“Conquer tomorrow by preparing today!” – Guess Who
So Morgan of RoguePreparedness.com wrote an article about how maybe the material my ancestors picked for hers might not be your death knell in literally Hitler every environment scenario you may find yourself in, and possibly like her popcorn video she might’ve taken a little… Heat.
“… I’ll see myself out.”
But it inspired me, as someone who may or may not have survived a month car camping in one of the highest elevation ski countries in the world in sub zero temperatures using just that material to keep warm, to write a response, and after asking her permission to use her bullet points to give context to what was a response to them, I thought I’d make it a standalone post. For starters, here is her original article:
COTTON KILLS! Or Does It? Tips To Be Prepared for Hot Weather
“If that’s not a face you can trust… tell me, who hurt you, and what was her AWALT name?”
All caught up? Good. And while you’re at it, hopefully this gives context to the kind of work she does on her website, her YouTube channel Rogue Preparedness, and both her insta @RoguePreparedness and especially her twitter @RoguePrepared, where you will find out about things such as shortages in toasters firsthand amongst other helpful information. Now here is my response, complete with the original points. Thanks for taking the time to read, and as always: stay ready, keep it tactical, and above all else… Be Chaos my friends.
“Wow, so much to unpack here, so I’ll leave the jokes for twitter.
For starters, I’ve heard the term “cotton kills” before but never really took it seriously: only took it as prepper tough talk. A quick background check: I’m from LA, which ain’t known for it’s abundance of snowfall. Guess what I’ve soaked in water during heat waves for the very reason Morgan pointed out! Aside from that, it’s pretty lightweight fabric and not a danger to your wallet that could go to other things you might need, like a water filter if you’re in LA and the only source you have is tap (DO NOT drink the tap water in LA unless you have no other option).
“Always have water available. – It doesn’t matter if you’re just leaving the house for a moment, take a bottle of water with you. People don’t take drinking water seriously. I’ve seen people carrying around only a 20oz bottle of water for a 3 mile hike in 100+ degree weather. That just won’t cut it! Water is life.”
1. Unholy hell is she not wrong about that point: even on the last trip I took with members of Team Let Em Burn out of the 4 of us I’m sure I drank more water then the other 3 combined. Want a good health tip that’s free? DRINK YOUR F***ING WATER. To give an example, I’m 6’2″, 180-185ish, and even sedentary I drink about half a gallon. I’ve had clients that thought more than 2 glasses a day was overdoing it. Trust me: even if you’re not thirsty, your water is better in than out.
“Wear sunscreen. – Protect your skin. A sun burn can last for days and be far more painful than the few minutes it takes to put on sunscreen.
2. This is true in a prevention sense, and if you’re prone to getting sunburns (like I was, more on that in a moment) those could lead to cracks in the skin, something you don’t want in a survival situation. If available and permissive, you do have the option of wearing sleeves and hats, which you don’t exactly need gortex grade material to block UVA. And both are far more important the higher up in elevation you are: much less atmosphere for the radiation to travel through. That said, there’s a dietary side to this: despite my skin colour (much darker than Morgan) and area I grew up in (hey, who says having air you can see doesn’t have it’s advantages? Pretty sure the smog helped block UVA, the damaging radiation of sunlight), I was actually very prone to sunburns. After I changed my diet, I haven’t had to wear it since. Main culprit? Vegetable/seed oils. There are many reasons to cut that stuff out of your diet (it literally will kill you for starters), but it being a catalyst for your skin getting damaged by sunlight is one of them, and by the way, sunlight is the best way for you to get your vitamin d, which is if I have to tell you why that’s important, contact me offline.
“Wear a hat. – Keep shade on your face and/or neck with a nice hat.”
3…. Well, she covered hats, no pun intended. I’m partial to sombreros, but I’m 1/4 Mexican, fight me. By the way, it’s just as important to protect your eyes: I’m particularly sensitive to blue shifted light (sunlight) so I have to wear shades anyway, but if you can, get polarised lenses: much more effective without having to be as dark, and helps preserve your night vision. I’m partial to mirrored aviators, again, fight me.
“Consume electrolytes. – When you sweat, you’re losing precious electrolytes, so replenish them with a drink or powder.”
4. I just relearned this lesson: get your electrolytes. Spent the hottest weekend of the year hand scraping 10 year old paint off the southern side of my buddy’s barn with no cloud cover (northern hemisphere=southern sun). Had to spend about 10 minutes on the side of a highway fighting off ab cramps. Had plenty of water, but forgot the electrolytes. Fun fact: bananas are know for their potassium, but guess what has twice the amount per gram? If you guessed bacon, you win a prize, and also more sodium which is an unfairly demonised electrolyte.
“Move slow & stay in the shade as much as possible. – Shade is your friend. Or better yet, get some AC.”
5. Good advise: though I’m partial to window fans which actually circulates air, unless you can filter and seal off everything else this is a major disadvantage during “burn this motherf***er down” season, ask my former… bedroom buddy who had AC how she knows (AC has built in air filters). To add to this, if in a survival situation, on top of what Morgan said, try to keep your mouth shut, not because you’re avoiding baddies, but because when you talk and breathe through your mouth, you exhale what could be vital water.
“Know the signs of heat cramps, heat stroke and heat exhaustion. – Here’s a great link that talks about the symptoms and signs.”
6. See point #4.
“Make sure kids and pets are drinking water. – Kids won’t take their own hydration seriously, so make sure you’re always offering them water. And always have water available for pets.”
7. Also your buddies even if they might be health nuts, see #1. Also unless there’s running water somewhere, your pets don’t have the ability to get their own water, and they can be life savers in a fight or flight situation: make sure they’re ready to do battle alongside you. They can also be trained to help hunt, as BullRush (etsy.com/LazarusRazors) has pointed out before.
“Wear light clothing. – Darker colors tend to absorb heat.”
8. Agreed, both colour wise and material. Also if it’s lightweight it packs better.
“Prepare your home for hot weather. – Open your windows at night and keep blackout curtains over your windows during the day.”
9. Agreed, especially if you live in an area prone to rolling blackouts (care to guess where?). A couple of other things: 1. Have screens available: you don’t want mosquitoes or other bugs coming in. 2. If you can, make use of any local wind patterns: my old place in Inglewood had what’s known as Santa Ana winds that moved west to east, and I was able to use certain windows to flow though the house. And again, if permissible, window fans.
“Consume hydrating foods. – Hydrating foods can be anything from watermelon, strawberry, celery, tomatoes, cantaloupe, cucumbers, etc.”
10. Ixnay on the nightshades and the cantaloupe for me (mildly allergic to the latter, and have my own nutrition reasons for the former), but she’s not wrong: those can not only be good hydration sources, but both can be good electrolyte and vitamin sources (watermelon in particular), and also morale boosters given they can be quite tasty; never underestimate mood boosters.
As an aside since she brought it up: I personally have overstocked on all the permethrin and picaridin I can legally own. Reason? Aside from mosquitoes which apparently like how I taste no matter where I go, I am terrified of Lone Star ticks. I know there more of an East Coast thing and I’m in the North West, but I don’t care: I’m not taking any chances. I spray literally every piece of gear down in every outing I go on, and those sprays don’t hurt your gear and are usually odorless within a few hours.
Final thoughts: this is a good article, and one reason I like Morgan is because she brings up things most other “prepared” people don’t talk about. Everything has it’s own application: I don’t wear my wool socks everyday because I ain’t battling Minnesota weather everyday, and let’s face it: cotton is both comfy and cheap, and if it really comes down to it you can always swap it out. One more thing I think might be relevant: the last month I lived in June Lake I camped out in my car. June Lake is 7,600 feet above sea level. It was October and snow was already on the ground. Guess what I used to keep warm at night. Hey, did you win another prize?
“Looks like this one did actually she might have the best idea out of all of us I think I’ll do her insides a favour and join her wait what was the question?”