The Oxford English Dictionary defines hygiene as:
“Conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness.”
During or following a disruptive event, life will be tough enough without having to worry about maintaining health and preventing disease. Why then, do I find the topic of a survival hygiene kit taking a backseat to articles about food, water, bug-out bags and life in the wilderness?
Today I plan to change that by sharing my own list of must have items to keep me clean, healthy, and looking good. And lest you question the “looking good” part, rest assured I plan to explain why that is important when faced with a survival situation.
Here is my list, in no particular order. A good hygiene kit needs to go beyond just the most basic toiletry items that you can think of.
Best Practices: 25 Items to Include in Your Survival Hygiene Kit
- Soap (I prefer liquid castile soap)
- Razor plus some old denim for stropping
- Dental Floss
- Sun Shower also called a Solar Shower (I have this one)
- Baking Soda (can be used as a shampoo substitute or as a toothpaste 50/50 with salt)
- Laundry Soap (I use the DIY version)
- Potty Bucket (5 gallon bucket with seat)
- Kitty Litter or other organic material to use with the potty bucket
- Toilet Paper (Read more: Are you Toilet Paper Prepared?)
- Mobile Washer
- Microfiber cloths to use for washing
- Hand towels to use for drying (these are amazing and not too small for full-body use)
- Hair cutting scissors
- Nail Clippers
- Feminine hygiene supplies (if applicable; read more here)
- Diapers (if applicable)
- Hand Mirror
- Lipstick (optional)
- Hand Sanitizer
Hygiene is one of the most overlooked aspects of survival.
Hygiene supplies are crucial for long term survival and health. It is far easier to get infections or contract an illness if you cannot keep yourself clean. It is important to have emergency hygiene kits for everyone in your family. Be sure to pay attention to specific needs based on allergies and other issues. For example, diabetics can suffer from thin skin that dries out easily so a bottle of moisturizer would be good to include.
Male hygiene kits may need to include more shaving supplies or other specialty items.
The common Ziploc bag can be used to store items in and help organize them into a larger toiletry bag. This also prevents things from leaking on to other items if a cap is not on so good or anything bursts. If something is in a Ziploc bag and busts open, you may still be able to use almost all of the contents.
During an emergency it may be a long time before you have the sanitary conditions that you are used to. Having a good hygiene kit can help you achieve as close to that as possible during an emergency.
Why Looking Good Matters
To this day, I still get up each morning and go through the routine of dressing nicely, wearing makeup, and styling my hair (which is no easy task). Being a prepper did not change that. Furthermore, I make no apologies for having a desire to look good and for carrying a tube of lipstick in my my pockets and my packs right alongside a pocket-sized flashlight.
In my opinion, being able to face the world looking good increases confidence and self-esteem. This means you will attack your daily chores with a bit more gusto and enthusiasm. I believe this article on Natural News says is best:
By looking good, you get to boost your confidence. And when you look good, you know that people’s eyes are on you and that you have their attention. You’ll feel good about yourself and with that feeling, you are given the urge to do anything you want, to reach for your dreams and whatever goals you have in life. Once you get that confidence, you also start to be happy inside. Yes. Confidence is happiness.
The Final Word
Call it my upbringing or call it common sense. Whatever the reason, I am obsessed with personal grooming and hygiene. To further that thought, it is my opinion that maintaining good hygiene and good grooming should be part of a prepper’s overall strategy.
If you have not considered putting together a survival hygiene kit, consider it now. It is likely that you already have spares of many of these items already. Simply gather them together in one spot, and if you are ever forced to evacuate, your Survival Hygiene Kit will be ready to grab and go, along with the rest of of your emergency must-have items.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
Bargain Bin: Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article as well as other personal favorites.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Pure-Castile Soap: Of all of the Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps, tea tree is my favorite. I prefer to purchase the versions are already infused with essential oils since it does save me a step when concocting my own cleaners. A little goes a long way with a favorite use being DIY Foaming Hand Soap.
No Rinse Cleansing & Deodorizing Bathing Wipes: One wipe is more than enough for a complete “bath”. These are a good backup when traditional showers are not available such as the week or weeks following a disaster. Also good for the sick room as well as camping, boating, hiking and such. Here is my review.
Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower: For showering during power outages fill a solar shower and place it on a table or the floor near a sunny window. You can also lay them by the fire in your fireplace. The water may only be warm, but it is better than using cold water for showering. During warm weather, just lay your solar shower in the concrete sidewalk or asphalt drive way. It does not take long to become very hot!
Mobile Washer: I love my mobile washer which serves as a hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub.
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, (Pack of 36): No list of DIY cleaning supplies would be complete without these wonderful microfiber cloths. They will last you for years and will allow you to replace paper towels forever. Truly. I color code using blue for glass and windows and the other colors for everything else. I love these.
Cotton Craft Scandia Stripe 12 Pack Kitchen, Dish & Tea Towels: You are going to have to trust me when I say these are the best cotton towels out there. I tried three different brands before I landed on these; they are heavier as well as larger and for lack of a better word, simply wonderful. You will not be disappointed.
UltraFire Mini Cree LED Flashlight: At the time of this writing, this one is with free shipping. It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof. Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.