Pitcher and Basin Bath
In some areas of the world, taking a bath in a bathtub is considered "unhygienic" because you have to wash your face with the same water you sit your bottom in. In other areas, baths are unpractical because water is scarce or you may just have made a decision to live "off-grid". Whatever your reason for not wanting to take a whole body, immersion bath, you can get your whole body clean with a half-gallon of water and a washcloth, using the traditional pitcher and basin method.

This is an example of a (very expensive) Delft pitcher and basin set (on sale on Amazon at http://bit.ly/pitcherandbasin), but you can use an old, baked-enamel (aka graniteware) campfire coffee pot or any other kind of half-gallon container that can hold hot water and a plastic dish-washing bowl or any kind of one gallon receptacle to pour it into.

To start your bath, fill the pitcher with hot water. If you're at camp, take your pitcher out to the fire and fill it with hot water, or take it out to a stream and fill it with cold water and then take it to the fire and heat it. To bathe, put your washcloth (a 12" square of cotton terry cloth or flannel), in your hand and pour a little hot water onto it. Be careful you don't pour so much that you burn your hand. Use it to wash your face and then wring it out over the basin if you are indoors.

Remove your clothes from the waist up and then repeat the process of putting the washcloth in your hand, pouring water onto it and then using it to clean your body, starting from the neck and working your way down. Rinse the cloth with a little water and wring it out over the basin as needed. When you get down to the waist, take out the small hand-towel and dry off. If you have any body oils or lotion that you like to rub onto your skin, do so now. Put your clothes back on, if so desired.

Remove clothes from the waist down. If you are outside or standing on earth or anything messy, leave your shoes or slippers on. Repeat the same process of wetting the washcloth and washing whatever needs washing from the waist down.

Soap is vastly overrated for use on the skin and you don't have to use it unless you need it to get off any stubborn stain on the body that won't come off with plain water and rubbing or you may want to use it on your lower regions. Your can also use a little powdered clay, loofah sponge or a pumice stone as an abrasive to clean the skin as well as removing any dead skin cells.

Use the towel to dry off and then put your clothes back on. Now, sit down so you can wash your feet. Remove your shoes and socks and wash your feet and then dry them and replace your shoes. For some reason, washing your feet in public is more socially acceptable than washing the rest of your body, so if your source of hot water is a fire in the open, you may want to go sit down by the fire to enjoy the heat or anything cooking on the fire and get fresh hot water to wash off the washcloth when you are finished.

People who are disabled can wash most of their bodies by themselves using this method. They will need to be sitting in a chair that will not be harmed by getting wet and will need some kind of support when they need to wash hard-to-reach places.


Our Earth Our Cure: A Handbook of Natural Medicine for Today by Raymond Dextreit. 
Fire Your Doctor! How to Be Independently Healthy by Andrew W. Saul
Concise Guide to Self-Sufficiency by John Seymour.  Has a recipe for honey mead

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