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:
1. Square One: your last piece of TP.
2. Fold the square in half.
3. Fold once more in half. Be careful to note the center corner of the folded edges.
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!
5. Unfold the TP. Set aside the small piece you just tore off. Do not discard the small piece.
6. Select the hand with the best dexterity. Insert middle finger gently through the hole in TP. Use only the middle finger.
7. Insert finger. Wipe.
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.
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.
10. Resume fishing.