Natural disasters occur frequently and unexpectedly in today’s world. 2017 alone resulted in natural disasters in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the United States, and those events have made people wonder what they need to do to prepare for the next emergency.
The somber truth is at any given moment, someone could be forced to leave their home and “bug out” until further notice. But having to leave on a moment’s notice is especially alarming for women, who depend on a plethora of products to maintain personal hygiene. But during an emergency, a woman’s large bathroom cabinets are shrunken down to bare essentials.
So, how can women survive and maintain their hygiene while bugging out?
Here are 10 tips on how females can maintain their hygiene while living outside of civilization. If you’re female, our goal is to help you feel more confident and prepared for an emergency. If you’re male, you should still read on so you know how to help out.
1. Bathe Wisely
A bath in the wild can be refreshing, rejuvenating, and cleansing. But don’t assume that every body of water is safe. Avoid contamination by bathing in rivers and streams. Do not take a bath in stagnant water or places where fish frequently breed.
2. Don’t Forget Medication
Make sure to include Tylenol or a type of pain reliever in your bug-out bag. Pain relief medication not only diminishes headaches but also lessens cramping pains. If desired, pack birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Ask your doctor if you have further questions about using birth control.
3. Use Baby Wipes
Baby wipes are more than backup toilet paper. They can remove makeup, wash your face, and clean up spills and sticky messes. Stock up now, because they will prove to be invaluable.
4. Pack Hand Sanitizer
Water is precious, especially when you are in the wild without a natural supply nearby. To preserve water, just get a large bottle of hand sanitizer. You’ll save yourself time, space, and convenience.
5. Stockpile Your Feminine Hygiene Products NOW
Menstrual cycles are a pain and a hassle, especially if you aren’t prepared with supplies. One of the best tips for woman is to have their own emergency stash of feminine hygiene products. Purchase extra disposable pads and tampons and store them in a plastic bag that is easily accessible. Buy your extra hygiene products NOW, because when disaster strikes stores will be out of commission.
6. Have a Backup Plan for Hygiene Products
Bugging out could last a few days, a few months, or in extreme cases, a few years. What if you run out of your stockpile of pads and tampons? One solution is to pack up cloth pads that can be washed and reused.
You can also pack a menstrual cup. The Diva Cup is a silicone cup that is inserted to collect blood flow for up to 12 hours and can be reused repeatedly. Whatever option you choose, you’ll be grateful you prepared and planned ahead.
7. Find a Place to Dispose Your Waste
If you don’t want fecal matter in your drinking water, listen up! When bugging out, you won’t find a luxurious bathroom to take care of your business. Instead, find a private place to go that’s at least 200 ft away from camp. Don’t go to the bathroom near any water source.
If you need to bury waste, make sure to bury it 4 to 10 inches deep in the ground. The recommended way to dispose of menstrual products is to burn them.
8. Understand What Tools Can Do
People associate tools and weapons with men. But when calamity hits, the men might not be around. Women should at least have a hunting knife and a multi-purpose army knife on hand when bugging out. For the serious woman survivalist, learn gun safety and apply for a concealed firearm permit. Having this knowledge will be invaluable.
9. Pay Attention to Your Clothes
In an emergency, you can’t take your entire wardrobe with you. Pick outfits that layer on top of each other and adjust to different temperatures. Pack plenty of socks and underwear, because they collect bacteria the fastest.
While bugging out, rotate your socks when they get sweaty or wet. Another smart tip is to change into a new outfit before bed to avoid sleeping in dirty contaminated clothes. Wash your clothes in a stream or river with soap.
10. Lose the Nails
The last tip is difficult but necessary. When bugging out, dirt, scum, and bacteria easily find their way under long fingernails. In addition, women shouldn’t have to suffer through breaking their fingernails while setting up camp. Pack nail clippers, and when the time comes, clip your nails. As devastating as that sounds, your fingers will thank you later.