Not all of what we require to prepare falls into the category of a traditional survival necessity- food, water, medical supplies and the like.
Some useful, even essential, preps are everyday goods that may seem ordinary, but are still one of those things that can make life a little more bearable and much easier.
There is no better example of this idea than toilet paper. Toilet paper isn’t one of those things that gets much thought until you run out.
You’ll probably feel the same way during a long-term survival or post-disaster scenario when you’re desperately seeking something safe and pleasant to clean your rear end with.
As a result, you should begin making plans for it now. That way, having plenty of toilet paper on hand is the last thing you’ll need to worry about if things go wrong.
Should You Really Stock Up on Toilet Paper?
The idea of toilet paper may seem funny to you. When you consider all of the other seemingly more important goods that preppers must accumulate and count for their survival plans, toilet paper seems comical.
Sure, we use toilet paper every day and take it for granted, but do we really need it in a survival situation?
Especially when we consider the severity of a survival scenario: can’t we improvise with newspaper, leaves, rags, something?
You may do that and, if the situation gets bad enough and drags on long enough, you may be forced to employ makeshift toilet paper or primitive cleaning techniques to take care of your backside.
However, I am adamant in my belief that keeping a large supply of toilet paper on hand is far more preferable than dealing with such a scenario.
Toilet paper is what we use in everyday life for the task; far more pleasant, and yet far more sanitary than alternatives. I cannot stress that part enough!
This isn’t something you’ll put on your backside that might prove to be allergenic or have the potential for a far worse negative reaction.
Good toilet paper is strong enough to give you assurance that your fingers will stay clean, but also controllable enough so you can do a good job of actually getting clean back there. It just does not get much better than that when it is time to wipe, bottom line.
Do I Seriously Need to Stockpile TP?
I still run into preppers who dismiss the idea that they’ll need to stock toilet paper in advance.
After all, you can buy anything from any store or grocery that does not have this stuff piled to the ceiling (literally!) for immediate consumption.
Oh, how short our collective memories are. It was but a few years ago now, during the height of a panic fueled by the, ahem, unknown virus that the second decade of the 2000s started out with, that toilet paper became exceptionally, inexplicably difficult to find across the world.
No matter if it was inappropriate for the situation or whether people were scared and misled; a little bit of fear and misinformation may easily boost its significance in others’ minds.
So widespread was the toilet paper run that some people resorted to stealing it from their workplaces or gas station restrooms.
Let this knowledge guide your selection of what they will do if they are in a terrible situation and need to hide in their home once again. It won’t be long before you’re unable to get TP if you don’t have it already.
Alright, then. How Much TP Should I Have?
Okay, I’ve made it clear to you how critical it is to have a large supply of toilet paper in order to handle using the bathroom for as long as necessary.
In general, men use less than women and families consume far more than couples or individuals.
According to Cottonelle’s statistics, a typical family of four uses about seven rolls of toilet paper each week, one per day.
We may estimate that this equals 28 rolls per month, or 336 rolls yearly. Some people require a lot more while others require considerably less.
The greatest advice I can offer you is to keep track of how much toilet paper you use on a daily basis, and then base your purchases on that.
It’s worth noting that you may save toilet paper for future use, but this might be a waste of money in the end.
People usually calculate how much toilet paper they’ll need to do the task and still feel adequately cleansed; in other words, you and yours may use a little more or a little less.
At any rate, you won’t go too far wrong estimating your reserves based on usage.
Two Approaches to Stockpiling TP
Okay, we know how much toilet paper we’ll need, so the rest is simply a matter of purchasing it and stowing it away. There’s also the financial aspect to consider for the first section of this.
Toilet paper, as long as you’re not buying bottom-rack stuff that necessitates you use far more in order to achieve the same result as higher-quality options, is pricey.
It follows that bulk purchases may not be in the capabilities of all readers. Not to worry, though. You have a couple of options no matter what your budget is:
Buy It All Now
The simplest solution is to purchase enough TP to last you the next 6-7 months, then continue to get more, little by little, as time goes by. if you have a large family, this could be tricky, though.
We recommend buying it cheap and piling it high, which means you’ll be purchasing it when supplies are plentiful and prices are low, not when panic is at a peak and prices skyrocketing.
Of course, you should be willing to make a trip just for it and accept the looks of strangers as part of your routine. One way to do it would be to go to the supermarket late at night, when the chances of running into someone you know are slim.
Alternatively, you may buy it off the shelf and have it delivered to your home without any hassle or confusion.
To be sure you get enough TP, first figure out how many rolls you or your family typically use over a given period of time and then multiply that number by the anticipated duration of the survival scenario ( in weeks or months). The result is how much reserve toilet paper you’ll need on hand.
Simply put, if you want a 3-month supply kept in reserve and your family uses 15 rolls of toilet paper each month, you’ll require 45 rolls.
Purchase a Little Over Time
Now, if you’re on a strict budget or simply don’t want to go all in on a large quantity of toilet paper, there is another solution.
All you have to do now is take out a roll or two from the box you normally buy for at-home daily use, and store them for tough times ahead. This is an easy approach to build up your desired level of reserve toilet paper over time.
Toilet Paper is a Pain to Store in Quantity
Toilet paper is simple to obtain and plentiful (for now), but after you get it home, one of its most significant flaws will probably be apparent right away: this stuff eats up shelf and cabinet space like nothing else!
The bottom line is that toilet paper takes up a lot of room. Sure, those fluffy cylinders are light, easy to stack and look tidy sitting on the shelf, but they actually cause organizational chaos!
Bunching any round or cylindrical object together, no matter how snugly, wastes space on a shelf, or anywhere else.
There’s not much you can do about it left as is, though you might be able to reclaim some of that space if you remove the plastic packaging.
Closets are useful but big investments for storing toilet paper, especially if you have a family that uses a lot of it.
If your survival scenario lasts for an extended period of time, having such a huge quantity of toilet paper stored in one place might consume an entire room in your house or most of your shelf space if you have rack storage. This is not the most efficient way.
Fortunately, there are a few space-saving methods that can help you reclaim this wasted area and minimize the logistical impact of your newly acquired stash of emergency TP.
Tips for Stashing Your TP
Removing toilet paper from its plastic packaging is one of the most time-saving storage methods for big quantities.
Toilet paper, as the name implies, is a form of paper, and it won’t last indefinitely in any condition. However, if you store it in an ideal storage location, that plastic wrapper will have little or no impact at all.
When you have them packed tightly together, you can conceal tiny objects inside of the rolls or between the toilet paper cylinders.
Another alternative is to remove the toilet paper from its packaging and store it in flat storage containers that will allow you to stack the containers on top of each other.
Last, but not least, one fairly extreme method for reclaiming some of the room eaten up by rolls and rolls of TP is to remove it from the packaging and then flatten each roll to compress it down.
Now, this technique is likely to raise some eyebrows as it prevents your toilet paper from readily unrolling on the holder anymore, causing annoyance.
When it comes time to use your flattened TP, you’ll just have it set near your toilet as normal, and it will be unwound, end over end, by hand.
Not as convenient as using a roll on a holder, but a small price to pay later for significant storage savings later. This technique does save a lot of room and is well worth using if you want to maximize space for other emergency supplies.
Alternate Locations for Stashing Your Stockpile
Your emergency TP stockpile doesn’t have to take up a lot of space inside your home if you have space for it elsewhere. Here are some alternative storage locations places where you can keep it.
The attic: This is a great place to store your TP. Just keep in mind your attic should be properly maintained and functioning if you want to keep it here long-term.
Moisture is the obvious enemy of toilet paper, so any leaks, dampness or high humidity in your attic could turn your stockpile into sludge.
Similarly, the intense heat typical of attics can make your TP brittle and prone to disintegrating. Keeping your TP in an air-tight container with desiccant might help.
The garage: This is another option assuming all of your other survival supplies haven’t eaten up all the space, but it comes with similar caveats as the attic, though the environment is usually not as extreme.
If your garage is damp, humid or has any leaks, it’s not a good idea to store your emergency TP here. You’ll also have to watch out for pests; mice and rats love toilet paper and will happily make a nest out of it if they can get to it.
Sheds: If you have an outdoor shed or other outbuilding that is well sealed and ventilated, this could be an acceptable option for near-term storage of your TP stockpile.
Just make sure the shed is dry and pest-free and consider storage in an air-tight container mandatory. Timely rotation of your supply will make shed storage a more viable option.
Baby Wipes are a Great Inclusion
In a discussion about this topic, I felt it’s only natural for me to bring up baby wipes.
Baby wipes are a prepper’s best friend, especially when you don’t have water to spare for bathing or are doing your absolute best to conserve every drop.
If you won’t be bathing on your usual schedule, it is imperative that you still make an effort to clean up and stay that way, even when you have bigger problems at hand.
Letting germs fester on your body will make you smell nasty, but it can also result in diseases that can decimate your group, especially in close quarters! Unwashed bodies are a survival no-no!
Wipes for babies aren’t only useful in the first few weeks of life; they can also help you keep your rear end clean than using toilet paper alone.
They don’t need any water, either, making them ideal for quick sponge baths when there isn’t any water or soap to spare.
Simply cleaning your troublesome spots on the body with baby wipes will go a long way toward keeping germs at bay, at least until you can have a proper bath or shower.
Wipes are available in a flat, stackable package rather than on a roll, and several large bags can go a long way if used sparingly, so get some even if you’re only stocking them as part of your survival equipment.
Don’t Depend on Pine Cones
Toilet paper isn’t a traditional item on your prepping list, but it is a little thing that can make a big difference in your comfort and quality of life if you are forced to survive the aftermath of a major disaster.
Toilet paper is also an important component of an effective sanitation and hygiene regimen.
Stock up on toilet paper now, while it’s easy to get and inexpensive. That way you can avoid what happened the last time the whole world was afraid of running out!
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.