Beards have their advantages and disadvantages in prolonged survival situations. On one hand we don’t need to worry about shaving, and we don’t need to pack and ration razors. On the other hand, beards can cause a lot of problems that may be difficult to address in the field as well. Here are some things to consider as you weigh your options.
You Will Shave
By default, you should include at least a couple of razors in your bug out bag and survival kits. Even if you only shave once a month, there will be times when shaving is necessary. You may also need to shave body hair in order to treat wounds or injuries in the field as well. It may also be a good idea to consider bringing a straight razor with you instead of disposables. They last forever, they can be sharpened with ease, and they don’t take up a lot of space.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Beards
Beards are easy, and all you really need to do in terms of care and maintenance is get an occasional trim. Beards also insulate the face, and this is particularly beneficial when cold, dry winter winds are howling and you don’t have a lot of facial protection available. Beards also obviously eliminate the need to have to shave on a regular basis, and this can help to conserve resources.
On the other hand, beards can be unsanitary, and facial hear can cause a wide-range of skin problems. Beards can also harbor a lot of bacteria that can easily be transmitted through cross-contamination. Beards can also trap moisture that creates the perfect environment for fungi and mold to grow as well. There is a long-list of skin conditions can be attributed to beards, and some can be harder to treat than others.
Beards can also attract and trap insects such as lice, fleas and ticks, and this can open the door to all kinds of unwanted problems that may also be difficult to deal with in the field as well. Additionally, beards can lead to infections if things like cuts, scrapes, bug bites, rashes or other sources of open skin can’t be kept clean and dry. Consequently, we’re more-likely to have problems when we encounter these situations if we have beards. However, these problems are admittedly few and far between, but they’re important to consider nonetheless.
At the end of the day, whether to grow a beard is a matter of preferences as well as necessity if you end up in a survival situation without a razor. However, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of growing a survival beard so you can plan accordingly nonetheless. It’s also a good idea to consider how you will shave, and how often, if you’re in an off-grid survival situation as well.
Take some time to think about how you will incorporate shaving into your preparedness efforts. It may not seem like a big deal now, but as they say, the devil’s in the details, and this is one detail that we should think about ahead of time.