Stay Clean and Healthy in a Disaster: Personal Hygiene Hacks

I have one question about your bug-out bag. Will it keep you clean? It may be packed with the latest tactical gear, plenty of ammo, ultralight tents, Datrex bars, and everything else they sell on the right column of websites. How do you plan on staying clean?

According to the CDC, basic personal hygiene and handwashing are critical to helping prevent the spread of illness and disease but don’t waste your precious water. Instead, look at the solutions below to bolster your hygiene after a disaster.


You may not think of seeds for hygiene, but some heavy hitters in the plant world will offer you renewable hygiene resources at your bug-out location. We are going to focus on two plants in this article.

Licorice Root

Licorice root has undeniable oral health benefits and medicinal uses for things like indigestion. These benefits are not campfire banter. They are touted in a study by the ACS Journal of Natural Products.


Another powerful plant that very few people grow is the loofah. You may recognize the word as the frilly thing that is hanging in your shower right now. A real loofah is a squash that dries to be a course scrubber that does wonders for your skin. Rags will get worn out, but if you save the seeds, loofah will always be an option.

One of the most simple ways to stay clean is to have a bunch of wet wipes stored up.

Body Care

Your bug-out bag must contain some way to wash and care for your body. I like lotions for dealing with chafed skin and other ailments related to dry skin. Still, a method for cleaning the body is so important.

For the longest time, I was concerned about cleanliness in an urban setting where the waters were contaminated and clean water would be at a premium. For most people prepping, this will be their situation.

Outside of lotion, I recommend the complete waterless personal hygiene system called Combat One. This product was designed for special operations soldiers in the field. It was designed for the desert and the hydration issues therein. If anyone understands the preciousness of water, it’s our boys fighting in the deserts of the Middle East.

Combat One comes in a bottled field spray or a tactical wipe system designed to clean your whole body. It’s on my bug-out bag list because it’s a high-quality wipe packet with the antibacterial power of colloidal silver. Save water and stay clean.

Foot Care

Today, we sit, and we sit, and we sit. For about an hour a day, we run or work out. Mostly, we sit. Our feet are not ready for the type of punishment that a bug out will present. Once the skin on your feet begins to rub away, you will be left with open sores, and if walking or hiking is part of your plan, you will be in agony without proper foot care.

Foot care is all about coverage. The friction of the foot against the sock or the foot against the boot slowly rubs away the skin. This is hard to avoid. Numerous products can be rubbed on feet to help them on a long hike. Another important thing to remember is footwear. Synthetic materials are always going to be an issue. Instead, wear cotton socks.

I would have a homemade salve with some oregano and mint in my bag. These salves are the perfect remedy for cracking heals and will help your ailing feet after a long day of hiking with a heavy bug-out bag.


By now, we have covered your body, your mouth, and even your feet. We still have yet to cover hair. Hair is a big deal because it’s the insect home for parasites.

Humans can get fleas as easily as deer, dogs, or cats. Unless your game plan is to shave it all off, which isn’t a great idea in the summer, you will need some methods to keep your hair clean.

The shampoo didn’t hit the scene until the 1930s! Do you think 1930’s people had filthy, flea-infested hair until then?

There are other ways of getting your hair washed. Baking Soda is one of the most common household items that you can use to keep hair washed and clean. Though it does a great job, it will eventually run out, making it bad for long-term survival.

Have you ever heard of Reetha or Soapnut? This plant was popular with Native Americans with thick, beautiful hair; if you need convincing. This is the best method because you can grow the nuts year after year and produce a cleanser from saponins in the nut.

Simple Reetha or Soapnut Hair Cleanser Recipe

1. Use a ratio of 1 cup to one nut for a nice strong hair cleanser
2. The Reetha nut needs to be soaked overnight
3. Then simmer until soft
4. The whole mix can be mashed and mixed and allowed to cool
5. You can add fresh herbs like rosemary or lavender to scent the cleanser
6. Strain it, and it will be ready to use


Staying clean during a disaster or bug-out situation is crucial for preventing the spread of illness and disease. Using plants such as licorice root and loofah can provide renewable hygiene resources. In contrast, wet wipes and personal hygiene systems like Combat One can help save precious water while keeping the body clean.

Proper foot care, including homemade salves and cotton socks, can prevent open sores and discomfort while hiking with a heavy bug-out bag. Additionally, hair care can be maintained with natural methods such as baking soda, but it is important to have a long-term solution for hair care in a survival situation.

Overall, incorporating these methods into your bug-out bag can help maintain personal hygiene during an emergency.

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