New Year’s Survival Tip: Wipe the slate clean

Ah, January first. This is the one time of year we can flush away regrets of the past and begin anew. As 2010 becomes a thing of the past and we look ahead to a New Year, many of us resolve to make changes for the betterment of our lives. I don’t usually write down actual New Year’s Resolutions because the formality of doing so just leads to measurable disappointment when I fail to make good on those promises to myself. That, and I hate lists (much to the dismay of Mrs UA). Instead, I may just think of things I can do to improve the quality of my being, and if I don’t make good on those things it’s no big deal because it was just a passing thought. Having said that, I think one thing we can all do is be better prepared for emergencies.

Anyone who spends any amount of time in the outdoors knows how critical a basic survival kit can be, and an essential part of any angler’s survival kit is, of course, Toilet Paper.  Outdoor adventurers understand that when nature calls there’s nothing that can be done to ward off the need to lighten one’s load. And while it may be perhaps an inconvenience, laying cable in the woods is not the end of the world, though it may seem so should one run short on TP while engaged in the act. Therefore it’s always sound practice to ration the supply. However, one need not despair should they find themselves running low.

This critical information won’t be found in any Boy Scout handbook, nor will it help if you find yourself up Shit Creek without a paddle, but thanks to an old family tip passed along to me by my grandfather there’s no need to panic when you find yourself with nothing left butt a single piece of TP. That’s right: a single square can save the day if you simply follow these easy step-by-step instructions:

Step #1

1. Square One: your last piece of TP.

Step #2

2. Fold the square in half.

Step #3

3. Fold once more in half. Be careful to note the center corner of the folded edges.

Step #4

4. Having carefully noted the center of the folded edges, tear off a very small piece of the TP. Do not tear off too much!

Step #5

5. Unfold the TP. Set aside the small piece you just tore off. Do not discard the small piece.

Step #6

6. Select the hand with the best dexterity. Insert middle finger gently through the hole in TP. Use only the middle finger.

Step #7

7. Insert finger. Wipe.

Step #8

8. Carefully slide TP upwards (use your other hand for good measure), pinching the TP tightly to middle finger so it cleans as it is lifted. Take your time – be very thorough. Properly disgard of the TP according to backcountry rules for personal waste.

Step #9

9. Use the little piece you tore off earlier (and hopefully saved) to clean under the fingernail on the middle finger. Again, discard of properly.

Step #10

10. Resume fishing.

Happy New Year!


  1. Chuck


    What do ya think of the rectum as a “whole?” I think it’s a shitty place that outta be wiped out! Ha!

    Geeeezzzzzz, what ever happened to using some leaves! I hope ya have some PUREL in your vest! That’s disgusting!

    • Kirk Werner

      Chuck, Purel is for folks who wear silk long johns ;). River water is always in abundance!

  2. David G

    You really dropped the ball on this one Kirk. You can’t just leak trade secrets like that! As for the subject of leaves, “We ain’t got no leaves lieutenant Dan!”

    • Kirk Werner

      David, I figured if Wikileaks can do it, I can too. Besides, this is less about leaking, and more about, well, the other end. Happy New Year!

  3. Patrick


    Read today’s post earlier this morning. Spent time during the day, on and off, trying to craft a witty reply.

    It’s eight hours later.

    I got nothing.

    Happy New Year to you and yours! (And the seven other UA fans as well.)

    • Kirk Werner

      Pat, having nothing is appropriate in this case – a blank slate…one that has been wiped clean! Happy New Year- may 2011 be a great one for you!

  4. Mrs UA

    Ok, there’s a line….and you definitely crossed it. !!!

    • Kirk Werner

      And this is something new to you, my dear wife?

  5. Wolfy

    Not what I expected when I opened up this post. You are a more and more interesting character !

    Happy New Year Kirk


    • Kirk Werner

      Gotta shake things up every now and again, if for no other reason than to make my wife roll her eyes and wonder where she went so horribly wrong 😉

      Cheers, sir!

  6. The Four Season Angler

    Good info. I find myself without TP more often than with only one square left though. That is what the top portion of your typical white crew socks are made for. They tear off easily, have great nooks and crannies for proper scrubbing of unsightly cling-ons, and rinse clean for use as a hanky when your fishing partner gets a runny nose….

    ….. I find I have less and less fishing partners as of late though…. *shrug*

    • Kirk Werner

      4 Seasons, You raise a good point: how does one end up with just a single square? Previous sessions, if they so required, would surely make use of all available TP. I guess all any of us can do is keep a single square spare for emergencies. Not to worry about your lack of fishing buddies…it just leaves more fish (and TP) for you.

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