But today, let’s talk about something we all do, and that is poo.
Do you recall the great toilet paper panic grab of 2021 when the COVID lockdowns were first enacted? A woman at a big box store purchasing an entire pallet of TP? Even fights breaking out over a four-pack of TP? If it were not for the fact it was actually happening, you would have thought it was toilet humor or an odd episode of The Twilight Zone.
But have you ever actually considered how much TP you use on a daily basis for that basic bodily function?
Pre-COVID lockdowns, my parents were enjoying retirement by traveling the world. While in Europe, they stayed at a hotel that had something rather unique by American terms, a bidet. Without going into gross details, they were sold. So much they installed two in their own home.
I went to visit them last year and, after some trial and error (more trial than error, thankfully) I, too, was sold.
What are the advantages of a bidet, you ask?
Well, a real reduction in TP usage. Depending on the type of bidet you get, you could actually eliminate the need for TP at all. No kidding, some have warm air driers.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking,
“1stMarineJarHead, what if the grid fails?”
From my research, most bidets’ basic function of nozzle spray is dependent on water pressure. Other features will cease to function as they are dependent on the grid.
The one I have currently installed is non-dependent on the grid. Just water pressure. If you get your water from a well, you can still get water pressure from your well with a few water checks and PVC or PEX pipe (YouTube has a number of videos on the topic).
On city water? Okay, you might be up S**T Creek without a paddle. The grid is down, and nothing in coming out of the faucet, let alone the toilet flush mechanism. (I can tell you this from experience, one 5-gallon bucket of water is good for about two flushes of a toilet). Yeah, after a week or two, imagine the smell. Then will people resort to dumping their waste into the streets?
The one I have replaces the original toilet seat. It is non-electric, non-heated water. Goes right off the cold water line. Is that a bit shocking (whoooo!) initially? Yes. But once you get used to it, it is not that bad at all. Quiet frankly, it is more sanitary and is less taxing on your septic system for those who have one. It also has a “female” nozzle. According to my wife, it leaves her feeling “cleaner,” namely during that time of the month.
At first, it may seem a bit odd but think about it. What is the difference between a bidet and when you shower? With the bidet, you are basically showering that body part every time you need to with a lot less water consumption. I still use a few sheets of TP, but only to dry.
The bidet I got was $120. It was installed in about 30 minutes and only required an adjustable wrench and a flat head screw driver.
I have seen other non-electric ones that cost even less. If you go for the electric and hot water connected, they can run from the low hundreds to $500 or more. Those models have more features like warm/hot water, adjustable nozzles, heated seats, remotes, LED night lights and air driers.
If, for some reason, you can’t install a bidet, there’s still an option.
A previous article gives the following suggestion: a squirt bottle bidet.
You can also DIY a less powerful bidet by using squirt bottles. These don’t require that you have running water and they’re a very inexpensive alternative. The ones made for hair dye are angled and easy to direct where you need the water to go.
At only about $4, it’s a simple addition to your preps that could make life a lot more pleasant. And anyone can do it!
Having different options for each situation is incredibly important as a prepper. A bidet, whether a real one or a squirt bottle one, provides you with one more choice. Obviously we think that the real one is far superior. But the other will do if you are in a pinch.
How can you become less dependent on toilet paper?
Have you considered what measures you could take to make yourself less dependent on toilet paper? Do you have other tips for improved hygiene and sanitation?
Let’s talk about them in the comments section.
1stMarineJarHead is not only a former Marine, but also a former EMT-B, Wilderness EMT (courtesy of NOLS), and volunteer firefighter.
He currently resides in the great white (i.e. snowy) Northeast with his wife and dogs. He raises chickens, rabbits, goats, occasionally hogs, cows and sometimes ducks. He grows various veggies and has a weird fondness for rutabagas. He enjoys reading, writing, cooking from scratch, making charcuterie, target shooting, and is currently expanding his woodworking skills.