Hopefully, as a prepper, you will have some food set back and stocked in case of a disaster. You will have water stored, as well as a few purification methods. You might have a weapon or two stored, and some extra ammunition. (Click the links to find out about water storage, weapons for SHTF, and storing ammo long-term). You might have extra gear and supplies on hand. But could there be items out there you haven’t thought about stockpiling for a long-term, grid down scenario?
In this article, I want to cover some items that you might not realize you should have plenty of in case of a long-term disaster, and some reasons why it might be a good idea.
So let’s jump in.
Being clean (or at least feeling clean) is a great boost to morale during a SHTF situation. And during a grid down scenario, you might not have enough water (or fuel to heat the water) for a hot shower. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep yourself clean. So having some extra hygiene items is probably a good idea.
Things like toothpaste and shampoo have a shelf life of about 2 years from the date of manufacture once they are opened. (They can last around 3 years if unopened.) Things like soap, mouthwash, and deodorant have a 3 year or so shelf life.
Keep in mind that the shelf life listed is for items stored at room temperature. Things like temperature extremes and direct sun light can degrade these products much more quickly.
If you cure your store-bought bars of soap (by removing the wrappers and letting them sit in the air for about 6 weeks) they will harden and last much longer.
I have mentioned a few times in previous articles about owning a Frog Togg rain suit. Lately, I have received several emails asking me about Frog Togg. Are they really that good? They are only $20 or so? Are they light weight? Questions like that. So I thought I would do a review on the suit and tell you why I think it is the perfect prepper rain gear!
Now before I jump into it, let me state, for the record, I am NOT a Frog Togg salesman. I have not had any sort of communication with Frog Togg, and they are not in any way compensating me for this article. I am writing about this suit because I believe in it and I use it.
The picture to the left is my brother, Mike, wearing his Frog Togg suit. He presently works for a company that repairs and paints roller coasters. That picture was taken on a cold and wet Chicago morning in March. In about 25 degree weather, he was power washing the roller coaster. (I would never power wash anything in 25 degree weather, but then again I’m not half crazy!)
Mike said that with the industrial strength power washer, water was “going everywhere”. Everything was soaked and freezing within minutes. But the Frog Togg suit kept his inner layers completely dry, which kept him warm and dry. And as any good prepper knows, getting wet in cold weather can lead to hypothermia. (Hypothermia is the number one killer of outdoor recreationalists!) If you are wet and do not take precautions, you can perish in temps as high as 50 degrees!
Your body loses heat much quicker in water than through air, and water temperature of 50 degrees can kill you in an hour. (Submersion.) Simply being wet aggravates the conditions of hypothermia. Clothing will lose up to 90% of their insulating properties when wet. (Wool is better than most for retaining insulation when wet.)
Hypothermia causes energy loss as your body tries to warm itself, (shivering). Your hands and feet will begin to go numb as the body pulls blood and oxygen in to try and keep your vital organs warm.
Interstate 40 is the 3rd largest highway in the United States, running from Wilmington, North Carolina to Barstow California. Part of it used to be the old historic Route 66 that was popularized in the 1960s with a song and TV show. And I-40 runs right through my city where I work.
I have lost count how many times I have been called to assist with motor vehicle accidents on that interstate. At least 4 that I can remember were fatality accidents. (ALWAYS wear your seat-belt.) But what sticks out to me the most is just how often I came across people who simply were not dressed appropriately for the weather conditions outside.
So many times, when the outside temp was barely above freezing, (or colder) I’d pull up on an accident. Based upon the speeds traveled, the vehicles involved were usually damaged enough that they would not start. The people were not always hurt or not hurt very badly. But so many times the drivers and passengers did not have adequate clothing.
I always asked them the same thing. “Where is your coat?”
“I didn’t think I’d need one because I was only driving a few miles.” Or “it WAS warm inside my car” were the typical replies.
Normally, I would have been nice enough to let them stay warm in the back of my patrol car. But for many years, I was a K9 officer. I had no back seat as it had been replaced with metal bars/plates and a carpet for my loyal companion. And he was NOT nice enough to let anyone sit back there with him.
With all of my equipment I kept in the front seat, I had no room to place freezing passengers. (On the plus side, I never had to transport prisoners.)
Within a few moments a backup officer would arrive on scene, and the unprepared would cram into his/her back seat. People learned the hard way that they could not rely solely on their car’s heater or AC unit to keep them warm/cool. They should of had a backup plan.
Next to your need for oxygen, maintaining your core body temperature is the most important survival aspect you will face. Having a shelter from the elements is the number two priority in my opinion. It is more important than water, food, guns, or gear. Your clothing is, in a sense, a part of your shelter. What you wear and how you wear it could be the difference between life and death.
Over the past few decades, we have seen an increase in clothing made from synthetic materials. But sometimes it can become confusing as to how the material would be a boon or a bane in an emergency situation. So let me break down the main types of clothing/bedding material out there.
A very popular material on the market (at least in the America), cotton is hydrophilic. This means that it transfers sweat from your body to the material, causing it to become wet. Once cotton is wet, it feels cold and loses almost all of its ability to insulate. In the winter time, the saying is “Cotton Kills”.