How To Stay Warm in a Long-Term SHTF Event
As well-informed readers, you know the world situation does not appear to be improving. At any time, we could well find ourselves in the middle of a SHTF event…be it economic collapse, a nuclear attack, or a string of natural disasters. Regarding this last item, the steady string of hurricanes bringing a deadly swath of death and destruction to the United States has been happening as we speak. The unmentioned problem: we’re on the “butt” end of winter, and as such, you’ll have to take extra precautions in the event it hits the fan.
10 Ways to Stay Warm in a Long-Term SHTF Event
This is going to be a very specific list; however, it is not exhaustive. There will always be more to add, and there is never enough: that’s the bottom line. This will get you started on your checklist, either physical or mental to ready your preparations before the winter hits.
- Warm clothing: and plenty of it. Gore-Tex top and bottoms are an absolute necessity, and plenty of warm socks, thermal underwear, and good boots that are waterproof, have plenty of Thinsulate and good soles, and give good ankle support.
- Sleeping bag, Gore-Tex cover, and sleeping pad: Remember to go for the best in terms of quality and performance. Another essential in this regard is a good compression bag and a wet-weather bag. A soaking wet sleeping bag is not fun. Stay warm, dry, and insulated from the conduction of lying on the ground.
- Plenty of hand warmers: Why? Because if you’re going to give an IV in the middle of the winter, you want to warm up the bag, that’s why. Because you may need to thaw something out and not be able to light a fire due to operational security reasons. Because you may need an immediate aid for frostbite (Read “To Build a Fire,” by Jack London). Those hand warmers are very useful, from first-aid measures to thawing out a frozen canteen.
- Several rolls of plastic, preferably 6 mil or equivalent in thickness: If you live in the suburbs in a house or apartment and there’s a nuke tossed nearby, you may lose your windows or sliding glass door. This isn’t good in the winter. Along with the plastic rolls you should “squirrel” away some fir strips (1” x 2” or 1” x 3”) to use to tack in place over the edges of the plastic after you cut it to overlap your broken windows. Nail them in place, and it will keep the wind from tearing away at the edges that would occur if you just affixed the plastic sheets with staple guns.
- Plywood: to cover up those same holes beforehand and any holes in the walls or roof. Remember to affix the plywood to the outside of the window or sliding glass door, as if it’s on the inside, Tiny Tim can kick it in easily. COVER WITH THE PLYWOOD AFTER YOU HAVE COVERED WITH THE PLASTIC! The plastic will keep the cold, wind, and water out…and the plywood will help protect it…and keep Tiny Tim from stealing it by taking it off with a razor knife if the plastic is outside of the plywood. You may also want to consider cutting a firing slit and a peephole in it. Remember to do the same with the plastic…cut a section on three sides as a “flap” and overlap this with duct tape and more plastic. Velcro on the edge of the flap will keep it in place. Velcro at the top will permit you to move the flap if you need the firing slit so as not to need to tear the plastic.
- Small Woodstove: You can find a ton of them that put out an amazing amount of BTU’s. Prep the area of your home. If you have a fireplace, you can stick it right in there and run the flue pipe right up the chimney. If you don’t have a fireplace, then create an area. Run that pipe through a window, and get some sheets of asbestos board to set the stove on. Also, consider making an expedient form of protection for the chimney pipe against the wall. Use common sense and do your research. No heat in the house for winter? No good. This wood stove can be used to cook, melt snow, boil water, and of course to heat the home. One EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) and you can say goodbye to the electricity.
- Toilet: I have been recommending the kind of toilet that has a seat with a bucket and lid incorporated into a metal-frame chair. This kind is very good. For liquid waste, I suggest a bucket. This can be dumped. The solid waste can be taken out of the bucket with the use of plastic bags for liners and then burned.
- Matches, lighters, and fire-starting equipment, as well as lanterns and candles: safe to say, the word for each of them is “P” for plenty. You can never have enough. You will need to start fires, and you’ll also need some light. Also: before you go buying a whole bunch of “fire starters” … the ones that resemble particleboard…you can make your own out of fire-logs for a fraction of the cost.
- Plenty of fuel: you will need wood, so now is the time to lay in a good supply of it.
- Several tents: You want to be able to put the family under canvas if for some reason your home becomes untenable and you must vacate.
These are simple items that are easy enough to obtain for now. The time to obtain them is now, and not after the disaster strikes. The winter poses tremendous challenges that have to be taken very seriously. When the “S” hits the fan, it is best to have these preparations in place and know how to use all of them. JJ out!
When You Lose Power this Winter, Here’s What You’ll Need
10 Must-Haves to Stay Warm in the Harshest of Conditions
Winter Warmth When the Grid is Down
Are You Ready Series: Extreme Winter Storms
How We Kept The Cottage Warm in Winter
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.
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