Once more, I have found a list to go over. This one purports to be “4 Things Most Preppers go W/O but Really, Really, Really Shouldn’t“. It’s a doozy. Of the four, I agree with large parts of one item (but must look askance at some of his commentary); I view the other three with varying levels of skepticism, disbelief, and doubt.
First up, he advocates Merino wool clothing. Fair enough; wool in general (not just Merino) makes a “super-fabric” that synthetics can only aspire to. It will keep you warm when it’s cold, and cool when it’s warm (really!). It retains its insulating properties even when it’s wet. It resists burning better than synthetics (most of which simply melt). It’s long-lasting. The list goes on. I’m not certain I buy into his assertion that it can’t absorb odors… most wool–especially if it’s still got its lanolin–tends to smell like, well, wool; pretty strongly so, at that. I’d also not recommend wearing the same article of clothing for a month straight (outside of extremely extenuating circumstances), nor of wearing the same shirt 5-6 days a week for a year. (Granted, in my household, once something enters the “laundry cycle,” it’s generally not available for wear for at least few days.)
For downsides, yes, wool is expensive, particularly “varietal” wool such as Merino. Additionally, while the author claims his Merino clothing never itches, the same can’t be said of all wool, nor even of all Merino. And there are people who are simply allergic to wool, which is truly a shame. Still, for all that, I have to say that I recommend wool clothing in general; wherever possible, I’ve long advocated for natural-fiber materials over synthetics, partly on principle.
That was the easy one. For his next offering, the original poster recommends coconut oil, apparently as a sort of panacea. I’ll grant that it’s mostly healthful as far as diet; yes, it packs calories. It may even be anti-microbial (I’ve not researched it that far). I’d be willing to bet that there are other natural remedies one can use for rashes and skin infections. (Oh, and dude–you might want to try not wearing the same shirt every day for a year; it’d probably help prevent the rash you needed the coconut oil to fix…) Yes, coconut oil is 100% saturated, meaning it’ll take a while to go bad. Yes, it’s solid at room temperature, making it relatively easy to store. My main issue with it is this: Do you have enough room to store a lifetime supply? If not, where will you go to get more, following a collapse? Some of us, after all, don’t live in balmy Florida (like the author), surrounded by abundant coconut groves…
To be fair, I’ve got the same issue with most food oils; they’re simply a pain to acquire manually. Yes, animal fat works for a while, but there’s only so much per animal. I’m thinking about possibly putting up a chunk of a field in oil-producing sunflowers, and getting a “home-scale” oil press (I’m also fortunate in that the Homestead has an abundance of nut trees that I can use). My thoughts on the matter are still developing, though.
The third item on the list is something called “keto adapting”. This entails cutting all carbs from your diet, which will supposedly cause your body to switch over to burning fats more efficiently. (To my untrained eye, this looks like the Atkins diet…) While we could all probably benefit by the burning-off of a little fat, I don’t think this is the way to go about it, for several reasons. The first is that in any sort of a large collapse scenario, carbs are almost necessarily going to be part of your diet, simply because they store much better than fats and oils. Second, from a quick glance at the literature (not in-depth, granted, and I haven’t scratched the surface of any medical reviews), I’m not sure that “keto-adapting” is all that great for you in the long run. It looks like a real strain on the liver and pancreas. Additionally, anyone with any sort of insulin issues (diabetics) or fat-burning issues (a couple of fairly rare genetic disorders) would be in trouble. Apparently, the keto diet also leads to much higher risk of kidney stones–not something I’d want to have to deal with in a post-collapse scenario…
Lastly, the post turns to pemmican as a sort of “uber-food”. I’ve got to give him some benefit of the doubt here; it’s a good way to store lots of calories for a long time, and can be quite tasty. Still, if I’m going to the trouble of making something for those purposes, I’ll go all the way and cure the meat, to be used alongside my stored/preserved fruits and vegetables. Pemmican is great, but bacon is greater. Still, if you’re preparing for “Mad Max” collapse, as opposed to a relatively gradual let-down, you could do worse than to put away some pemmican.
(I should probably leave it alone, but I can’t–in his “edit” footnotes, he describes rapeseed oil as “canola with a fancy new name”; in fact, it’s the other way around–canola is the new name for rapeseed oil. Apparently, the marketing gurus decided that the original name was too, well, non-P.C.)
So there you have it. I’m always looking for more pointers, and will share them as I find them. Enjoy!