Personal Hygiene-How To Survive Without Power

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Personal hygiene, how to survive without power is the topic of the day. In case you may have missed some of my posts, I am often asked to speak to different church groups, businesses, and neighborhoods about emergency preparedness and food storage.

I hired a friend to take professional pictures of my emergency preps, cooking devices, wash tubs, emergency toilets, emergency cooking stoves, and fuel, to name a few. I am no longer able to physically carry everything with me to all the classes or presentations.

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I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to continue to do these presentations. I’m honored to be able to teach when I can to get the word out about being prepared for the unexpected. Today, let’s talk about personal hygiene.

I’m so thankful to my reader who I call a friend, Joanne for asking me to put a “print” button on my website. I want people to be able to print my articles and teach others in whatever manner they feel comfortable. You are welcome to share my pictures and teach your family, friends, and neighbors.

I realize some people “get it,” but many are not interested in any preparedness items or having food storage, which I think is too bad. Somehow we need to help others to be prepared for the unexpected. After a disaster, the government may not be able to bring supplies for 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months, depending on the type of disaster, where you live, and the government agencies assigned to work in your area.

A few years ago I talked to my sister in Texas who at the time lived near where Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4. She said the gas pumps were empty, the store shelves were empty and no one could buy any water.

I remember calling my sister to check on their family before the authorities started evacuations. She called friends in other cities in Texas and they were in the same predicament.

Here’s the deal, in some areas near Hurricane Harvey they were asked to evacuate or try to get supplies, if possible before the storm hit their location. I heard the City Manager in one city ask those people who declined to evacuate to please write their social security numbers on their arms so they could be identified after the storm.

I took a double take on that one. I had to rewind the DVR to make sure I heard that right.

Here’s the deal, we never know when our neighborhood, city or county may have a disaster just like Hurricane Harvey.

How to Survive Without Power

There are certain things we want after a disaster like we at least want clean underwear, right? I think we can all agree on that one. I have seen fancy wringer washers from different stores, I have not purchased one of those yet. It’s on my wishlist, but here are a few ways to wash our clothes without any power.

In most cases, we may lose power after a major, or even a minor disaster. I hope you can use some of these ideas for those unexpected disasters. The water lines may even become contaminated, but I’ll talk about that another day.

Just so you know, the American Red Cross recommends storing one gallon of water per person per day. I disagree. That amount is fine if you only want to hydrate yourself, but what about washing dishes, washing our underwear and cooking with dehydrated or freeze-dried foods? I highly encourage you to store 4 gallons of water per person per day.

Wash Tubs and Wash Boards:

Those shown below are Behrens wash tubs I purchased on Amazon and the washboard I found at a thrift store. The clothespins are made by Kevins Clothespins. I have purchased many brands of clothes pins that fell apart after using them once, this brand is the only one I can endorse.

survive without power

You may have seen the post I did on making these emergency washing machines shown below. This set basically takes two 6-gallon buckets, one we drilled holes in so there would be a bit more friction when washing or rinsing clothes.

You need one Gamma lid (we drilled a 2-inch hole in the top) with one mobile washing tool with a handle. I place paper towels between the buckets when stored. They are impossible for me to separate them without that buffer.

survive without power

I did a YouTube for a company called Earth Easy that they use on their website. They sent me the clothesline to try and I highly recommend one. I can close it and store it when not in use. It’s perfect for the HOA I live in. If you already own a clothesline, I tip my hat to you! Thank you for being prepared. You’re going to need it, I promise.

Emergency Toilet Ideas

The picture below shows the difference between a 5-gallon and 6-gallon emergency toilet. The older you get the harder it is to squat down on the lower toilet.

Here are some things you will want to store inside your emergency toilet: hand sanitizer, toilet paper, 10-gallon bags, kitty litter or sawdust. The #10 can potty is a post I wrote for emergency toilets in cars. And don’t forget the toilet seat.

survive without power

Sturdy Toilet Set

This emergency toilet was made by a nephew, Dayne. I’m having a friend make one for me and hope to share the instructions on how to make one. This one uses a regular toilet seat that is attached and a 6-gallon bucket. If you are handy you can probably build your own around the bucket.

Dayne even attached a toilet paper holder on the side. When I saw this, I almost did a cartwheel, or at least I wished I could do one.  I was so excited to see this design.

survive without power

This picture below shows an approach anyone can make in their own home. Please duct tape the handle so the little ones do not try and flush the large black 30-gallon garbage bag down the sewer lines. All you do is lift the toilet lid and seat, place the bag in the toilet base and fill with kitty litter.

survive without power

If you have a flushable toilet from a trailer, those work great and are fairly inexpensive. Flushable camping toilet

Rose reminded me about storing baby wipes! I wrote a post about baby wipes. Remember even if they dry out, you can fill the container with a little water and they work fine!

Shower by Alice

If you do a “navy shower” (get wet, turn off the water, soap up, rinse down as quickly as possible) you can get a really nice hair wash and shower with a gallon of water. 2 is luxurious!

Final Word

I have wheat buckets so I decided to save money and make my own toilets. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world at this time. We need it more now than ever before. Yes, you can survive without power because you are ready and realize you can’t depend on the government. They can’t begin to take care of everyone, as we have seen after several disasters. We must take care of ourselves and be self-reliant. Do you think we can survive without power? Yes, we can.

Copyright Images: Depositphotos_59015065_m-2015

Survival food storage by Linda

Gamma Lids

Wash tubs

Washboard

Clothespins

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21 thoughts on “Personal Hygiene-How To Survive Without Power

  • February 2, 2019 at 7:41 am
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    I applaud the city manager for having the forethought to tell people to write down an identifier. If you’ve ever had the displeasure of a swollen water logged body….
    I still wear dog tags when hiking and hunting.
    I’ve got a toilet wth it’s own stand that doesn’t require squatting. I’ve got the camper and a bucket lid one in the storm shelter.
    I’ve got a clothesline but no “washer” yet.
    A little side note. Apparently mice will eat soap. Little sucker got mine in the gym locker at work. I’ve decided to put my stores in a container. Specifically it was Irish spring. I’ve never had one eat the homemade stuff.

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    • February 2, 2019 at 9:47 am
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      Hi Matt, I love hearing you have a dog tag and your own clothesline and toilet. I purchased a Lavario portable washer that I will write about soon. The unit will do jeans and even sheets. It’s amazing and very sturdy. And the bars of soap, oh my gosh!!! I would never have guessed they would like any soap!! Good grief, thanks for the tip! Linda

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  • February 2, 2019 at 8:21 am
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    Matt – funny you say that the mice ate the Irish Spring. That is the one brand of soap that my car dealership told me to put in my car to repel mice! I took a plastic container and drilled several small holes in the lid, shaved IS soap and placed in the container and under the seat. Car smells really nice now!

    Linda ~ I would take the Personal Hygiene a bit further. I do want clean undies and a place to “go” but I want and will need more, much more! I have a washing set up already and a bucket toilet. I use both when I go camping at a 10 day camping trip that is off grid – no running water (unless there happens to be a stream close by) and no electricity. I have been doing this kind of camping for well more than 40 years. But, while I can wash clothing while I am camping and don’t have to find a tree to squat behind, I really want to make sure that I can keep my body clean. I mean, why bother with clean undies if I am just putting them on an unclean body??

    I make my own cleansing cloths: I cut a “select-a-size” roll of paper towels in half. I then remove the cardboard tube. I have a fairly deep plastic container with a tight fitting lid. I push the paper towels into this container. In a pitcher/large measuring cup, I combine distilled water and a few drops of castile soap. I pour this over the paper towels. I don’t want the towels drowning in fluid but enough to saturate the roll. Then, when I am camping, I open the lid, pull out a couple of towels and can do a body clean. I have been asked before how I stay clean when camping and I have shared this. I think I found it on Pinterest but cannot locate it if I saved it!!

    Also, when I am camping (it is only once a year that I go for 10+ days) I use the Double Duty bags that I find at camping stores. They fit the “Luggable Loo” bucket toilet. I find them convenient for disposal. For the long term in the event of an emergency, I would suggest the really large zip type bags for getting rid of human waste (or at least to prevent spillage). – just a suggestion. I know that if one has a family they are dealing with, that might get very expensive. My “toilet” for my E-preps has 3 boxes of Large zip bags along with the heavy duty garbage bags. Another thing that I store in that toilet is the RV toilet deodorizer in powder form. It reduces odors!

    There are many aspects to personal hygiene and your post will hopefully lead people in the direction we want them to go – PREPARE! NOW! Each person needs to determine what personal hygiene means to them. For me, it is a way to keep my body clean, clothing clean and all of the other ways of cleanliness that I want and need to stay sane!

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    • February 2, 2019 at 9:48 am
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      Hi Leanne, you are my hero for dry camping or living off the grid for ten days! I love hearing this!! I really like your paper towel trick, I’m all over that one!! Great comment! Linda

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  • February 2, 2019 at 8:34 am
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    @Leanne lol I actually looked it up and sure enough they are attracted to that brand.

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    • February 2, 2019 at 9:49 am
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      Matt, I will never look at an Irish Spring bar of soap again without giggling about them eating it. Linda

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      • February 2, 2019 at 10:08 am
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        Lol I’m setting up a deadfall with a 5 lb weight plate in my locker for him. He messed with the wrong survivalist

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        • February 2, 2019 at 12:40 pm
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          OH Matt, now I can’t stop laughing! You are truly a serious survivalist!! Love it! Linda

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  • February 2, 2019 at 9:54 am
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    Another handy item is a pump up pressurised camping shower. Also good for hosing things down as long as you’re not on limited water. If you do a “navy shower” (get wet, turn off water, soap up, rinse down as quickly as possible) you can get a really nice hair wash and shower with a gallon of water. 2 is luxurious! There are various types or you can use a new garden sprayer that’s never had chemical sprays in it. Mine is metal and meant to heat water right in it. There’s even a coil attachment so you can heat water in a fire. There are some battery operated shower hoses that you can use with any container. Any long term camp with decent water supply could use one.

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    • February 2, 2019 at 12:38 pm
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      HI Alice, this is the best, the “navy shower”! I’m adding it to my post! Thank you so much! I’ve been thinking about getting a “camping” shower! Great comment! Linda

      Reply
  • February 3, 2019 at 7:50 pm
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    I like the idea of a sprayer or some type setup for water that makes use of gravity. All it takes is a container or bag and some hoses or tubing and a shower head. I hope before the next hurricane hits Florida that I set one up.

    In past years, I’ve bathed after power losses by simply pouring about 2 gallons of water over myself in the shower. While simple, this has one major drawback…. even indoors, when the air conditioner is not working, that water is colder than a shark’s heart. This can result in making you scream, shake, shiver and jump and even questioning how badly you want to wash up and if staying dirty is better. 🙂

    A shower or bath of ANY KIND is very refreshing and good not only for hygiene, but personal sanity and morale.

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    • February 4, 2019 at 8:44 am
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      Hi Frank, oh my gosh the colder than a sharks heart!! I just had to giggle, I love it! I’m with you on staying clean keeps our sanity and morale in check. May God bless this world to be prepared. Linda

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  • February 4, 2019 at 8:00 am
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    Linda, once again you’ve done a great job of ideas and I also appreciated the ideas from others. Egads, I needed your tip on putting paper towels between buckets. Those darn things can crack if forced apart by slamming (my old way of separating them). I’m in northern MN, so guess what we had last week? No electrical problems here but did have spotty water line freeze up (I have 3 full bathrooms): 2 toilets of 3 wouldn’t flush and one bathtub wouldn’t run water. My bathtub would only run hot water. Rather wierd as the freeze-up was so irregular. Lol, I knew why my toilet still worked for running water: my flap has been trickling for awhile and I kept putting off fixing! It was a good reminder to let all faucets run a trickle for the 2 worst days. Right before I did this, I got a scare, as in No water would run from any source. Sent son under house to check my heat tape on well piping. He said the light on it indicated it was working but noticed the plug was hanging a bit. Unplugged, put back in electrical outlet. Meanwhile, I bit the bullet and turned furnace up to 76. Our pipes for bathrooms/kitchen run directly next to heat vents, under our insulation. I just prayed our well stub up hadn’t froze 2 feet below ground, where heat tape won’t reach. As we waited, my 20 yr old son asked where our porta-potty was…oh, and how much water did I have stored? While we weren’t in a ‘disaster’, this sure was a wake up call. And I’m going to stock my potty with your list! I use an adaptive toilet seat (meant to give rise to a toilet for disabled) that fits on a bucket. It and the bucket actually was on my back deck for ’emergencies’. It’s now in the house so I can stock. I’m going to add one thing: biodegradable tampons for my sons girlfriend’s who might be stuck here. TP and wet wipes will also be Only the ones marked ‘septic safe’, meaning biodegradable. Gotta say, I sure was glad when water started flowing about an hour later! Um, normally, I could just run to town for water, get a pig heater from another cabin of ours to put on well, except one of our cars was in shop for scheduled repair and the other 3 would not start! One had gas line freeze up, one had a weak battery so couldn’t juice the starter enough. Oh, and it had this horrible hold down bolt I didn’t have the long enuf extension rod to reach, so couldn’t bring battery inside to charge. My ’emergency’ vehicle, a really big old pickup, wouldn’t even start. That was my fault as I didn’t go start it to charge battery when weather was still mild (meaning 5 degrees)…frankly, these extreme temps were a good reminder that I need to stay on top of things. A bottle of Heet in one car, checking to see how easy it is to remove the one car’s battery, letting one run to charge…and I call myself a sorta prepper and did none of these things? No, I’ve become spoiled, or maybe old and tired? The news acts like this is the first time we’ve ever had these extremes. Not true. It’s why I put in both a wood burning fireplace and cast iron stove, have oil lamps, portable potty, and supplies. And, yes, if this had been a true ‘disaster’, we could deal with it, but it leaves me to wonder about what else I’ve become spoiled? Our temp for over 2 days was -35, little wind but wind-chill still at -58…

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    • February 4, 2019 at 8:15 am
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      Wendy, thanks for the toilet riser idea. I have one that is too ugly for my tastes, so I am going to get a tall toilet for the house & put the riser on the Luggable Loo!

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      • February 4, 2019 at 8:37 am
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        Roxanne, the one I have is a hard plastic thing round thing. I used to see these toilet seats where they had these steel arms that attached to toilet. Ugh! Neither would I want either to be used every day in my house. I got the plastic one for my dad when he was able to visit. Lol, when my 20 yr old son got a crack in his toilet from dropping a heavy thing on it, he bought a toilet 8 inches taller than previous. Um, he’s 6’4″, so he likes it.

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    • February 4, 2019 at 10:31 am
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      OH, Wendy, I got goosebumps running up and down my arm after I read the temps -35 and wind-chill -58. Oh my gosh, just think Wendy if you were not a prepper you would be sorry out of luck. You were prepared and let’s call your comment a wakeup call or a HUGE reminder that we really take water flowing from the faucets for granted. I love hearing you have a wood burning stove, oh my gosh how I miss ours. You rock my friend!! I’m so glad you had water and a porta potty! WOW, we sometimes need a reminder to keep being prepared. Thank you for your awesome comment! Linda

      Reply
  • February 5, 2019 at 12:22 pm
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    You might want to have a box or two of baby wipes. Used them during Iraqi Freedom.

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    • February 5, 2019 at 2:21 pm
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      Hi Rose, I’m glad you reminded me about those baby wipes! I wrote a whole post on them! I’m going to add them to this post! Thank you so much! Linda

      Reply
  • February 7, 2019 at 1:35 pm
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    You mentioned doing presentations for groups. Do you still do them? I live in Bear Lake (Idaho) and am the Relief Society President in our ward. I’d love to have you come and do a presentation for our RS group, if you ever travel that far. I read once where you’re from, but can’t remember… but seems like it wasn’t all that far from here. Please let me know if you’d be interested. Thank you!

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    • February 7, 2019 at 1:56 pm
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      Hi Deb, I live in St.George, Utah. If I ever go up north I will let you know. Thank you so much for asking. Linda

      Reply

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