A few years ago there was a self-help book on the New York Times Best Sellers list entitled “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and it is all small stuff)” I guess I am going to take a contrarian view because I want to get you to think about the small stuff.
Right now, if I could ask you what you needed most in your preparations most would say (a or more) gun(s) and ammunition, freeze dried food, camouflage clothing, body armor, radios for commincation, a bug-out bag, a bug out vehicle, etc.
How about, a new prescription for your glasses? What? Can’t quite see the front sight as clearly as you used to? How many rings are on the target? What does the target look like? Are you beginning to see the significance of having your eyes checked and updating your eyeglasses/contact prescription? After the collapse, where will you buy your daily wear contacts to replinish your supply? I know, glasses aren’t sexy but they are very functional. Overcome the vanity and stock at least two pairs of glasses at your refuge and carry one extra pair with you at all times.
What was that? You have a toothache but no big deal? WRONG! A
toothache can be a really big deal when all you can do is pull it with nothing to deaden the pain. also, infected teeth and gums can cause many other illnesses and even death. Go to the dentist and get your teeth checked, cleaned and fixed, i.e. capped, filled, extracted, whatever is necessary. Now, how much dental floss and toothpaste did you stock? How many new toothbrushes do you have? I go through 1 toothbrush ever 2 to 3 months so I stock 6 for a year. How many years? I plan for five years. How much toothpaste? Same thing.
How about Rover, or in my case Stiletto. How much does your dog
eat a day? Don’t know? Better figure that out because at some point and time if you don’t have enough food or a plan to feed your dog, Rover will become leftovers. I know it sounds sick but I have had worse and you don’t want to know what it was.
Now, I am sure that you know about the near tragedy we had this last trip. So how much will it hurt or cost to ask the doctor for a year’s prescription of _________? You fill in the blank and no I don’t mean Viagra or Cialis. If you need blood pressure medication, nitroglycerin, coumadin, lanoxin or any medication to maintain your quality of life or maintain life itself, for Pete’s sake buy it. The last thing you want to have happen is have 5 years of food, thousands of rounds of ammuntion, dozens of guns and a bunker that Saddam Hussein would be proud of and die of a stroke, heartattack, epileptic seizure or diabetic coma. What good are you to your family if you are dead or in a coma and they are helpless without you?
Are we beginning to get the picture? I know it is easy to focus on the really big things. They are very visible problems and can demand our attention simply by their magnitude. But, if you are incapacitated because you forgot to attend to you or your family’s medical needs then you might be willing to trade all that food for a dentist, or a pair of glasses. See?
Children have special needs. They don’t like being cold. They don’t
like being hot, wet, thirsty, hungry or tired. And, when (their) bedtime comes, they are out like a light. You need to address these things when planning. Make sure whatever food you pack in your bug-out bag for the kids to eat is one that they are already familiar with. Trying to get a child to eat a new type of food can be aggravating in the comfort of your own home. Imagine what a strain it will be when you are bugging out, for both of you.Can you imagine waiting till the last minute to bug-out and you are moving through your cities storm drains trying to remain quiet and not be detected and the child or children start screaming because the food taste funny? Not good!
Patting yourself on the back because you have thought about all of
this already, huh? What about your boots? Hmmm? Have you ever had to cover 15 miles in one day in brand new boots or shoes? Good luck. Your feet wil look like Swiss cheese but instead of holes it will be bubbles caused by blisters. If you have time to wear your boots everyday for a few weeks or a month, then do so. If not, put on a thick pair of wool socks and lace your boots fairly tight and then stand in a pool or tub of water until they are thoroughly wet. Next, walk in them on a nice clear, sunny day until they are dry, they boots, not your feet because that takes longer. If you have done this your boots are now perfectly sized for your feet, providing of course that they fit you to begin with. Also, don’t forget to pack foot powder in your bug-out bag. I don’t know the composition of your bug-out bag but I carry 6 pairs of socks and underwear. I have slogged through a lot of mud, water and rain and when you can put on dries clothes of only for the night until the next monsoon shower hits, it feels REAL good. Believe it or not, I also carried what we called Chukka boots in my pack. I could wear a dry pair of boots for a few hours and then swap then out before we started again. Try it.
How can you bug-out and carry an adequate supply of Pampers or huggies? You can’t, unless you have an 18 wheeler. Otherwise you might want to start thinking about DIAPERS. You know, those old fashioned cloth things that probably covered your butt when you were a kid. Nappies in the UK. They can be washed and rewashed, by hand if necessary and reused for years. They were often handed down from generation to generation. Ever hear of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste? How about Desitin Ointment? Whether or not you have kids you might want to pack a tube in your bug-out bag. Ever have a chafing rash? Burns like sin, right? These two products were made for that.
Women who are pre-menepausal. That’s right. Have you packed enough feminine supplies in your bug-out bag? If so, double it. And, as I have mentioned a dozen times don’t forget the old fashioned Kotex. These were modeled after a battle bandage in World War I and can be used as such in event of a gouge, puncture or gunshot wound. Maxi pads and duct tape can work miracles for smaller cuts and scrapes. (Nurses in World War I used the “Kotex” battle bandages as menstrual cloths because nothing else was available at the time. This started a whole new industry after the war.)
Yeah, guys, sounds funny right? Those tight jeans look good on the dance floor at Billy Bob’s but do you really want to try and hump a ruck all day and night in them? Do the words YEAST INFECTION ring a bell? Ever have the family jewels swell up and turn bright red or purple and hurt so bad you couldn’t think. Khakis and fatiques, i.e. BDU’s, DPM’s or Dickies are not sexy but they sure do feel good when the weather is hot and muggy and you have to cover 10-20 miles a day to stay alive. Girls, the same thing applies to you. Don’t worry about how your tush looks, just keep it cool and comfortable. As Von says “Keep a cool Booty.”
Speaking of yeast infections, yes, I know this is personal but so is the fact that you are laid up and can’t help your family because of an infection. This makes your family an easy target. If you are prone to yeast infections, boys or girls, carry Acidophilus capsules with you. Any probiotic is better than none. The more active cultures per milligram the better. Yes ladies, they can be inserted in times of extreme pain and discharge. (Also, the powder is water soluable and can be used that way.) I taught both my wives this trick and they have used it many, many times with great effect. Also, if you are prone to urinary tract infections, and many women are, take along Alka Seltzer. This will help relieve the pain and discomfort of a urinary tract infection. (Hat tip to RangerRick for this one.)
By all means practice moving and traveling at night with minimal illunimation. None is best. Also, take a day hike and follow a railroad grade for 1/3 of a day and follow it back for the other 2/3’s. This will toughen up your legs, thighs and calves. It will also leave you in pain during the night if you have never done this before or in the last five years. (A rubdown of Dr. Tichenor’s or Listerine or the generic equivelant will help.) If possible, pick a cool day or a day that is slightly overcast, but cover your arms and wear a HAT not a cap! Go out into the country if you live in the city and carry your packs. Get the feel of the pack into your back and shoulders. Don’t walk around with a droopy pack. Pull it up to where it touches your shoulders. If you have a back(support) belt (lumbar belt) built into the pack, use it. Make sure you fill your canteens or hydration bladders. Carry twice as much water as you anticipate you will need. It doesn’t take long to get thirsty. You’ll be surprised how fast you will drain your water bottles, bladders or canteens. A rule of thumb that will help. If someone can insert their flat hand between your pack and your shoulder blades easily, then your pack is too loose. Cinch up the straps. If the pack droops to the point where it rests on your lower back then it will cause lower back fatigue/pain. This hurts much worse than shoulder fatigue. I have had several shoulder injuries but I can tolerate a sore shoulder much better than I can a sore lower back.
And, I know somebody is going to do it so I will mention it here. When bugging out you are not trying to look fashionable you are trying for functional and comfortable. Loose fitting clothing in best and dress in multiple layers so that they can be peeled off as the day grows warmer. But, do not walk around with a lot of exposed skin. You will get burned. Sometimes painfully and sometimes blisters will form. I advocate the use of Noxema or the generic equivalent. I have used it many times when I thought I was adequately protected and then later found out I wasn’t. Find and use the highest rated sun block you can find and try to find the unscented kind. That is my only hesitancy in using and recommending Noxema, the strong scent. I can smell it from a long way off. If I can, so can the bad guys.
Start looking at the small things that will make a big difference in whether or not you survive and whether or not you will want to. Sounds silly. I have seen people suffering so bad they literally asked to be shot. If you have a family doctor, talk to them about preventative health in event of a societal collapse. Or, you can say something to the effect of what medicines can I get that will help me while traveling in third world countries? Now, will you prescribe them. Many will and many will not. Doctors are smart people and many of them see what is coming and are stocking up for their families.
Or, you may want to do what I do and go to www.calvetsupply.com and buy antibiotics and other medicines that are labeled for fish. They are the same drugs you and I would take but the labeling is different and they cost a fraction of people medicines. I actually wrote a entire article about this very thing and it is on www.dont-tread-on.me website. It is in the archives. Go to the website. It is divided into three columns. The first column on the left contains new articles. The middle column has info and the archives. The category that gives each author and the number of articles they have written is the one that you want. Click on Country Codger. It will bring you to a listing of my articles. Go to the article entitled Steve Jobs is Dead…And I Don’t Feel So Good Myself. This will have a lot of helpful info. And while we are on it so will the one entitled A Valuable Resource for Hard Times.
I wish all of you God’s speed in completing your preparations. One of your preparations should be about preparing your heart and mind. I hope to write more on that soon.
God Bless the Republic and God bless you all.