Why we prep
Here’s another reason why you – and your friends and family – should prep:
Now everything, despite how it appears to a lot of us, is done for a reason. It might not be a reason we agree with, or even understand. But it always makes sense to someone who is acting in what they perceive to be their own best interests.
For example, because I live in an area subject to wildfires, there are two ways I can deal with that potential danger: Either I can tear down my home and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building a completely new fireproof building with interior safe rooms, whole-house exterior foam spray systems and an interior secured air supply; or I can fire up the ‘dozer and remove the vegetation out to about 100 feet.
My local building contractors would certainly prefer the first option. But as the land owner with a ‘dozer, I’m going for Door Number Two. It’s cheaper – way cheaper. And it keeps the fire away from me and those I love.
The leadership in the City of London, the country of England and most of the EU are acting in what they think is their own best interest – even if the citizens there and in much of the rest of the world can’t see it. They’re taking Option One, trying to fireproof the place with barriers, guards, surveillance and taxation.
And what is the “vegetation” that threatens to burn Europe to the ground? Terrorism.
As Bruce Hoffman with Infogalactic noted, “Terrorism is a pejorative term. It is a word with intrinsically negative connotations that is generally applied to one’s enemies and opponents, or to those with whom one disagrees and would otherwise prefer to ignore.”
So who are the terrorists that the EU leaders wish to ignore and why? Consider this link: How our governments use terrorism to control us.
World leaders see danger and opportunity differently than We the People. The cost of removing the “vegetation” and sending it back where it came from might be high; but it will be nothing compared to the coming conflagration.
And that’s one of the reasons we prep.
I hope all you all had a merry and joyful Christmas. Here at the McLene compound, we certainly did.
The last time I covered anything of a practical vein on this column was a couple of weeks ago when I did a quick review of the kinds of things you should have in a winter vehicle travel bag. Today I’d like to talk about winter clothing and accessories for the prepper (and anyone who has to be outside in low temperatures).
Is prepping the right thing for to do for Christians? Or should we just be trusting in the Lord? Learn about that balance in “Be Thou Prepared” by Carl Gallups – “Equipping the Church for Persecution and Times of Trouble.”
Officially, winter started about five days ago. Even though the days are now getting incrementally longer, it’s going to be a while until swimsuit weather. Where I live, December is usually a pussycat. It’s January, February and occasionally March you have to look out for. Now’s the time to fill out your winter wear and accessories, especially since you can get the good stuff at after-holiday sales or as trade-ins for the less-than-delightful stuff you got for Christmas from your Uncle Lou or your Aunt Maude.
So how do you maximize winter warmth for those moments when you have to be outdoors, or even indoors if the power goes out or heating oil isn’t available?
Well, there are a lot of winter clothing experts out there, and aside from variations of material (and therefore cost) they’ll all tell you that layering is king. But just like a good sandwich – where the mayo goes against the cheese and veggies and the mustard is always between the bread and the meat – the correct order of layers is of paramount importance.
Layer 1: Skip the cotton. As a matter of fact, don’t bother with cotton anywhere in your layering sandwich. Cotton is a wonderful fabric, God-designed to keep you cool in hot weather because it retains moisture so well. On a hot day, cotton is your own personal swamp cooler. But trapping heat and releasing sweat is the name of the game in staying warm, so most of the big-name outdoor clothing stores will try to sell you on a first layer of, in the following order: silk, merino wool, and finally synthetics like nylon, polypropylene, spandex or rayon.
It’s kind of funny. If you read a description of these three common base layer types, the synthetics are the clear winner. They dry out faster, they work well in all conditions, and they’re easier to care for. So why not make them the first choice instead of third?
Two reasons are given: One, they can get stinky with long or repeated use (which might be embarrassing back at the ski chalet.); and two, they’re cheap. Cheap is better, and I’m married so I don’t have to smell good, so you know where the Practical Prepper is going here.
Synthetics come in different thickness grades. Settle for the mid-to-light range and you’ll do just fine. And don’t worry about your layers being superhero-tight. A little bagging helps keep you warm.
Layer 2: You’ve donned your moisture-wicking polypropylene long johns, so it’s time to add the next layer. Layer two is an insulator, but it still needs to be moisture-permeable. Here’s where you switch to natural materials like wool or down.
Wool is the best overall fabric in the world, in my opinion. It retains heat even when wet and is a great insulator in mild-to-cold conditions. You can find good wool shirts in practically any thrift store for pennies on the dollar.
In cold- to very-cold conditions, however, wool simply doesn’t have the R-value you’ll need. So while you’re at Goodwill, look for one of those clunky 1970s John Denver down jackets. Sure you’ll look like the Michelin Man; but my kids are all talking about Hipsters and retro fashions, so you’ll probably be a trend-setter. Get a wool shirt or two and a down jacket (or if you can’t find a down jacket, Hollofil® polyester coats are nearly as good), and on especially cold days, wear the wool next to your long johns and the down jacket over that.
Layer 3: This is the shell layer. If the weather is cold and dry, you can go with a wind-proof “soft” shell like a wind-breaker. Or, if your down/Hollofil® jacket has a good, tightly woven ripstop nylon cover, you’re good to go. A soft-shell system is optimum because it will still let moisture out, but keep the wind from stealing too much heat.
But if you’re going into areas where you can get wet, you’ll need to opt for a “harder” shell waterproof cover like GORE-TEX®. You can find a lot of treatment-style “waterproof” coats at the thrift store, but be careful. If regular applications of waterproof chemical treatments are needed to keep the rain out, most older coats will have lost that capacity. Avoid getting insulated shells. The shell is supposed to protect the interior insulator layer you already have. You can always add more insulators; but if you’re exerting yourself to the point of sweating in wet conditions, it’s easier and safer to remove a layer of insulation than to go without the shell.
Check out some options in the WND Superstore preparedness department. New products of all kinds being added regularly for all your prepper needs – from informational books, movies to shovels, water purifiers, and food from soup to nuts!
Now all of this stuff concerns body-center mass and that’s where you need the best coverage. For lower body and legs, I usually go with polypropylene long johns, and lined denim or duck pants. If it’s really cold, I just add a middle layer of flannel PJ bottoms. Dork? Yes. Cold? No.
Next week we’ll talk about how to handle the weak links of cold-weather wear: head, hands and feet.
Until then, keep hydrated, stay warm and get prepared.