preppers and toilet paper

When the Toilet Paper Runs Out.
Get off your royal throne and prepare now!

How to stockpile enough toilet paper.
Not sure how to calculate a year's worth of toilet paper for your
family? How much will it cost you?

  • Here's a quick way to calculate the toilet paper you'll
    need for a year:
  • For one week, put all the empty toilet paper rolls into a bag.
    In this way you don't have to count.
  • When the week's up, tally the rolls you have in the bag,
    then add to your number a half a roll for each hanging in the
  • Now multiply this number by 52 weeks.

EXAMPLE: Say you use 5 toilet rolls for the week, and your two
bathrooms each have a partial roll hanging,  the formula is  then
5 + 1  = 6  and then 6 rolls x 52 weeks = 312 rolls. At least you
know the amount you need, provided you stick to the same brand
of toilet paper!

It sounds like a lot of toilet paper, but it's just 11-12 of the
Scott Toilet paper packs, pictured left (27 rolls  x 11 packs = 297
or 27 rolls  x 12 packs = 324. It will cost you around $209 for a
year supply of toilet paper.

When the Toilet Paper Runs Out...
You're on a roll prepping and you've done everything properly,
right down to the toilet paper when disaster strikes and the rolls
are gone! Nothing seals the deal quite like toilet paper, which is
why you've stockpiled it in the first place.

Say a flood ruins your stockpiles, or there's a fire in your stock
room, or dare we say that your stockpiles run out. What then?
We've compiled a list of substitutes.

Preppers and toilet paper go together, but if they ever run out,
here's what to do. Consider ancient substitutes for toilet paper,
new alternatives and methods for wiping your bum.

Method #1: Cotton, linen, and wool.
Some guy named Johnny or Crapper gets credit for the toilet, but
who gets credit for inventing toilet paper? The truth often gets
flushed about who really invented toilet paper, but it was the
Chinese! They first mixed cotton linen rags and bamboo, around
50 B.C. There is a curious history about toilet paper. Vikings
used fluffy pieces of discarded wool for their tushes. Ancient
Roman elite used rosewater with wool for their bums. Itchy, yes,
but it got the job done nicely.

Take a lesson from them all and use the scrap fabrics you may

  • Old clothes, sheets, towels and other rags: Take old
    clothes and sheets and cut them up into squares to make
    your own toilet paper. Store them away in a safe place away
    from heat and gas sources.

  • Old socks are the next best thing to toilet paper. You may
    as well "sock away" the mis-matched pairs in anticipation.

  • Gauze. Check your first aid kit. Gauze is a rather expensive
    substitute for toilet paper, but viable if necessary.

Did you know the word "toilet" comes to us from the French?
"Toile" is the French word for cloth. Gentlemen and ladies of the
day powdered their hair, and they wrapped the "Toile" around
their shoulders to keep the dust off their garments.

Method #2: Moist sponges on a stick.
If you want to do like the Romans, then you can set out some
moist sponges on a stick. Apparently they had an abundance of
sponges. This method might prove useful in certain situations,
where water is abundant and you can sanitize your sponges and
ensure they don't get other uses.

Method #3: Newspapers, books, catalogs and
telephone books.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Taking a cue from how
people wiped their tushes back in the day, telephone books
would make a good toilet paper substitute. You see, while
British lords and ladies wiped their bottoms with book pages;
people in America wiped their tushes with the Sears Roebuck
catalog and other mail order catalogs, including the Farmer's
Almanac, which even had whole punches for the purpose of
hanging in the outhouse. In the 1880s, mail order catalogs
switched to slick paper, which made them no longer a good use
for toilet paper.

  • So who invented commercial toilet paper? An American,
    Joseph Cayetty, created the first factory produced toilet
    paper in 1857; (around the same time an Englishman,
    Walter J. Alcock, patented his toilet paper product).
    Ironically, Sears sold Cayetty's paper with much success at
    a cost of $1.00 for ten packages, and that's how people
    started buying toilet paper in America.

Method #4: Corn cobs.
In rural areas with outhouses, corn on the cobs were the wipes
of choice. Actually, it was a third choice. When special company
was visiting, you'd set out the toilet paper (that was first
choice). Next, you'd reach for the Sears and Roebuck pages for a
sheet. Clean corn cobs dried out were the final choice and might
be avoided because it made you "itch like the dickens," according
to one Depression era storyteller.

There were bins of corncobs tucked in the corner of the outhouse
ready for use. Before those corn cobs got to the out house, mind
you, the hogs had already nibbled on them. And if there was just
one corn cob hanging on a string you'd probably be sharing that
wipe! Even after the invention of toilet paper, many preferred to
stick to this frugal option.

Method #5: Use your left hand.
The left hand in many cultures is for wiping; while the right hand
is for shaking. But then again, you've got a problem on your
hands. Better get some toilet paper!

Method #6: Splash of Water (bidet).
A splash of water is all it takes to get the job done clean. It's
the original douche! The solution; however, is only as good as
your supply of fresh water. If you're considering water as your
toilet paper, consider these ideas:

  • Deck Sprayer.  One outlandish idea, found on YouTube,
    might not be so outlandish after all. The Prepper found a
    deal on a deck sprayer and thought if you have water, then
    you can swish yourself clean with this apparatus.

  • Portable Bidet. Using bidets can save 75% or more on
    toilet paper use, helping to protect our forests and our
    environment. The portable bidet at the top of the page uses
    water to relieve discomfort to those who suffer from:
    Hemorrhoids, Constipation, Diarrhea, Fissures, Crohn's
    Disease; as well as those recovering from: Colorectal
    surgery, Colostomy, Ulcerative Colitis (UC), Irritable Bowel
    Syndrome (IBS), J-Pouch patients. It's also an ideal modern
    solution to the issue when the toilet paper runs out.

  • Snow. Snow is water. Take a cue from Eskimos who a bit of
    tundra moss mixed with ample portions of snow for their

Method #7: Pine needles.
If you're a bushcraft kind of prepper, then you already know the
benefit of pine trees. The needles themselves are your toilet

Method #8: Coconut husks.
If you live in Hawaii, you can do like the Hawaiian ancestors and
wipe with the husk shavings of coconuts.

Method #9: Hemp.
This stuff grows faster than a tomato plant and has a myriad of
uses. The Chinese first mixed mulberry bar and hemp with water
and mashed it into pulp, flattened and dried it to create paper.

Method #10: Baby wipes.
This is pretty much the same as toilet paper, but you'll likely
only need one wipe to get the job done. They are worth stocking;
however, they do expire when heat forces the moisture in the
wipes to dissipate.

* NOTE: Wipes will eventually dry out with age, so this is not a
long term solution to your toilet paper problem; however, you
may like to make this part of your overall plan. Use the wet
wipes first, then head to the toilet paper. They store nicely, and
you won't have to use much.

If you're a prepper worth his salt, you'll deal with the issue of
what to do when the toilet paper is all gone.

How to Flush without Electricity
Learn how to dispose of the excrement properly. In third world
countries, one of the leading causes of illness and death is not
properly discarding human excrement. In a survival situation
where the "S" hits the fan, and toilets won’t flush because there
is no water to make them work, then we'll find ourselves in a
third world situation. There will be people who improperly bury
excrement, which will lead to disease. Proper disposal of trash is
an issue that can bring hungry dangerous animals around drawn
to the stench. Burning trash can be choice of some, while plastic
trash bags and the means to find some place to dump them is
another alternative.

#1: Throw on a bucket of water.
The toilet will continue to work during an ordinary power failure,
but a bucket of water will help send a flush.

As the saying goes, "When it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown
flush it down." While that's something to remember for the next
draught, you might also like to know that you can save water
used by a toilet by flushing it down with grey water.

#2: Dig with a Trowel.
Digging a whole and burying it is the military style toilet, and it
is the toilet solution for backpackers or for a bug out situation.
In a long term scenario, this won't do you much good; however,
as you'll have a nasty sanitation issue on your hands. You don't
want sewage mixing with your water supply!

#3: Invest in Luggable Loo and Double Doodie.
Preppers must have a Plan B for when the toilets don't work and
the paper runs out. The best modern day solution is to plan
ahead with a Luggable Loo, a year's supply of toilet paper or wet
wipes. To keep the smells at bay from your Luggable Loo, you
can add kitty litter or try other methods of deodorant. The great
thing about the Luggable Loo in combination with Double Doodie
is that you have a safe method of disposing of your sewage.
Give it a try on a camping weekend and see for yourself.

If the stuff hits the fan, then you'll have a crappy problem to
deal with: the toilet! Because when there's no electricity, there
will certainly not be any flushing of toilets. Life off the grid will
be better if you plan ahead. How much toilet paper is enough to
stock? One roll of toilet paper per person, per week. To make
rations last, give each person in your community his or her own
roll to manage.

#4: Make a honey bucket.
On the honey-do list is a rather simple project for a five gallon
bucket and if you use your noodle, (pool noodle that is) you can
make your own honey bucket.  You need only buy a lid and stock
it with supplies to make your own "business bucket":

#5: Get a portable potty.
A step up from the old home made honey bucket or Luggable Loo
is a portable potty with a battery flushing system and a water
tank. iPictured left, the integrated holder keeps the toilet paper
conventionally affixed to the Curve. Close the compartment to
keep the toilet paper clean and out of sight when not in use.

#6: Get a composting toilet.
A more serious off-grid location will benefit from a composting
toilet. Here's everything you wanted to know ill
about a
composting toilet
, but were afraid to ask. Pictured immediate
right, a composting toilet. This self-contained and waterless
toilet system uses peat moss in the base for  composting matter
and there's no holding tank and no pumpouts.

Happy endings...
A prepper who has planned enough toilet paper in an emergency
is a happy prepper indeed. You really won't know how much you'll
miss something, until it's no longer available.

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