Stocking Stuffers or Gifts Preppers Give; Part 2

How many of you are like us?  We hate shopping.  Period.  We do almost all our shopping online, mostly at Amazon.  Seriously.  The only other stores we enter are farm stores, hardware stores for home maintenance, grocery stores (there’s only two to choose from), and sporting goods stores (for camping and outdoor stuff).  We’re just not shopping types.  So when the holidays roll around, we either give gift cards, cash, or order something online and have it delivered.  Mostly it depends on the desires of the gift recipient.  All that’s left is the stocking stuffers, and they are super easy too!

A previous article, Disaster Recovery or Gifts Preppers Give; Part 1 about gift giving was important because everyone needs to be prepared, even those who don’t believe in “prepping”.  That book offers up a way to get them thinking, and maybe get their brains working in that direction.

Another way to help the unprepared prepare in a kind way would be to give them stocking stuffers or small gifts that will be perceived as thoughtful, kind or silly, rather than pushy.  Who doesn’t want someone to care about them at the most important level?

The important thing about all these gifts is that they will get your reluctant preppers to think about things in a different way. Many of the items they will use up right away. Even so, likely they will buy more of them and will have them on hand. When a world changing event does happen, they now have a different way of thinking and will grab those items on their way out the door.

Here is a list of stocking stuffers and small gifts we will be including this year for family and friends.

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Cold Weather Clothing / Layering

Cold Weather Clothing / Layering
1. Cotton Kills! What it actually does is trap moisture and is very poor at insulating.
2. Heat is lost from the body through exposed skin. This can be your head, neck, hands, or your legs if your one of those Viking types that wears shorts in the winter. Cover all exposed areas to maintain warmth.
3. Loose clothing in layers is good because it allows warm air to be trapped between the layers.
4. Stay dry! Although some materials will maintain a certain amount of insulating properties…your body will cool quicker when it is wet…up to 25 times quicker than dry.
5. In order for the body to be able to properly regulate temperature…you must be hydrated and fueled. This means you must drink plenty of water and eat snacks, even in a cold environment.

Layering
Base Layer: A base layer is designed to ‘wick’ moisture away from the body where it can then evaporate. The base layer should be close fitting to allow proper wicking of moisture.
– Polyester, Polypropylene, and wool (merino)
Middle Layer: The middle layer should be an insulating layer. It can also be multiple layers of insulating materials depending on the weather conditions. They should be somewhat loose fitting to allow pockets of air to be trapped.
– Wool and Fleece are the most common insulating middle layers.
Outer Layer: This layer should be windproof and waterproof. The function of this layer is to protect you from the elements such as wind, rain and snow. This layer is designed to keep you and your other layers DRY.
– Waterproof, Waterproof Breathable (Gore-Tex)
Foot Layer: This is the most often overlooked layer of protection and possibly the most important. In a cold/wet weather environment you want to have a waterproof boot. If your feet get wet..its hell trying to get them dry again. I personally invest in a quality waterproof boot that is also insulated…because I don’t like me feet being cold.
Extremities Layer: A hat for your head. Choose one that will block the wind. A hat may look warm until a 20 mph wind is blowing cold air on your ears. Buy something of quality that is windproof and preferably insulated. Gloves- Different activities demand different products, but as a rule I like a waterproof insulated glove. Cold and wet hands are a major bummer. Socks – Polyester/Polypropylene for a base layer, wool for the outer layer. This not only wicks moisture away from your foot but the inner layer of sock will move inside the outer layer and helps prevent blisters while hiking. Scarf- protect your neck from the cold/wind.

Materials
Fleece – good insulator…even wet, dries quickly, absorbs little moisture, similar to wool…but lighter
Wool – good insulator when wet, transfers moisture well, feels warm even when significantly wet
Down – great warmth to weight ratio, can pack very small, very lightweight, loses insulating ability when wet, dries slowly, expensive
Synthetic – (Thinsulate, Primaloft) not as good warmth to weight ratio, absorbs little moisture, dries quickly, good insulator when wet, typically less expensive than down
Cotton – inexpensive, poor insulator…especially when wet, poor moisture transfer
Silk – is soft against the skin, good insulator, good moisture transfer. It is a natural product and can be a little expensive.
Waterproof – (plastic) typically used for raincoats, completely wind and waterproof, allows no moisture in or out. Some items have zippered underarms to allow release of moisture or condensation.
Waterproof Breathable – (Gore-Tex) also known as ‘Hard-Shell’ This material has a porous membrane that repels liquid water but allows water vapor to escape. Typically expensive.
Water Resistant – also known as ‘Soft-Shell’ This material typically has a water repellent coating. It is not completely waterproof. Soft shell jackets breathe well, are softer and more comfortable and typically much cheaper.
New products and technologies are constantly coming into the marketplace. Newer coatings and materials are making jackets more waterproof, more breathable, lighter and less expensive.
Jason E. Hill
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No Joke! Survival
Preparations for the Average Family

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4 Ways To Prepare Your Home For SHTF Scenarios

Many preppers believe when that first missile hits the city, they will simply jump in their bug-out vehicles and head for the hills. But only those with advanced survival skills and ample supplies will be able to survive a long time outdoors. The best option for everyone else is to stay in your homes for as long as you can. A home security system will keep burglars out in normal times, but a few extra steps are needed to turn your home from family dwelling to fortress.

Roof Hatch

The last thing you want to do is open doors or windows when you don’t know what might be out there. Homes with attics are perfect when you know there are undesirables outside and you need let off a few rounds through the windows. But installing a roof hatch will enable you to exit your home and scope out the area from above. It also gives you another hiding place when necessary. Parts and labor will be around $1,000, but is well worth it.

Booby Traps

The more time you have to prepare for a potential attack on your home (even a few seconds), the better you will fare. Booby traps are especially useful when you have a large yard and can place them far away from the house. Trip wires can be made with fishing line or some other invisible string. Put bells or some other noisemaker on them so you’ll not only slow down the undesirables, but will be alerted of their presence. You can use a 12 Gauge alarm on the trip wire as well.

Landlines

Photo by Roo72 via Wikimedia Commons

Land telephone were still present in 64 percent of homes in 2012, down from nearly 90 percent five years earlier, according to the National Center of Health Statistics. At this rate, virtually every household in America will lack a land telephone line by 2020. But smart individuals who want a means of communications when power and broadband are cut off will keep their old reliable phone.

The phone will still work during a power outage if copper lines connect you to the network. Copper can carry both the electrical power and the communication signals on the same line. You may even be able to access dial-up Internet if you’re savvy enough to find a free provider.

Most telecommunications companies now use hybrid fiber-coaxial lines in lieu of copper, according to Consumer Reports. Ask your provider to install copper wires instead of the fiber cables if technically possible (note: they will likely charge a premium for this). Most providers will also install a battery backup system at your request if they cannot do copper cables.

Love Thy Neighbor

Photo by Nyttend via Wikimedia Commons

Strength is in numbers when it comes to survival in SHTF scenarios. Knowing which neighbors you can rely on will increase your chances of survival. Your neighborhood could become a protected area in the city, with one home being the medical house, another being the ammunition house, etc. Each neighbor should know what each has to offer and communicate that with one another regularly. Of course you’ll have to determine which “side” each neighbor is on first. But this can easily be achieved via idle chit-chat.