Imagine if you had to live for 2 weeks with no hygiene products. Just living your normal everyday life, going to work and to the gym, out to dinner or maybe a movie. No brushing your teeth, no deodorant, no shaving, no lotion, no feminine products and no showers. I would venture a wild guess that after those two weeks were up you probably wouldn’t feel much like a human being anymore and your friends and family members would most likely agree. Granted it surely is possible to live like this, people have gone on for much longer without those comforts. However I don’t view hygiene products as mere comfort items, they are a necessity which will keep people clean and healthy and stave off infection and disease. Comfort (or the fact that you don’t smell like a trash bag full of poop) is just a nice secondary bonus.
So you probably realize that hygiene items are super important when considering what to store up for a SHTF type event. Yet have you done your inventories and figured out just how long what you have on hand will last? It would be nice to know that 6 tubes of toothpaste will last your family 3 months, or that you need X rolls of toilet paper on hand before you can call it a 6 month supply. In order to arrive at these conclusions you need to know your usage rate for all of the following items:
- Toilet Paper
- Soap bars
- Feminine Products
- Q tips
- Shaving Cream
- Dental Floss
I may have left a few items off of that list but I think you see where I am going with this. Monitor your usage of those items so that you can assign a product lifespan to each item. Once you complete this you will be able to easily calculate how much you need in order to achieve your 6 to 12 month (or more) supply goal. I think you will be surprised just how fast you go through some of this stuff, especially toilet paper. While relatively inexpensive and lightweight toilet paper is bulky to store so make sure you have plenty of room for it. Nobody wants to wipe their butt with phone book pages unless absolutely necessary.
In addition to shoring up and conducting inventories on your own stash you might want to pack away more for bartering purposes. These inexpensive items would be worth their weight in gold a few months after a collapse once people run out of supplies and cannot get any more. We take brushing our teeth for granted, but go a week without doing so and you would probably pay a nice sum of money just to get your hands on a toothbrush and tube of Crest.
I realize this this might seem contradictory, discussing survival and reminding people to make sure they have enough deodorant in the same article. I personally do not see where the conflict exists, after all you can survive on bread and water for quite a long time yet people often have very diverse food storage supplies. The little things in life are what make us feel human during tough times and if being able to brush your teeth or slap on some lotion 4 months after SHTF keep that candle of the civilized life burning inside of you it will be completely worth it. Just because you can live like an animal does not mean that you should.