The commercial manufacturing of toilet paper didn’t start until about 1857. So for most of human history mankind survived without it. The ancient Greeks used stones and pieces of clay (ouch). The Romans used a sponge on the end of a long stick that was shared by everyone in the community. When not in use, that stick was placed in a bucket of heavily salted seawater.
By the time of the American Revolution, things weren’t much better. Corncobs were in common use. Later they started using old newspapers and catalogues. The Old Farmer’s Almanac had a hole in the corner so people would be able to hang them up.
In India and most of the Middle East, they still use their left hand and a bucket of water. This is why they eat with their right hands. Many of them will claim that this method is cleaner than using toilet paper.
So what should preppers do about toilet paper?
First, stock as much as you consider practical. But remember, while it seems like a necessity in today’s world, many other items have a higher priority for your survival. We can get by without it and maintain sanitary conditions. In many parts of the world, they use sanitary washcloths often called family cloths. These are often made of squares of flannel. You will need up to three to five washcloths a day for each family member.
After they are used, place them in a closed container full of soapy water. You may want to stock a small garbage can with a tight fitting lid for this purpose. If you don’t have soap, add lemon juice or vinegar to the water. The cloths need to be washed every couple of days an if possible dried in the sun. The sun helps to sanitize them.
If you are bugging out you may have to use whatever is available. This could include old magazines, corncobs or leaves. If you are using plant leaves be careful not to use something that will cause irritation for example poison oak, poison ivy or sting nettles.
Just remember your great grandfather got by without toilet paper you can too.