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Survival Skills

How to Take a Sponge Bath without Running Water



Running a bath isn’t always an option, but that does not mean you have to go without bathing! Cleanliness is always a virtue, and it is always a survival imperative long term, but what are you supposed to do when you are out in the wild or your home water supply is disrupted?

sponge bath equipment
Some basic sponge bath equipment and it’s nothing special: some liquid soap, a couple of containers, a towel, a sponge, and a mat.

Simple: Take a sponge bath! A sponge bath is one where you use a small quantity of water and a sponge or washcloth to lather up and rinse all without needing a full bathtub or a stream of water from a showerhead.

With a small container or two, a little soap, and a scrubber you can get clean all the same.

In this guide, we will teach you how to take a sponge bath without running water. It is actually very easy! Follow these simple steps and you will be clean in no time!

What Exactly Is a Sponge Bath?

A sponge bath is a personal cleaning procedure that cleans your body one section at a time – without a bathtub. It’s typically done with people who can use the sower, in emergency situations, or in the wilderness where water is scarce.

Why All Folks Should Know How to Sponge Bathe

There are many reasons why all preppers should know how to sponge bathe. First, as we mentioned earlier, it is a great way to clean yourself when water is scarce. Just because you have limited access to water does not give you a pass for the necessity of keeping clean!

Second, it is also a great way to conserve water.

Anytime you’re in the wilderness or in a survival situation at home where water supplies are anything but certain, you must make it a point to use every drop as wisely as possible.

Getting clean is a must, but baths and showers are incredibly wasteful!

Third, sponge baths are a necessity for washing people who are bedridden or too infirm or injured to safely get in and out of a bathtub or shower. Plus, they can be done pretty much anywhere – in a tent, under the stars, even in your RV.

So long as you have room to set your supplies without making a mess and stand up or sit you have room to get clean!

Finally, sponge baths can be just plain fun! They are a great way to cool off on a hot day or feel refreshed and invigorated after a long hike.

We have all been in a situation where we really wanted a shower or bath and looked forward to it. Now, you won’t have to wait to get clean.

That’s it for the perks. What do you need for a sponge bath and what’s the best way to conduct a sponge bath?

Sponge Bath Supplies

As you probably expected, you don’t need much for a sponge bath, wherever you are. To take a sponge bath, you will need:

A clean sponge or washcloth: either will work under the circumstances and everyone has their preference. Don’t think too hard about it.

It is worth mentioning that washcloths are far more portable and easier to clean and wilderness environments or austere situations compared to sponges which require boiling for thorough disinfection. Have a spare for reasons we will discuss below.

A small container for water (bowl, pot, basin, etc.): a large bowl, pot, basin or any other container that can hold your water for washing is required for a sponge bath.

If you want to get really fancy you can stand in an oversized tray or a small trough, but this is purely optional and not necessary to get quite clean. You’ll add your soap to this container of water to suds up.

A second container for water (optional): if you have space and a spare container, a second batch of clean water for rinsing will speed up the process and ensure you get clean skin before drying off. Once again, this is optional but it’s definitely nice to have.

Soap (bar soap, liquid soap, or body wash all work fine): use the soap of your preference for this operation. You might lather up with a bar of soap, add a dash of liquid soap to your water container, or give it a squirt of body wash.

It doesn’t really matter under the circumstances, though any soap that rinses cleanly with minimal water is beneficial since it will ensure you get most of the residue off of your skin before drying off.

Towels: if you’re going to take a bath you’re going to need a towel, and more than one might be handy depending on where and how you are taking your sponge bath.

If you are at your home or any other structure and don’t have the benefit of a bathtub to sponge off, lying a towel down on the ground will provide a grip for safety and help prevent a big mess.

Mat (optional): purely optional, but a bath mat that provides absorption and traction can be substituted for a towel whenever you are sponging off on a smooth surface or inside a structure.

Bath chair (optional): for infirm, injured, or elderly bathers a bath chair is just the ticket for providing extra assurance, comfort, and convenience when sponge bathing.

This could be an actual shower or bathtub chair, but even something like a cheap outdoor plastic chair can work in a pinch.

Basically, anything that will shed water and dry quickly is adequate for the task. Just make sure it is strong enough to support the person sitting in it!

That’s it! Pretty simple, huh? Now let’s get into how to use these supplies to give yourself a good washin’!

How to Sponge Bathe – The Steps

Prep your Bathing Area.

Wherever you are taking your sponge bath, make sure you have enough room to maneuver, enough room to set down your containers of water, and are reasonably protected against spills, and slips.

my sponge bath setup

Put down your towel or bath mat if you have it, and then you can set about filling your containers with water.

Gather water.

Fill your container or containers with water. If you are using two containers remember that you will only put soap in one of them, the other container is for rinse water.

If you are using warm water heated from any source, make sure to test the temperature before proceeding as you don’t want to accidentally scald yourself.

This is imperative if you’re giving someone else a sponge bath. Test the water on your wrist or the inside of your elbow to ensure that it is not too hot for the most sensitive skin. It’s really easy, like so:

sticking elbow inside wash basin

Fill the container as full as you need – remember that you will be using only a little water per sponge so don’t feel like you need a ton of water.

Add soap.

Time to add your soap. In your designated soapy water container. Give it just a little bit of liquid soap or body wash and swirl it around to create some usable suds.

If using bar soap you might try scrubbing your rag or sponge against the soap while in the water to do the same thing, or you can use the bar soap separately to lather your scrubber.

Don’t go too crazy with the suds no matter how much you like them as this can make it more difficult for you to rinse off effectively under the circumstances.

hand inside wash basin with soapy water

A little bit will do the trick unless you’re hideously filthy and if that is the case you’re usually better served by scrubbing down multiple times.

Load scrubber.

Dampen your sponge or washcloth in the soapy water. Squeeze out the excess so that it is properly wet but not dripping and sloppy.

squeezing a soapy sponge

You only want enough water and soap on your scrubber, rag, or sponge, so that you can loosen dirt and gunk off of your body and then carry it away. Too much water will only make a mess…

Start scrubbing!

Before we go any further, a word on what order you should wash your body parts.

Unless you are hideously filthy from an unfortunate tumble into a cesspool or a giant pile of manure, there are going to be several parts of your body that are drastically nastier and full of germs than other parts.

These troublesome parts include your underarms, your groin, your butt crack, and your feet.

They all need to be cleaned, but cleaning your body willy-nilly, especially when sponge bathing, is going to move germs from these areas around to other, cleaner parts of your body.

That’s not great! For this reason, I highly recommend that you clean the trouble spots of your body either last or separately.

washing with sponge

If you want to clean the trouble spots separately, work from your face down while avoiding all of the trouble areas.

Once you’re done cleaning the remainder of your body, grab your second scrubber if you have one handy and then make a second pass cleaning the troublesome areas in order from cleanest to dirtiest, typically armpits, feet, groin, and then backside – in that order.

If you want to clean the trouble spots last using the same washcloth, clean from head to toe as described before, skip the trouble areas, then come back around with the same scrubber and hit the trouble areas. This will minimize cross-contamination and transmission of the worst germs.


Rinse the soap off your body with the second container of water (or the first one refilled with fresh water if you only have one).

Be sure to get all the soap off as it can irritate your skin if left behind. Note that you might well need to use slightly more water for rinsing than you did for washing.

rinsing with sponge after washing

As above, work from head to toe and even though your unmentionables should be clean or at least much cleaner, you might want to rinse them separately…

Dry Off.

Dry off with a towel and enjoy feeling clean!

woman drying off with towel

There you have it – everything you need to know about taking a sponge bath without running water!

You want to make it a point to keep your washcloth or sponge as clean as you can when you are using it for a sponge bath.

Compared to taking a normal bath or getting a shower, your scrubber is not going to be constantly inundated and rinsed with a fresh supply of water, and it will get noticeably nastier much quicker than in normal use.

Now get out there and enjoy being clean no matter where you are!

Privacy, Please!

As one can imagine, a common question regarding sponge bathing in the wilderness, or some other austere environment, is that of privacy.

It is one thing if you can walk off away from camp down a clearly marked trail and bathe by a river, but it is another thing entirely when it is dangerous or foolish to do so.

Say whatever you want about modesty or prudence in light of a survival situation in particular, but people want privacy when they are bathing, or any other time they are naked.

This is not hard to figure out. Luckily it is not difficult to provide that privacy or at least a modicum of it under the circumstances.

Probably my favorite method for ensuring privacy is to use an extra long tarp or opaque piece of plastic sheeting to make a U or C-shaped enclosure that can be strung between trees or any other convenient anchor point using zip ties.

Set your bath chair and either some fresh, soft greenery or a convenient mat down on the ground, and you’re all set.

This setup will at least have 270° of line of sight blocking privacy, and can be made totally enclosed with just a little more work and effort.

Alternatively, if working in a smaller footprint or with much less material one can use a hula hoop or a lengthy, green branch bent into a circle to serve as a frame.

Use a similar piece of plastic or tarp, perhaps even an actual shower curtain, and hang up this arrangement for someone to enter and close behind them.

Typically cramped and not particularly comfortable, it will nonetheless do the job with a minimum of fuss.

Scrub without the Tub

You don’t need a bathtub full of water or a working shower to get properly clean. You don’t even need that much water if you know what you are doing!

Sponge bathing is a great way to get clean when you don’t have a working water supply or when you are desperately trying to save what water you have access to. This is a technique that every prepper should know, just in case.

sponge bath without running water pinterest

Source link: by Tom Marlowe at

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Now More Than Ever: You Need a Fallout Shelter




In today’s increasingly uncertain world, the threat of nuclear war looms larger than it has in decades. Escalating tensions globally, particularly in regions like Israel and Ukraine, have heightened concerns about the potential for catastrophic conflict. As families seek to prepare for worst-case scenarios, building a fallout shelter in your basement can provide a crucial layer of protection. This guide will walk you through the steps to create a safe and effective fallout shelter in your home, ensuring that you and your loved ones are prepared for any eventuality.

Why Build a Fallout Shelter?

The primary purpose of a fallout shelter is to protect you and your family from the immediate dangers of a nuclear explosion and the subsequent radioactive fallout. A well-constructed shelter can significantly reduce your exposure to radiation, provide a safe space for survival, and give you peace of mind during these tumultuous times.

Assessing Your Basement

Before you start building your fallout shelter, you need to evaluate your basement to determine its suitability for conversion. Here are the key factors to consider:

Structural Integrity

Ensure your basement is structurally sound and free of leaks. Cracks in the foundation or walls can compromise the shelter’s integrity and allow radiation to penetrate.

Space Availability

Choose a location within your basement that offers enough space for your family and essential supplies. A minimum of 10 square feet per person is recommended for comfort and survival needs.


Ensure that the chosen area is easily accessible and can be quickly reached in an emergency. The entrance should also be securable to protect against external threats.

Designing Your Shelter

Radiation Shielding

The key to effective fallout protection is adequate shielding. Materials such as concrete, bricks, and earth are excellent for blocking radiation. Aim for walls that are at least 12 inches thick with concrete or 24 inches thick with packed earth.


Proper ventilation is crucial to prevent suffocation and ensure a fresh air supply. Install an air filtration system capable of removing radioactive particles. Consider manual ventilation options in case of power outages.

Water and Food Supply

Stock your shelter with a sufficient supply of water and non-perishable food. Aim for a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day and a two-week supply of food. Include a water filtration system for long-term sustainability.


Prepare for sanitation needs by including portable toilets, waste bags, and sanitation chemicals. Proper waste management is crucial to prevent disease and maintain hygiene.

Emergency Supplies

Equip your shelter with essential emergency supplies, including:

  • First aid kits
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Radios (preferably hand-cranked or battery-powered)
  • Blankets and warm clothing
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Tools for emergency repairs
  • Building the Shelter

Wall Construction

Begin by constructing the walls using your chosen materials. Concrete blocks are highly effective and can be reinforced with rebar for added strength. Ensure the walls are thick enough to provide adequate radiation shielding.

Ceiling and Floor

The ceiling should be as heavily shielded as the walls. If your basement ceiling isn’t suitable, add a layer of concrete or earth above it. The floor should be solid and free from cracks; consider adding a layer of protective material if necessary.

Entrance Protection

Install a sturdy, sealed door that can withstand blasts and radiation. Metal doors with rubber gaskets are effective. Ensure the door can be securely locked from the inside.

Ventilation System

Install your ventilation system, ensuring it can filter out radioactive particles. Include manual ventilation options, such as hand-cranked fans, in case of power failure.

Interior Setup

Arrange the interior for maximum comfort and efficiency. Place cots or sleeping mats along the walls, leaving the central area free for movement. Store supplies in an organized manner to make them easily accessible.

Testing and Maintenance

Regular Inspections

Regularly inspect your shelter for any signs of damage or wear. Check the integrity of the walls, ceiling, and floor, and ensure the ventilation system is functioning correctly.

Supply Rotation

Periodically rotate your food and water supplies to ensure they remain fresh and usable. Replace expired items promptly.

Emergency Drills

Conduct regular emergency drills with your family to ensure everyone knows how to quickly and safely access the shelter.

Building a fallout shelter in your basement is a proactive step towards ensuring your family’s safety in the face of nuclear threats. By carefully assessing your space, designing for maximum protection, and maintaining your shelter, you can create a secure environment to weather any storm. In these uncertain times, being prepared is not just a precaution; it’s a necessity.

Do you have any tips on building a fallout shelter in your basement? Leave them in the comments below. 

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Survival Skills

3 Practical Ways To Tie a Shemagh



One of the most iconic pieces of headwear in the world, and one that is instantly recognizable, is the shemagh. Basically a giant bandana, this staple of Middle Eastern tradition has become a fashionable accessory elsewhere in the world and an indispensable part of a warfighter’s kit in arid, desert climates.

tying a shemag featured

They work wonderfully for keeping the sun off your head, face, and neck and sand out of your mouth, nose, and eyes. But compared to a bandana, it’s a lot more involved in tying on a shemagh, though you can learn easily enough thanks to our step-by-step guide.

Below you’ll find three proven ways for tying a shemagh, each suitable for different purposes and preferences. Let’s get right into it!

Military Style

The first method is the so-called military style, greatly preferred by military forces, as you might imagine, because it’s quicker and easier to don hastily when protection is needed.

This is a great one to start with since it is so similar to tying a bandana on, something you might already be used to…

military-style tied shemagh
wearing a shemag tied military-style

Step 1: Fold the shemagh in half. Holding the shemagh lengthwise, bring one corner to another to make a triangle with the corner hanging down in front of you. Being rectangular, it won’t be perfectly symmetrical, and that’s okay.

shemagh folded in half

Step 2: Place over the head. Pick out a spot that is about 3/4 of the way down the folded edge. Place this point in the middle of your forehead with the corners behind you.

If you are right-handed, the short end should be on the left side of your head. Keep hold of the folded edge the entire time. See picture for reference:

shemagh over head

Step 3: Bring the short end under the chin. Grab the corner at the short end along the folded edge. Wrap snugly directly under your chin, and bring it up along the right side of your face, pointing upward.

bringing shorter end under chin

Step 4: Wrap the long end around the front of the face. Keeping everything taut, take hold of the short end with your right hand now. Hold it in place, then use your left hand to bring the long end around in front of your face, covering your nose.

wrapping long end over face

Step 5: Continue wrapping the long end. Go all the way around behind your head until the corner overlaps the short end you are still holding on to.

Step 6: Tie. Make sure everything is snug enough, then tie both corners together with a pair of overhand knots.

tying shemagh

Step 7: Adjust. Make sure the shemagh is secure over your nose, under your chin, and across the top of your head and forehead. Undo the knot and retie it if necessary to make adjustments.

Step 8: Finished! You’re ready to face the wild.

With just a little bit of practice, the military-style shemagh wrap goes on very quickly. It’s my favorite method for getting protection in a hurry.

Bedouin Style

The Bedouin style wrap is slightly more involved, but more compact and very quick to take off when required. It also allows you to uncover your mouth if you want without untying the entire shemagh…

bedouin-style wrap bandana
wearing a shemag tied bedouin-style

Step 1: Fold the shemagh in half. Holding the fabric lengthwise, bring two opposite corners together. Again, it won’t be perfectly symmetrical, and that’s okay.

folding shemagh in half bedouin

Step 2: Lay the shemagh on the head. Place the middle of the fold on your forehead with the corner pointing backwards behind you.

placing shemagh over head

Step 3: Fold the bottom edge up, criscross ends. Fold about two or two and a half inches of material upward, then cross the two loose corners around the back of your head (without tying them):

crossing the two ends

Step 4: Wrap the first side. Gather one side of the material and wrap it around your head, staying above your eyes.

grabbing first end

wrapping first end around forehead

Step 5: Tuck first side. After completing one complete wrap, tuck the end into the fold you made earlier to secure it.

tucking first end behind head

Step 6: Wrap the second side. Now gather the remaining material from the other side:

bringing second end to front

…and bring it around covering your nose and mouth:

wrapping around second end

Step 7. securing second side behind head

After covering the front of your face, bring it back up, pull it snug, and then secure the end into the fold you made previously, as you did with the first wrap.

securing second side

Step 7: Adjust. Take a moment to make sure everything is snug and secure. If you can’t secure the ends of the fabric, simply start over, make the initial fold, and keep everything tight and taut as you wrap. If you keep it tight, it will secure the ends when you tuck them in.

Step 8: Done! You are ready to go. If you want to uncover your mouth, you can simply loosen it up and pull it free where you tucked it, and it can hang down without undoing the entire shemagh.

This method isn’t as intuitive as the military one we looked at first, but again with just a couple of repetitions, you’ll soon be able to put it on in just a couple of seconds, and then you can cover and uncover your mouth and nose as needed.

Traditional Style

The traditional style of tying a shemagh is super quick and easy, though it’s an all-or-nothing proposition.

traditional shemagh wrap
wearing a shemag tied traditional-style

If you don’t get the tension and placement right the first time, you’ll have to undo the whole thing to adjust it, and unlike the Bedouin style, you cannot just uncover your mouth if you want to. Nonetheless, it is a good method to know…

Step 1: Fold the shemagh in half. Holding it lengthwise, bring two opposite corners together. Just a reminder, it won’t be even and perfect, but that’s okay.

folded shemagh

Step 2: Drape the shemagh over the top of your head. The corners hanging down in front of you. See picture:

shemagh over head

Step 3: Bring the left side tightly under the chin. With your left hand, grab the right side hanging down in front of you, bunch it up, and then bring it under your chin tightly and up along the left side of your head.

bring left side under chin

Step 4: Wrap the right side in front. Now with your right hand, grab the left corner, lift it up so it is even with your nose, and then bring it across in front of your face.

Make sure you are still holding the right side you brought under your chin tightly so that everything stays snug; otherwise, it won’t hold.

wrapping right side

Step 5: Bring both ends behind the head. Holding on to both ends still, continue on and bring them both behind your head, tying them off with two overhand knots to secure them.

tie both ends

Step 6: Check and adjust. Make sure the fabric up front covering your nose is secure, but not mashing it flat; otherwise, you won’t be able to stand it for long. If it’s too tight or not tight enough, start over at the point where you have the fabric hanging down in front of you.

Step 7: Done! After you get the tension just right, you’ll be all set.

The traditional method is deceptively simple. You’ve got to get the tension just right for it to be comfortable and also stay secure, and it takes a couple of tries before you nail it.

But once you do, it’ll be just like tying your shoes: you’ll be able to do it without thinking about it and get it perfect every time.

tying a shemagh pinterest

Source link: by Tom Marlowe at

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Unveiling the Versatility of Wool Blankets in Survival Situations




In the realm of survivalism, preparedness is paramount. The ability to adapt and thrive in challenging environments hinges on the possession of essential tools, among which wool blankets stand out as indispensable. Renowned for their warmth-retaining properties and multifunctionality, wool blankets are not just for keeping cozy; they serve as versatile assets in various survival scenarios. This guide delves into the history, composition, and myriad applications of wool blankets, shedding light on their enduring relevance in the wilderness.

A Brief History of the Wool Blanket

The lineage of wool blankets traces back through centuries of human history, evolving from rudimentary coverings fashioned from animal skins and woven reeds to the finely crafted blankets we know today. Originating in the 14th century, the modern wool blanket owes its name not to serendipity but to the Flemish weaver Thomas Blanket, whose innovation revolutionized bedding. 

Embraced by cultures worldwide, wool blankets found favor in the North American fur trade, where they became essential attire for enduring harsh winters. From military campaigns to civilian households, wool blankets became synonymous with warmth, durability, and utility, earning their place as quintessential survival gear.

What Is a Wool Blanket Made From?

At the heart of every wool blanket lies a testament to nature’s ingenuity: wool, harvested from a diverse array of animals including sheep, goats, and alpacas. The process begins with shearing, wherein wool-bearing animals undergo gentle grooming to procure their fleece. Subsequent steps involve cleaning, sorting, carding, spinning, and weaving, culminating in the production of resilient woolen textiles. Boasting microbial, moisture-wicking, and temperature-regulating properties, wool blankets epitomize the marriage of functionality and sustainability. With variations such as merino, cashmere, and alpaca wool, each blanket offers a unique blend of comfort and performance tailored to diverse needs.

Why Choose Wool Blankets for Survival?

Wool blankets emerge as quintessential companions for survivalists seeking reliable protection against the elements. Their inherent qualities render them indispensable in adverse conditions:

  • Temperature Regulation: Wool’s natural insulating properties, bolstered by a layer of keratin, facilitate optimal thermoregulation, keeping users warm in cold climates without causing overheating.
  • Water and Fire Resistance: Highly absorbent yet flame-retardant, wool blankets offer unparalleled protection against moisture and fire hazards, making them invaluable assets in unpredictable environments.
  • Environmental Friendliness: Sourced from renewable materials and biodegradable in nature, wool blankets epitomize eco-consciousness, ensuring minimal environmental impact throughout their lifecycle.

Best Survival Uses for a Wool Blanket

The versatility of wool blankets transcends mere warmth, extending to a myriad of survival applications:

  • Sleeping Bag: Folded and secured, a wool blanket transforms into an improvised sleeping bag, providing essential insulation and comfort during cold nights.
  • Poncho or Coat: Fashioned into a poncho or coat, a wool blanket offers on-the-go warmth and protection, guarding against hypothermia and inclement weather.
  • Insulated Seat or Pillow: Folded or rolled, a wool blanket serves as a cushioned seat or pillow, enhancing comfort and warmth during outdoor activities and rest breaks.
  • Traveling Pack: Wrapped around gear, a wool blanket doubles as a makeshift pack, safeguarding belongings and optimizing portability in transit.
  • Shielded Temporary Shelter: Deployed as a windbreak or overhead shelter, a wool blanket fortifies makeshift shelters, enhancing thermal insulation and weather resistance.
  • Emergency Signal Panel: With its conspicuous coloration, a wool blanket can serve as a signaling device, enhancing visibility and facilitating rescue efforts in emergency situations.
  • Protection for Firewood: Enveloping firewood bundles, a wool blanket shields against moisture, ensuring dry, readily combustible fuel for maintaining fires in adverse conditions.

In the tapestry of survival gear, wool blankets stand as enduring symbols of resilience and resourcefulness. From their humble origins to their modern-day applications, wool blankets epitomize the marriage of tradition and innovation, offering unparalleled warmth, durability, and versatility in the wilderness. 

As stalwart companions on the path to self-reliance, wool blankets empower adventurers to brave the elements, adapt to adversity, and emerge triumphant in the face of uncertainty. With their timeless appeal and unmatched utility, wool blankets remain steadfast allies in the pursuit of survival, beckoning explorers to embrace their warmth and embrace the wild with confidence.

Will you be stocking up on wool blankets? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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