Down and Out

It’s a bad time when both of us are sick and so it has been for about 4 days, now. He started it, as they say on the playground, and I got it due to poor isolation and sterilization protocols. I know better and yet here I am, full of snot. It is a reminder, of course, of just how fast a really dread disease could spread in a household or community. I will be keeping this in mind in the future – more gloves, masks, etc. needed. Soap and water would not have hurt but when you are stepping and fetching for the sick and scratch your nose…well, there you are, joining in the hawking and spitting. His turned into a terrible sinus infection so he got the kindly dose of antibiotics that helped a great deal.

Looks like Zed has put up a number of nice winter weather vehicle tips lately and I highly recommend all of his ideas. The army sleep system items can be gotten at your local military shop, get a Homer bucket and gamma seal lid, toss some properly sealed items inside and your kit is done. I admit to being a fan (after his recommendation) of the Streamlight lantern – offers all the illumination and rescue modes you might want. Yes, those D size batteries might be a pain but it works when you need it to.

During the VERY cold weather of late I was ever more grateful that I bought one of these down skirts at an REI clearance sale a few years ago. I keep it put up until absolutely needed and let me tell you – nothing made the brief excursions outside tolerable while sick like that skirt. I can imagine it seems like overkill for the south to some of the northern types but let me tell you – put that over your jeans or sweatpants and you’ve a layer the wind cannot get through. I am tempted to get a shorter version for chilly spring mornings. One might wonder, “Does this down make my butt look big?” but it doesn’t matter. Is my butt warm? Yes. When it comes to me and being comfy in rough weather I DO NOT CARE what I look like. In the end, few things work as well in concert as wool and down. My Woolrich sweater over my silk long john top (thin and warm) and a down vest over all that with strong wind breaking coat was fine for the brisk 20’s. Layers are so vital – you have to be able to release the heat to avoid sweating in your clothes during exertion so that you don’t get chilled when you stop.

Seriously, though, you need only to review his site to find all you need to know about being ready for any event – his recommendations have stocked my bins for a few years, now. I need to dump my backpack out, toss the ancient crumbles of energy bars, and stock it afresh. My truck was down for a month (yes, I was right – U joint again) so I haven’t had it out for my annual winter do-over. But I need to check it all, re-seal the bags, etc. I also received a label maker which will aid in making clear what is in those handy small inserts – nice to segregate your food from medicine from clothes but if you aren’t getting in the bag often you will not remember during an emergency. Just because your med bag is red doesn’t mean you can find the good bandages fast. And, yes, those supplies get nasty over time, too. Rubber and adhesive fail with time and temperature so plan to refresh that red bag, also. Imagine the frustration of trying to bandage up a wound one-handed only to find that your tape has sealed to itself. Permanently.

Nothing like a cold winter to make you consider your preparations, eh? Don’t find out the hard way that what you thought was Just Fine is really Just Barely Enough.

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