The seventh question in our list of basic survival questions deals with clothing:
7. If I live in a cold weather climate, do I have proper clothing to survive assuming all energy sources were cut off?
The original then posits that this means “it’s cold and you have no heat.” As with several of the previous questions, I think this is somewhat limiting–cold isn’t the only environmental condition that can be prepped for. Still, starting with cold is a good way to go.
Part of me thinks an in-depth discussion of “proper clothing” is probably a bit of overkill. After all, most people will tend to acquire clothing proper for the area in which they live–if not immediately upon moving to the area, then at least immediately after experiencing whatever weather extreme their locale will throw at them. All the same, a quick rehash of some basic concepts might be useful.
For warmth, layering is definitely the place to be. One of the key things when working in the cold is not to be too warm. With a few notable exceptions, wet clothing won’t keep you warm, so sweating is generally a bad idea. If you start getting that warm when working in the cold, start taking off layers until you can work comfortably (and dryly!) again. This obviously only works if you have layers to take off… If the next layer underneath the thick down parka is your T-shirt, it may be time to re-think your clothing style.
On the flip side, I have always preferred natural fibers (cotton, linen, wool) to keep me cool when it’s hot. The main reason being that they wick away sweat, assisting your body’s natural temperature regulating system. Obviously, lighter-weight fabrics; light-colored ones are good, too–they will reflect more light, reflecting more heat as well. And if you’re going to be out for more than a short-ish period, long sleeves and long pants are a good idea, as well. After TEOTWAWKI, it’ll be hard to get treatment for your skin cancer…
Really, in my mind, a better question to replace this one would be: “Do I have enough heating fuel (of whatever type) to last me well through a ‘typical’ winter for my area, and am I able to replenish that supply when the weather is good?” This can branch off from here into a wide variety of directions–what type of fuel do I have? Is my house designed to make optimal use of it (is it sufficiently insulated)?
We’re down to the home stretch in this category–only three more Survival Questions to ponder. Time to start thinking of your own, readers! Hit me with them; if I like them (and I’ll probably like them), we can discuss them here in a future post!