In this part of my survival series I’ll be focusing on cleanliness. It might seem like an odd thing to worry about after an apocalypse, but it’s more important than you think.
Yes, I know we’ve all seen survivors on zombie movies and the series “The Walking Dead”. They are filthy most of the time and act like keeping clean is a luxury. It isn’t a luxury, it’s necessary.
Dirty clothing does not breathe well in hot weather and doesn’t insulate well in cold weather. Keep that in mind while you’re hunkered down and trying to fight the elements. A little of your time spent cleaning your clothing can mean the difference between life and death. Exposure is no joke, and people die from it every year even in our modern times. Imagine dealing with extreme weather when you’re out in it. This is why I mentioned keeping two sets of clothing on you in part one.
A dirty body attracts germs and bacteria and makes it harder for your body to regulate your temperature.
Dirty socks and boots invite foot fungi right in.
Luckily for you, keeping your body and clothing clean are not terribly difficult. Access to soap and water shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish after the apocalypse. Even if you don’t have easy access to soap and water there are alternatives.
Dry sand can be used to clean pots, pans, dishes and even your body. Just take a handful and scrub. The sand will absorb moisture and scour away any dirt or grime. It might not be a pleasant experience but it will work.
The elements and weather should be respected, but they can also be helpful. Rain makes a handy substitute for a shower and melted snow is a nature made source of fresh water.
Clothing can be washed by beating it against rocks at a pond, stream or lake and then hanging to dry.
You can brush your teeth the same way animals do. By chewing on something like a piece of rawhide.
If washing your hair seems daunting, then put your always present sharp knife to good use. But don’t throw the cut hair away. Use it to make rope, insulation or new shoelaces.
A shower can be constructed with a trash bag and a short length of rope. Fill the bag with water, hang it up with the rope and poke a few small holes.