This week's 'teachings of the brethren' :

"For the moment, we live in a day of peace and prosperity, but it will not ever be thus. Great trials lie ahead. All of the sorrow and perils of the past are but a foretaste of what is to be. We must prepare ourselves temporally and spiritually. And so we raise the warning voice and say: Take heed; prepare; watch and be ready."
Bruce R. McConkie, April Conference 1979

Monday, December 8, 2008

Some things I've learned about bedding & clothing . . .

Bedding should be warm, light weight, comfortable, waterproof and compact. A sleeping bag will probably be the best bet. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU BUY space blankets and space bags (aluminum coated Mylar; aka: emergency heat blankets). They're supposed to be super-efficient at retaining body heat and "are a must for every 72-hour kit". The package tells me that even when used by themselves, without the added benefit of a sleeping bag, they will keep you warm during the night, even in cold winter weather. They don't look entirely comfortable, but they will probably keep you warm enough to keep you alive (especially in the winter). I read that they work great for keeping moisture out, which means they are good for keeping out of rain, but they are also good at keeping moisture in, so they retain sweat and condensation from your breath. Apparently, if you ever have to use one, you may find that periodically during the night you will have to air them out in order to sleep comfortably, just FYI. (I've obviously never had to use one and really hope I never have to ;), but thank goodness they exist). They can also be used during the day to protect from rain, sun and to retain body warmth.
(If you decide not going to use sleeping bags, blankets can be used to make a bed roll, but generally they are not as comfortable or as warm. Wool blankets are the best since they retain their warming ability even when wet. However, blankets are very heavy and bulky. Imagine trying to carry around a few folded up blankets rather than a rolled us sleeping bag.)

It's also important that under your sleeping bag you have some kind of insulation to protect you from the cold ground. They're usually probably thought of as an item of comfort, but foam pads work great for insulating you from the ground. Supposedly, the best types are "closed cell" foam pads about 3/8 of an inch in thickness; light weight and easily attached to the backpack for carrying. (Sometimes, even when we are prepared, circumstances may not leave us that way. Just in case it becomes important: you could also use a poncho, plastic ground cloth, newspapers, leaves, or pine boughs, for insulation if it becomes necessary.)

Make sure to include in your kit a change of clothing and shoes, preferable work-type clothing. We should probably anticipate severe weather conditions, just in case. If you have a growing family, remember to update clothing sizes and needs at least once a year. (I put a note in my calendar in June to trade Braxton's clothes to a bigger size, otherwise I know I'll forget) One of the articles I read said to try to avoid wearing cotton clothing. Cotton clothing retains water and spreads it over the entire body, causing loss of body heat faster than would be normal. Cotton holds water next to the skin, if it got wet it could also cause freezing. Apparently, wool clothing is best. Wool has a natural thermostatic insulator that keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It's naturally durable, can withstand rugged and tough wear, repels water and has the unique property of keeping the body warm even if it does get wet. Wool dries from the inside out and does not retain water. Make sure you have at least two pairs of wool socks - one pair for wearing and one for keeping your feet warm while sleeping.

Please, please let me know if you have any more suggestions. I'd love to post any any thoughts or ideas you have.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Getting Prepared . . .

Dear Family and Friends:

We are so excited to start this blog. We really hope that you will find our plan to get ourselves prepared easy to follow and inspiring enough to get your own families prepared. We'll have a section at the top of the blog with a list of the things we are working on every week. Unfortunately, we are starting from the bottom. Many of you may already have some of these things, so you may be able to skip some steps that we will not. We feel that our first steps need to be: (1) always having at least a 1/2 tank of gas and (2) to create a 72-hour kit for all of our family members. If we had all the money in the world, we'd purchase everything we need and create kits in one night (actually if we had all the money in the world we'd do a lot more than that; including create all of your kits, too). So, since we don't, based on our budget, we've created a six week plan to meet our 72-hour kit goal. Feel free to tweak the plan any way you need to make this work for your own family. After that we'll probably start working towards our year's supply. We love and pray for you all.

Eric, Beckii & Braxton

GET MORE FAMILIAR WITH 72-HOUR KITS HERE and HERE. (I will be posting other documents just like this one often. Unfortunately, once I publish them online, the formatting changes. Once you get to the OfficeLive page you see an icon at the top that says 'save as', if you click that and either open or save it, it will open a Microsoft Word document in the format it was inteded to be viewed in.) Let me know if you have any questions (

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