“But You Just Bathed Last Month!” Adjusting to a New SHTF Normal…

bathtubI’m sure there will be plenty of potential adjustments in a SHTF society. One of those adjustments, I feel, will be getting comfortable with a new normal, especially your routines and expectations.

Daily Necessities

For example, one of the actions I suspect you do is to bathe each day, right? Well, post-SHTF I would imagine that your traditional bathing routines will change, possibly very substantially. This is most likely due to very limited water resources and is especially a problem for most suburbanites because the chances are that you (1) don’t have a well or spring to tap and (2) have limited space to store collected water.

So, instead of taking a 20 minute hot shower each day you’ll likely be reduced to much shorter showers using only a few gallons of water and probably not every day, maybe not even once a week, and dare I say… perhaps just once a month! Obviously, this depends on how much water you can spare. Now, this isn’t to say you would be foregoing all hygiene practices, not at all. They will simply change. Sticking with the bathing example, you might find yourself taking a military-style shower once a week and supplementing with daily washcloth cleaning of critical areas such as the face, hands, feet, armpits, and groin. There’s also the problem of heating water for a bath but I’ll assume you have some ability to do that.

What other necessities may be different? How about ANYTHING relating to water, from washing dishes to cooking food, brushing your teeth, shaving, and so on. It’s all going to change… a lot. What can you think of?

Things We Really Take for Granted

Bathing isn’t the only activity that will probably change post-SHTF. Really, if you live life even remotely like most typical suburbanites (as I do) then many things should change. Think about how reliant most of us are on power and/or natural gas. Certainly we stockpile equipment and fuel to run things like lanterns, cook stoves, and heaters for just such an occasion. But, let’s think about a few things that electricity and gas allow…

Another major activity we take for granted–being able to see in the dark–will probably change drastically as well. There was a time when people went to sleep around sundown and rose when the sun did. Sure, we would like to have options and so we stock flashlights and lanterns but I doubt you’ll find nearly as much need to stay up late post-SHTF and thus less need to see in the dark… save for sentry duty, of course.

How about expecting to heat or cool the whole house?. Heating is quite a bit easier if you have a wood stove, for example, but not everyone can afford that and so you might be forced to heat a small room and, therefore, find yourself living in that ONE room 24/7. That would be a HUGE change, I’m sure.

Cooking might be drastically different too. Gone are conveniences like the microwave and trusty toaster. You’re going to have to find other ways to cook your food and maybe even eat foods you’re not entirely accustomed to and in ways you’re not accustomed. In other words, no more pop tarts and ice cream.


Think about any other activity or expectation you rely on, for example, your morning coffee. Coffee might turn into a serious luxury for you if you don’t have the capability to brew it, store it, grind it, and so on. I point it out not so much because it really is a must-have but because many EXPECT it… or else all hell breaks loose and you turn into Frankenstein warmed over.

How about entertainment? If you’re like most Americans then entertainment is a big part of your life, from television to movies theaters, computers to iPads. We NEED entertainment. Our minds are accustomed to it. Granted, I’m sure you’ll be able to find plenty to occupy yourself so you won’t have as much potential downtime but that doesn’t mean you can completely ignore it… you’ve got to have some fun sometime, especially the kids. Do you have a plan for that? Maybe a wide assortment of board games and books?

Many of us need stuff like prescription medications to manage chronic conditions, glasses and hearing aids to function properly, and even special devices or equipment such as wheelchairs, oxygen, insulin. And, while you should do your best to stockpile as much of the necessary supplies as you can, how will you attempt to manage chornic conditions or cope with functional deficits in a post-SHTF world without the stuff you really need?


Again, the thought here isn’t just about any of the specific examples I’ve pointed out above and, certainly, you CAN do without some stuff–like entertainment and coffee–but that doesn’t mean you’ll want to, at least, not completely. You may simply have to adjust to a new normal. Instead of daily coffee it might be weekly. Instead of hours of mind-numbing entertainment each day you might have a game night. Instead of a daily 20-minute bath it might now only occur once a month.

Yes, life WILL find a new normal. This new normal will mostly affect us suburbanites because we are truly the ones still reliant on a functioning society. Of course, there are many things you can and should do to prepare for this outcome, including following my advice I detail in The PREPARED Path course. It’s not just about staying alive but attempting to live a relatively normal life if/when things get tough. You can do it. I have faith. But you need to start to think about these types of adjustments and do so BEFORE you have to.

Author: Damian Brindle

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4 thoughts on ““But You Just Bathed Last Month!” Adjusting to a New SHTF Normal…”

  1. Several years back, I was told it was not as healthy to take a shower/bath every day that it washes away natural immunities, especially in the winter. As for water conservation, stock up on the disposable bath wipes, I store mine upside down until I open the package. The moisture stays distributed better. Also, the little pocket size hand wipes work well for sanitation then put them back in the little foil pouch, try to close it back up tight as you can & use it again after eating to freshen fingers.

  2. Thought provoking….. Made me start wondering about the reliance on anti-bacterial soaps, hand sanitizes, etc. Folks might want to ease up on some of the usage and build up some immunity and maybe not get super-bugs going as well.

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