The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 1 (THURSDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency, or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, or spending any money for the entire 7 days! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

A natural disaster occurred a number of days ago. Power has been restored, but you still don’t have access to your sewage systems. You don’t know how long you will be without water so you do not want to waste your supply by flushing it down the toilet … AND it’s about time you shower. You can’t put it off any longer.
Today’s Goal: Learn about and use proper sanitation practices in a crisis


Today’s Tasks:

  • Go and practice shutting off the main water supply to your house (view tutorial) – If you are doing the advanced tasks, leave it off for the day to help you avoid “cheating”
  • “Go to the bathroom” without the use of toilets today. Did you make the sanitation kits we HINTED about a few weeks ago?
  • Take a shower today without using your house’s running water, yes you have to do this!
  • Inventory the first aid items in your home to determine if you have: clean bandages, something to disinfect wounds, something to sterilize needles, knives, bandages, etc.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • Since we really want you focusing on sanitation, you can turn your water back on and use it for cooking and drinking.
  • Remember that you have gone several days without water and account for that when you consider how much you have stored.

Advanced Tasks:

  • Use your stored water for cooking and all other needs as well
  • Go to the nearest source of fresh water and fill up several water containers.
  • Purify that water with either a water purifier or an alternate purification method.

REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT.


Make sure your fill out today’s Report Card to see how well you did, to keep track of areas you can improve, to remember things you need to do, and things you need to buy. Use the data to make a game plan to take you to the next level of preparedness, whatever that may be.


  • fundude53

    you americans are so lucky we in england cant buy hardly any prep or food stage items dried food in bulk ect. im i alone in haveing this problem

  • jody

    Dr. Bronners liquid Castile Soap and Super Sorb?  Where do you get these items.  I’ve been reading your site for a couple of years now and I love the 7 day challenges.  I never do them.  But after alot  of disasters this year, I’m getting on board!  I would always fail these challenges but not anymore. I’m becoming prepared!  I think we should do 2 of these a year!  Maybe a 3or 4 day challenge and then the 7 day challenge.  I’m ready to go…

  • jody

    Dr. Bronners liquid Castile Soap and Super Sorb?  Where do you get these items.  I’ve been reading your site for a couple of years now and I love the 7 day challenges.  I never do them.  But after alot  of disasters this year, I’m getting on board!  I would always fail these challenges but not anymore. I’m becoming prepared!  I think we should do 2 of these a year!  Maybe a 3or 4 day challenge and then the 7 day challenge.  I’m ready to go…

  • Oh where do you get super sorb?

  • We are on septic so I thnk that is better than being in the city!
    Have quite of bit of water stored but need more….Have my Berkey  but you have to have water to put in it!
    we are in a drought and the lake is WAY down so my concern is storing enough water!

  • Laura

    I didn;t post intial because i didn’t do it because I know i don’t have it. I have a question though where do you go to find out about the city or states guidelines on waster dumping I searched and couldn’t find anything. I am so unprepared for an emergancy like this. I have water for drinking and cooking but not enough for cleaning self and house. and defintly don’t have the toliet issuie taking care of. HMMMMM lots to do on this one

  • Julie Dawn

    I got the email after I awoke and had already gone to the
    bathroom, but immediately put towels on the toilets and sinks so we would not
    use them.  The teenager had gone to school.  I took the boys
    to school, then came home to get ready for work.  I needed to pee, but put
    it off.  Three times I headed into the bathroom instinctively and saw the
    towel.   After work, picked up the boys
    from school and when Rachel got home we got on the 4 wheelers and went to the
    creek which is 1/4 mile away.  So grateful we didn’t have to carry it
    back.   It was 52 degrees and very chilly with a drizzle of rain.  We
    filled up 1 -5 gallon container and 2 gallon jugs.  The water was almost
    clear-kinda yellow, but clean of most debree. We are not in a city and (of
    course) it is easy for the boys to pee outside.  I went in the
    bushes-bringing the paper in the house to the trash.  Rachel got the
    toilet bucket out of the shop, put in trash liners and  it in the shower
    stall.  I told her she would have to empty it tomorrow.  We ate bacon
    and tomato sandwiches (glad the power was on) and heated 1 1/2 gallons of
    water. In a city situation, after a week, the sewer lines would be clogged and you may not be able to use the drains.  So since the “sewer system is down” I went outside and with a mug poured water on my head, and washed
    my hair, and Anthony’s.  It used up most of the 1 1/2 gallons of
    water-after coming in and having sponge bath.  I was
    so grateful for the warm bathroom in which to do this.  We used about a gallon
    of drinking water from storage.  Things
    went pretty smoothly, it was just odd because of strong habits formed of using
    water and going to the bathroom were halted. 
    I did not do my dishes.

  • april

    we got some rain the last couple of days so we had plenty of containers filled with water to use for flushing(and it helped I was the only one home all day :))

  • Dcdan419

    We have a 11,000 gallon pool in the back yard so water for washing ourselves and dishes doesnt appear to be an issue, ( I have heard too many different things about it being used for drinking water so we wont be using it for drinking or cooking) We have about 50 gallons of water stored, not including whats in the water lines of the house, the hot water heater and toilet tanks ( not the bowl) Since we live in the desert southwest we cannot count on rain water, although I have put out some extra buckets “just in case”. I have also started a desert water stil (every little bit helps). We are eating the food from the pantry to keep water usage low and learning that drinking warm soda although not as preferred, still saves on the water supply. Over all not too bad. getting rid of waste while living in the city is an issue but there is a lot of desert out here. I have always known that water would be the biggest obstacle, this exercise started before my large water barrel got here ( doom on me)

  • misti

    I had showered before checking my email, but have showered with the pump sprayer before, not super easy with waist long hair to rinse the normal shampoo so I will add to my list some camping soap or doc bronners.

    Had plenty of water in the berkey filter still for cooking and drinking and have water stored.  Depending on the type of contamination the berkey could make it safe again but I don’t want to clog the filters for practice.   This is good motivation to keep the filter full.. I have a tendency to leave it empty.

    I used tap water to water the garden today but have a back up plan with hoses and the 55gal drum that will take a little longer that I didn’t have time for today. 

    We spent most of the day away from home, but have buckets and plenty of
    construction grade trash bags, pine cat litter and vermiculite for
    absorption.  Good thing urine is good for the compost bin.  We also have
    the RV which doesn’t have water in it but we could use the toilet.

    First aid kits are good to go, we have an abundance of hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol because I caught a sale.  I should probably buy more antibiotic ointment because I only have one tube.   I have a few extras scattered in a few places I should put together.

    Good first day for me, my hubby just realized this was a 7 day challenge that went 7 days in a row.  I wonder if he would have agreed to participate if he knew.  He thought it was 7 challenges this month all spaced out. 

  • Bobbiegunderson

    We have a well, so as long as there is power we are ok for the water. We actually have water in tide bottles that have the spikets on them. Sat these outside in the sun to heat up. Used this for shampoos. Sponge baths with no rinse bath soap. Have 3-5gallon water containers full for cooking and drinking. Washed dishes only one time a day. Live in the country so we were able to make a campfire in the back yard to boil our water and cook our meals. Family excited to “camp out”. Dug holes in the back yard also to emply the bucket toilets. Lot of hand wipes used, had just bought a case at Cosco.  First aid items available, but not all in one place (they are now). Our failure was not enough cat food. Had planned to go to the store tomorrow to get more, but they will have to eat the dog food. Had just purchased several bags of chicken feed, and both of their water containers were filled yesterday. Had just filled the horses  500 gal water trough and our hay is stacked. Also have several bottles of water in the freezer. This will help keep things cold, incase of a power failure, and drinking water as it thaws. After reading the book series “the brothers” it really got me thinking about the what if’s. It will be hard not to take advantage of the double coupon days at Albertsons.

  • Desertonion

    Well I have been living in “delusional land” apparently. I thought I was pretty prepared until this morning, wow what an eye opener for me. It was kind of staggering realizing that I am in real need to care for this type of situation for me and my family. I have a unit to use for sanitary needs but not the other things that are essential for true use, okay that needs fixing right now! I love this mock disaster test because I am going to fix somethings that I did not know were an issue until today. The big thing that I discovered today was that, if I do not practice like this drill during calm times when its easy then it will not be good when I am stressed out because today was really stressful for me and there was no real disaster. I had such a hard time this morning that I was late to work today. I cannot imagine doing something like this every day and working too. I work in the medical field and being hygienically clean is a really big deal (lol yeah I know it’s a big deal all the time but you know what I mean) Thank you for the eye opener today Jodi and Julie                                          

  • Broke out the solar shower.  It heated up faster than I thought.  I’m so glad it was sunny out.  🙂

  • Broke out the solar shower.  It heated up faster than I thought.  I’m so glad it was sunny out.  🙂

  • alyssa

    Ok I was so unprepared, I have thought about this issue I have looked into it, but realized today that I have never done anything about it besides get a few heavy duty bags and a bucket…..oops.  Ok so I have a little work to do, but I did learn a few things on the blog repost (the one I should have read the first time).   On water we were good for today, mostly because I forgot to dump and refil one of my 5 gallon buckets (it needed to be done a few months ago, so we used that for washing:)

  • Dianne

    Today was great!  I did not have a couple things, so I definitely need to get some things, but…
    We had only 1 toilet seat.  I need to buy a second.  
    We do not have Super Sorb, but from the sounds of it, I LIKE IT!
    I did not have spray bottles… so that is a must now.
    And, last but not least, I need to purchase more Hydrogen and Peroxide… I thought I had some, but I couldn’t find it!  🙁

    Funny thing.  A couple weeks ago, I had to learn how to turn off the water to the house.  So, I knew I could do that.  We have foreign exchange students so we didn’t do this because we do not want to make them deal with it.  BUT, I turned off the water upstairs, and my kids were ALL over going to the bathroom on the porta-potty bucket.  Initially, I wasn’t going to do this, however, I decided that I needed to just do it.  I was going to flush the toilet with extra water that we have saved for that type of thing.  But, like I said, we just decided to bite the bullet.  I was lucky that no one needed to go (other than my youngest daughter when she got home from kindergarten and I wasn’t able to catch her fast enough) until about 2:30ish.  I was talking to a friend who was doing this too, and after I talked to her and told her I wasn’t going to do it with the bucket, I changed my mind… anyway, I ramble…

    We wash our hands with a bit of water that is in a watering can… it works well.
    Everyone has taken a sponge bath.  We did this the first year you did the 7 Day Challenge, and since then, it is not a big deal.I am in the process of organizing my house, so not even a month ago I already took an inventory of my first aid stuff… and we are good.  🙂

    We used water from our storage for everything, and we have four 55 gallons (2 of which are filled for now).  We did not spend money either.

    I do know of a place to get fresh water, and it needs no purification, however it was a 25 -30 minute drive from my home and guess what I have not much of… GASOLINE in the car!  Ooops!  I think I will be breaking a rule at some point for spending money this week…. 🙁

    GREAT day overall!

    • Dianne

      I wanted to give some hints how we do things here to make it run a bit smoother.  After the first year of this 7 Day Challenge, we went out and purchased ourselves an extra large pot to use to boil water in.  We only clean dishes at the end of the day, so as to not use water multiple times a day and overuse it.  We also use (as I mentioned before) a watering can to use for washing our hands.  You just need a little bit to get it done, and then we bought TONS of hand sanitizer to put on after, just in case.  We opened 1 bottle 2 years ago, and we have more than half in there left.  That also goes a long way.  So don’t pump it to death to get a ton out of it.  You need enough to just make your hands moist, not to leave you rubbing your hands for more than 10 seconds.  (As a side note, we bought 3 of those hand sanitizers, so I think we will be fine for another 10 years!  hahaha)  We use our loofahs for the bath.  It carries a LOT of water in it when you dunk it in the water, and you do it 2 times, and it covers me (and I am a ‘larger’ woman).  Then wash around with the loofah and soap, and then the watering can comes in handy again to use very little water in order to clear off the soap.  We also use the watering can for hair.  We are fortunate enough to have a double sink, so when doing dishes, we are able to put some heated water in one side with soap, and then some in the other side to rinse.  I hope this helps someone out there!  🙂

  • Possumfam

    This was kinda fun.  Turned off the water at the street and used rainwater to flush (septic).  Used only one 2 liter soda bottle of water for bathing (didn’t shampoo).  We have 2 solar showers, but we usually just put the soda water bottles in the car – they warm up real quick!   Instead of dumping a half empty drinking bottle into a plant, I used it to boil eggs, then used that hot water to wash dishes.  Really tried to ration the water.  As far as the first aid goes, we actually got to use it.  🙁     Daughter stepped on a nail!  Washed wound w/ stored water and betadine.  Applied antibiotic ointment and a butterfly stitch.  Fresh outta tetnus shots, so we’ll see the Dr. in the morning.  Can’t wait for tomorrow.

  • Lisa

    I was not well prepared for this challenge.  But I had put a lot of thought into it. So, my day went as follows. I shut off the water. Then woke up family. Taped the toilet shut. Then let everyone know the water was off. Lucky for me we have a creek within walking distance so I drove to the creek collected 10 one gallon jugs of water.  Drove home and boiled the water as we needed it.  We had bought a camp toilet last month so I set that up.  The only hard part was bathing.  The solar shower was broke and the local store didn’t have any in stock. So back to the creek.  I filled the bathtub with 3 inches of water for each bath. (Three in all) Now to dispose of the waste from the camp toilet.  I called the nearest RV park and they are letting me dispose of it there for a price.

  • Rhwavon

    I did not do well on this challenge at all. I had to work today,so I improvised. I used hand sanitizer whenever possible. I keep bottled water at work and that is what I drank. At home, we have 3 six gallon jugs for four people. This is enough to get us through a couple of days. I will work on the disposal of waste ICE ( In Case Of Emergency).

  • susan m

    This is where living on a remote mountain with a lake in your front yard pays off! Love the idea of baby wipes! I have been waiting for these challanges! You can never be too prepared!

  • Stephanie

    I think you guys are doing a terrific job. but I was wondering if there was a way to make your sanitation kit more user friendly for people with broken hips, bad backs or messed up knees. Thank you.

    • the set up used for the sanitation kit can be used in a regular toilet–flush the toilet with a bucket of water to empty it (do this after using it, of course, so as not to waste), then line the toilet with a plastic bag, tape it in place, and lower the seat and lid.  use as you would the bucket set up.  the only time i could see needing to use the bucket would be in the house were inhabitable, such as after an earthquake. if what you are dealing with is a simple loss of water supply, there would be no need to abandon the house.

    • the set up used for the sanitation kit can be used in a regular toilet–flush the toilet with a bucket of water to empty it (do this after using it, of course, so as not to waste), then line the toilet with a plastic bag, tape it in place, and lower the seat and lid.  use as you would the bucket set up.  the only time i could see needing to use the bucket would be in the house were inhabitable, such as after an earthquake. if what you are dealing with is a simple loss of water supply, there would be no need to abandon the house.

    • the set up used for the sanitation kit can be used in a regular toilet–flush the toilet with a bucket of water to empty it (do this after using it, of course, so as not to waste), then line the toilet with a plastic bag, tape it in place, and lower the seat and lid.  use as you would the bucket set up.  the only time i could see needing to use the bucket would be in the house were inhabitable, such as after an earthquake. if what you are dealing with is a simple loss of water supply, there would be no need to abandon the house.

  • Rhonnie

    This is good.  We used to do stuff like this all the time when the kids were younger.  Because you never know just what will happen.  Camping was done as far away from town as we could get, and we only took tents, if anything.  So any ‘facilities’ we had were carefully made, and then taken care of before we left the site.
    When we lived in rural Arkansas, we had a well/septic system.  During the summer, it would tend to dry up for a couple of days.  We learned real quick that having a good number of full water jugs stored away was a good thing.  Flushing was kept to a minimum, but all covered and cleaned more often.  Sponge baths.   And enough water for at least a few days.
    Right now… if I hadn’t broken my foot, I’d probably go down to the river and get the water after what I have runs out.  
    Wait… maybe that could be the ADVANCED challenge… cool!  Got it.
    ~Rhonnie

  • Barbara

    Thank goodness I have plenty of water for flushing between my rain barrels and the creek across the street. The shower was a little harder, so I heated up water on the stove and washed that way with a large pot and bucket. Great challenge, really made me think.

  • Beckyagne

     We try to conserve water and do the yellow mello everyday, but this was my one fear I wouldn’t have enough water . I did get extra gallons for drinking.It was the warm up the water and bath that was time consuming as we don’t have the wood stove up and running yet,lol

  • Melissa RK

    We too have a camper and that IS our backup emergency as far as cooking (propane), water (stored in the storage tanks) and the toilet, it doesn’t need electricity. I know it’s not the manual way everyone else is doing it but it is our backup plan. If this is considered unfair, just let me know and I’ll bow out of the challenge. 🙂  I also have a sewer treatment plant…do we have electricity today? If so, we’re good on the flushing and have bayou and pool water for flushing

  • Nancy-kitchen

    We had bought a camping shower (solar) so that  worked fine. If there isn’t enough sun we heat water on our propane stove.
    We save up rainwater in a barell, then put it in gal jugs.
         We wash the dishes with the jugs of water I stored up. Again heated on the stove. I use the rinse water to water my herb garden on my patio. I use the soapy water to flush the toilet. It takes about 2 1/2 gal of water in a bucket to flush the toliet. It is important to practice it BEFORE the disaster as there are techneicks. We are on catchments, so if it has not rained for a long time we use the motto from the Great Depression; If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down. We are on the 2nd story, so to carry water us is a chore.
    Thanks for the hints you give. Really important to prepare now.

  • Bisforbilli

    I hope using the camper isn’t cheating for the toilet.  Haven’t had it long , but it came in handy for this.  Living in the country on a well system, but now planning on hooking up a hand pump.  We collect our drinking water in containers anyway so that wasn’t a prob.  I see now, though, this was more of a challenge than I planned.  

  • kdonat

    We have two 5 gallon bucket toilets, one for solids and one for liquid waste.  Lined with double bags, layered with kitty litter as needed.  The solar shower was left out in the sun to warm up (rainwater used to fill it).  Then it was wet down, soap up, and rinse off.  Toilet alternative would be to line the toilet with the bags instead of using the buckets.  Easier for the elderly or very young to use than the “buckets”.   Over 100 gal of stored drinking/cooking water and 160 gal of rainwater for other purposes.  Had to cut back the shrubbery to get to the outside shut off , deal with the wasps/hornets nest, and splinters.  Had spray for wasps, but forgot to grab the gloves.   First aid stuff is available, but scattered around, need to consolidate and organize that better. 

  • Brchbell

    this is one of the things I teach in my Em. Prep seminar!  I live out here on the plains and most city sewer systems have to “pump” water from one area to another.  The small town I live near has 7 pumps to get it to the town lagoon system.  Having a portable loo to use instead is truly being a good neighbor!  I also show them how to make a TP replacement kit using small cloths, a peri bottle and a sponge. We have made several community shower areas using small cattle tanks hooked up to a sprinkler head to shower under.  With solar panels added you get nice hot showers even in the winter time.

  • Smagnuson58

    Wow, woke up this morning, and before I looked at my messages I started the day with my normal routine.  Unfortunately I am not prepared for the bathroom segment of the challenge, so this time I am not participating in that portion of it.  Needless to say, I have already learned a valubale lesson!  As for other water related situations, I have been using only stored water.  I have two big dogs, and now know that it takes 3 bottles of water to fill there bowl up to 3/4 full.  I have found that having a water container with a spiguet sitting at the kitchen sink is very helpful, so I will need to purchase a couple more of those.  The good thing is that I have at least 130 gals stored for myself, my husband, and dogs, but I am sure I will need more in case kids or neighbors show up!

  • Joe & Victoria Busby

    I am SO ON TOP of this!  We are on a septic system in the country and have the advantage of having a hand pump option on our well for use in emergencies.  We also have several barrels of water stored and sanitized for gravity feed flushing and showering.  It is also well into the 90’s today so heating the shower water is done by the sun.

  • autismmom

    Just tried out our bucket toilet. My 4 year old daughter thinks it’s fascinating. Definitely going to get a toilet seat for the top. Not so comfy right now. Our liquid waste for girls is going into a female urinal (just an us-shaped plastic container) a mason jar would work, as well. Boys, the same idea. I’ve heard it’s best not to mix solid and liquid waste. We have a designated place in the backyard to dump liquid waste and cover with dirt. Solar shower is heating on our picnic table and should be ready when the older kids get home from school. Really looking forward to it.

    • OutdoorsMom

      Just as a caution, solar shower bags can heat the water to quite extreme
      temps, so test the water before anyone uses it because you may (very
      likely) need to add cool water.  This is great though, because you can
      dump out some of the hot water and save it to pour back into the bag
      (along with more cool water) for the next shower.

  • misti

    We go to a week long “camp out” in the desert with the RV with no water hookups and we use a gallon pump sprayer.  It can be set to mist for showers or a stream for rinsing hair flushing or washing dishes. 

    Just make sure that if you use chemicals for weed or insect control you label the sprayer -Water Only-.

  • Grandma S

    I certainlly hope the camp trailer isn’t cheating, because it is our main source of preparedness.  It has toilet and takes little water to wash down. I will use the water from the rain barrel we catch water off the roof in to flush. As for showers we will do the old fashioned job of “sponge bath” that we did when I was a kid. Trailer also has propane furnace and cook stove with oven and we are just ready to puchase a 50# propane tank and have it filled. So guess we will get that done today before I see what these gals can come up with for the next few days.

  • Bridget

    No water on the first day!  I may be in way over my head here.  I had planned on using my stored water to fill the solar bags but guess what, it is raining and cloudy– there went the bags and the solar oven idea.  I heated some water on the stove and just rinsed off my body and washed hair. 
    I did go out and shut off the main water supply, so I can check that off my list.  Unfortunately, I was gone for a walk when hubby got up and he called the water company, then had to call them back when I got home and explained what we were doing for the week.  Yes, he called and explained to them that there had been an error and his wife had intentionally shut off the water because she was spending the day being a pioneer. 
    The teens have decided that if water is an issue then they should conserve water and not take a shower or brush their teeth- they are homeschooled so the only ones they will offend with their odor is each other and me!  Now, the bucket method of bathroom usage is a little awkward, I can see that we will definitely need to stock up on a lot of trash bags. Other than the trash bag shortage, we are doing well.
    I have decided to use the stored water for all our needs today.  Fortunately, it is raining now so I will collect some rain water later and purify it. 

  • well, lets see, we have about 600 gallons of drinking water stored, so even if we have been without water for a week, we should still be ok. We also have 3 water barrels that collect water from our roof that can be used for flushing (we are on septic here). We have a solar shower, but it is a grey day here (so far), so I will warm water for my son and I on the stove and we will sponge bathe in that. Afterwards, that water can also be used for flushing. My son is happily volunteering to sprinkle the forest around our yard (used to help keep the deer out away from the gardens)..lol, the excitement for little boys…

  • Mrndr67

    YIKES!  I’m in trouble already!

  • Kim

    I would recommend cat litter in place of Super Sorb due to availability.  If you can manage, add lime to this as well.  Hy-­‐Genic cleanser may be a brand, but one can get Odoban at Sams by the gallon, and it kills just about every virus on the planet as well. I have two bottles of No Rinse Shampoo.  I have been wondering how you would store waste if the trash service disappears.  I live in the city so water storage is a challenge. 

  • Heyyou63plus2

    granny mae,
    Well, this smug granny thought she had all the bases covered and right off the bat I find I’m not as smart as I thought I was.  Although we have a well and generator and fuel for all that , and we have gone camping for years so we know all about the water conservation in times of need, the thing we had not planned for and were always going to is our animals.  Our farm animals are ok and we can feed them for a week but we forgot all about our dog and cats of all things.  My husband had just said we need to go to town and get some cat food and dog food when I opened the e-mail !   Now we do have enough to get them through a week and also have alternatives for feeding them, we suddenly see where that is not enough and we had put off our emergency food storage for some of our family members that mean so much to us. We have gone out and found two extra metal garbage pails (big ones) to store extra food in for them and as soon as we can again go to the store we will get two bags of dog food and two bags of cat food so we can store one of each away for emergency’s.  We will also continue from there till we have enough for a months supply.   Thanks gals, for taking the wind out of my sails and bringing me back to reality !

  • Prepared Mom

    We have a well so would not effect us as long as we have electricity.  Have a solar panel that will at least run the well.

  • Carolina Farm Girl

    Good Challenge! We will be using our stored water for all our needs today – even cooking. We have 250 gallons of stored drinking water and a 1500 gallon rain water cistern (fortunately for us this was just completed and filled during the last two storms!!!). We will shower with our solar shower – let’s hope we get some sun today! If not, I guess we will heat some on the stove and bathe the old fashion way!

  • Janet

    We are on Septic Tanks. During a drought we also developed a water leak in the tub. Until my husband could fix it I caught the water in an ice cream gallon bucket and used the water to flush with. Since I like hot baths I decided to continue the practice after it was fixed by filling a 5 gallon bucket with bath water. (now I don’t have to feel guilty for soaking in a nice hot tub! So….we start each day with 5 gallons of water that would be available to flush. Another hint would be if you are on septic tanks….using a bucket for liquid waste can be used to flush solid waste.

  • OutdoorsMom

    I DO need a shower this morning, so I will be heating water on the stove and doing a camp wash-up: sponge bath then wash head in plastic dishpan. 

    We also have a couple of black “solar shower” bags that we take camping, I could set one outside filled with stored water and take a “real” shower later, but I need to get clean now.  My kids are teens, but both had showers last night, and DH has already showered and left for work so I guess we cheated there as he gets up before I do.  We do all have experience using the solar shower bags though.

    As for the toilet part of the challenge, “if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down” will prevail for the day and we will flush solid waste with stored water. 

    We also have the 5 gallon bucket toilet kit with kitchen trash bags and kitty litter that we could use in a real emergency, and we have used the bucket toilet when camping as a family so everyone knows how it works.  Cool about the peat moss mentioned by Beachy1mom though, we do have a big bale of peat moss out in the garden shed so we could also use that 🙂

    • OutdoorsMom

      Forgot to mention that we have first aid kits in both cars as well as the one in our 72-hour kit in the front hall closet.  We check them regularly to make sure things like antibiotic ointment hasn’t gone out of date and that we haven’t used up all the bandaids, so they are all good.

      We did the Advanced tasks and used all stored water (rain barrels for the occasional flush; stored water for my camp wash-up and cooking/drinking) and I also walked with my “granny cart” (wheeled wire shopping cart) down to the nearby creek and filled up a 5 gallon container to bring home.  I didn’t purify all of it, but I did boil up a gallon pot of the water that we used to wash our dishes after dinner (all the day’s dishes).

  • Paul

    This is an easy one for us living up in the moutains. We did what we called hippy baths during the time we were building our house and lived outside. One gallone bucket of sun heated water with some doctor bronners dropped in. One gallone of sun warmed clear water to rinse and your done. Water was collected from rain at the time but now we have a well and 3500 gallon cistern. As for the sanitation part.. take your shovel and find a cozy spot in the woods and your done. 🙂

    • Nancy-kitchen

      What is a Dr. Bronner?
      Nancy

      • Nicole

        Dr. Bronners liquid Castile Soap.  It’s concentrated, and can be used to wash just about anything, even people!

  • Beachy1mom

    I have used a home made porta potty for years when camping.  I use a 5 gallon bucket with double plastic bags with a couple of quarts of peat moss with a snap on toilet seat.  After a few uses, I add another couple cups of peat moss.  It soaks up the urine and covers the smell.  At the end of the day, I tie it up and sit it aside for a couple of days then just add it to my compost pile later.  The plants in my garden just love it.  As for solid waste, I have about 100 gallons of water in my food storage & can flush toilets when necessary.  We also have a gas powered shower.  Many thanks to my husband, the Boy Scout for that.  Living through Hurricane Irene and being without power for 5 days, I loved that gas powered shower.  This was actually an easy one for us, but thanks a reason to empty out the rest of my water so I can refill the bottles again later.  Keep it coming!!

    • but the challenge says that you have already been without water for several days so you probably don’t have the 100 gallons any more….

    • Sandra

      Would love to know more about how to make gas powered shower!

  • Marcy Ort

    lol! Careful what is put out there! A huge thunderstorm just rolled in, adn a line is down literally right outside myhouse! So… not only do I not have power, but I have no water, either! Good thing I have been reading this and getting prepared! lol. I’m a little worried about what will happen with your next scenario. 🙂

  • Ok hubby decided that being at work doesn’t count. LOL So obviously the water IS working where he works.  My teen is hesitating mightily so he may be going to his father’s for visitation early. 

    Is using a travel trailer toilet cheating?  It is primed with chemicals already and set up for use anyways.  I did put a gallon of water in there to rinse the toilet and wash hands.  But you only need a little bit of water to rinse the sides of the chemical toilet, or about a cup or 2 if it has sticky solids.    Our trailer is a main emergency preparedness for us since we can hook it up to weather out storms, looting, etc w/o an issue and it is always stocked with everything needed except for food.  It is a tiny one, but just enough room for family of 3 to sleep, but more if others sleep in tents outside and it is only used as bathroom, cooking, warming up etc.

  • Ok hubby decided that being at work doesn’t count. LOL So obviously the water IS working where he works.  My teen is hesitating mightily so he may be going to his father’s for visitation early. 

    Is using a travel trailer toilet cheating?  It is primed with chemicals already and set up for use anyways.  I did put a gallon of water in there to rinse the toilet and wash hands.  But you only need a little bit of water to rinse the sides of the chemical toilet, or about a cup or 2 if it has sticky solids.    Our trailer is a main emergency preparedness for us since we can hook it up to weather out storms, looting, etc w/o an issue and it is always stocked with everything needed except for food.  It is a tiny one, but just enough room for family of 3 to sleep, but more if others sleep in tents outside and it is only used as bathroom, cooking, warming up etc.