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Are hygiene products a top priority when it gets ugly? Probably not. But, are they necessary? You bet they are! It’s easy to overlook or underestimate hygiene, but it can be a costly mistake.

Imagining a post-apocalyptic society is easy. There are so many books and movies depicting a wide variety of dystopian futures. Some of them appear to be so realistic that it is easy to relate to it and envision yourself in a similar situation. Some heroes in post-apocalyptic movies are inexplicably clean and fresh, while others may look dirty. But, none of them seem to care about hygiene issues. Well, one can get away with it easily in movies, but in a real-life scenario you should know better.

The Importance of Hygiene In a Disaster Scenario

Poor hygiene can kill you! It is as simple as that. Whether you find yourself in a post-SHTF situation or you just want to live off the grid, you’d still need to take care of hygiene. And let’s be honest: it is probably impossible to stay clean by today’s standards. But, that’s just all the more reason to put together a hygiene survival kit.

Long-term survival in the wilderness or completely off the grid comes with many challenges. Yes, food, water, and shelter are the top priorities. But the most common reason for quitting life in the remote wilderness is not hunger, or thirst, or inappropriate shelter. It is an illness. Natural remedies can alleviate, but can’t solve many health issues. And there are no hospitals or doctors in the wilderness. While you can never be 100% safe, poor hygiene opens the door for potential infections and illnesses.

With all other potential dangers, you really don’t want to be knocked down by sickness. Fortunately, many hygiene products are affordable and not too heavy or bulky. So, you can assemble a hygiene kit to keep you relatively clean for a long time.

hygiene essentials for preppers

Essential Personal Hygiene Products

It’s never easy to set a boundary between necessary and desirable/helpful items. It depends on whether you want to bug in or bug out, how long you want your supplies to last, available space for storing, and other variables.

No matter how rich your stash is, you will run out of some supplies sooner or later. So, besides storing supplies, you should also learn skills that will allow you to keep going even when your original supplies run out. When it comes to hygiene it includes making homemade soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and airing clothes if there isn’t enough water available. In the meantime, make sure to have these items to help you stay clean.

1. Soap

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It is one of the greatest inventions in our history and I mean it. Nothing has ever improved human health nearly as much as the regular use of soap. I prefer any kind of biodegradable soap that can be used as shampoo as well. But, you don’t have to be picky. Anyway, soap is absolutely essential to stay clean.

2. Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Oral hygiene is also important. A simple toothache can cause you problems for weeks or even months. Not to mention a possible tooth infection. So, you need your dental kit not because of bad breath, but to keep your mouth healthy.

3. Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is not a heavy item, even though it’s bulky. However, the more you have, the better. So, you should carefully design your SHTF plan and consider storing a lot of toilet paper. If your bug out location is in the remote wilderness, you can use leaves and grass. You will need some botanical knowledge, though. Using a poison ivy or stinging nettle on your delicate areas isn’t a very good idea.

4. Hand Sanitizers

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Make sure to pack some hand sanitizers. They are a great quick fix when you need it. Soap is the primary item to keep your hands or body clean, but you’ll still need hand sanitizers. You can carry it wherever you go and use it if needed. Also, you may need to rationalize your water supplies. So, you don’t need a ton of these, but you should have a pack or two.

5. Body Wipes

Body wipes are the best alternative to taking a shower. They won’t last forever and you will have to come up with some sort of bathing solution. But when you’re in rush or on the run, body wipes can keep you fresh and clean enough.

6. Solar Shower

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It is a popular camping solution and it can work well for survival situations as well. Make sure to test it because not all of the manufacturers deliver decent products. However, these affordable products can provide even a hot shower on a sunny day. Specially designed heat-locking materials will allow you a warm shower even on cool days.

7. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile and useful item for off-grid survival. You can use it for cooking, cleaning, deodorizing or even to extinguish small fires. It has abrasive properties so you can use it to remove dead skin cells or to clean your teeth. Don’t brush your teeth with it too often though as it can damage your tooth enamel. A paste of baking soda and water can soothe irritation from bug bites.

8. Nail Clipper

While you won’t be needing a manicure, you still need to clip your fingernails. As well as your toenails. The longer they are, the harder it gets to keep them clean. And long toenails can cause serious problems that can impede your movement.

9. Microfiber Cloths

These universal cleaning cloths can be used to clean almost everything. From your face to your kitchen floor. They are not only versatile but effective and reusable. So, a single microfiber cloth can replace piles of paper towels.

10. Potty Bucket

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In post-apocalyptic movies, they never have to use a toilet. You’re not that lucky. But you can use a variety of buckets or a portable toilet set. No need to tell you how important this is for hygiene.

11. Feminine Hygiene Supplies

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Women have a bit different hygiene requirements, at least when their period is around. So, it is necessary to stockpile feminine supplies for at least a couple of months. Considering some reusable products is a good idea because disposable supplies won’t last forever.


Underestimating the importance of hygiene is a huge mistake. So, it’s necessary to give it a thought and prepare some necessary items. However, you shouldn’t overdo it. Once you start thinking about what you might need, you’ll end up hoarding supplies. And you don’t want to do that.

To maximize your chances in a disaster scenario, you need only necessities. Everything else may become a burden. Staying sharp and healthy is crucial when it gets ugly and good hygiene helps with both. So, be prepared to stay clean and safe.