Category Archives: CLOTHING

General clothing, foot wear __ store bought and home made.

Blending in 3


ALWAYS pick up after yourself do NOT be a pig. If you have enough that you can throw something away, then you have stuff others may want to take from you. Or leavening trash is like the old tale of leaving bread crumbs as a trail marker. It is most always best to leave no trace that you were ever there. An example of this from my military days was that we did not carry TP as the locals did not use it, also we would go a bit off the trail and dig a ‘cat hole’ to go in and us leaves to wipe and then bury everything so it did not show. In that area it took less than a week for the worms to convert our droppings and remove all trace of us. As a side note, KNOW what kind of leaves you are making us of. Do not be like a relative who did not know what poison ivy looked like and use that to wipe. I am sure it was NOT fun recovering from that.


Travel on hard surfaces if possible as this will cut down on the tracks you leave. Travel single file to diminish their ability to count how many people are in your group, on the other hand everyone making their own path does not leave as much of a trail. You have to decide which you think is best in your situation. If you can wrap your footwear in rags to obscure what kind of shoe you have. Back when I worked Search and |Rescue we each had a laminated cheat sheet which had the common tread patterns on it so that when we discovered prints we could radio the info into command to log locations.

What are your thoughts on this?

What other suggestions can you make?

Blending in 2

Noise discipline

Typically the bigger issues with this come from children, dogs and Untrained adults which can be way worse than the kids and animals. EVERYONE should be trained in quiet mode operations. This is easier done IF a house hold member is a shift worker. My wife and I both had parents who worked other shifts so we were raised being quiet. WE both worked shifts [evening and nights] and so raised our kids to be quiet. This was so ingrained into us that on hard wood or tile floors walking ‘normally’ for us in combat boots we often got accused of ‘sneaking up on people. The grandkids’ donor was NOT raised to be quiet and even in stocking feet we could hear him walking in the house. He often bragged of what a great hunter he was [from the road] and ALL the things he learned in Marine boot camp.. [The whole WEEK [7 days] ] that he was in boot camp before he got the boot…

The short of this discussion on noise discipline is START early teaching the kids about it and it will be WAY easier to do. You can make a game out of it.

Along with all that has already been discussed is LIGHT discipline. Keep lights low and shielded so that it only extends at most a few feet from the source. Sound is hard to track due to echoing unless it is a constant noise like equipment [generators or music]. Light once seen can be followed EVEN if it was only a flash like from a camera. All they have to do is mark the direction and then plot it on a map. IF 2 or more people witnessed it your exact location is easy to triangulate. Along with LIGHT discipline is REFLECTIVE discipline which is light reflecting off of equipment and thus giving your position away. Remove or cover reflective items with cloth, flat paint or mud to cut down on this issue.

Conversely if you are trying to be noticed make noise, start small controlled fires which smoke a lot and use something reflective to catch the sun light and redirect it toward searchers.

All things being equal the one thing which attracts attention the most is MOVEMENT. If you are attempting to travel without being noticed move slowly and deliberately without acting as if you are sneaking about. Stop often and survey your surroundings.

OUTLINES disrupt your outline so that you do not look human [same thing for equipment make is so that the outline does not look like a car or truck or whatever. Also be very aware of your background so that you do not stand out such as avoiding the ridgeline of a hill or building.

Like noise and light discipline you have to watch the color of your attire and equipment. Avoid bright un-natural colors unless you WANT to be found. Reds and oranges are out for blending in. also avoid camouflage and tactical black as they shout ‘I have stuff, come and take it!’ Browns, tans, light greens, grays and cream colors work well for blending in in most places. Look to see what the dominate colors are around you and go with that. Some times a muted plaid or flower shirt works well.

Blending in

Blending in

Things that will give away your location both on the trail |AND at home

Consider these things when you have to bug out bug back or are sheltering in place. You do NOT want to stand out as someone who has ‘stuff’ that others may want to take from you.


Both from a fire [for warmth or for cooking] AND tobacco products. I have personally tracked people down from over a ¼ mile away who smoking a cigarette – of course the wind was blowing toward me. The odor that clings to smokers can also give away their location even if they are not actively smoking. KEEP this in mind if there is ANY possibility that you will ever have to remain hidden. One building that we had an office in a few years ago used to be a movie house. Part if it had burned down OVER 30 years prior and there was still the odor from that fire in parts of the building such as the projection room. IF you have a fire do it at night to hide the sight of the smoke and keep the fire VERY small and shielded so that people can not see the fire itself.

Food cooking

The odor not only from the fire but from the food itself carriers quite a way and will give away your location. Especially if the people around you are hungry. Back in the old west stories they talked of having ‘cold camps’ the term comes from not having a cooking fire. This is something to consider if you are ever on the move either bugging out or bugging home…. And even when sheltering in place. It is a good idea for most of your food n your BOB to be such that you can eat it cold or out of hand without preparation. That said – a good HOT meal sure does lift the spirits.


Back when I was in the military one of the things the medics [me] carried was Codeine tablets. Besides being good for pain control it also suppressed cough in case a team mate had one and we did not want the sound to give away our location while on patrol. Talk with your doctor if this is a concern for you. BTW there are other over the counter [OTC] medications which will help control cough ECT that can be used such as Guaifenesin tablets. This is a great topic for discussion with your doctor.

soap follow up

This is a follow up on the Homemade Laundry Detergent Blog. I found some more information from our daughter, friends who have done this before and the internet.

How to make washing soda from Baking Soda-
Pour baking soda onto cookie sheet with no oil
Place into 400 degree preheated oven
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes
Washing soda will look dull and be a finer grade of granules
Baking Soda cost $2.24 for 4 lbs and Washing Soda is $3.24 so Baking Soda is cheaper (These prices are from Wal mart)
-if you cook the baking soda at the same time as you are cooking a cake, roast or potatoes you will save the cost of cooking it – in other words you will kill two birds with one stone.

For the bar soap to use, you can use any soap you want to but the suggestions were to keep away from the heavy scented soaps. Ivory soap, Castile or if you have soap allergies use the bar or liquid soap that works with your skin.

In my research there was one recipe that called to use 2 TBS of Glycerin in the 5 gallons of liquid detergent. Glycerin would cause the detergent to be a more smooth consistency instead of gloppy gel and would also act as a natural fabric softener.

Other recipes call for adding even more water to the solution, so experiment with using this with your water (if you have hard water or if you have a water softener) and the dirtiness of your laundry.

This is good detergent to use for babies because it is not full of chemicals next to their delicate skin.
It also does not cause high suds.

To make homemade powdered soap-
Finely grate your bar soap
1 cup of washing soda
1 cup of borax

After mixing all ingredients only use 2 tablespoons in a full load HE front load washer. Again experiment with your water and dirty clothes to fine tune the amount to use. So, after you make sure that this works for your skin and clothes, then you can make up more and store away to use at a later date or at least store the ingredients to add to your storage. This will make a big difference in the amount of money you will have to use to put away a years’ worth.

For fabric softener, most of the information I found was that you just use ¼ cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle of the HE front loader washing machine with essential oil. If you do not like the smell of vinegar then add your drops of essential oil to the rinse cycle instead of the wash cycle. Basically you can add the essential oil at any stage of the wash or drying. I like it better and it seems to work better to add the essential oil to the dryer.

To make dryer sheets you can use 5” squares of 100% cotton material, that can be from used clothing or you could crochet 5” squares of cotton yarn. Place essential oil onto the material and throw into the dryer. You can use this same square and placing the essential oil onto it each time used for at least 5 loads of clothes, then wash the square. The square can then be used for another 5 loads until you rewash it again. Both the material and the essential oils can be stored away for a later date to use. The key to maintaining oils is to store it air tight.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

Well, while our daughter was gone on vacation this summer I made my first batch of homemade laundry detergent. I have been meaning to make it for years but never got around to doing it. Our daughter has been making her laundry detergent for the last couple of years. It was much easier to do than I thought it would be and is so much cheaper. She said it only cost about $2 to make a 5 gallon bucket full and only using ½ cup for each load, will last quite a while. To get all of the ingredients it is almost $7 but compared to ready made laundry detergent is much cheaper. She gets all of the ingredients at Wal-Mart. She said if a load is really dirty she will add oxi-clean which she gets at the Dollar Tree for a dollar and will last for a while depending on how dirty your children get their clothes. The ingredients for the laundry detergent are below:

1 five gallon bucket, these you can get at paint stores or Wal-Mart or Home Depot
1 bar of soap-you can use Fels Naphtha or Zote which are only 97 cents
1 cup of Washing Soda, use washing soda not Baking Soda they are different about $3
1 cup of Borax, which usually goes by “20 Mule Borax” about $3

Other items needed are a cheese grater, a long handled stirring spoon, a pot that will hold at least 4 cups of water and a measuring cup. If you would like to add a different scent to the soap you can use essential oils, however, I prefer the scent of the ZOTE bar soap to Fels Naphtha. Whatever the color of the soap is will be the color of the detergent.

Use the cheese grater to grate the bar of soap and put it in 4 cups of water and put on medium high heat so that the soap dissolves in the water, do not boil. Pour this into the bucket and add 1 cup of Washing Soda and 1 cup of Borax to the mixture and stir until all is dissolved. If you want to add a different scent, now is the time to add that. Fill the bucket half way and stir. Place the half full bucket at the point where you will be using it and stir. Then add water until filled up to about an inch below the top of the bucket. You will still need to stir the detergent so don’t overfill. Place the top on the bucket and let stand for 24 hours. The detergent will look like a gloppy gel, and that is how it is supposed to look. You can leave it in the bucket or put in smaller containers whichever is more convenient for you. If you don’t like the gloppy gel you can pour some out and use a blender to make it more even looking that will be just your preference. It does not affect the way it works one way or the other.

For a front loader HE washing machine use ½ cup for a large load – you will get about 160 loads out of the 5 gallons-, if you use a top loading washer you can use up to 1 cup – about 80 loads out of the 5 gallons- for each large load. And adjust as needed. Most commercial laundry products tell you to use too much soap per load so that you use more and have to buy more.

If you have any questions or concerns or have a different way that you make your laundry detergent, please share your comments. we would love to hear your comments.


What to Store for Sewing?

Do you sew? Even if you don’t there are a few things you need to store to keep the  clothing that you have in good order.  Hand sewing needles, a threader, thread, straight pins in a container, thimble, a tape measurer and a pair of scissors are the basic supplies.  Some patches, various buttons, Velcro, replacement zippers, elastic and material would be helpful to have on hand, too.  There are sewing kits that you can get at the Dollar Tree that are in a plastic container for $1. The items are all pretty good except the scissors.  But you can purchase a decent pair of scissors for just a dollar. You can also get these items from garage sales and second hand stores. As far as thread goes if you keep your colors down to just a few then you won’t have to make sure that you match each and every color of clothing that you own, or you can purchase clear thread which you can use for any color. Do get more thread than is just in one of the sewing kits. That is a beginning but you will not know how long it may be before you can get to a store and purchase more.  Also you can use thread, hand sewing needles and any other sewing items as trade goods.  So, since needles and thread are cheap get a good number of these items.


As far as material is concerned denim and other heavy weight material will be at a premium. If you can obtain 100% cotton, that would be the best, or as close to that as possible. It wicks the sweat off of you and will not shrink as bad as other fabric types. Also if you are not allergic to wool, it is a good material in colder weather to have. Wool blankets from garage sales or GI supply houses are a good bet, cheaper than wool by the yard. If you can not be in physical contact to wool you can put a cotton fabric on both sides and should be able to use it then. Also for other fabrics sheets are better priced than material by the yard and you can get used sheets at garage sales or second hand stores for really cheap.  Even if you get fitted sheets and cut the elastic part off it is still cheaper than purchasing by the yard material.  As far as storing material or clothing I find it best to put into a plastic bag, squeeze out the air and close, and then put it in a Rubbermaid container. Mice love to get into material, they will make their nest there and chew up the material.


If you have a chance to obtain some patterns, do so. Simple ones are the best, because you probably will be sewing clothes by hand. If you can go ahead and cut them out and trace them to heaver paper like freezer paper. The pattern paper tears extremely easily. If you will be making numerous amount of clothes out of the same pattern you can also place the pattern in between 2 sheets of clear contact paper, which will keep it usable for much longer. In the Middle Ages when the people conquered other groups they would grab any clothing and if it did not fit they would either take it up or add other material to it to make it larger. You can store patterns the same way that you store material, in a plastic sack and then in a Rubbermaid container. I have never seen a mouse chew through a Rubbermaid Container as of yet.


Last thing to talk about is you need to learn how to sew if you don’t already know how. This, along with mending will be skills that you can earn money [or save yourself money] doing if there is an evacuation that lasts for a considerable length of time.

What to store for crocheting or knitting?

What to store for crocheting or knitting?


If you crochet or knit you know the mental/physical therapy it can be. If you are in a stressful situation, or long hours with nothing to be able to do, wouldn’t it be great to be able to use that mental/physical therapy, which ever you need? Also while you are reaping the benefits of the therapy you can also be providing socks, hats, mittens and even bandages for your family. Even if you do not crochet or knit at this time, maybe if you have nothing else to do, you can finally sit down and learn. So if you have all of the ingredients such as hooks and needles, yarn, scissors, tape measurer and instruction books it could save your sanity when times are hard.


If you already crochet or knit you know that you need to have such items as crochet hooks, knitting needles, yarn and instruction books and of course a pair of scissors and a tape measure.  There are a few other accessories if you knit that are nice to have such as line markers and stitch holders.  If you don’t already crochet you will need a few different sizes of crochet hooks. You use one hook at a time to crochet; however, there are several different sizes of hooks. If you choose one from the smaller sizes, one from the medium sizes and one from the larger sizes that should cover most of what you will be crocheting. In knitting you use two knitting needles at a time. The same would apply as far as sizes to have.   In my opinion, the best type of thread to have would be 100% cotton. To me cotton is best for cold and hot weather because it wicks away sweat from your body.  As far as the colors go, I tend to keep more to dark solid colors so as not to stand out in a crowd. Also if you tend to keep to 1 or 2 colors then you can have more thread to use than if you need 3 skeins of one color to made a project and have some left over then what do you do with it?  Now when you make bandages it would be better for the yarn to be white, so that you can bleach it to keep them as clean as you can.  And on the instruction books a basic crochet book that shows all the different types of stitches and how to determine gauge and one that had a basic hat, mittens and sweaters would be best. And that may take a few instruction books to get that information, also if you have young babies you may need one for their size too.  With knitting instruction books a basic stitches and how to determine gauge and basic hat, mittens, sweaters and socks would be the best to have. You can get instructions, gauges and patterns for free on the computer and if you go to You Tube you can watch someone teaching the how to.  Knitting also uses some accessories such as line markers and stitch holders. Those would be nice to have, however, they are not mostly necessary.


If you can store these items in your storage you can use them yourself or use them as trade goods, which are things that you can trade for something that you really need such as food, tools or whatever. And if you go to garage sales and second hand stores you can pick up these items for a lot less than if you go to the specialty store and purchase these new. There are lots of things to gather to be totally prepared, if you have to purchase everything new it may be the difference from having what you need and not having it.



cold weather at home

cold weather at home being prepared is a matter of survival.

As I write this it is minus 5 degrees F and the wind chill is minus 20 degrees F.

That was about 2200 hours [10PM] by 0700 the next day it was minus 22 degrees F actual temperature. That was morning of Feb 4th

Most of us consider that to be a bit on the ‘airish’ side.

We do have an inch or so of snow on the ground right now which is not near enough. Some of the concerns are that water pipes may freeze and break. The easiest way to deal with preventing that is to turn your sink faucet on to a drip. The theory on this is that running water does not freeze as fast. Water lines are typically buried below the frost line so the water is above 32 degrees F and as it comes up into your house it warms the pipes slightly. Once the pipes come out of the ground it is a good idea to have ‘heat tape’ around the pipes and cover that with insulation. This will keep the pipes from freezing and should have been put on already. IF you are fortunate enough to not have your water pipes freeze yet plan on getting the heat tape and insulation and putting all that on when it is nicer weather. You of course have to measure the pipes for length to do the job. The way that we have it set up is with a power switch so that we only have to use electricity when it is cold. If you are lucky enough to have the pipe come up into your basement you will not have to worry about all of that.

Many of us in the colder areas of the world put storm windows on which create a ‘dead’ air space which keeps you warmer in the winter AND cooler in the summer too. Most houses also have storm doors which do the same thing. Doors are harder to deal with as they still have to open and air tends to flow through the cracks at the door frame.  On doors which you seldom if ever use – like the back door – you can stuff the cracks with plastic which will retard air flow and you still will be able to open the door to escape if there is a fire. It is helpful to have some sort of wind break to keep the wind from hitting the doorway directly. You can and most likely should have heavy insulated drapes on the windows to help hold the heat in especially at night. During the day you should have the drapes open so that sun light comes in and you benefit from the solar heat gain. There are plans available to make capturing the sun light easier for heating your home we will not be covering that any deeper as we don’t have enough room to write it here now.

Other points in your house that leak heat are electrical plugs and switches. You can retro fit them with sheet foam to seal the heat in. most of us have vents in the kitchen that are hard to seal. Of course on the other hand you may not want to seal that point as you will want to vent smoke and odors if you burn your dinner. In most bathrooms there is an exhaust vent to get rid of the humidity from showering. I think that the vent should be sealed to hold in the heat. The extra humidity in our area is nice to have as we live in an arid area. During a wet YEAR we might get 15 inches of water. Part of the definition of desert is that you get 10 inches of water annually or less. With a properly insulated and sealed house MOST of your heat can come from ‘waste’ heat of the appliances, lights and occupants. As an example we have the heater turned OFF right now. We had ran the heater about 9 hours ago and it is still 65.7 degrees F in our home.

It is way easier and more economical to warm the person instead of the whole house. Of course dress warmer and even wear a sweeter around home like President Jimmy Carter did in the white house during the 1970s. If you are still chilled after putting on the sweeter, you can use an electric blanket or throw or use a heating pad in your chair and sitting on it. If your hands are cold and you are doing something with your hands like typing a blog post, you can make use of a heat lamp. Right now I am not using the extra heating options as I am sitting here typing with a tee shirt on. As an aside, a few years ago my daughter and I went shopping one evening and she commented that it must be cold out as we both had our winter coats on. I had a windbreaker on and she had her sweet shirt with hood on…… it was minus 30 degrees F outside. ;]

Sleeping warm is easy enough to do. They make electric mattress pads which works better than an electric blanket as heat rises. Of course you can use a few blankets over you to help too.

There was a musical group back when I was much younger called ‘Three Dog Night’, I really liked their music. Historically a way of expressing how cold it got at night was to say how many dogs you had up on the bed with you. Back when we were working in the mother / baby department we would encourage new moms to hold their babies and to have skin to skin contact, aka Kangaroo care, to keep the baby warm. Kangaroo care is the best way to warm up a baby or anyone else. If you are cold at night, snuggling with your mate is a great way to keep warm.

Cross ref

bug out clothes – extra set

Extra set of clothes ready to bug out

I want to talk about having a set of clothes ready to bug out. This is a full set of clothes including underwear, of layered clothes ready close to your bed in case you need to bug out fast.  These would include underwear, a sturdy pair of pants not shorts, with lots of pockets, a leather belt, a tee shirt and a long sleeve shirt with pockets and a heavy jacket, long socks, hiking boots, gloves and a stocking hat and a wide brim hat. This set of clothes needs to be by the bed at all times and something that you do not wear other times.  You can switch out the clothes at times for the season, but always have this set clean and ready in a bag with you 72 hour kit by your bed so that even if you are in the middle of a shower or whatever, you can grab and go outside to finish dressing.  For the children the same thing even if you have to get used jacket and boots. And make sure that the clothes are changed out when the children and you change sizes.  This set of clothes and your backpack need to be by your bedside or near the door in case that you need to bug out quickly for any emergency that may happen.  If you hear a weather alert such as a tornado, then you can quickly dress in these clothes and grab your backpack and you are ready to take off.  If there is a fire just grab these things and go.  It is a good idea to have fire drills at home where you would wake up grab your things and get out.  Then when the time comes that there really is an emergency you know exactly what to do, and do not have to spend time gathering stuff when you should be getting out. Having the children also practice this then when you need to do it for real they are not just in shock, standing paralyzed screaming.

This act of setting clothes aside and a backpack will greatly reduce fears of ‘what if’. Being prepared decreases stress. Discussion of what to put into the backpack in another blog but this one I just want to stress having these clothes set aside and ready to go at a moments notice.  Imagine when you are notified of an evacuation that you have to find clothes to wear. Could you do it in 3 minutes? If the clothes are out and ready to go you could. Imagine not only finding your clothes and getting dressed but waking the children, finding their clothes and getting them dressed and everyone out the door. If you are prepared this way, you could take care of yourself instead of depending upon the government to take care of your family.  It gives you independence and confidence in your own ability to take care of your family.