Most preppers, including myself, try to keep a generous supply of toilet paper on hand for emergency situations. I’m not talking about the everyday inconvenience of finding yourself sitting on the throne when you suddenly realize that there’s no toilet paper in the bathroom either. I’m talking about a situation where we might find ourselves having to survive on the emergency supplies that we have stockpiled.
Most preppers have a lot of toilet paper stored up but one of the disadvantages of storing toilet paper is that it’s quite bulky and it takes up a lot of storage space. Depending upon exactly how long we find ourselves having to survive after a major catastrophe, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that we could eventually run out of this precious commodity.
I’m writing this article from the perspective of someone who believes that someday we may have to survive for quite some time without the ability to restock our supplies at our local supermarkets. Along with that belief comes the acceptance of the reality that eventually our family WILL run out of toilet paper and so will yours!
As a matter of fact, I believe that someday it’s entirely possible that the entire world will run out of toilet paper. When that day comes, if you don’t have any toilet paper alternatives, it’s going to be a very miserable day for you.
Why Is It so Important to Have Toilet Paper Alternatives?
When we find ourselves having to survive after some sort of catastrophe leads to a major breakdown in civilized society, maintaining good hygiene will be essential to staying healthy. If you haven’t read my article titled Good Hygiene Could Help You Stay Healthy after Doomsday, I highly suggest that you do so after reading this one. The main thing to keep in mind is that poor personal hygiene can and will result in the spread of diseases.
Several diseases are spread when people don’t wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom which is one of the reasons that having an alternative type of toilet paper in a doomsday scenario is so very important. Sure, it’s still important to wash your hands but minimizing contact with fecal matter can go a long ways towards staying healthy.
Let’s Talk about the Alternatives
Below you’ll find my list of five possible alternatives to conventional toilet paper. They might not be as comfortable as the ultra soft TP that you are probably accustomed to using but they will do in a pinch (no pun intended).
- Rags: Instead of throwing your old worn out clothing away, consider cutting it up into rags that can be used when your supply of toilet paper eventually runs out. This is a low cost alternative and the rags can serve many purposes other than the one that we’re specifically talking about in this article. Since the dawn of time, mothers have used reusable cloth diapers for their babies so this isn’t a new idea by any means.
Chances are that you won’t have an unlimited supply of rags, so if you end up using them for this purpose, you’ll need to thoroughly disinfect them after each use. One possible way of disinfecting them is to thoroughly rinse them with water that you never intend to use again and then boil them at a full “rolling boil” for several minutes in a pot that is only used for this purpose. For obvious reasons, I don’t recommend using the same pot to cook your family supper in. Also, be very careful when you remove them from the boiling water because they’re going to be really hot! Another thing to keep in mind is that simply laundering may not do an adequate job of disinfecting the dirty rags. However you choose to clean them, make sure that your method will do an effective job at killing the germs and bacteria in the rags that have been soiled with fecal matter.
- Paper: You’ve probably heard stories from your grandparents or great grandparents about their childhood when they used to have to wipe their backsides with a piece of paper torn out of a magazine or catalog. Some possibilities that won’t cost you a penny are old newspapers, old catalogs, old magazines, and even old phone books. These items are thrown away in tremendous quantities every year. Talk to your friends and family members and ask them to save these types of items for you instead of throwing them away. You don’t have to tell them what you’ll be using them for. All you have to tell them is that you’ll be “recycling” them.
- Plant Leaves: For those of you who enjoy camping, you’ve probably had the experience of wiping your bum with a handful of leafs. It might seem strange but before the invention of toilet paper, this was the commonly used method for thousands of years. It should go without saying that you need to make sure you know EXACTLY what type of leaf you’ll be using. For example, you’re going to have a really bad day if you wipe your hind end with a handful of poison ivy!
- Moss: If you live near a forest, you may be able to collect an unlimited supply of moss that can be used for this purpose. Like plant leaves that were mentioned above, moss has been used throughout the ages for this exact purpose.
- An Old Dish Washing Soap Bottle: In many parts of the world, toilet paper isn’t used at all. Instead they use a bidet which is simply a device that squirts water onto your bottom to clean it. You can improvise and fill up an old dish washing soap bottle with water. Then, when you finish doing your business, you can simply pop the lid and spray a stream of water in the appropriate place to clean yourself up. This is a great alternative to traditional toilet paper if you have an unlimited water supply. If your water supply is limited, however, this method may not be an option for you.
Don’t Forget to Wash Your Hands
Regardless of what method of alternative toilet paper you choose to use, always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after doing your business. Remember, cleanliness will be a key factor in minimizing your chances of getting sick in a survival situation. While none of these alternatives may be as appealing to you as your favorite brand of toilet paper, they are all practical alternatives that won’t cost you any money at all. When you can prep without spending money, that’s a win in my book!
What are Your Thoughts?
I’m curious about how you plan to deal with this issue when the toilet paper runs out at your house. If you don’t mind, please take a minute and share your ideas by leaving a comment in the box below.