A Forager’s Guide to Running Out of Toilet Paper

What to Do When There Is No Toilet Paper

We all need food, water, and shelter … and toilet paper. So when this commonplace commodity started disappearing near the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, people were justifiably concerned. Where is all the toilet paper? What are we going to do if we run out?

What to Do When You Run Out of Toilet Paper

I remember walking past an open janitorial closet and seeing a box of those giant rolls of TP they use in public restrooms. I didn’t take any, but it was touch-and-go for a moment. Probably what stopped me was wondering what I would say if someone asked why I was carrying giant TP rolls on a broom handle, like some kind of janitorial weightlifter.

Whether it’s due to a pandemic, an incomplete shopping list, or just a sudden, sour stomach on a woodland hike, we’ve all had that terrible realization that we need toilet paper, but don’t have any. As they say, “It’s not if, it’s when.”

You probably don’t know this about me, but I had part of my large and small intestine removed over a decade ago. I now have a semi-colon. (That’s my favorite grammar/health joke, and I’m going to use it as often as possible until the day I die.) I’ve fully recovered, but this shortened digestive tract has led to more than my fair share of sudden bathroom visits. 

As a result, you might call me a toilet-paper-prepper. I always have a spare roll in my vehicle. I keep some extra squares in a pocket of my running vest. And I had extra packages stored back years before this latest shortage started. But still, I’ve been caught unprepared. Like I said, it happens to all of us.

What to Do When You Run Out of Toilet Paper

So to help out, and do my part for the good of humanity, I’ve created this humorous (but accurate) guide to surviving a toilet paper emergency. May it help to guide you through difficult times and potential embarrassments.

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This post was written by Scott Sexton


  • Lisa K says:

    As always loved your video! Another plant on the no list is Stinging Nettles! When supplies were low I bought some toilet paper made from bamboo … let’s just say I am using it in the guess bathroom (it is a little rough).

    1. Scott Sexton says:

      Stinging nettle! Yikes! That’s definitely another plant to put on the no-bumbum list.

      Bamboo toilet paper, huh? Yeah, it sounds a little aggressive. Ha! Although I do have a t-shirt made from 70% bamboo fibers. (It’s my Grow Network Street Team shirt.) And it’s super soft. Maybe the TP company just needs to improve their manufacturing process.

      And as long as we’re talking about rough, fibrous plants, keep checking back in for another post of mine coming out at some point in the (probably) near future. It describes how the fibers from a certain plant might end up saving the future. 😉

      Thanks Lisa. I always enjoy hearing from you! 🙂

      1. Lisa K says:

        Thanks Scott and I cannot wait for the next post!

  • Nancy Bullock says:

    Thanks so much. I was wondering what to use. Needed the laugh today. Look forward to your next post.

  • marian.lund says:

    I’m in England. As kids we used dock leaves.

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