Life can be unpredictable, and preparedness is key. This mindset takes lots of factors into account, but one of the most important is occasionally overlooked: personal hygiene. It’s important to maintain hygiene even in survival situations, and having a hygiene kit already prepared will help ensure you’re able to care for yourself no matter what situations arise.
Read on for tips on the top items to have in any survival hygiene kit, and some ideas for how to customize your personal kit as well!
Why a Survival Hygiene Kit Is Important
Though it may seem that maintaining hygiene will fall low on the list when you’re in survival mode, in reality, caring for your hygiene has a proven effect on one’s endurance, both mentally and physically, during difficult times.
Being able to tend to your most basic needs in a survival situation helps calm the central nervous system, and maintenance of even a baseline of hygiene will boost stamina and help ward off complications such as infection, illness, and more.
Having these items on hand—whether for a wilderness hike, in a bug-out bag, or just stowed in the trunk of your car—will almost certainly add peace of mind to your ventures. It’s always better to have a survival hygiene kit stocked and never have to use it, than to need these items and not have them!
Must-Have Items for Your Survival Hygiene Kit
There are several basic items every survival hygiene kit needs. These are what you might consider “baseline” items for ensuring standard health and well-being in a survival situation. These items are:
2. Wet Wipes
4. Toothbrush & Toothpaste
6. Grooming Tools
Survival Hygiene Kit Items: a Breakdown
By and large, soap is one of the key necessities for a survival hygiene kit. It can be used to keep your body clean but also to tend wounds, keep your microbiome intact, wash dishes and clothes, and more.
Pure Castile liquid soap is a great option here as it can be diluted and used across a vast array of purposes. We recommend Dr. Bronner’s 2 Ounce Variety Pack, as these come in a smaller size, making them ideal for your compact hygiene kit. Always remember to dilute this powerful soap before using it!
Good for far more than keeping kiddos in diapers clean and refreshed, wet wipes have a host of practical applications that make them a necessary item in your survival hygiene kit.
You can use these to keep your hands clean, wipe down surfaces, and even in lieu of bathing to keep yourself fresh if time and necessity demand it and you don’t have time to use your soap. PipaMint brand offers packs of 50 XL wipes that serve this purpose perfectly and fit well in a compact hygiene kit.
Washcloths can have a lot of practical uses in a survival hygiene kit, from scrubbing tough dirt off your body to being used to stanch small wounds and much more. It’s always good to have 1 or 2 washcloths on hand at least and to clean them after each use. For durable, sturdy cloths that really get the job done, we recommend microfiber cloths such as those sold by EcoSol.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Dental hygiene is a very important but often overlooked factor in wilderness survival. Infection in the mouth can lead to issues throughout the body, so keeping your teeth and mouth clean is important.
Your survival hygiene kit should have at least one toothbrush per person, two to be safe. We recommend the GUM Folding Toothbrush, as it comes in a pack of two and folds down to a compact size, perfect for even smaller hygiene kits.
While you have the option of purchasing standard travel-size toothpaste tubes for your survival hygiene kit, there are other options that take up less space in your kit and may require less hassle.
One that we recommend is toothpaste tablets, which you simply pop into your mouth and bite down on to activate the toothpaste, then brush like normal—no water required. A great brand for this is SuperBee Dentos Toothpaste Tabs.
While you will likely not have many people, you want to impress if the need comes to delve into your survival hygiene kit, having shampoo on hand is important. Keeping a healthy head of hair will also will help keep you refreshed and free of insects and grime that can have a deleterious affect on your overall health and well-being!
We recommend going practical over fancy and choosing something like Sierra Dawn Campsuds, a shampoo with specific oils to help deter insects.
Again, while personal appearance may not be your primary concern when cracking open your survival hygiene kit, maintaining your hygiene overall can help maintain your health, well-being, and even your state of mind.
For this reason, it’s important to ensure your survival hygiene kit is stocked with basic grooming tools, including a comb or brush, nail clippers, small scissors, and the like. One brand that offers these items all in a single grooming kit is 3 Swords Germany.
Other Items to Consider
Once you have the basics handy, there are lots of ways a survival hygiene kit can be customized based on your unique needs. Bear in mind this is not an exhaustive list—just the essentials for every kit—and if you are building survival hygiene kits for your whole family, it’s important to take into consideration the ages and needs of each individual.
For example, you may need diapers and extra wet wipes for your littlest family members, while those suffering from diabetes may want an added moisturizer in their survival hygiene kit.
Allergy sufferers might pack some extra tissues, while those who are averse to sweating may stock up on deodorant. Men may also want to consider a razor to avoid a dirty beard or the risk of insect infestation.
Feminine hygiene products are also a must-have for ladies. Aside from packing your products of choice in your survival hygiene kit, you might also consider specifically including a Menstrual Hygiene Kit, which provides individual packets containing items to meet all of your feminine hygiene needs.
Wrapping up How to Make a Survival Hygiene Kit
There’s more to hygiene and survival than just your survival hygiene kit! Once you’ve got that prepared, be sure to check out our Hygiene Sanitation page. This is a great resource for all sorts of learning on how to maintain your personal hygiene and keep things sanitary in a survival situation.