18 Simple Habits That Create a Prepared Mindset

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By Melonie Kennedy


Look both ways before crossing the street!”

“Take a sweater so you don’t get a chill!”

“Don’t let the gas tank get under half!”

Most of us have heard these and many other parental adages over the years – but how many of us really stop and think about the importance of such advice when it comes to being prepared?

I may drive my family nuts when I ask if everyone has a sweater or sweatshirt before we go out the door, but every time the weather changes on us, they are glad they had something to throw over their shoulders. My teen heaves a big sigh every time I make her change out of flip-flops before a road trip (or bring socks and shoes), but if we break down and have to walk somewhere, she’ll be thankful for mean old mom’s demands.

As someone who has lived around the world and dealt with both personal emergencies and weather-related incidences, I can attest that there are certain habits that, once ingrained, will serve you well some day. These habits may seem silly, neurotic, or just too simple to even think about, but they’ve helped me react more quickly (or better yet, be proactive), have alleviated my worries and concerns, and have even allowed me to help others in stressful and scary situations.

18 Simple Habits That Will Help You Be Better Prepared

The best part about the following list of habits is that the bulk of them are about making the most of what you have and using your brain.

If you’re just starting out on your journey toward preparedness, you can choose just one or two basic concepts to incorporate into your daily routines, making you more prepared almost immediately. If you’re further along, pick something that you could brush up on or use this list to ask yourself how you’re really doing.

Every one of us is unique, as are our homes, families, and lifestyles, so these lists aren’t meant to be exhaustive or a perfect fit for everyone. Other folks have mental preparedness training ideas that are different than mine. Please use my experiences and insights as a springboard to think about habits you can develop (or habits you might want to break), and go from there!

Organizational Habits

  • Create a drop point for your keys, wallet/purse/briefcase, and other items vital to your day. We have a key rack that is hung near our most used door, which my keys always go on as I walk in the door, and my purse is always nearby. In an emergency, everyone in the family knows where these items are and anyone can grab them on their way out the door – even in the dark. Bonus: no more lost car keys!
  • Keep a pair of closed-toe shoes or sturdy slippers by your bed at night and create a safe space within arms reach of your bed for things like glasses or hearing aids. When living in earthquake country, I knew it was possible my glasses would fall during a tremor, but I knew where they would most likely land and where I should check for them, even if darkness prevented me from seeing them. (If you tend to sleep unfettered by clothing, keeping a robe nearby would also be a good habit to have!)
  • Change batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms when you change your clocks; then change passwords for online accounts, save a backup of your computer files, inventory your pantry, rotate your vehicle emergency items, and perform other tasks that may need to be done seasonally. Having a set day twice a year will ensure you’ve got these things on the calendar. This is a great time for dental exams and cleanings as well – you’ll always know when you’re due for a checkup!
  • Speaking of exams, try scheduling your annual physical based off of your birthday or anniversary. If you’re a fairly healthy person, it’s easy to let an annual exam go, but being in good health is key to being prepared for what life throws your way. Scheduling exams near your birthday will get you in and out of the doctor’s office at a time that’s easy to remember.
  • Don’t toss old cell phones and chargers right away! If you tend to upgrade every two years, keep your old phone charged and store it in your storm shelter or safe room in case of emergency. (Tip: If your bedroom is your safe space, keep the phone near those slippers and glasses; in the middle of the night, there’s no question in the middle of the night where you put it all.)

Behavioral Habits

  • Teach children to enter and exit vehicles quickly and to buckle up as promptly as possible. With wee ones this can be difficult, so another option is for all children to enter through one door, while you monitor their entry and the parking lot around you. If your vehicle has a key fob, consider locking the doors behind your passengers while you walk around to the driver’s side and unlock only your door.
  • Keep car doors and windows secured as much as possible, especially when driving in densely populated areas. Every predator likes easy prey – a carjacker can’t open your door easily if it’s locked and burglars love open garage doors and windows.
  • Hitting the road? Wear or pack sturdy shoes, and even for quick errands, channel my grandmother and make sure you take a sweater or jacket!
  • Keep all vehicles fueled with at least half a tank and maintain them properly. You can deck out your rig with every survival tool on the planet, but you’ll still need fuel if you want to drive off into the sunset!
  • Drive carefully and with awareness. Speed demons have to spend more on fuel, on maintenance, and on tickets and insurance. Do some research on defensive driving and “hypermiling”; you needn’t drive like a slug to reap the benefits of not tailgating and having more room to maneuver in bad weather or heavy traffic. Let the other guy be the one who gets pulled over.
  • Look around! One of the easiest habits to create to help you become better prepared is to increase your situational awareness. Smartphones are a helpful tool, but these days we are seeing a dangerous trend in a society where people are walking into traffic, off cliffs, and into rowdy crowds without even realizing they’ve endangered themselves and others. The same thing goes for eating, actually; if you’ve got a habit of staring at your plate and wolfing down your food, it may be time to practice looking up and noticing who’s around and what is occurring around you. (Admittedly a lot of folks are looking down at their phones, so you may get to have a laugh thinking back to this article!)
  • Learn to use mirrors and reflective surfaces to better your awareness. Obviously this is essential out on the road – your mirrors and head checks will help you see tots on bicycles crossing behind you and semi-trucks barreling down on you. Being in the habit of using shop windows to check out fellow shoppers is also a great habit; if you’re ever in doubt about being followed or someone’s intent, you can stop and “window shop” and get glimpses without turning around.

Mental Habits:

  • Learn and live Colonel Jeff Cooper’s combat mindset and color code. You can even practice “Condition Orange” in the aforementioned traffic situations: watch what other drivers do, make a prediction about their behavior, and preplan the action you will take if they do act in a certain manner. This saved me thousands of dollars in repairs and a freeway speed accident years ago! While merging onto the freeway I noticed a flat bed truck with a wooden frame and sheet of glass on the back. Thinking about how I should react if something like that were to fall off such a truck, I slowed and gave the driver more room. You can imagine the size of my eyes when he sped up and the entire frame began to rock and tilt right off the flatbed! Because I slowed down, I had more room to maneuver; because I had thought, If that were to fall, I could cause an accident by slamming on my brakes. I won’t do that. I will steer to the opposite shoulder and go around it. That’s exactly what I did, and I went right past the debris and the truck as the truck driver hit the brakes and pulled over! The same sort of practice can be done in a shopping mall, the library, your office, and in your own home. The more you practice “If s/he …, then I …” scenarios, the more prepared your mind will be in a crisis.
  • Learn to trust your gut! I certainly don’t think some superhero prepper power came out in my freeway experience. A gut instinct simply gave me a few seconds notice and piqued my curiosity about how I could best respond, allowing me to pre-plan and react as smoothly as I did. If you’re not in the habit of trusting those feelings, consider examining them more closely and listening to what they are telling you.
  • People watch. Some of us already have this nosey little habit, right? There are folks out there who are delighted to wait for friends and family in an airport, on a park bench, or in a café because people are just so fascinating! People watching is a great way to start testing your combat mindset, as well as to be aware of how things normally go in your neighborhood, your church, and your workplace. If you recognize the vehicles that frequent your block or the people who sit in the pews around you, you are better prepared to both welcome friendly newcomers and to stave off those with ill intent.
  • Analyze the locations you frequent and examine your own needs and abilities in them. Is it safer to park further out in a lot so you have fewer people and vehicles parked around your car, or is it better for you to park close in and have quicker access from an exit? Where are the safest places to sit in meetings and religious services? Consider these issues and decide on a plan of action for each location. At the same time, think about what weapons or defenses will be in place if you cannot use your primary defense method. (E.g. using a fire extinguisher or pencil as a weapon because you’re meeting with your child’s teacher and can’t legally carry a firearm in the school.)
  • Be professional and confident in your dealings with others. As the old saying goes, you’ll get more flies with honey than vinegar, so remember that you’ll be more likely to get what you want or need if you communicate in a calm, professional manner. Confidence also makes you less viable as prey to those with criminal intent; being calm is vital to deescalating a situation when faced with someone dealing with mental illness. Research effective communication and how to diffuse situations when dealing with difficult personality types – it will make a difference in family and public communication, but it could also save your life.
  • Lastly, choose to be positive! A good attitude and a survivor mentality can make or break how you survive crisis situations both large and small. Being a “Negative Nellie” is bad for your morale and that of everyone around you. Learn to look at the glass (or the gas tank) as half full and you’ll see opportunities in a survival situation that others might not. You needn’t don rose-colored glasses and be a Pollyanna, but since about forty percent of our happiness is achieved through choice, it is possible to reap health and social benefits from a habit of viewing things positively.

What habits would you add to this list?

Do you practice these simple habits? Are there other habits you’d like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

About the Author: Melonie Kennedy is a military wife and homeschooling mother who sometimes forgets her own sweater while asking everyone else about theirs. You can visit her online at www.MelonieK.com.

Melonie Kennedy

Melonie Kennedy

Melonie Kennedy is a military wife, homeschooling mother, author, and preparedness consultant. Her work has appeared in a variety of media, both online and in print, from poetry anthologies and trade journals to magazines and books. An avid reader, she also enjoys knitting, genealogy, yoga, and suburban homesteading. Check out her website at MelonieK.com

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39 Responses

  1. – Always carry some emergency cash. Enough for two tanks of gas and snacks for yourself and passengers.
    – You probably check your speedometer regularly as you drive, so add your gas gauge and check engine light to that scan.
    – When driving at night turn the instrument panel light down as low as you can and still make out the gauges. This helps
    preserve your night vision.
    – carry a spare car key in your wallet.
    – Carry a USB drive containing maps and prepper info in your pocket or purse at all times. This should be part of your every day carry kit.

  2. Have set routines. “As I leave the house I grab my EDC kit and lock the doors.” “As I take off my seat belt, I check the headlight knob, make sure the windows are rolled up, and then lock the car as I leave.” “As I approach my car/house, I make sure my keys are in hand and I monitor the area for strange shadows or activity.” SImple habits like this are life and money savers. If you chain several good actions together in a mini routine, you will not be likely to forget it.

  3. Look, Anticipate, Plan, Act.

    When possible park facing “out”, so should the need arise, you can pull straight out of a parking space.

    1. I personally think this is a bad idea.
      It really does not save that much time and is not safer, if you are a skilled driver.
      But it does make your vehicle stand out. So it might garner unwanted attention .
      In some places it is even be illegal to do so..

      1. I must respectfully disagree with Mic. As an MP in West Germany I investigated many, many accidents. Many occured while backing up. I am constantly amazed that people will pull in behind a vehicle forcing them to back out when leaving when they have the easy option to park forward (facing out) in an adjoining space. In the west/midwest most paring lots offer the the back-back parking and your vehicle won’t standout that much by facing forward. I remember seeing an article that stated people would be safer if everyone parked facing forward even if they had to back into the spaces. That I don’t particularly agree with! Also, I can’t imagine parking facing forward being illegal!

      2. 20yrs Military, 23yrs Law Enforcement and I’m not even sure I can pull forward into a space lol.
        Even at walmart I park out far enough I pull straight through and stop facing outwards.
        Always back in when possible. Don’t park up front where it will get congested in an emergency or where debris or the crime scene will be.

        1. Same here. Towards the back, but in the same isle as the cart return. Pulled up so it facing forward and easy out.
          Just put it in Drive and go!

            1. I have such an ingrained habit of locking my Jeep doors the second my butt hits the driver seat that I’m forever locking out my passengers because they didn’t move fast enough to get their own doors open.

  4. Habits that create a prepared mindset: Here is the first and most important habit – The WILL to have a prepared mindset. I have seen all types of people and each one has some sort of mindset of preparedness. The question then becomes the mindset of preparedness for what?

    There are people that look to their everyday survival and are of the mindset to be prepared. Then there are those that are equally prepared and the mindset of allowing someone else to be responsible for their survival. All they want to do is CONSUME. I call these people “The Third Herd.” The Third Herd are people that just consume anything and everything that will make their life a little bit easier to live. They don’t have any concern about their survival because they live hand-to-mouth with the understanding that they will never run out of any resources, beside you are there to ensure their survival. Oh, things might get a little tight, prices might get a little high; but, these people are fully aware that there is an endless supply of resources that they can get a hold of through YOU and all your hard work.

    You’ve seen these people, they might even be someone in your family. You know the type I’m talking about, “see a dollar, spend a dollar.” It never occurred to them to save that dollar. If you have food stored for that rainy day, they will eat it all up and never think twice about replacing it until it is all gone. Why should they care about your inventory or why you are saving it. To them, it is just a surplus that they now have access and they got you to do all the replacement for them.

    These people may be smart in certain areas in their lives, shoot, they maybe brilliant at work; however, when it comes to their future survival – they just don’t see it. They think it is a waste of time, money, and resources not to mention space.

    So how do you make these people, The third herd, come on board to help you in your survival needs. You can try talking to them but I have found that this doesn’t work. After all, as long as supplies last why should they change? I have found that if they are forced to do their own survival, even if it is a day-to-day survival, then and only then will they see exactly what is needed to be done. In short, tough LOVE. Make them do it for themselves, whatever it may be. If they want you to do something for them let them do it for themselves. If they leave the lights on then leave them on and let them pay the bill. If they eat your stored food stuffs, make them replace it with their money and restock the shelves the way you had it. If they use any of your supplies make them replace it – no excuses. It doesn’t have to be food. It can be fuel, tools, can goods that you had can. Make them do the canning and restock your supplies.

    Once you get them on board then present them with your 18 rules for mindset preparedness. Just make sure that you make them realize that this is what you will expect of them. In fact, you demand that they respect your efforts even if they don’t really see it. In any case they will be held accountable no matter what.

    It won’t be easy, just keep the faith. The Third Herd mentality will slowly disappear and you can start to build on their habits to be prepared and have the mindset to do it with. You can try being nice; but, I have found a firm hand and a swift kick in the butt works just as well.

  5. I laughed at your eye-rolling teenager. I’ve always told mine to have a couple of bottles of water in the car. (Yes, insert eye-roll here.) Last summer, 100* weather, my granddaughter was driving home from the “big city” 50 miles away. There was a multiple car crash blocking all lanes of the highway and nothing moved for over 2 hours. She called me assuring me she was “dying of thirst” in the hot car. I couldn’t even rescue her because all 4 lanes were backed up 2 miles both ways. She didn’t die despite her dramatic proclamations but guess who never goes anywhere without her little emergency pack grandma gave her! Nice article.

    1. I never drive anywhere without insisting that each passenger bring water with them. Sure I have a small case in the trunk, but that is for me and for people in dire need, not people who shud have prepared.

  6. I enjoyed your article and have emplimented many of the things you suggested. I also walk my neighborhood frequently going to the park or local store, it’s a good way to not only stay in shape but as I walk I am working on my situational awareness as well as putting to memory potential food resources ( fruit trees, nuts, edible
    Plants etc.) Water sources. And it lets me be seen by people in the neighborhood as well so I am a familiar face that way if I have to bug out I will be less likely to draw attention to myself. I even wear a backpack for these walks to help condition my body.

  7. At stop lights, leave more space between your front end and the rear of the vehicle in front of you. At least be able to see their rear tires. This leaves the option of hitting the gas for escape or evasion from car jackers, vehicles that lose their brakes approaching from your rear, or if the jalopy in front breaks down at the light. – Not to mention if you do get rear ended, this space provides a buffer from u hitting the one in front and ruining their day and your front end. Don’t be afraid to run a red light or break other traffic laws if it avoids a car jacking or accident.

    Take different routes home some days, try to change times when you arrive home if you can.

    Check the air pressure in your spare tire/ donut tire- maybe on the days you change smoke alarm batteries or change of seasons- cold weather may drain em and come summer they’re flat. KNOW HOW TO CHANGE YOUR TIRE- don’t try to learn on the side of a 70mph highway shoulder.

    1. A responsible parent will teach their kids how to change a tire. Of course you have to be able to change one yourself to teach them.

      Every time I see that car insurance commercial where the stranded teenager doesn’t know what a tire tool is I laugh and then cuss the parent.

    2. Great advice! On your first point, I have tried to explain this to family members, but to no avail. To add to your point, if you hit the car in front of you due to being rear-ended, what if the guy in front is injured (or just says they are)? Who is going to be on the lawsuit list? Apparently, the people I have mentioned this ‘stoplight tailgating’ to think they will get to their destination faster…go figure.
      On point number one in the article, don’t keep your keys, wallet, etc. on a counter anywhere near a trashcan. Ask me how I know (and, no, it wasn’t me…)

    3. @lowbrow that was one of the first safety precautions taught in motorcycle driving school, leave space to exit from an unsafe position. It saved me a few times from being squished between 2 vehicles.

  8. Know the public places you goto. In your mind nap out where entrances and exits are. If trouble comes in one door is there another way out?
    Example: in a mall there are usually many ways in our out. Many stores have their parking lot entrances while the middle commons area may just have a few entrances. If there are multiple stories learn the ways to get out other than the big open escalators. Stores often have inside elevators and stairways.
    Stay aware and do some recon. Be prepared. In parking buildings do the same. Then ladies look for a van parked by the drivers door of your vehicle. Is it really empty? Is someone under your car where they could grab your ankles and pull you down?
    Listen to your gut!!!
    If you’re uneasy walking from a stir or mall to your vehicle ask security to walk out with you. If they can’t leave their post area, can they at least watch you?
    Be an aware driver. What are others doing? What are the conditions at the moment. Can you change a flat tire? Do you have a good spare tire? A jack? A lug wrench? Can you set the parking brake or do you have wheel choks- wedges to keep wheels from rolling. Who do you call if you need help?
    Example: I’m 72. I’ve changed flat tires since 1960. Today I’ve had a hamstring injury and torn a ligament on the side of the knee in two. I have had a bone repair surgery with a plate and 7 screws in my right arm. In healing but still too weak to change the tires on any of my vehicles. My husband at 81 with Alzheimer’s can’t help. So I have an auto club membership with 100 mile towing. They could also bring 5 gallons of gas, give the vehicle a jump start or take me and my vehicle home. I can also get all of the free road maps I’ll ever want. And they sell good road atlases as well. On Sundays for the last three years I’ve driven 100 miles each way to the church I pastor. I’ve been pulled out of a deep snow bank and had tires changed in years past. But all since I was 65.
    In a SHTF situation it would be different but for now it’s part of my safety on the road.
    My vehicles are in good shape. I have seasonally appropriate supplies handy. In past years when working I’ve been stuck in town with roads closed because of snow. I had food, clothing, warm blankets, water and things I could do to keep busy while I waited it out. One time on a Sunday I went to church in a warm sweat suit 🙂 and at noon the roads were open to drive the 30 miles up the mountains to home again. I’d enjoyed coffee and doughnuts with old friends at church after getting off work at 9 am. I ditched the wet , muddy clothing for the clean sweats in my car under the cover of a blanket… Then decided to make both services at church. City streets were open. Mountain roads weren’t.
    My friends were the church musicians so we were able to visit between services.
    Make the best of bad situations. It makes for an easier life.
    Being prepared really helps so you have a bit more peace of mind about the things that might happen, if they do happen.

    1. At 73 I can no longer change a tire as a heart attack weakened my ability to handle a lug wrench. But I keep all the necessities in my trunk including chocks to keep my car from rolling and a 12v compressor to top up soft tires and a plywood pad to put under my jack if the ground is soft or uneven. And I can help a younger stronger person who has never changed a tire, to change mine, or hers. My last assistance came from a female aircraft mechanic who had never changed a car tyre but was familiar with the concept as she frequently changed small aircraft tyres & brake parts.

    2. I am 71, and I concur with you. It’s absolutely vital to stay in shape, so I walk every day for 2 miles and work out with hand weights 3 times a week. I eat right, minding that I must have at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies per day
      I, too, keep my car in tiptop condition.
      I do not go out after dark alone. In fact, I don’t go out at all unless my brother, a marine, takes me. Good locks and drawn drapes will help keep one safe.
      I also KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT and do not advertise what I own nor do I put on the Ritz, wearing clothing that is average and the only jewelry is my wedding ring and earrings. We had a horrible murder here in our town of a lady that did just the opposite, driving an expensive car and flashing her jewelry and bragging about her bank account. Her address was in the phone book, so the robber/murderer knew where she lived. I repeat: KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT.

  9. what im about to say is HARDCORE AND NOT MANY ARE WILLING TO LIVE LIKE THIS…

    THE PREPPER STRATEGY IS CALLED… BASIC.
    Live Basic. When you cook, use wooden utensils. When you cook, cook outdoors and actually build a fire. Build you a wooden platform to lay your food on to eat. When you eat meat, use a hunting knife to feed yourself. Learn to wash your clothes in a five gallon bucket. Learn to how to use a small twilight of light to do the things you need to do at night. Exercise. Use cast iron cookware to cook with outdoors. Store tons of water up. Learn to like FIBER. Dont use sink water for cooking. Use water from containers. Iknow NOBODY in their lazy mind, would want to live like this, but IF you LIVE it and PRACTICE it EVERYDAY………

    LIVING HARD WILL BE A SECOND NATURE WHEN SHTF, and you wont be caught off guard and freaked out on what to do…

    1. How often?

      I’ve done it a few times to practice, so I know what to do and I have the tools and supplies to do these, but until it’s necessary, enjoy the conveniences while they’re still there.

      Every day is overkill.

  10. I think the most important thing in prepping is to strengthen your small community. Get involved in your local church, grange, farmers’ market, am. legion, garden club, scouts, or whatever other local groups there are. Hone your best skills for trading. It is much easier to survive in a strong local community than by yourself.

  11. Be kind to people. Give lots of grace. You don’t have any idea how their day has been and what they might be dealing with. Help others when possible and be an encouraging person. All these things will make your life more pleasant and develop connections. People remember the nice people when they’re”down” and you develop a good reputation. This comes back to you as opportunities that others share with you. It’s important to have connections in hard times.

  12. To add to the hardcore list from “jw in the thunder”:

    Learn how to take a 3rd world style “bucket bath” with a minimum of water. Hospitals today use a version of this for seated patients they fear may be in danger of slipping while standing. If you heat up water in a bucket or steel kettle to about 125 degrees and use one sponge with a scrubby pad on one side and another sponge without the scrubby, you’re good to go, and you’ll use considerably less water than a standing shower requires.

    In addition to learning how to wash clothes in buckets (ideally by using a mobile muscle-powered plunger from Amazon or eBay), learn the difference between detergents and soaps that are cold water compatible in addition to hot water. Some are retail only; some are DIY. That can save both the cost and effort of heating water and can make most clothes last longer. Learn what a “scrubba” clothes washing bag is that packs compactly and is well suited for manual washing while traveling. Daisy’s https://thefrugalite.com/ website has details on DIYing both hot and cold water detergents.

    Drying those clothes indoors on a line or on clothes hangers takes longer but saves the cost of running a clothes dryer — which might not even be available in a long term power outage.

    Learn what a hiking trailer is and what a bicycle cargo trailer is (and how either can be either bought at retail or DIY made … for the option of being able to transport heavier loads when vehicle fuels become either unaffordable or flat out unavailable. [The Mormons in their pre-Civil War flight of desperation to the western US included many families that couldn’t afford horses or oxen to pull their wagonloads of “stuff” so they packed what they could onto 2-wheeled carts they could pull by muscle power. The book “Handcarts to Zion” tells that incredible story.]

    Learn how to cook with either or both steaming and double boiling. The effect of rising steam for either can come from even boiled DIRTY water once you let any VOCs boil off first. That conserves precious clean water for inside the pot that’s cooking anything you eat.

    Learn how to use multiple kinds of solar cookers to help conserve whatever kinds of fuels you might be storing and using otherwise. Some are DIY capable; some are retail only. Some are compatible for use while traveling while some are better for fixed base use only. Some are ideal for high heat cooking / boiling / distilling while some are best for slow cooking.

    Learn all you can about food preservation from the pre-electric era. The ancients even had a long history of preserving some fruits and vegetables with wood ash. Meats were often dried or smoked, etc, etc.

    When you stock up on solar lights, make sure they have a switch so you can turn them off at night (when you want to sleep) to save the charging energy. Otherwise you might see them using up that energy all night long so the next day if there’s insufficient sun you won’t get a full charge for the next night. (The super convenient Luci lights give you the choice of either
    solar charging or wall power electric charging.) Some solar lights have a battery that’s replaceable once it dies; some have the battery embedded so the user is forced to acquire a replacement solar light [Thank you, China, for going el cheapo on such designs.]

    –Lewis

    1. To add to Lewis’s add to JW in the Thunder’ post:

      Skip the heating the water and take a sponge bath using a simple wash cloth and microfiber camp towel to dry. Shave using cold water. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to bathe everyday.

      Sea to Summit wash. Can wash the body, dishes, and clothes. Works fine in cold water.

      IF using your BOB, line dry your clothing as dry as you can get them, then sleep on them. Use your body heat to help dry them. May not get to 100%, but better than nothing. Use wool, or performance synthetics. Dont use cotton. If using your BOB, carry three pairs of socks, underware, and t-shirts. One pair you are wearing, one pair dirty, and one pair clean. Rotate accordingly and wash as time permits. Using performance synthetics and wool, you dont have to change them everyday.

      Learn about how to salt, cure, and dry using salts. I have salt cured lemons in the pantry that have been in there for months now. Rinse, cut up, add to soups, salads, even on top of chicken or fish to brighten up food.

      1. 1st marineJARHEAD, you are absolutely correct. But as far as keeping clean, I would say it should be a requirement. Because you know , being a male and being very active doing tasks outside all day long, can cause SWAMP ASS and what does SWAMP ASS cause????? A raw and gaulded very uncomfortable feeling…. A WHORES BATH with a bar of soap would help keep that to a minimum… haha.

        1. If I am very active, I agree with you wholeheartedly.
          But on those days when the wood is stacked, the livestock in the barn, all they need is about 30 minutes of hay and watering, the rest of the day is sitting in front of a good fire reading a good book, ya dont need to bathe daily.

    2. Lewis I agree with what you said, BUT, as you know as well as I do, that NOBODY is going to use the techniques you have mentioned, granted they are good ones. But the reason, I say that is because the general populus, is lazy, and used to their luxuries, of a 9 to 5 job, sitting on the couch eating chips and little debbie cakes, operating the remote….. the world has chose to get lazy….

  13. I’m gonna ask y’all to go from 1/2 tank is empty to 3/4 is empty the next few weeks.
    I know it’s a pain but if possible it would be wise.
    It’s rare we know ahead of time when it’s “game day” if you will.
    This is an exception.

  14. “jw in the thunder”
    — you wrote:

    “Lewis I agree with what you said, BUT, as you know as well as I do, that NOBODY is going to use the techniques you have mentioned, granted they are good ones…”

    jw, I think there are several demographics that either are, or will be, interested in our discussion. In the prepper world, there are those who are strongly motivated to learn and practice such things in preparation for really hard times, although there’s probably a subset who will read but not take action until that proverbial “Schumer” hits the fan. There will be some who are interested in tightening their belt in order to build up a badly damaged emergency fund regardless of how fast that fan may spin. There is an active discussion about that over in thefrugalite.com now.

    There are also millions of people who are badly positioned downstream of the most awful coming flood of evictions resulting from the permanent loss of jobs and small businesses because of the idiotic lockdowns and bailout money siphoned off for large businesses instead. Those people will be forced to tighten their belts no matter how the national future turns out.

    I realize the size limits of the readership here, but doing what we can may be all that we can, given that we don’t have the MSM budgets to monopolize eyeballs and ear buds. Is that fair grounds for a clean conscience?

    –Lewis

  15. Get off your phone when you are in public. I’m a huge believer in situational awareness and people who are on their phones, talking, texting, checking messages, etc. have no idea what is going on around them. Just before the COVID shut down I flew through one of the major US airports where there happened to be many young service men and women. Almost all of them were on their phones. I was appalled at the lack of awareness of their surroundings — these were military personnel. Had a group of terrorists opened fire, only one in maybe 50 would have even been aware enough to take cover, little lone protect themselves and others. I happened to know one of the servicemen and I interrupted his phone time and asked him questions like, “Where is the nearest exit?”, “Did you hear the announcement for your flight?” and “What would you do if there was suddenly gunfire?” He didn’t have answers, was annoyed because I’d interrupted his phone time, and totally amazed that I had answers to the questions I’d asked. And he didn’t want to hear why I’d asked, why I knew the answers or even why I thought it was important.

  16. I regularly use what I call my 3/20 rule. Three seconds, twenty feet.

    When I enter/exit a building, pull into a parking lot, leave my front door in the morning, or generally just transition into a new environment, I observe for at least 3 seconds to ascertain potential issues. I do not put my car in park, or exit my vehicle until I’ve swept the area with a few seconds of surveillance. It takes a while to do it as a matter of habit, but I think it is well worth the training. When I exist a building I look around me starting with closest to furthest avenues of approach, potential hiding spots, etc…

    When out in public, I try to maintain contact with, and observation of people around me, especially if they are within 20 feet of me. I’ve heard that a person can cover 20 feet of ground in about one second, and it takes about one second to properly react to an unexpected event. If someone is within that 20 foot perimeter, the time you have to react will be much less. By being aware of everyone within 20 feet of me, I can be more prepared to respond if one of them intends to do me harm.

    I also am very conscientious to lock my vehicle immediately on entering it, or keeping it locked while pumping gas, etc… The time you are most vulnerable to attack is when you are entering/exiting your vehicle, so be most aware at those times.

    Finally as you said Melonie, trust your gut. Many people who are victims of crime had a niggling feeling something wasn’t right about a person, but continued as if nothing was wrong. We don’t want to be embarrassed by overreacting. Better to overreact than to get robbed, beaten or worse.

    Stay alert in the coming days more than ever.

  17. I don’t recall the details, but a while ago I read that most people, when they enter a room, scan one way habitually (IIRC most do L to R but that’s my fallible memory). The point made was to disrupt that. Make a deliberate effort to alternate. Scan L to R in one instance, the R to L the next area you get to.

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