the secret to trapping them is the fact that they crawl in and fly away tord the light. So inverted funnel traps work best.
    Flies like mossies like warm still locations, not breezy ones, so if practical chose hilltops for warm season camps.
  7. Charles R. Stevens

    Charles R. Stevens Active Member

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    A last observation, in feild operations, the servic uses a a 4 can dish washing skeam, fist can is to scrape your plate, the next is for washing, the third for rensing, the forth for sanitizing (use bleach in ratioes as if treating water) typically a fith can is kept, of clean hot water at the end of the row, so when the wash water needs changed you add soap to the rinse water, and sanitizer to the clean water, despose of the wash water and move over the scraping can.
    Despit the fact we don't have ready access to the heavy metal garbage cans and imusian heaters used by the military the same idea can serve us
  8. Dante848

    Dante848 New Member

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    Wow I didn't even consider baby wipes. Can sanitize, easy to carry around, easy to dispose of, plenty of uses. Great idea. Plus they're relatively cheap so you can stock up on them quite a bit. I'm not sure if they can dry out being un-opened or not, I assume they'll stay wet unless exposed to open air, if not they might not be the best long term option.
  9. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist

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    My husband and I are travelers - domestic and foreign. Whenever we travel, I have the toiletry bag that comes complete with the soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, cologne, shaver, anything that you can find in the bathroom including deodorant. And I also have the other bag with no name which contains the tissue and face towel, alcohol, nail cutter and some other items for hygiene. My husband always say that I am a girl scout when it comes to traveling.

    But I admit that I am not comfortable when it comes to camping especially in places where there are no amenities. Our favorite camping site is a 2-hour trip in a place called Tagaytay which is overlooking the Taal Volcano. But the mountain resort has electricity although we sleep in tents and we cook using charcoal or firewood. It also has bathroom and toilet with running water and shower. So when it comes to hygiene and sanitation in a remote mountain, I will survive but... inconveniently.
  10. acheno84

    acheno84 Member

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    Baby wipes are a life saver. I always keep them handy. If you would like to be extra frugal, you can make your own with a paper towel roll, oil of your choosing (you could use aloe to soothe a sunburn) and water. There are tons of home made recipes for wipes and they will definitely come in handy when the time is right. The only issue would be to make sure that you have them in an enclosed package to avoid them drying out. I usually double up on the zip-loc bags to make sure that they are air tight. You posted some great tips here. Hygiene is definitely important when it comes to survival. The last thing anyone needs is an infection that could have been avoided by practicing general clean-up tips.
  11. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member

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    When i first saw one i grabbed it just to try didnt cost much. BUY A SOLAR SHOWER !!!! That little hang up bag is wonderful boik some water and mix cold to temp you want and shower and in a bind they carry water great lol i get new one once in awhile to stash but first is many years old and well worth what i paid hung around camp filled store water and give you a flow of water when needed
  12. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member

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    wipes are okay but they tend to dry out quickly once the pack is opened.
  13. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member

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    Wipes open put in a zip lock bag with small bottel of hand santatizer
  14. Lisa

    Lisa Active Member

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    I swear by wipes when I'm camping, they're so cheap so it's easy to stock up. Lonewolf is right they do dry up but if you wrap them in a plactic carrier bag it keeps them moist. I use them for everything, cleaning myself, cleaning utensils etc.
  15. viva93

    viva93 New Member

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    If we are speaking about sanitation I would recommend using zip-lock bags or any kind of seal-able plastic that you can always keep with yourself.

    You can dispose such things as women's menstrual products, used diapers, bloody clothes and rags (in case of any accident). You shouldn't throw out these kind of products out in the nature, especially if they are made from certain not-disposable materials (many hygiene products are).
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