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Hey Ladies!!!

I don't want to exclude anyone. There are plenty of single dads out there, or men who prep for their family and maybe their gal doesn't participate... you might wanna stick around, but BEWARE!! I'm going to talk periods and uncomfortable girlie things. I've been thinking about this for a few days and every day I'm more and more convinced that this is a conversation that needs to be had. (I have asked a male established-prepper friend to do an equivalent "guys" article.)

There are things that we take for granted that, should shit hit the proverbial fan, it would really, really suck to live without. There are things we can do now to prepare.

First and foremost for me was periods. However, I originally didn't go into it too smartly. I always use the same brand because it's what works best for me. I have no clue if other women buy what's on sale, or if most are like me... but here's the deal. I found a bunch of tampons on clearance. I thought, what the hell? If it's all I have, will I really care? At $1 for a box of 40 store brand, SCORE!! So what if I put them in the closet and never use them. Right? Well one month I forgot to go to the store. I broke out a box and within 24 hours I had plenty of reminders why I always use a specific brand. I had to re-evaluate. If I'm in a terrible situation, is this the problem that I want to deal with? HELL NO! (I immediately went to Amazon and set up a Subscribe and Save, sending a little more frequently than I need so that I can build a stockpile.)

This is fine and dandy if you're looking to a short-term disaster situation, but what if it's long term. If you're 20, can you hoard a lifetime's worth of feminine products? Highly unfreaking likely. Perhaps you should look to something like the Diva Cup, though, not going to lie those things look like a disaster waiting to happen. (For me, anyway.) Or maybe the washable, reusable pads are more up your alley. There are several options for both, look around and see what seems like it might be most tolerable for you. Whatever you pick, you gotta pick something!!

One day at work I was talking to a nurse. There's this problem you may not know about, old people can get nasty, gross toenails. LIKE TOTAL BARF!! and nursing homes don't help take care of them because Medicare doesn't pay for it unless they're diabetic. This is a huge issue for me. I've seen old people that I know haven't worn shoes in years, there's no way!! So I told this nurse, "I'm going to have all my toenails removed before I get too old, cuz that's not going to be me!!" She said, "I know what you mean, I shave my bits because I see a lot of old women who are a filthy mess down there and that's not going to be me!"

WTF? Is she going to be old, shaving her bits when she already complained that they can't keep themselves properly clean??? ELECTROLYSIS!! That's what she needs to consider. This got me thinking though, how many women shave or wax or bleach "unpretty" hair? If we have a disaster and you have to go long term without your normal grooming habits, what are those things that might seriously injure your self-confidence? Keeping clean is going to be hard enough in a lot of those situations. What are the things that you do on the sly to feel better about yourself? Is there anything that you can do to eliminate that issue. (FYI, I see a LOT of old women who can't keep their chin hairs plucked or shaved or whatever... think about it.)

Maybe you're prone to severe cramps or going through menopause. What if you can't go to the pharmacy and get your hormones or pain killers? There are herbs and oils that might help, perhaps you should check them out!? Don't wait til SHTF to realize whatever you stocked up on doesn't work for you, try them.

Perhaps you're prone to UTIs or yeast infections. Try various natural remedies and stock up on whatever works for you. I've never had a UTI, but you can bet your sweet bippy that I have bottles of cranberry supplements stockpiled. I might have started to get a yeast infection once, I made a coconut oil and tea tree pellety thing and if that's what it was, it was gone. *poof*!

Think about birth control. If you have an IUD and society as we know it ceases to be, how does that thing come out?

I am Rh-... my fiance is Rh+. If I accidently get pregnant, I need RhoGAM. In an EOTWAWKI situation, I don't want to get pregnant, but the truth is... I CAN'T!! This is something I need to make sure doesn't happen.

On a simpler note, what about undergarments? That thong and demi bra were adorable when you put them on before SHTF, but how are you going to feel after a month of chopping wood and digging latrines? Making sure you have a comfortable bra and panties in your BOB isn't such a hard thing to do.

How about your nails? I have fake nails sometimes. My nails are almost always long. They're one of the first things that will go if I have to rough it. My BOB has nail clippers and a file. I don't want to have to do anything with broken, jagged, painful fingers.

How have you prepped toiletries? My dad will wash his hair and his body with the same bar of Irish Spring and call it good. Can you do that? Do you want to? I don't. There is the level of "what do I NEED to survive" and then there is the level of "Happily surviving and succeeding". Sure, in the worst case scenario, I won't be able to take a hot shower and wash and condition my hair every day as I'm used to, but I'm pretty sure I can manage to wash it twice a week. I found a ton of travel sized shampoos and conditioners on clearance at Big Lots for like 10 cents each. I bought a metric ton of them. Herbal Essence for me, Head and Shoulders for the guys. They're tiny and will probably go far in giving some semblance of feeling comfortable and human. I found travel sized toothpastes for a similar price. I can make toothpaste, but this is way more convenient. (And a size I might be willing to barter or even gift if the situation is right.)

Surviving is not nearly enough. It's the bare minimum. If life is crappy and you're miserable, then what is your motivation to keep going? Sometimes it's the simple joys. Feeling clean. Not having your underwear rub your butthole raw. Not being a bloody mess. Look at your everyday living and assess what makes you feel like you're you? How can you accommodate those things in a minimalistic environment? What can you easily live without?

Addressing these ideas now can only help you later down the road. (Also, when you identify those things that move you from Surviving to Succeeding, hoard a little extra for bartering. If they're important to you, they might be important to someone else too!)

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