Do They Get Toilet Paper on ‘Survivor’?

Survivor has long been one of the most popular reality shows on television — and many diehard fans believe that the series completely reinvigorated the genre of reality TV entirely. The show, which debuted on television in 2000, is still going strong after two decades, earning new viewers year after year. Each season of Survivor features a group of contestants who are placed in a deserted location to fend for themselves. The contestants are then eliminated, week after week, until only one remains. For many contestants, surviving in isolated conditions with few conveniences is the biggest challenge of all — and some former Survivor contestants have opened up about the bare bones living conditions that they dealt with during their time on the show, including whether they’re given toilet paper.

Contestants on ‘Survivor’ don’t get toilet paper

On ‘Survivor: All-Stars,’ Rob Cesternino, Amber Brkich and Alicia Calaway of the Chapera tribe after winning the reward challenge, “Matchmaker”. The tribe won the “Survival Bathroom,” consisting of a shower, toilet, mouthwash, shampoo, soap, toilet paper, toothbrushes and toothpaste. | Robert Voets/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Survivor contestants are dropped off on their island with very minimal supplies. It doesn’t take long before things get primitive, and as former contestant Rick Devens revealed to Men’s Health, his group of contestants didn’t even get toilet paper. “On season 38 of Survivor, I spent 38 days competing against strangers on an island in Fiji. The weirdest part, by far, was going #2. There are no bathrooms and no toilet paper,” Devens said. “Our tribe designated a small cove on the island as the bathroom area. Every morning thousands of minnows would flood into the cove, pushed by the current.”

Other contestants have revealed that in non-ocean seasons, a designated area is set, where all contestants would go to dig a hole and do their business, when and if they felt the call of nature. 

‘Survivor’ contestants get minimal hygiene products

Survivor contestants are given a very strict list of items that they are allowed to bring, and many basic hygiene supplies are off-limits. Notably, Andy Denhart, the owner of Reality Blurred and a Survivor expert, once revealed that while contestants on the show are allowed to brush their teeth, that things can get complicated when it comes to personal care items. “They have access to a container with necessary supplies, such as feminine products, birth control, vital medications, contact lens solution, sunscreen, and insect repellent,” Denhart said. “Otherwise, they’re on their own.”

Therefore, with toothbrushes not provided to contestants, they must often resort to more primitive means of oral hygiene, including scraping their teeth with sticks to remove troublesome plaque. 

What items are ‘Survivor’ contestants allowed to bring?

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As Andy Denhart revealed, Survivor contestants are allowed some basic supplies, such as sunscreen, contact lens solution, and any medications that they absolutely have to take. They also have access to simple meal staples, including rice and beans. As part of their time on their designated space, contestants are allowed to forage for food from the surrounding landscape, but it must be approved by producers in advance. 

Finally, contestants on Survivor are allowed, according to, to bring one “luxury item” to serve as a comfort device and as a simple reminder of home. This can be anything from a pen and paper to a favorite pillow or blanket. In later seasons of the hit reality show, contestants were given their luxury item as a reward for completing a challenge — and to help encourage them to continue on. Smuggling in any items to the filming location is strictly prohibited, and contestants have been booted from the show in the past for taking advantage of the competition by attempting to sneak in items like food or matches. Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for all the latest entertainment news!