Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Two Inches of Mayhem

Yesterday afternoon when the snow started falling and I made my way to the bar instead of trying to make my to shelter, I didn't realize what a good decision that was. Instead of being trapped on the freeways for 8-20 hours, I spent 6 hours at the bar chatting with a retired teacher and an electrical engineer on a business trip from Chicago. Talking to people who know more than me is one of my favorite things to do because I love asking questions and learning new things. After drinking my fill of beer, I made my way to a friends house a few miles away and crashed on the couch - ironically not being one of the people sleeping in their vehicles for the night.

I am by no means a doomsday type of person but the wisdom of having a few basic supplies on hand in the case of an emergency hit home. Despite having a load of blankets and a heavy jacket or two, I will be purchasing a sleeping bag, some sort of mechanical or solar charging device for my phone and a water purifier as the base elements of my kit. When I do have a house, a big bag of rice and a small camping stove are definitely in order. We really take for granted the easy access we have to the usually stocked grocery store shelves but even a slight interruption such as we had can wreak major havoc on our lives. A few basic things I've learned to survive the cold are: keep your head a feet well covered. If you can created a pocket of air around yourself such as with a blanket or walls of snow etc then you won't lose anywhere near the amount of heat if a slight exchange of air is had. In a really desperate situation, peeing into a bottle and then putting the bottle inside your jacket will provide extra warmth for a bit. Don't sleep directly on a surface like the ground or a truck bed without a decent barrier in between you and the surface because it will wick heat right out of your body. Your body can shut down it's metabolism if needed so in an extreme situation, don't eat food early in the day because it will make your metabolism jump. Wait till late in the day and only consume what you can afford to from your store of food. 

There are tons of other tips out there but these are a few that I have found to be helpful in my vagabond life. Hopefully this all clears up soon and we all have learned something valuable from the experience.

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