I woke up this morning with snow coming down pretty heavy and decided it was time for a little refresher on selecting winter clothing and winterizing the year-round gear. I don’t really recommend dressing like super-secret agents Austin Millbarge and Emmitt Fitz-Hume above (a classic film). I know a lot of you live in warm areas, so we’ll only discuss winter gear in part of today’s article; we’ll finish with some more cautions from today’s events.
First, let’s talk shoes. I’ve been told I own more shoes than a man should. In my defense, each pair of shoes has a specific purpose. In the winter, you need some type of waterproof boot. I know, your stylish work shoes are killer, but if you’re stuck walking home in ice and snow in them, they may literally kill you. Have some type of waterproof boot with an aggressive tread at least available in your car for emergency use. One of the Goons on Twitter mentioned leg gaiters as well and they’re a great addition to your gear.
Closely related to boots are ice treads or traction devices. Just like a four-wheel drive truck doesn’t make you immune to ice, boots are the same way. The ones above are YakTrax, meant to give you better traction on ice. Snowshoes may also be appropriate if you are in a rural area.
When picking clothing, layering is the key. Clothing should also be loose-fitting. A lot of people buy super-snug coats and snow pants, but they defeat the purpose. You want clothes to be loose fitting to trap warm air that radiates off your body and keep it close to you. If your clothes are tightly fitting, the heat radiates out through them, since there is no air pocket. The tight-fitting stuff might look cool and be OK from the car to the store but trying walk a mile in them.
Start with a silk-weight base layer against the skin, which should be tighter and moisture-wicking to keep sweat from cooling you down in the cold. Then add loose insulating layers, depending on the temperature and your activity plans. If you are planning on significant foot movement, you may want to keep your upper body area with just a light, waterproof outer garment, to prevent sweating. If you stop, you can put on an extra layer from your pack.
A great system is the US Military Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS). Millions of dollars of your tax money went into research to develop this outstanding gear, and you should take advantage of it, particularly if you are talking about preparedness gear. Generally, it consists of a Gore-Tex outer layer that can be worn as raingear year-round. It then has liners of a couple of different thicknesses, depending on how cold it is. Both the parka and the pants have fleece liners.
For extreme cold conditions, the system has a Primaloft over-parka and Primaloft insulated pants that go over everything else. Army versions are gray and Marine Corps versions are coyote brown.
The system also includes several layers and types of long underwear, switched out or layered depending on temperature. I’d also recommend a military wool sweater (yes, real wool, because it retains its warming ability even when wet).
There’s a lot of talk about 3 season and 4 season tents. In all reality, the only difference is that a 4-season tent is made from sturdier material with less mesh venting. You can either just use a 4-season tent year-round, or “fortify” your 3-Season tent with additional tarps to keep snow off the tent in a survival situation.
My personal choice is that I’m a minimalist. I want the lowest profile so I will just fortify my bivy-sized tent with an additional tarp layer. I normally use a thermal tarp that is camo on one side for warmth as well for shielding against thermal imaging (you know, in case the Chinese invade, right?). The tent is so low to the ground that wind won’t be as much of a concern, as long as I site my overnight site properly.
Your sleeping gear faces the same issue of 3-season versus 4-season. I own a 4-season sleeping bag, but I’m not carrying that heavy, bulky thing in my ruck anywhere. What I do is take my 3-Season USMC issue sleep system (which makes its own low-profile tent if you want) and add to it depending on the weather. First, I line it with a wool blanket. A wool blanket will keep you warm, even when wet.
If I need additional warmth, I place a thermal reflective layer like a survival blanket or survival tarp in between the wool blanket and the sleeping bag. An excellent choice for this is a Life Bivy. It comes in green or orange, and I prefer the green (tactical). Some people worry about the noise a thermal blanket makes, and that’s a valid concern, but by placing it between the other layers, you muffle that sound. A Life Bivy is a good survival item to keep in your Get Home Bag as well. It even has a loud whistle on the drawstring.
For winter use, I line my Ruck with a SEAL-Line dry bag. They make them (again, US Military Surplus) in several sizes. I have ones specifically made to line my USMC ILBE Ruck and Assault Pack (my Patrol/EDC bag). The SEAL-Line Assault Pack dry bag has the inside orange, so that if you wanted to signal for help, you could turn the dry bag inside out and display an orange signal panel. You want your gear water-proofed in the winter because wet gear is cold gear.
Another little trick I use year-round but is especially important in winter is that I put a carabiner rated at 125-200 pounds on the top drag handle of every pack I own. This way, while camping, if the ground is wet, I can hang my pack on a piece of line or on a branch, keeping it off the ground. My favorite is the Heroclip, pictured above. The thick part swings out and makes an S-Hook for hanging from any surface. Below is the Fire Escape Multi-Tool is got in my BattlBox this month (outstanding service… http://www.battlbox.com). It features a 125-pound rated carabiner with a sparking wheel, a window breaking tool, a small hex wrench, an O2 bottle wrench, a bottle opener, and a cutting tool. I am in the process of testing it and it throws sparks quite well.
Now that we’ve covered some winter gear ideas, I want to talk about a pair of recent events that should concern those involved in preparedness, regardless of your political leanings.
But first, in light of the increasing tyranny and fearmongering, I want to share something from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook. This morning, I was researching Jeremiah for Tactical Wisdom Volume 4. I came across this verse and it’s relevant because I hear so many people telling me that they are scared to protest and scared to speak out. Take courage from it:
Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them…
Don’t let them win; they WANT to terrify you away from opposing them. God wants you to stand up.
Yes, the first one is the allegedly “leaked” video from the Patriot Front showing someone doing a Nazi salute. First, the video is obviously staged, since they all take off their sunglasses, but not their face-covering masks at the end and the dialog sounds forced and scripted. Besides, it’s a weird time for a Nazi salute. Note the inclusion of the Betsy Ross flag to link it to Nazism.
I’ve warned before that these guys are literal Nazis and it appears that they are now co-opted by the Federal government to become the designated “boogeymen”.
The problem for us is that the carefully produced videos that are being released show men in khaki tactical pants, and in hats with a Velcro patch pad on them. Let’s be honest, that’s practically the preparedness-minded person’s uniform. Selecting this combination was meant to associate these Nazis with anyone even remotely right wing or involved in preparedness. It’s not an accident. Be aware that YOU are being painted with the same brush as these Nazis, ON PURPOSE.
In their videos, you can also see INTENTIONAL close-ups of their Baofeng radios (including one very close up). Again, these are practically standard prepper-gear, and it is by design. This one ties with the next warning.
In the indictment against Proud Boy Matthew Greene, the US Government presented as evidence of a conspiracy the fact that Greene programmed several Baofeng radios for several members of the group. Now, that’s not illegal, but they are PAINTING it that way. Understand the risk, if you are all programming your radios from a common file, the Federal government, who already considers anyone into preparedness as a potential extremist, MAY consider that evidence of a criminal conspiracy.
I present this as proof of our nation’s quickening slide into a collapse. The more tyrannical a government becomes, the more likely it is to consider everything a conspiracy.
I hope all this information helps you get a little more prepared and a little more aware.
Also, we have recently become partners with My Patriot Supply, so check them out using our link. They have Potassium Iodate (anti-radiation) tablets in stock, along with Ready Hour foods.
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