Thursday, June 14, 2018

Basic Training - Sanitation

Reference (referred to you back in May):
FM 21-10 Field Hygiene and Sanitation June 2000

Yes, we really are going to cover How To Sh*t In The Woods.

Get it right, and life is happy.
Get it wrong, and you may get a visit from Mssrs. Dysentery and Hepatitis.
They are not your friends., and if you give them to your team mates, they won't be your friends either.

Option 1:
The Cathole

Step 1:
a) Downhill from your position
b) Downstream from your water supply point
c) 200' away from that or ideally any water source, or your campsite, minimum

Step 2:

For the uninitiated, the stick replaces toilet paper when you don't have that, or the three seashells if you're from San Angeles in the dystopian future.

If you don't have an e-tool (WTF?), or you were going lightweight, these things are the bomb, for about $10 @ WallyMart, etc.:

Option 2:
The Slit Trench
For larger units and/or a longer stay in a lay-up or patrol base.

Bury as you go. The cans over the toilet paper are to keep it dry in rainy environments or on misty nights and dewy mornings.
And if you're using MREs, everyone whose BTDT knows you always save the TP bundles, and put them in a ziplok. They may be all you get for some time, and beggars can't be choosers. Otherwise, find a really good stick, without bark or splinters.

Option 3:

Pack it in, pack it out. You'll want plastic, with no holes in the bags.
This is the option selected by elite reconnaissance units, going back years.
If you don't leave it in the field, there's nothing for anyone to find later on.
You can also elect to deposit all the bags at one central location later on, away from your area of interest, buried and concealed well, and far off your line of march.
And you do what you like, but if it's going in my pack, I'm double knotting it, and double-bagging it.

And wash your hands afterwards!

The way to break the fecal-oral disease vector is to clean up after yourself, scrupulously.

And although it's grey water and not black, you should do the same with anything including water or residue left over after washing eating or cooking utensils, brushing teeth, shaving, etc. Dig a sump hole, far from water supplies, and bury it. Getting discovered because someone saw your sudsy crud floating by downstream will be painful, was stupid, and is easily prevented.

And BTW, baby wipes and disinfecting hand sanitizer are your friend.


idahobob said...

Yup, baby wipes. Lot's of 'em. They are inexpensive.

jabrwok said...

I really don't want to ask, but how do you use the stick? As a scraper? I doubt it would get as much as paper, and any remaining residue is going to be unpleasant.

Anonymous said...

Cold Steel Spetnatz shovel is a good tool. Stuck in ground nearby, gives you a hand grip to hold on to in case you lose balance. Remember to pull pants / underwear only to knees or risk putting some material on them if clothing is on ground.

James said...

A memorable line from a John Wayne movie: THE HORS SOLDIERS (1959)

Major Kendall: As usual, I'm just presenting the grim facts. Colonel Secord doesn't seem to understand that the coffee tastes better when the latrines are dug downstream instead of upstream. How do you like *your* coffee, Colonel?

Anonymous said...

There are such things as "wag bags" for those who wish to pack it out; MUCH better than using an MRE bag (smaller too). The ones I have appear to be USGI, bought them from one of the surplus vendors.
Boat Guy

Pat H. said...

In 1984, I transferred into a NG unit that had the latrine issue completely under control. They had a three, or four, holer privy built and brought it to Fort Bragg "summer camps", i.e. annual training, and dug a deep pit to sit it over. It worked. No,k it didn't smell particularly good, but it worked.

Then, geniuses in the Pentagon decided that port-a-potties would be used in field training. As if those would follow troops during warfare. The previous latrine devices were stopped.

Idiocracy prevailed.

RandyB said...

NOW may I post this?

Channeling my medic: "Remember the four Fs of disease: Food, flies, fingers, and feces." He was so...anal about it he opened his smokes from the bottom to avoid touching the filter. He thought dip was the debbil.

Spetnaz tool is good but the Etool with pick is better. Open to a T shape and enjoy the seat. Can't throw it, but COL Olie Mize showed us the way....

Ima stop now, trusting you will get to G Camp sanitation eventually.

Aesop said...

@ Randy B.
I posted a link to a free download of the Field Sanitation pdf online waaaaay back at the beginning (5/5), with the note to read the entire thing:
which pdf linkage we'll add to this post.

We just did cover G-camp sanitation, the extent it should be in a basic training module: "Bury your poop, wash your hands."
If you're planning anything longer-term or larger in scale than what's been offered, you want proper plumbing and a septic system, not slit trenches and catholes - which latter are always short-term use solutions.

The history of all the advances of civilization is essentially the history of advancements in clean running water, indoor plumbing, and waste disposal, and continues to be to the present day.

Where proper water and septic systems end is the demarcation between civilization and the Turd World, every single time.

Aesop said...

1) You use the stick to clean everything.
2) Grass, leaves, pine needles, and even snow have been used as well, even by the author, at altitudes from -270' to 12,000'+.
3) They all "work", but there is no good substitute for proper paper to do your business, which is why it ought to be stocked deep and wide.

Anonymous said...

As stated by one of my Drill Instructors, a veteran of Khe Sanh "There's three essential things hogs; ammo water and shitpaper, everything else is negotiable. "
Boat Guy

June J said...

Another option to baby wipes:

I've had these in my backpack for long time as a backup to the TP in a ziplock that I carry for primary use during the expected length of my journey into the mountains and trails. I carried baby wipes/wet wipes for awhile but found once opened, inevitably the next time you opened the pack they were all dried out no matter how careful you were to reseal.

RandyB said...

I was thinking field incinerator in a G Camp. We built one in Iraq for a micro fob which was mercifully equipped with functioning plumbing. I refused to allow garbage pick up as I wasn't searching that truck every time it came in, nor was I ordering anyone else to.

I don't remember if there's one in the FS manual or if it's only in the SF Medical Handbook.

Aesop said...

Burning garbage depends on how clandestine you want to be.
If it's not an issue, burn away.
If it is, burial (landfill) is probably the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Iraq; two vast improvements I noticed over my youth; the 101st actually had chillers on their Waterbulls and the piss tubes were made by cutting the top part of two liter soda bottles and setting them inside each other to the desired height. FAR better the the ones made from Arty propellant tanks we used back when.

Bill said...

I knew that shit would hit the fan someday, but this is ridiculous.