We have all been in the same situation. Sitting, restfully on the toilet, we reach for a square of toilet paper only to find a cardboard roll. Reflexively, we reach for the cupboard to get another roll only to find it bare. Panic sets in and we frantically search for an alternative.
Now imagine the same scenario when the you-know-what really hits the fan, during a long term emergency. Will you be prepared?
While this may be a light-hearted issue for many, especially those who deem themselves fully prepared for an emergency, the best laid plans can literally be flushed down the toilet if this simple, yet essential detail is not addressed.
There are two issues here: 1) Is there a sufficient stockpile of TP and, 2) should the stockpile run out, what’s the alternative TP solution? Whether you find yourself haplessly short of a square or you are preparing for the worst, you’re better off thinking about it today.
We all try to buy enough TP, and, while we know that, to be fully prepared, we should have extra packages stored, it’s a problem for some preppers just finding enough space for multiple 36 roll packages.
Space bag solution. By simply removing the cardboard from the TP roll, you can flatten the rolls. After organizing them inside a space bag and sucking the air out, you can squish as many as 50 rolls into the width of a phone book. Ten of these can be stacked in the same space of a large box.
If you follow the stockpile tip, this may not ever be an issue for you. Still, it’s best to be prepared – at any time.
Reading material. Who among us will admit that, at one time or another, the bottom half of the sports page came in handy. You may not want to get rid of your old Yellow Page books. The paper is thinner and they’re great for portion control if you use one page at a time. Most of the paper substitutes that are available are full of ink which makes it a bit messy, but they can work.
Reusable cloth. Cloth wipes or cloth TP alternatives are growing in popularity, especially for the environmentally conscious. Of course, if you’re stranded on your toilet, the closest cloth material might be the only option. For a long term emergency, cloth wipes could only be used if there were sufficient water and cleanser supplies in order to maintain sanitary conditions. However, since cloth does last and has worked for diapering children for many years, this is my personal long-term plan.
Plant leaves. Just like hard-core camping. The urban folks may find plants to be a bit sparse, but the suburban or rural survivalist may have access to good, wide leaves that can be turned right into the ground for excellent mulch.
Plain water. It has worked well in Europe (think bidets), so water would be a natural alternative anywhere. For the temporarily stranded, it works, especially when applied through a squeeze bottle or a water bottle. Of course, the same technique is available for the long term survivor, however, the issue comes back to the availability of a water source.
Thankfully, this piece is at an end. It can’t be any more enjoyable to read about toilet paper alternatives than it is to write about it, but the issue is valid and important. Actually, there are many other viable TP alternatives, however, you will only need to adopt one or two as a back up to your stock pile. This should get you through any emergency.
Other articles in this issue: