Practicing Good Hygiene and Preventing Infection While in the Wilderness
Having the knowledge to build an outdoor shower is extremely important whether you’re camping, hiking, or just exploring the great outdoors. This is because maintaining basic hygiene skills is also a form of maintaining preventative medicine, especially while outdoors where infection from injury or an abrasion is likely to happen without proper medical tools or supplies available.
Access to fresh running water may become limited, especially as adventuring takes you and your loved ones further and further into the wilderness. Therefore knowing how to gather an appropriate amount of water from lakes and other large bodies of water is of extreme importance.
The Bucket Shower
The Bucket Shower is the most useful survival shower to build and can be used numerous times, especially if outdoor adventures are anticipated beforehand. All that is needed is just a few supplies to get started:
- Five gallon bucket with lid with carry handle
- Drilling tools such as screwdriver or electric drill
Begin by drilling a small hole at the base of the five gallon bucket for the spigot to be placed. Ensure that the hole to be drilled is small enough to fit the spigot snug inside. Once the spigot feels firm, fill the five gallon bucket with water and allow time for the water to warm up in direct sunlight. If gathered in the morning, the water will be a decent temperature by midday.
Ensure that the carry handle included on the five gallon bucket is sturdy enough to hold roughly 50 pounds of weight as the bucket completely filled should no weigh more than this. If the carry handle seems weak in any way, be sure to reinforce it using additional materials and reinforcements. Once confident that the five gallon bucket is ready, all that is needed is for the bucket to be hung from a tree or an object slightly above head level and the spigot to be turned on.
The Shower Bag
The Shower Bag is an excellent survival shower for those who are limited on supplies, out in the wilderness for a day or two, or there are no other natural shower alternatives nearby. All that is needed is a few trash bags that are a capable of holding a minimum of 13 gallons. Preferably a box of trash bags is recommended, as a box takes up little space and provides a decent supply. A roll of trash bags can also be placed directly in a backpack and takes up very little space. Although the color of the bags does not matter, it is preferable as well to opt for trash bags that will allow for easier light penetration as to warm the water inside of them in direct sunlight.
Place two to three trash bags inside one another and fill the most inner bag with the appropriate of water needed. Tie off the innermost trash bag than tie the others into a knot as to reinforce the whole shower bag. Using a tree branch or another object slightly above head level tie off or hang the shower bag ensuring that the bag is secure from the weight of the water. Either allow time for the water to warm up in direct sunlight or poke holes in the bottom of the shower bag using a small knife to begin showering. The small holes will allow for slow drainage, giving you time to soak, wash, and rinse.
Naturally it is always recommended to take advantage of the first source of natural running water. Whether it be a waterfall, spring, river, or a clean large body of water, use these sources as a first alternative to survival showers such as the Shower Bucket and the Shower Bag. Although the temperature cannot be adjusted, the amount of running water will help to better ensure that all basic hygiene needs are met and that infection or further complications from an already-existing injury will not follow suit.
Importance of Basic Hygiene While Outdoors
As mentioned before, maintaining basic hygiene while outdoors is of extreme importance, as this is the number one step to preventative medicine. Skin abrasions, cuts and rashes can become worse if basic hygiene needs are not met especially while outdoors. Open wounds can become quickly infected if not cleaned and treated immediately. This is why knowledge of basic hygiene and building a survival shower is of the upmost importance. Do not let what it took our ancestors thousands of years to master end your adventures.
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