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.