What happens when soldiers run out of toilet paper?

During the 2003 Iraq War, I noticed that embedded reporters and soldiers carried their own toilet paper when going out into the field. So, what would a soldier do if they needed to use toilet paper, but ran out and was a long distance from being resupplied?

They would be in more trouble than you think. Each MRE comes with a packet of John Wayne toilet paper. So it they are realy out of TP then they are also out of food. Most GI’s bring a roll of the soft stuff for personal comfort but when you run out of that you go to the MRE TP.

When I send my family and friends packages, I toss in 8 or 10 of the travel packs of wet ones butt wipes, and a couple of rolls of tp if they are in a field unit=) I also toss in a couple boxes of the individually packaged wet naps [they are better for wiping off a sweaty forehead, they are paper based, alcohol soaked and lightly lemon scented=)]

In general, guys will take tp from camp stock out on walkabout with them, but they get the cheap stiff, I send good stuff=)

Kind of yucky but a soldier friend of mine told me an army trick is to lube your anus with vasaline before trips to the field, so that a BM will simply slip out without any mess.


Send them the NYTimes or almost any other newspaper that emphasizes the bad news and neglets to report on all the good things the G.I.'s are doing! :slight_smile:

Yes. Because it’s all about the contents of the G.I. tract.

If you run out of issue TP, you turn to “field-expedient” substitutes: leaves, bark, rocks, grass, shells, sand, small furry animals, your corporal’s bandana, etc.


Slight off topic, but this is what happens when sailors run out of toilet paper:


[Blackadder goes Forth] “King and Country, without question my favorite magazine; soft, strong and thoroughly absorbent.”[/Blackadder]

When I was in Viet Nam, I used to get some ribbing about always having four or five paperback books on my person. Once we were away from “civilization” for quite some time. I became a very popular person. The pages of cheap paperback books can come in very useful. However, I still want to know how the book “Rats, Lice and History” ends.

Pretty shittily, by all accounts! :smiley:

This is from my extremely limited (Army Basic training field exercise) experience.

1.) Each MRE comes with a small packet of TP. There’s more TP in there than you would think by looking at the matchbook sized thing.

2.) MRE’s tend to plug you up. So you can collect a bunch of those TP packets before you’ll need one.
However, the one time I was in the field I had to use the bathroom and the porta potty out there didn’t have any TP. I ended up using my t-shirt (the brown one that you wear under your BDU jacket). I ripped it into strips and used it, then went back to my tent and got another one.

There is an obscure facet of the life of those glamourous Knights Of The Sky, WWII fighter pilots, that is never discussed.

Targets like Munich in Bavaria were 700 miles from bases in England. That’s a 1400 mile round trip and at the bombers’ speed of 230 mph it’s a 6 hour mission. You can bet that some of the escort pilots had to relieve themselves during the flight.

I don’t know where the relief tube is on fighters but I suspect it is under the front of the seat and pulls up between the pilot’s legs. At least that was the arrangement on the Douglas A-26, also a single pilot machine.

What with coveralls and parachute leg straps and all, it was a total bitch to use and you usually ended up all wet from the exercise. I can’t believe that the fighters’ arrangement was any more convenient. And that only took care, if you can call it that, of pissing.

My guess would be that fighter pilots wore some sort of diaper to take care of the problem. Knowing the Army, there was probably even a Field Manual - Post Flight Pilot Cleanup Procedure and * Care and Treatment of Diaper Rash.*

John Wayne never seemed to face such messy details.

It was even worse in WW1. A lot of those open cockpit planes had engines that were lubricated with castor oil. Put a bullet through an oil line, and the fumes from the hot oil leaking onto the engine go straight back into the pilot’s face.

Let us just say, for those who haven’t figured it out yet, that castor oil is a wonderful laxative, as generations of American children can attest.

The fumes work even faster.


And what with aerial refueling it’s even more urgent today. For example, F-111’s attacked Libya via a non-stop flight from England out over the Atlantic, down to the Strait of Gibralter, almost the length of the Mediterranian Sea and return. And the pilots wore full pressure suits. I think the suits must have built-in facilities.

And it didn’t take a bullet through the oil line. Many of the engines were rotaries which threw copious amounts of oil. Even the other engines put a lot of oil and fumes into the pilot’s face. Somehow gritty details like this didn’t get into the stories in the old pulp magazines like G8 and His Battle Aces.

I’m kinda surprised that nobody brought up the fact that you don’t really need much toilet paper when you’re scared shitless half the time. :wink:

or you could just keep two or three sea shells handy.
and finally…isn’t that why folks there shake with their left hands?

adds this thread to her List of Reasons I Never Joined the Military

Maybe not exactly what is supplied in MRE’s, but more of it.


:eek: :rolleyes: :dubious: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

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On a related topic, ever wonder what female soldiers do about female issues?



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