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Are you Prepared?

The Five Worst Articles of Clothing to Wear in a Survival Situation February 17, 2017

necktieWhether you’re about to enter the wilderness or a bad neighborhood, or if you become aware of an impending disaster, you have time to dress appropriately for what’s coming. But as we all know, dangerous situations aren’t considerate. They don’t always wait for you to be prepared. And in those situations, there are certain articles of clothing that can get you killed.

I’m not going to say that you should never wear any of these things just on the off-chance that something bad could happen. I don’t know about you, but about 99.99% of my life is spent without danger. It would be crazy for me or anyone to completely abandon something convenient over such slim odds. But I will say that you should be aware of what these clothing options can do to you when things get rough and prepare accordingly.

Avoid Wearing These Clothing Garments in a Disaster Situation

Cotton Undergarments

They may be comfortable and breathable, but cotton socks, t-shirts, and underwear can be your undoing in the wilderness. That’s because cotton is a very poor material for maintaining warmth. It can absorb as much as 27 times its own weight in water, which means that if gets wet, it’ll take a long time to dry out. It will cling to your skin, and suck the heat from your body. It won’t matter if you’re wearing better materials like wool over the cotton. If your cotton undergarments get wet from excessive sweat or rain, you can succumb to hypothermia, even if the weather isn’t extremely cold.

Synthetic Fibers

Because of the poor insulating properties of cotton, most experienced hikers and backpackers will wear synthetic materials for their base layer, such as polyester or polypro. Although these materials are significantly warmer than cotton and dry out very quickly, they can also be quite dangerous around open flames. Most synthetic clothes aren’t fire-retardant at all. A small burning ember can ignite these materials, and in some cases they will burn uncontrollably. And what’s worse, is that as they burn they can stick to your skin.

High Heels

Of course, survival situations don’t always occur in the wilderness. Sometimes, what you have to worry about the most isn’t the elements, but other people. If someone tries to be violent with you, one of the worst things you can wear in that situation is high heels. You can’t maintain a decent fighting stance at all in high heels, and you certainly can’t run away easily either.

Neckties

James Bond may look pretty damn cool when he’s fighting bad guys in a suit and tie, but in the real world, a necktie is a serious liability in a fight. There’s a reason why prison guards and security guards wear clip-on ties. If you have a necktie, you’re basically wearing a handle around your neck. Anyone can grab it, and either choke you or throw you around.

Flip Flops and Sandals

Honestly, flip-flops and sandals are some of the worst things you can wear in almost every situation outside of your own home. They offer little or no protection from the elements, and with a few exceptions, they offer no protection for your toes from blunt trauma. You can’t run as fast in them as you could in tennis shoes, and they don’t provide nearly as much ankle support as boots do. Worst yet, it’s very easy for this type of footwear to snag on something as you walk or run, and cause you to trip. For those reasons, they are bad choice to wear in a fight, and they are a bad choice to wear in the wilderness.

A way to circumvent this issue is to have alternate clothing options for bugging out tucked away in a bug out bag or stashed in your vehicle along with items to help you get home safely. As well, consider a few items hidden in your workplace preparedness supplies. Some alternate clothing choices are seasonal appropriate items that wick moisture away (this is helpful in both warm and cold climates). Having items that can be layered is a great option. Here are some ideas:

  •  If it is the winter season: Pack all cold weather essentials for maintaining body heat: Layered clothing, warm hat preferably with flaps over the ears, waterproof pants, mittens, etc.
  • Work gloves
  •  Have at least one change of clothing in your bag and two extra pairs of socks.
  •  A good pair of boots (hiking or combat boots) with a deep trench in the sole.
  • Rain suit
  • Poncho
  • Hat to keep the sun off your face.
  • Bandana

While we are safe a majority of the time, it’s that 1% we need to prepare for. Having a few items stashed away for these unexpected disruptions in your life will give you the added advantage you need to get through a shtf scenario unscathed.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 17th, 2017
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Prepper Training: This is How to Prepare Your Body to Escape the Big City on Foot February 16, 2017

bugging out on foot
ReadyNutrition Readers, this piece covers some of the basic fundamentals on road marching.  Yes, this is a typical military exercise, but it has several applications for you in terms of preparations and in training.  Road marches can be both physically demanding and challenging.  They should not be attempted without proper preparation, and if you have any underlying health conditions, consult with your doctor prior to doing them.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I prefer the large-frame Alice Pack of the US Army, the one I have been using for many decades, now.  It is both sturdy and affordable, and can meet a person’s needs from a training and a survival perspective.  That mentioned, it is up to you to find one that feels both comfortable and offers you the support you need to be able to move on the road or cross-country with weight on your back.

Don’t road march cold: you need to take the time to do some light calisthenics to warm your muscles up prior to the physical exertion.  The weight you will tote with you will vary according to your abilities and physical condition, as well as the needs of the exercise.  It is a training event: you need to keep it as such and hold it in that regard.  You need proper footgear and comfortable clothing, as well as a water supply.  You need to prepare for it the night before, with a good meal and plenty of rest and fluids prior to your start.

Your stretches can include (but not be limited to) the side-straddle hop (referred to as “jumping jacks,”) as well as half-squats, squats, hamstring and calf stretches, and so forth.  I prefer boots to support my ankles, although I have seen many people using tennis shoes and hiking shoes.  Whatever your preference, as long as it gives your arch the support it needs.

Start out small, with a lighter amount of weight.  That will be on you to gauge.  Start by doing a mile, and then work your way up.  A good conservative plan for a road marching “schedule” can be one per week with lighter weights and shorter distances.  As you “work your way up” you’ll want to make the road marches less frequent.  The reason being is you don’t want to damage yourself with a potential stress fracture or a hairline fracture from continuously pounding the pavement with your feet and heavy weight on the shoulders.  Shin splints are a common occurrence over time, as well.

Medically, they’re referred to as MTSS (medial tibial stress syndrome), and are pains within the connective muscle and tissue surrounding your knee and the outside of your tibia.  It is a chronic “dull” aching feeling that arises in about 15 to 20% of people who run, walk, or (in this case) march long distances.  Ice packs and rest can enable you to recover in a short period of time.  For any question of it, consult with your physician if the problem persists.

The road marches will strengthen your legs and back, and also develop your cardiovascular capabilities.  You should time every one of them, and attempt gains each time you undertake a march.  Gains would take the form of quicker times, or more weight carried.  You have to do it gradually.  Eventually, your end goal is to carry what you normally would in a rucksack if the SHTF and you were out in the woods.  Cross-country is markedly different from doing it on the side of the road due to the uneven terrain as well as other factors, such as water, thick vegetation, an abundance of rocks, etc.

Weather is also a factor, and in the warmer months great care must be taken to ensure you don’t dehydrate yourself.  Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration, and means you’re already depleted when you feel thirsty.  It would also be good to undertake these marches with a partner, so that if an emergency arises you have someone with you to rely upon for first aid or to go for help.

Your endurance will improve with time, and it also takes adjustment for your feet to become accustomed to both your pace and the work.  It is an excellent lower-body exercise that still manages to work your upper body.  It requires discipline, determination, and preparation to accomplish.  Eventually you will see results, and can road march 2 to 4 times per month successfully as part of your physical regimen.

Remember to take account of the water you will carry when you initially weigh your rucksack.  You can pick up a good fishing and game scale that will enable you to find out exactly how much you tote.  Try it out.  It is cost effective and will give you some good results.  Happy rucking!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 16th, 2017
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Snow Camo: 12 Budget-Friendly Survival Essentials for the Cold Outdoors January 19, 2017

winter camo1
I wanted to touch a little on winter camo and how to go about doing some things on both a budgetary and a practical side.  Firstly, it would not seem that winter camo would be all that important, and after all, I just did a piece recently on the Army issue winter camo top.

I also emphasized something that I wish to reiterate: you need synthetics on your exteriors, and cotton on your interiors.  You also need for the gear to be as close to white as possible.  This may necessitate cleaning it and bleaching it really well if that is possible.  It is worth it in the long run, especially if you’re in the role of a shooter.

12 Budget-Friendly Survival Essentials for Mock Winter Camo

Here’s some basics for you to pick up, if you’re not ready to go out and spend more than a grand as in the movie “Shooter” with Mark Wahlberg.  All whites, remember:

  1. Thick sweat-top, preferably with a hood
  2. Baseball-type hat with a brim (not a meshed one, mind you, but solid cloth
  3. Winter pullover cap
  4. White scarf or wraparound for the face
  5. Gloves (go to Murdoch’s for the leather gloves at about $15, extra -large, and then the packages of cotton inserts (3) pairs for about $4.00). On this you want the leather and not synthetic, because if you are changing a mag, messing with a bolt carrier or a charging handle, or touching a hot barrel, they won’t melt and dissolve.)
  6. Already mentioned the Army white camo overtop in a previous article
  7. Army white camo bottoms run about $20 to $30 in the surplus stores, or you can pick up either extra large scrubs or karate pants at the thrift stores
  8. Synthetic “veil” for overtop of you, your weapon…shower curtains (the mesh thin kind work best), or drapes are good for this
  9. Unless you can find “Mickey Mouse” Army issue white Vib (inflatable) boots? Pick yourself up a pair of Army Issue rubber overshoes (they’re green, with 3 loops per boot) and spray paint them…make sure it’s with white paint that takes to rubber and plastic
  10. A mat to lay on…and you can wrap a sheet (synthetic, mind you) around it to whiten it
  11. A white gym bag/backpack-type bag
  12. Long Johns – make sure these are white

There’s a set of duds for you.  All of your stuff such as tops and pants should fit overtop of whatever you’re wearing.  On pieces of equipment to throw in that bag, you need the following: a rangefinder, a good set of binoculars or a scope, and a method to measure temperature, humidity, wind speed, and elevation, like this.  Now I have an old West German (yeah, it’s that old!) barometer, and a really good thermometer that is also old, made out of glass, and as durable as rhinoceros hide.  I have an anemometer with the cups that actually checks the wind speed.

Remember: your low-tech stuff was made much better (more durable) than your high-tech stuff today.  Bring that wrist-compass/barometer/thermometer/toaster oven with you, but be advised: one EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) either from a weapon, or a solar flare will turn it into a non-working “fashion” bracelet in the blink of an eye.  Also, remember your issue Tritium compass, as you won’t have problems with the cold temperatures and it doesn’t require batteries.

Snowshoes are important and should be light and durable, like these.  They should be able to hold your weight and at least another 50 lbs. (including a pack, water, and a weapon).  Don’t forget your protective eyewear!  I prefer UV protective goggles, as these guys don’t fog up and they cling to your face better than regular sunglasses.  The eyes can’t be protected enough in the winter snow, as a lot of UV comes off of the snow in the form of reflected light.  Also, make sure you have enough veil to cover up your backpack, as you don’t want to appear to be a snowdrift with legs carrying around a green rucksack.

I’m sure there will be all kinds of suggestions.  Let us know what you have found that works as a suggestion for your fellow readers and for all of us.  We always value your productive comments and advice.  Stay frosty, and keep up that good fight in the winter wonderland!  JJ out.

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 19th, 2017
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