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Old 05-18-2011, 07:59 AM
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Default Personal Hygiene and food safety after shtf



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While on a recent camping trip with some friends, I started taking mental notes about the possible issues we could have after SHTF. I like to go on camping trips, or trips away from home, and then take notes about the issues that we faced.

Safe drinking water - life as we know it can not exist without safe drinking water. Any water that goes in your eyes, on your face, in your mouth (even to brush your teeth) must be filtered or purified. So one of the big issues is finding safe drinking water.

I wear contacts, so one of the big issues that I will be facing is safe water to wash my contacts in. Or just say screw the contacts and wear my glasses. After some kind of SHTF situation, my contacts will probably be put up, and my glasses will be worn.

Awhile back I posted a video on youtube about personal hygiene kits, here is that video.


Brushing teeth - once again, this is dependent on safe drinking water.

Food Safety - one of the biggest issues is probably going to be food safety, keeping food cold so that it does not spoil, and keeping insects off of food. The majority of todays homes are not equipped with screen doors, only screened windows. As the power goes off, people will be opening doors and windows to let the air circulate. If the doors are opened, flys and other insects will enter the home.

Dried foods in resealable containers should not be an issue, unless the containers are left open for a period of time.

Shigella - is a foodborne disease that is transmitted when incests land on infected objects (like waste water), and then land on food for human consumption. Because of Shigella and other related diseases, dealing with waste water (feces), and food safety are related. Make sure waste water is not exposed to where incests can land on it, make sure that doors and windows have screens, and make sure that food is covered will help ensure food safety.

After the food is cooked, the pots, pans and dishes should be washed to prevent the growth of bacteria.

When cooking for a group of people, I will hold my utensils over the fire for a minute to kill anything on the metal.

Hand washing - is the number 1 way to prevent the spread of disease. Personally, I stockpile plenty of liquid hand soap and have soap dispensers at ever sink.

When my wife and I stay at a hotel, sometimes we will get extra bar soap from the maids cleaning the rooms, or from the front deck. The soap is stored in a box at my house.

Hot water shower - pick up a solar shower, their usually sold that local sporting goods store, or on camping websites. Set up a privacy shelter, fill up the solar shower and set it out in the sun for a couple of hours. The hot in the solar shower can get as hot as 100 degrees.

A good shower also acts as a moral booster, getting to wash the filth out of your hair, wash your face, wash your butt,,,,, helps with a persons overall moral and helps to keep people clean.

Hepatitis A - transmitted through infected food, via the fecal-oral route. If you have hepatitis A, please do not help prepare the food, and only fix your own plate. And please wash your hands after going to the rest room.

Feel free to post your comments or suggestions.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:04 AM
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I hear ya'.

I do an extended high country mule deer hunt each year then a Cascade range Elk hunt each year and have to deal with the issue of hygeine every time.

I keep the baby wipes and washclothes going the whole trip. I have a bucket shower I made years ago that is worth it's weight in gold. Nothing better than a warm five minute shower from a gallon and a half of water...
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:06 AM
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Get at least two solar shower systems. One can serve as your kitchen or hand washing water. Alternatly someone posted about filling jugs of water and putting them inside a big black trash bag in the sun for heating hand wash water.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:09 AM
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Solar showers and my region do not work well together, wish they did....
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:15 AM
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Being a typical boy growing up I hated to interrupt my playtime with a bath/shower.
In a few months I'll be 45 and if things were to ever go very far south I would miss many many things, many different luxuries.
At the top of my list of things I would miss(aside from buying food just about anywhere) would be the ability to enjoy a hot shower at any time of day.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:03 AM
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I think hygeine will be one of the most important and also one of the most difficult to maintain. Good post on all the subjects you outlined.

My storage contains much of the above, especially toothpaste. I can go a day or two, reluctantly, without a shower while camping but not brushing my teeth, never!!

Incidently, on trips that I can carry plenty of gear such as canoe camping, I take one of those garden sprayers that hold a gallon or two of liquid and has a spray wand attached (hand pressure pump) and fill it with warm water for a rather luxurious shower in the wilderness.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:07 AM
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NEVER get into your sleeping bag with your boots on, no matter how cold it is!

You have been warned.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:25 AM
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Don't forget flossing brushing cant touch all the crap between teeth!

Baby wipes! sounds funny but these are worth their weight in gold after a few days in the woods

Ditch the plates silverware for short bug outs and use disposable paper plates and plastic utensil's to save water and maintain hygiene


Vaccinations up to date!
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:06 AM
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Sanitation during an emergency is something that often gets looked over but it is so important! We have an article on our website that makes some suggestions about things to include in your emergency supplies to help keep you and your food safe and sanitary.

Some of those suggestions for personal sanitation are, toilet paper, deodorant, toothbrush, mouthwash, shampoo, and a hairbrush or comb. Depending on the situation, it might also be helpful to have some laundry detergent handy. Some of these things might be luxuries in an emergency but they can also be a huge morale booster.

In the article, there are also instructions on how to dig a latrine, ways to dispose of waste, and suggestions for keeping food sanitary.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:20 PM
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Hygiene and sanitation are hugely important, even in good times. But especially so in a crisis. Another issue is disinfecting around the house. Keeping surfaces clean to reduce the possibility of cross contaminating to other surfaces. Toilet handles, faucet knobs, door knobs and things that you touch one after another. It's going to be especially important to keep things clean and food safe in a crisis.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:42 PM
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It boils down to good sanitation practices-

Making sure latrines are downhill from water supplies
Burning trash and keeping vermin in check
washing hands, shower/bathing
water purification
properly cooking raw meats

If you live nasty you die quickly, it has plagued armies and civilizations forever.
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:34 PM
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This is a great thread. Dysentary (SP) is a killer. Look at the problems in some of the recent disasters like Hati etc. The cleaner we can keep things the better.

One of the positions in my group is Sanitation.

Proper sanitation goes back to the Boy Scout days.

Unscented bleach, good for more then purifying water
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:16 AM
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And this is why I make those cotton balls for fire starting with Purell and not PJ. Starts a fire and can clean you up.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:40 AM
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Don't forget the old hygiene standby - baking soda. Useful for brushing teeth, washing, deodorizing, antacid, cleaning fruits & veggies, skin irritations, etc.
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmc0331 View Post
NEVER get into your sleeping bag with your boots on, no matter how cold it is!

You have been warned.
Not that I ever have or would even thought about it unless I planned on being disturbed, but why the warning?
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ULTRAMAGNUM View Post
Solar showers and my region do not work well together, wish they did....
Yea, have similar issue too. I am planning on getting a propane fueled shower like these:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw...hower&_sacat=0


Yes, long term, propane will be an issue. But short term there will be luxury.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:53 PM
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Having lots of cheap Surgeon's gloves around will save you a lot of water when it comes to hand washing, handling meat, etc
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:32 PM
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Hot water for the bath, kitchen and laundry may not be necessary but would sure make life more comfortable.
And a hand washing station would make life seem more civilized.
Water for food preperation, to wash your food, rinse your rice or soak your beans is necessary.
And Being able to heat water to pasteaurizing temps could save your life.
Also collecting water is an issue that needs attention.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:48 PM
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If power goes out water will dry up and disease will flourish. Disease usually kills more people than any other cause (in situations where the shtf.
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:37 AM
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This is especially true for those of use in groups. SHTF will be stressful enough without living in close quarters with people whose hygiene places them in the "kill it with fire" category.

Every BOB, let alone INCH and things like a BOL/BIL, should have some stores of hygiene related items. The bigger the pack or place, and the longer term you are prepping for, the more hygiene should factor into your preps.

Minimum for my BOBs is toothbrush, small tooth paste,small dental floss, bar/tube or soap, comb, roll of TP and one pack of some sort of wet wipes.

MINIMUM.
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