Saturday, 30 November 2013

1st Survival Summer Course - Basic Survival Medicine - Personal Hygiene

After a long long pause due to fatherhood, here I am again to go on covering the rituals of survival, a course started this last Summer here in The Toxicologist Today.

When one's on survival mode hygiene is a must for infections and disease can weaken the individual. Poor hygiene can reduce the chances of survival. If a bath is impossible, a cloth and some water will do the trick. Feet, armpits, crotch, hands and hair are prime areas for infection. In the absence of water you can go for something as simple as an "air" bath; this can be easily made by removing as much cloths as possible and exposing the body to the sunlight for at leas 60 minutes.

If soap is a commodity you do not have at your disposal, use ashes or sand, or use a recipe that consists of animal fat and wood ashes to cook your own soap. The recipe consists of:

- extracting grease from animal fat by cutting the fat into small pieces and cooking them in a pot;

- adding enough water to the pot to avoid fat from sticking to the vessel's wall;

- remember to cook this mixture slowly with frequent mixing;

- when the fat is rendered transfer it to another container to harden;

- place the ashes in a container with a spout near the bottom;

- pour water over the ashes and collect the liquid that drips out of the spot in a separate container (this mix is called the potash or lye).

- In a cooking pot, mix two parts grease to one part potash/lye, give it some fire to thicken and cook. Cut it into bars if it will make it easier to use.

The following video helps you understand the making of soap with pig lard and wood ashes. Watch it, understand it and maybe try it. I promise I'll be here soon to keep covering the hygiene part of this survival course:

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