by Sven, SurvivalBlog:
There is a number of thoughts and observations I’ve had that seemed worth passing on to SurvivalBlog readers, but most of them weren’t long enough to merit full articles. Hopefully, everyone can find at least one thing here that they hadn’t considered yet.
Wool blankets are heavier than down or synthetic sleeping bags but are lifetimes more durable and fire resistant. You should have both wool blankets for when weight is not a concern and regular sleeping bags for fast, light trips.
Knives– Serrated or Not
Knives with serrations require special tools to sharpen. Consider using only knives without serrations while in the field so that you need only one stone.
A sharpening stone is a must for your kit/BOB. Knives and axes that are in use will dull quickly, which can make them unusable in precision applications. So, you’ll need to stone to keep them sharp.
Stick to Common Firearms Rounds
There are many different firearms cartridges available– some old, some new. Instead of debating what the absolute best cartridges are, stick to common rounds, as these are what are most likely to be available in the long run if there was a restriction on ammo. Some of the more obscure rounds may be tempting for various reasons, but you may run up against logistical problems. For instance, I think the Swedish 6.5×55 is the perfect deer round. But how much luck do you think I would have finding that round when all the stores close? It’s difficult enough to find now. I suspect there may be many ad hoc survival groups that form after a SHTF event. We used to call these organic groups “tribes” or “communities.” Consider the advantages of being able to share ammo with others if needed.
Water Proof Containers
Water proof containers are an underappreciated modern technology. If you’re outside for any length of time, everything will get wet eventually. Tupperware, garbage bags, and small plastic bags can go far towards keeping matches, sleeping bags, your Bible, changes of socks, et cetera dry, when not in use. A favorite item of mine is the clear one-gallon storage bag that can be tied at the top. I find Ziploc bags too prone too coming open when stuffed in a backpack.
Soap, Dry Wool Socks, and Sturdy Wool Clothes Protect From Dangers
It’s exciting to prepare for dangers like marauding biker gangs, but there are plenty of things that are just as likely to get you that are anything but action movie material. These are things like diarrhea, trench foot, and hypothermia. Soap, dry wool socks and sturdy wool clothes may save your life every bit as much as your trusty 1911 or Glock.
Firearms and Preps
If you have far more than the basic battery of firearms, while the other crucial areas of your preps lack, you may want to reevaluate how you are using your resources. If your basic firearms needs are met, and you’re squared away in other areas of preps, consider using the extra money to buy duplicates of the firearms you already have, extra ammunition (no such thing), or training courses.
MREs can be handy. They come in water-proof packaging, have a shelf life as long as a human’s, are packed with calories, and contain their own apparatus for heating. But they’re also expensive and extremely heavy while on foot. Consider carefully where MREs figure into your total nutrition plan.
Implicit Survival Group
A survival group can be implicit rather than explicit. Be friends with serious, capable people, and strive to be a serious, capable person yourself.
People Skills = Survival Skills
People skills are survival skills. Like all survival skills, now is the best time to practice. If you’re a difficult person to get along with right now, how much more will people dislike you under the extreme pressures of survival situations?
Surviving the Boredom
Don’t underestimate the boredom that can set it in, especially during the winter months, even with the all consuming business of survival taking up most of your time. Have plenty of family-friendly books on hand that are good for reading out loud. Simple games and musical instruments would be nice morale boosters, too.
Light Gear That Works Well Wet But Is Bright and Susceptible to Damage
REI, North Face, Patagonia, et cetera make some of the lightest gear around that still works well even when wet. Unfortunately, this type of outdoors gear is very susceptible to damage during work or when traveling off trail through thick brush. Also, it is often made only in very bright colors, which is not ideal for the prepper who wants to lay low.
While we’re on the subject of clothing: no cotton for extended outdoor trips ever, or “cotton kills” as some outdoors men say. It will get wet and give you hypothermia. Desert and southern climes might be the exception.
Military Surplus Clothing
Your mileage may vary with military surplus clothing. It is usually made very durably and in camo or earth tones. However, it can be very heavy and sometimes cotton based. It can be had inexpensively at many thrift stores though, so keep some around. I’m a huge fan of wool because it is durable and warm even after absorbing lots of water. Best of all, European military surplus wool shirts, coats, and pants are widely available and of high quality. Just make sure you have some good long underwear to go with it. Wool is itchy.
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