I’ve seen it repeated everywhere that an item of big importance in survival preps is toilet paper. I do not understand this, myself. While I do use the stuff, I grew up as the son of immigrants from an impoverished nation, and learned a bit about the bathroom customs of the old country. Basically, my progenitors would use a small bucket of water and their hand to wash themselves post-elimination. Frankly, I think it gets the area cleaner than the best 3-ply can. It would put less of a load on a septic tank, if you’ve got one. It certainly costs less. It’s far more gentle on your skin than wiping, and less likely to irritate or exacerbate a hemorrhoidal condition. And you can store a lot of food and ammunition in the space that a 1-year supply would occupy. It’s even a more “green” solution to that particular problem, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I understand that there may be a bit of a “blech” factor in getting used to this manner of post-BM cleansing. And in areas where water will be difficult to obtain, this may prove less convenient than storing a pallet of hind-end wipes. I think, though, for a great many people, this would be a superior hygienic solution.
Sincerely, – E.B.G.
JWR Replies: This method is not appealing to most First Worlders, but I must admit that it is pragmatic, if the requisite sanitary measures are taken. Just be sure to to store lots of soap, and in the long term, be prepared to make your own soap. (Regardless, be sure to get a copy of Anne Watson’s book Smart Soapmaking.)