When it comes to prepping for a major disaster, not all plans are created equally. While you will definitely need a solid supply of food, water and survival equipment; no matter where you end up, factors like the weather will also determine what you should have ready to bring along. In a perfect scenario, you and your family will bug out in a temperate climate that is free of harsh conditions like the searing sun or frigid temperatures. But as you know quite well, this perfect world does not exist, so you have to do what you can to prepare for the worst weather possible.
Surviving the Blazing Sun
Another tough bug out situation involves surviving in the desert, or in a home without power in a very hot location.
The heat can quickly dehydrate you and members of your family, and it can be dangerous to be mobile during the heat of the day. While adults are typically advised to drink 64 ounces of water a day in extreme heat you will need to consume a lot more than that.
Remember that although you can survive for weeks without any food, you will perish after just three to four days without any H2O. In order to avoid getting water stressed, stock up on as much water as possible as well as water purification tablets. In addition, check out the area around your home as well as a potential bug out location for a source of water. Common sources include even a dried up riverbed, dew on plants, rain water that you can catch in a barrel and even the insides of cacti.
As for finding extra sources of food, most cactus fruit is safe and rich in nutrients and liquid, and if you must go out on foot, try to walk as much as you can at night and rest during the day.
You should also be sure to dress for the elements, which in the heat involves covering up enough to avoid sunburn but not being so warm as to induce sunstroke. A great source to check out is the Camo Pattern Buyer’s Guide on the Cabela’s website. The guide lists which types of camouflage clothing is best for which types of weather and surrounding trees and brush; this way, you can choose light enough clothing that will still help to keep you hidden from marauders.
There are also a lot of folks that can teach you how to put together a redneck air conditioner, which works like a swamp cooler (with evaporative cooling), and uses a simple fan and a 5 gallon bucket.
Planning for the Harsh Cold
Surviving the apocalypse in the dead of winter is probably the worst case scenario. But if you live in a colder area of the country that is known for getting three feet of snow in the winter, you have to take extra precautions to prepare for the cold. Freezing temperatures can drain your energy and put an incredible amount of stress on your body. While a typical day will burn up about 2,000 calories, to survive in the cold will use up around 6,000 calories in just 24 hours.
In addition, traveling in the snow and cold can be extremely taxing, and roads that you might have planned to take may become impassable.
In order to survive bugging out in an outside location or even holing up in your home—which may no longer have a reliable source of power—you should make smart use of layering your clothing, and stocking up on as much calorie dense food as possible. This is not the time to think about stashing away cookies and soda, but rather protein rich choices like canned meats and chili, jerky, whole grain low sugar granola bars and wheat crackers. The Prepper Journal recommends using a JetBoil Flash. It’s a terrific tool to keep on hand, in addition to lots of spare fuel cans—this will allow you to heat up your meals which will help you to stay warm.
Also, decide how much wood you’ll need to make it through a harsh winter, and then add a significant amount to it. Chances are good that you will need a much larger amount of wood and other fuel sources to stay warm on those long cold nights than you realize.
It seems to have taken me most of my life to learn to layer, layer, layer clothing to stay warm. Now that I’ve finally gotten it I can stay warm in the bitter winters by putting on as many as three layers when necessary.
I love cotton but I’ve found the man made materials mixed in work better at holding in the heat.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Wool is excellent for retaining warmth and will work even when damp or wet but some of us itch from wool. Arlene
We’ve “acclimated” ourselves several times during the winter months by taking hikes in the woods and snow shoeing when there’s snow on the ground. We both have snow shoes if needed. It’s very taxing at first but it does build stamina. We avoid cotton at all costs! Cotton will kill you if you’re in a bugout and it gets wet (you’ll sweat!) and freezes against your body. We have a decent supply of wool socks and we buy the polyproplene and nothing else. We’ll sleep in cotton long handles here, but we never wear them as insulation from cold. We also purchased the bibed insulated overalls that slip over our regular clothes. We posted some info on them “somewhere here” some time ago because we felt it was important for us to have some “just in case” we had to walk someplace (as a very last resort) and would NOT want to take a chance on hitching a ride with somebody unknown in SHTF. The Roost has several “watering holes” that we could access if we needed, some closer than others. We have our Berkey and it’s refills as well as two Berkey sport bottles, and we’ve also got about 100 gals. of water stored at the Roost. Haven’t set up the rain catchment barrels there yet :-(
I admire your stamina, WE2s, but I can’t imagine going out to hike in the snow on purpose or just for fun. Snow and cold weather are so rare here that I just stay inside for the few hours it takes for it to warm back up. I’m such a sissy about cold anyway, which is one of the reasons I use the skid steer loader to bring 2 weeks of firewood in the garage.
Karen bought me a nice duster last year to wear when it’s cold and wet and I need to tend to the chickens or do essential chores when the weather is bad. I’ve not yet had an opportunity to wear it.
For home use, fleece is amazing! Two fleece blankets keep me as warm as a heavy comforter but without the weight, which bothers my legs. I keep fleece throws in the car for long trips and emergencies, because they’re warm, easy to pack, and relatively cheap. We save the wool ones for the BOBs.
Like you SM, we don’t cover with anything but fleece blankets and keep a thermal blanket for more warmth. Have several of the fleece throws and yes, they’re invaluable. Even wear fleece jackets under our coats. We “layer” with polyproplene first, then nylon-type shirts that wick, then a fleece jacket, then heavy vests, then our bibs and finally, our coats. We have fleece lined caps that we can also wear under our “bomber” hats :-) Spend the money on good winter boots, wool socks and you could be glad you did in a SHTF situation.
Good boots and warm socks are exc. especially for children. We buy each of our grand children
warm boots and two pair of warm socks for Christmas. http://www.campmore.com has exc. socks.
My husband and I both wear LLBeanss snow sneakers( they are a med. style boot that are very warm and you can get them on sale usually after Christmas. We use these daily .If we need taller boots than I use my Cabelas ( bought on sale )and Steve uses the military Mickey mouse style -these are too heavy for me. These boots last years so the investment is worth it.W e agree we also layer in winter . Stay warm folks and have a Blessed Christmas.
We are having a rainy Christmas -not common for upstate NY .It feels weird. Arlene
PS I have found that mens boots and clothing are warmer than womans so thats what I buy