The Prepper Bath

The Prepper Bath

Proper hygiene is a key component of maintaining both individual and group health.  As such, Preppers should have the ability to shower using safe water no less often than once a week and daily if possible.  Showers don’t just help protect against infections and parasitic infestations they also help reduce chafing and generally improve someone’s whole outlook.  A good shower is just civilized and there’s nothing more a Prepper needs when civilization is struggling than a little touch of civility.  Between opportunities to shower hygiene can be maintained using the Prepper Bath.

Providing showers at your homestead or retreat after a natural disaster or TEOTWAWKI event should be one of your highest priority health tasks and tackled soon after providing for proper disposal of waste and setting up a first aid station.  If operational or logistical constraints preclude developing a mechanism to shower and a shower rotation program than alternative bathing options must be provided using safe, preferably potable water.  Baths are certainly an option albeit one that utilizes a tremendous amount of water so the most likely option is what Papa Jackson unceremoniously called a ‘whore’s bath’ or a ‘spit bath’ but we’ll call by a less pejorative name…how about ‘Prepper’s Bath.’

Earlier this week we discussed integral passive solar water heaters and the simplest example of these, the  Solar Camp Shower makes a pretty good Prepper field shower but sometimes a shower just isn’t possible.

(IPSWHThis simple system is nothing more than a cheap solar collector hung in the sun to heat the water inside which is gravity fed through the shower head. This type of unit provides the best BTU/ dollar heating but is best used at campsites, RVs, and summer homes that are not used full-time.  One example of this type of system is the Solar Camp Shower.

The Prepper’s Bath

A Prepper’s Bath requires just a few elements to pull off.  Namely a pot or two of safe, preferably potable water, soap if available and a washcloth (preferably microfiber in a color natural to your setting).

Each Prepper should have their own microfiber washcloth and these should not be shared.

To accomplish the Prepper’s Bath:

  1. Wet your washrag, soaping it up if possible (and you have enough water available to properly rinse the washrag and your body).
  2. Vigorously scrub your body with the washcloth paying particular attention to areas that become moist or rub together like armpits, feet, inner thighs, genitals and under breasts or body folds.
  3. If soap is used, thoroughly rinse out the washrag and remove the soap…continuing to rinse the washrag out periodically
  4. Thoroughly wash and rinse out your washrag before hanging it up (or off the back of your backpack if moving) to dry.

Only unscented soaps should be used to keep from attracting insects and maintain operational security (OPSEC) in dangerous environments.
If you can warm the water up the experience transforms from unpleasant necessity (especially in cold weather) to quite pleasant but no matter how cold and miserable the Prepper’s Bath is you should take one on any day that you can’t accomplish a proper shower.

While a Preppers Bath isn’t as effective or civilized as a proper shower it will go a long way to keeping you happy and healthy and can be accomplished with as little as a quart of water per person.  Warm the water up to make the experience more pleasant.

Whether you make provisions for proper or primitive showers or just for Prepper Baths there should be a designated area that provides good drainage, good security and preferably some privacy.  If you have access to a home and the plumbing drains still work that’s great…use the bathroom but if you’re in the field make sure to keep your Preppers out of the mud.  A primitive shower platform can be built cheaply and easily using scrap wood or even pallets.

One last idea from when I regularly spent weeks in the field at a time…if you carry two canteens, keep two canteen cup.  Canteen cups don’t take up any space so I’d keep one on my right side for food & drink and one on the left side for hygiene.  Make sure not to mix them up and mark them well so that you can tell them apart.  When the mission allowed I was even able to heat up the water to make shaving or my whore’s bath more pleasant.

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