25 Must Have Items for Your Survival Hygiene Kit

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.

25 Must Have Items for Your Survival Hygiene Kit | Backdoor Survival

Here is my list, in no particular order.

Best Practices:  25 Items to Include in Your Survival Hygiene Kit

  1. Soap (I prefer liquid castile soap)
  2. Toothpaste
  3. Toothbrush
  4. Razor plus some old denim for stropping
  5. Dental Floss
  6. Deodorant
  7. Shampoo
  8. Conditioner
  9. Sun Shower also called a Solar Shower (I have this one)
  10. Baking Soda (can be used as a shampoo substitute or as a toothpaste 50/50 with salt)
  11. Epsom Salt
  12. Laundry Soap (I use the DIY version)
  13. Potty Bucket (5 gallon bucket with seat)
  14. Kitty Litter or other organic material to use with the potty bucket
  15. Toilet Paper (Read more: Are you Toilet Paper Prepared?)
  16. Mobile Washer
  17. Microfiber cloths to use for washing
  18. Cotton tea towels to use for drying (these are amazing and not too small for full-body use)
  19. Hair cutting scissors
  20. Nail Clippers
  21. Feminine supplies (if applicable; read more here)
  22. Diapers (if applicable)
  23. Comb
  24. Hand Mirror
  25. Lipstick (optional)

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!

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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

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.

Amazon Basics 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.  As of this writing they are $12.99 for a dozen.  You will not be disappointed.

mini Cree_0         

UltraFire Mini Cree LED Flashlight:  At the time of this writing, this one is only $4.18 with free shipping.  It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.


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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?  Here is a list of must have items to keep me clean, healthy, and looking good.

  1. I do believe your “solar” shower is a top shelf item, however for those more on a “beer” budget, I have used this one for over 5 years camping with the Boy Scouts with no issues. Just drain it and put it away afterwards.


  2. The mini Cree LED flashlight is truly amazing. The shroud at the bulb slides up and down to give you a pencil beam or flood beam. They are worth the money!

  3. you didn’t list no-rinse wipes! speaking of which, amazon has a dry version that is “activated” by wetting with water. you can find it by typing “latherz” in their search line. i don’t know if they’re any good, but if they are it would solve the problem of storing the wet ones in our preps and having them dry out. come to think of it, maybe if the regular ones dried out and got wet again they might work just as well as when they’re fresh. hmmmm, sounds like a great experiment for an arizona homestead! in your copious free time, of course.

    1. You nailed the reason why I did not include No-Rinse wipes in my list (although I did list them in the Bargain Bin). I adore these wipes and have a case of them. They are about 5 years old and are just now beginning to dry out.

      Yes, my copies free time. Don’t get me started on that because today has not been a good day for me, time wise.

    2. Anything soapy should be fine when rehydrated. I know it works for my wife’s makeup removal wipes. However, don’t assume it will work with everything, especially bleach wipes like those Clorox wipes. Bleach is pretty volatile and it won’t be as good in 6 months even with perfect storage, so I’d treat any dried out Clorox wipes as a disposable washcloth and assume no bleach action, unless I can smell some chlorine on it.
      But for stockpiling, I keep to soap, shampoo, water and reusable microfiber cloths at least for hygiene. Bleach I reserve for medical preps or serious laundry stains, and while I have 1 gallon of liquid bleach (give or take), the rest I store as pool shock with the gear to make my own bleach (to get around the 6 month expiration.) But that’s covered in another article. (Thanks Gaye!)

    3. They do. I have “reactivated” dryed out wipes for many a Sr. Citizen….those things are wonderful but not cheap, esp if you are on a fixed income.

  4. Cotton Tea Towel. Is that something like a wash cloth?
    That is one items I don’t have.
    Thanks for all you do Gaye.

    Ranger Rick
    North Idaho

  5. I store some heavy duty plastic bags to line the toilet bucket, also some disposable gloves, some disinfectant, and other items to take care of the contents of the potty bucket. “stuff” happens and you need to have supplies and knowledge to deal with it safely.

  6. Another item is a metal, not plastic, lice comb. If people in an emergency situation will be spending more time outdoors and thus exposed to them, a lice comb is a necessity. This is particularly true for people living in warm, moist climates.

  7. Hi Gaye,
    I learn something new and useful every time I go to your website.
    Thanks for what you do!

    Cheers! Robert S

  8. So many uses for vinegar.
    Dilute vinegar with some water, to re-hydrate those 5 year old wipes.
    Or, put diluted vinegar into a spray bottle and spray paper towels or fabric cloths to freshen up or clean up.
    I like diluted vinegar to use as a hair rinse.

  9. Really must balance looking/smelling good with “stealth” in a SHTF situation. If you look or smell “different” when mingling with the general population (if you have to) you will stand out and make yourself a target for the desperate and looters. They will see/smell that you have “resources” and will assume you have food/water/etc. Best to forgo the razor, deod, hair care, and make-up if you have to go out. Also pays to have a “well used” (i.e., well worn/un-laundered) set of clothing bagged by the door that haven’t been exposed to indoor cooking odors. Desperate people’s sense of smell will become acute. Be sure you are not followed when returning to your “home”. Not standing out is critical to survival in a disaster.

    1. Good ideas I hadn’t thought of.
      What I did plan on is having some old oversized clothes to be worn when mingling so it looks like I’m losing weight like everyone else. Even if I’m fatter than they are, hopefully the loose clothing will make it look like I’m on short rations like everyone else.

    2. I think you give the “average” public too much credit. Yes, some will be able to “smell you out” but most will be totally oblivious to you. Now once the dummies die off, it’s a different story.

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