What is Personal Hygiene
Cleanliness is an integral element of personal hygiene if you want to prevent the occurrence of health disorders such as diseases and deadly infections. As per Wikipedia, “personal hygiene involves those practices performed by an individual to care for one’s bodily health and well being, through cleanliness“
Personal hygiene is critical; as your chances of living are slim when you are deprived of a proper hygienic environment. Taking your bath with hot water and soap is a routine for personal hygiene, but if these items are not available, you can still clean your body. You can make use of soapy water and cloth to wash your body for proper hygiene.
Several body parts such as the armpits, hands, hair, crotch, and feet must be well-taken care of as they are the breeding places for infiltration and diseases. If you find yourself in an area that does not have sufficient water for bathing, you can improve your personal hygiene by taking an air bath, and this process entails the removal of your clothes and exposing your body to the sunlight and air for an hour. Try as much as possible to avoid sunburn.
How to Take Care of Personal Hygiene in Survival Situation
Ensure Your Hands are Clean
Another important personal hygiene tip is keeping your hands always clean. Your hands are the perfect hubs for germs that can cause havoc by infecting your meals. Washing of your hands is necessary and make sure that you wash your hands as soon as you touch any item that is potentially harmful. Wash your hands before eating; wash them after administering medical care on a sick fellow and a visit to the toilet. Your fingernails are meant to be appropriately handled by cutting them on a regular basis. Biting of nails with your teeth is not hygienic and could cause more trouble for your health. You can find a DIY soap recipe at the end of this article. Make that soap and regularly use it if you don’t have one. Having a couple of paper soap in your bug out bag is always a good idea.
Your Hair Must Be Kept Clean
If proper steps are not taken to ensure your personal hygiene, your hair can be one of the best breeding places for harmful bacteria, lice, and fleas. Taking good care of your hair will prevent you from having issues with these parasites. It is essential to keep your hair in excellent shape by combing and trimming it often. In case, you do not have a comb, you can use your hands to brush your hair. The spinal skeleton of a fish can be used as a comb, depending upon the size of the skeleton. You can also carve a comb out of wood or animal bone with a knife or a sharp stone.
Keep your Clothing Clean
Our clothing is a representation of our personality. Where clean dresses can attract more people to us, dirty clothing can also attract harmful organisms. It is crucial to understand that personal hygiene entails taking good care of your clothes and washing them. It will help you lower the possibilities of being infected with skin diseases and also trim down the cases of parasite attacks.
Wash your clothes when they are dirty and ensure you wear clean socks and undergarments. In the absence of water, you can utilize the air for cleaning your clothes. You can do this by shaking them, placing them outside for the sunlight to take full effects for at least two hours. If you are using a sleeping bag, the best method is to turn it inside out as soon as you are through using it, shake and allow air to take its course. Most of the time, washing clothes in clean water can be fruitful even if you do not have any detergent.
Maintain Clean Teeth
Personal hygiene also entails cleaning of your teeth and mouth at least once in a day. A chewing stick can still serve as an alternative in the absence of a toothbrush. You can use a twig with a length of 20 centimeters and a width of 1centimeter. You can separate the fibers by chewing the one end of the stick, brush your teeth afterward. Another personal hygiene tip is making use of a clean cloth around your clean fingers to rub your teeth for the removal of food particles stuck between your teeth. Brushing of teeth can also be done by applying a small quantity of baking soda, salt, soap or sand; water, willow bark tea or saltwater can be used to rinse the mouth for fresh breath and prevention of mouth odor.
Flossing of your teeth with fiber or string is another critical personal hygiene step that must not be ignored as it enhances oral hygiene. Items like hot pepper, toothpaste or powder, aspirin, tobacco, or candle wax can be utilized as temporary fillings if you have problems with your cavities. It is essential you clean the hole by taking off the particles from the cavity before inserting a filling in the cavity.
Take Good Care of Your Feet
Personal hygiene is also crucial in this aspect as you need to treat your feet properly. You must wash and massage your feet on a daily basis to avoid severe foot diseases. Cut your toenails appropriately, make sure you wear the right size of dry socks and also make use of an insole. Dry your feet for as much time as possible to prevent blisters. If you notice an appearance of a blister, do not peel it as an unopened blister is not affected by the infestation. Blisters should be protected with a padding material to ease pressure and lessen friction. Remember, after your brain, your feet are the most important body part that can help you get out of a survival situation.
In the case where you have a ruptured blister, take care of the opening by cleaning and dressing the affected part on a daily basis. Follow these steps to prevent the occurrence of an opened blister which will bring pain and agony:
- Get a needle that can be used for sewing purposes and a thread-free from germs.
- Ensure you run the needle and thread through the blister after the process of cleaning the blister.
- Remove the needle and leave both ends of the thread hanging out of the blister. The role of the thread is to soak up the liquid inside the blister. Doing this will reduce the size of the hole and make sure the gap does not close its opening.
- Place pad around the blister.
Make Sure the Environment of Your Camp is Hygienic
Another thing that can help you spend a healthy time in your camp is by keeping its environment clean. Keep it free from the influx of urine and human waste. In the absence of latrines in your location, you can dig cat holes to dump and conceal your trash.
Take Enough Time to Relax
Your body requires sufficient time to rest for optimum performance. Ensure you make arrangements for consistent rest periods of ten minutes each hour every day when you are busy with physical activities. Make sure you take adequate steps to keep your body in excellent shape even when you are under unhygienic conditions. Take time to refresh yourself as it will energize your body for proper functioning.
Additional Tip: How to Make Soap in Survival Situation
- Take off grease from the animal fat by dividing the fat into smaller portions and cook them in a pot
- Put sufficient water in the pot to prevent the fat portions from sticking to each other during the process of cooking.
- Stir the fat steadily and more often.
- Once the fat is completely melted, transfer the grease into a container to make it hard.
- Put the ashes in a vessel with a spout close to the base.
- Dispense the water over the ashes and gather the liquid that comes out of the spout in a different container. This liquid scooped is the potash or lye. You can also get the lye by pouring the slurry, a combination of water and ashes through a straining cloth.
- Take one part of the potash and combine it with two parts of grease in a cooking pot.
- Put the concoction over the fire and wait till it is solidified.
Once the mixture is cool, you can make use of it in its semi-liquid form from the cooking pot. A pan can also be used to receive the mixture as it will enable it to be hardened and you can divide the soap into different sizes of bars for future usage. Ashes, sand or soap created with animal fat and wood ashes can be used as alternatives if you do not have soap.