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I was raised on a side-hill subsistence farm in the mountains. We had spring water piped into the house (gravity feed) for all needs with a hand pump in the kitchen, a claw-foot tub for bathing and a flush toilet too, so we were “modern.” Some of my friends families made do with bucket water and an outhouse as did some of our closest neighbors, so we were very familiar with the use of old catalogs and corn cobs in the outhouse — but I reckon we were doing it wrong ? When the Sears and Monkey Wards catalogs ran out and it was corn cobs or nothing, we always used just the shucks and flung the dry cobs down into the pit. Leaving the shucks attached to the old cobs made them easy to hang on a nail, handy and easy to rip off what you needed, but it never occurred to me to use the dry cobs for cleaning m’self. Lordy I expect an old worn horseshoe rasp would be better … less abrasive and last longer too.
My hat’s off to whoever it was that said they used the cob. You’re a tougher ol’ bird than me. I always thought people were joking about using corn cobs.
At my grandparent's home it was corn cobs or nothing. You 'hardened' to it ;) Polecat
 
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My great-grandfather was an emigrant from Russia around 1910. My father remembers him taking baths in the horse trough every day of the year. He particular relished the idea of winter baths because of his perception of the health benefits. Crazy Russian he was but not soft. When you visit 3rd world countries, it's very interesting how clean the respectable people there are. Puts the American and Euro hippie backpackers to shame.
Believe it or not there are YouTube videos of 3rd world countries that people squat wherever they happen to be. Outdoor out house or bedroom chamber pots at least in our country we practiced a modicum of privacy or sanitation to eliminate body waste.
Unless we were out hunting of course. A partial roll of TP was part of my “survival kit” . A tree insured a back support and a modicum of privacy. 😁
 
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Believe it or not there are Youtube videos of American citizens that squat wherever they happen to be. There are examples of disgusting habits where ever you go. My point in posting my former message is that in every situation where people have a basic level of freedom to choose, there are those who choose to be decent, and there are those who choose disgusting habits. Poverty has a way of increasing the chance that a person acts unseemly. But it doesn't need to dictate behavior. I've spent plenty of time in 3rd world countries. The fact that in the midst of very adverse conditions, there are people who keep themselves very respectable. Those women in the former post likely live in an environment that makes it a real challenge to be that clean and that happy. Yet they do.

They say that history is another country. Perhaps much like some of these 3rd world countries.
 
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I was raised on a side-hill subsistence farm in the mountains. We had spring water piped into the house (gravity feed) for all needs with a hand pump in the kitchen, a claw-foot tub for bathing and a flush toilet too, so we were “modern.” Some of my friends families made do with bucket water and an outhouse as did some of our closest neighbors, so we were very familiar with the use of old catalogs and corn cobs in the outhouse — but I reckon we were doing it wrong ? When the Sears and Monkey Wards catalogs ran out and it was corn cobs or nothing, we always used just the shucks and flung the dry cobs down into the pit. Leaving the shucks attached to the old cobs made them easy to hang on a nail, handy and easy to rip off what you needed, but it never occurred to me to use the dry cobs for cleaning m’self. Lordy I expect an old worn horseshoe rasp would be better … less abrasive and last longer too.
My hat’s off to whoever it was that said they used the cob. You’re a tougher ol’ bird than me. I always thought people were joking about using corn

Believe it or not there are YouTube videos of 3rd world countries that people squat wherever they happen to be. Outdoor out house or bedroom chamber pots at least in our country we practiced a modicum of privacy or sanitation to eliminate body waste.
Unless we were out hunting of course. A partial roll of TP was part of my “survival kit” . A tree insured a back support and a modicum of privacy. 😁
I witnessed the squat and pot often when serving in Iraq. Most wore long dress-type robe (don't remember what they were called), so their body wasn't exposed. They would assume the squat position for a few minutes and move along with their daily activities.
 
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My relative from Russia was University educated and came from a family of intellectuals. He was fluent in 8 languages and held an engineering degree in steam engine design. I have Russian Mennonite background also. They were a different sort of class. Both groups describe Russian peasants as a filthy, disease ridden, lower class. It seems to me that there is a tendency to see a nation of people and see one type. When in truth surely there was one extreme to another. There is an account of a traveler from the eastern states that was moving thru the Ozarks. He described what to him was deplorable conditions and behaviors that was beneath him. So it appear that his hygiene standards where far removed from the poor folks in the hills.
 
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Believe it or not there are YouTube videos of 3rd world countries that people squat wherever they happen to be. Outdoor out house or bedroom chamber pots at least in our country we practiced a modicum of privacy or sanitation to eliminate body waste.
Unless we were out hunting of course. A partial roll of TP was part of my “survival kit” . A tree insured a back support and a modicum of privacy. 😁
Whugett, just go to one of the big cities in this country, no need to travel to a 3rd world country.
 
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Old Corps here, steel pot with helmet liner removed and a quart military canteen full of water, or while deployed on board a naval ship and water rationing was in effect with a sailor controlling the faucet to the shower step in quick splash from the shower head step out. went for about 28 days without a shower when evacuating Saigon, made myself a promise if I could find water after that fiasco to never go without some kind of a bath at least every 2 days, I have scrubbed the old bod in some strange places, the best one was in northern Ontario canada hunting bear, left camp one early morning around noon decided to bath in a lake near where I was hunting, it was cold but very good to clean up a bit, got back to camp that night and the other hunters asked how I got cleaned up told them, they just looked at me like they were gut shot, my dad ask me what I would of done if a bear came bye told him the rifle was within easy reach and I would of shot it nekkid,the one fella asked me if I brought along swimming trunks told him yep the one god sent me here with.
I was on a sub in the pacific and our boat developed a unfound big hydraulic leak. We went on severe power and water rationing for about two weeks. No showers except doc and galley personal, one hot meal per day. You could have coffee, tea, and water, but bug juice and dry milk was limited
 
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Dale, you just got a hatfull of water dumped on ye. At a mountain rendezvous back in 1980, the water supply was a stream that wound around the camp area. It was mostly snow melt off the nearby peaks. Water for consumption and cooking could be drawn at an upstream point, then there was a bathing area down around a curve for the ladies and young `uns, then further yet was the area for men, and finally `way downstream was the sweat lodge. Brush all along the stream provided for modesty ... sort of ... but none of these areas were marked out. This child went down to sluice off the top layers of soot and dirt one day in the men's section of the creek, peeled down and stepped in. Mercy! The only thing that was keeping that water from freezing solid was that it was moving too fast! AND it was only ankle deep at the deepest I could find. I had me a quart tin cup. Wet me down and soaped me quick and then scrubbed my hair, which was matted down anyway. Pouring that quart of melt water over my head was a shock that took my breath away, but I gotta tell ye that rinsing the soap suds off after scrubbing was the bravest thing I did for a long time! Clumb back up the bank to the bush my buckskins and calico were decorating and my towel too, grabbed that towel and commenced trying to get the circulation back in my skin. I swear it felt like all my scalp had drawn up into a bunch on top of my head. I was standing there rubbing my head with all the rest of me air-drying and I heard a soft voice close by say, "My goodness but that water's chilly, isn't it?" I peeked out from under the towel and there by the next bush was another bare-skinned figure. That one was emphatically female. She was drying her hair too.
I muttered something, dried fast, and flung my clothes on. The whole time I had a vision of some huge husband/boyfriend with a tomahawk coming around the next clump of bushes. When I got back to camp, my trapping partner Moses Bell asked me how me bath went and I told him. He chuckled and said, "Well, `Foot, That water's mighty cold. She prob'ly just thought you were one of the other girls."
 
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Believe it or not there are YouTube videos of 3rd world countries that people squat wherever they happen to be. Outdoor out house or bedroom chamber pots at least in our country we practiced a modicum of privacy or sanitation to eliminate body waste.
Unless we were out hunting of course. A partial roll of TP was part of my “survival kit” . A tree insured a back support and a modicum of privacy. 😁
My hat’s off to whoever it was that said they used the cob. You’re a tougher ol’ bird than me. I always thought people were joking about using corn cobs.
Wetting it would soften it up a bit, but there’s the question of the water supply….!😜

My gun clubs ranges, trout pond and warming hut all set down hill from the clubs lodge house with its modern facilities, so a port-John is conveniently located next to the range. Last week the Monday after field day I had a powerful need of that porta-John, no TP,catalogs or cobs!😩😩😩😩😩




I always have a clean white handkerchief in my back pocket. Now I’ve added a partial roll of TP to my range kit.
 

Eutycus

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We used to have a "refresher course" once a year at the prison where I worked. You also had to requalify with the pistol and shotgun. The range was always my favorite part of In-Service except for one thing. Skid-O- Cans were provided but handwashing facilities were not.Every week roughly 35 correction officers were issued the same firearms that were used the week before by roughly 35 other people. The guns were at least cleaned somewhat after the shooting but we also had to wear the same ear and eye protection.Can you imagine the germs on the equipment from numerous others handling them without the benefit of handwashing. There was probably all kind of "stuff" passed on to others.
 
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I have enjoyed reading the stories and experiences shared in this thread. Here is another story of growing up in a home free from modern conveniences. Born in Western Colorado in the mid-1940s to a family that was not well off financially, I was 11 years of age before we lived in a house that had indoor plumbing or a source of heat other than a wood or coal fired stove. Our water came from a concrete cistern on the property that was periodically refilled by a water delivery truck. The water was pumped from the cistern by hand and carried into the house in buckets. Our bathing was once per week in a galvanized tub filled with water warmed on the stove that, for me as the eldest child, had previously been used by my father, followed by my mother, then me, and in succession the children younger than me. Down a cold, dark pathway from the house was an outhouse, which we shared with unpleasant odors, spiders, and other imaginary dangers. Within the privy, there was usually to be found discarded newspaper or the pages remaining from an old mail order catalog which were repurposed as an improvement on the legendary corn cob. Used for this purpose, we didn’t consider the distribution of catalogs containing slick four color illustrations to be an advancement. None of us preferred to brave the elements and challenge its dangers by answering nature’s call in the dark of night so, beneath each bed was placed a “thunder mug” to accommodate these poorly timed necessities. Somehow we survived, what would be thought to be deprivations today, and grew up to be healthy, educated, productive people. To this day, my wife, who was raised as the pampered daughter of a well-to-do doctor, listens to my descriptions of the conditions that existed for my social class with a goodly amount of skepticism.
I was told by my folks that the un-handy slicker pages, while not absorbent or "scrubsome", were still useful for twisting into a stiff curved wick. Then, you could light one end, and in about a minute, burn ALL the black-widow spiders out from under the seat... Allowed a more relaxing, healthful, and unhurried experience.
 
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I was on a sub in the pacific and our boat developed a unfound big hydraulic leak. We went on severe power and water rationing for about two weeks. No showers except doc and galley personal, one hot meal per day. You could have coffee, tea, and water, but bug juice and dry milk was limited
OK Tenngun, you got me. I am retired Air Force and have no idea what bug juice is ... must be navy code talk :dunno: Polecat
 
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Dental hygiene in the 18th century was rubbing your teeth with a rag covered in soot, alum or crushed sea shells. Brandy was also used, and most barbers would remove infected teeth. A Plains tribe, I forget which one, was noted for having big white teeth. It may be a myth, but I was told the reason people in the 19th century didn't smile in photographs is because they usually had missing or rotten teeth.
 
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