Prepper First Aid

17 thoughts on “Prepper First Aid”

  1. Great job Johnny. I teach Wilderness Remote First Aid, and teaching the class is great for keeping current, since I’m not a doctor or EMT I otherwise (luckily) don’t get to use the skills very often. Maybe you can volunteer to help the instructors!

    A handful of skills and a little practice using them can be the difference between one or more of your neighbors living or dying if there was ever something big that swamped the EMS system. Like, I dunno, an earthquake…

    I have almost that same kit. Here’s hoping you never have to use it for anything worse than a blister or a paper cut.

  2. I’m 56. Not at all athletic. Anything athletic is a total bore. I do enjoy getting around by bicycle. I’m obsessive about gardening. I always have too many woodworking and other projects going at one time. And I help plant trees on the weekend. I dropped 40 pounds with Weight Watchers. Gained back 10 and holding. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape for a geezer.

  3. Still cycling and hiking and recently (last four months) started lifting. Starting Strength with Mark Rippetoe is now my bible. A weak man is not as happy as that same man would be if he were strong. This reality is offensive to some people who would like the intellectual or spiritual life to take precedence. It is instructive to see what happens to these very people as their squat strength goes up.

    1. What is usually misunderstood in our society is that the body and soul are not separate; they are part of a single person. What is good for the body is also good for the soul. The proper spiritual life includes a proper physical life as well.

  4. If you would like to get in better shape, but don’t like exercising per se (like me), I would suggest you consider Pickleball. It’s a cross between tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It is very easy to learn (anyone can play), but still provides a skill challenge. It provides some cardio and exercises all of your muscles without taxing your heart and joints like tennis can. It’s the fastest growing sport in the country. And, it’s VERY social. It’s the perfect health sport for those of us accelerating down the back side of the hill. Average age of players is in the 50’s.
    There are Rec leagues everywhere and at most YMCA’s and health clubs.

    By the way, I love your blog.

  5. Took weeks of medical preparedness training in the military but that was almost 30 years ago. Forgot a lot, some of it was for scenarios so unlikely as to be ridiculous, and to my surprise much of what I learned is no longer considered the best practice or even safe. Time for me to take a real course again myself. I’m a solo hiker and kayaker and I wish there was a course for serious self aid. Now that I’ve said that it sounds a bit selfish. Thank you for your continuing blog. Really appreciate it.

  6. If you’re really serious about getting in better shape, don’t over complicate it. I’d guess you’re just looking for every day functional fitness, not running a 5k or half marathon anytime soon, so skip the treadmills and elipticals and workout videos and cardio in general and learn to lift heavy things. Forget the isolation exercises and focus on the compound movements. Learn to squat, overhead press, bench press, deadlift, and maybe row with moderately heavy (and continuously increasing) weight. Maybe eventually add 3-5 all out, high intensity sprints of 15-30 seconds each (preferably up a hill or on a bike of some sort).

    I used to be an endurance athlete/Ironman level triathlete/ultramarathoner. I’ve never felt better than I do now that I’ve dropped all that and started lifting weights, and my time training has dropped from 15-20 hours/week to about 90 minutes. I would recommend looking into “Body by Science” (20-30 minutes once a week, requires a gym with the correct machines and a friend/trainer would be helpful) or “Starting Strength” (30 minutes three times a week, requires a barbell and associated equipment, and a friend or trainer would again be helpful). Start with easily manageable weights, learn proper technique, increase the amount of weight you lift by a small amount regularly, and marvel at how tasks like taking out the trash, gardening, or moving buckets of stored food become so much easier. And if disaster ever does strike, you’ll be able to sprint away from danger or toward help, lift debris or injured people, and haul needed supplies all day long.

    1. Strength is one thing, but basic cardiovascular fitness really needs a good brisk walk at least every other day. Or lots of trips up and down the stairs daily.

      1. I don’t disagree at all that walking is important, but I’m pretty sure Johnny has that covered, and yet he still claims he feels out of shape. My point with commenting is that too many people completely overlook strength training when trying to get “in shape”. They think it’s only for the young or the meatheads; that they’ll never be able to squat 500lbs, so why even bother? Strength is more than just one thing. I won’t go so far as to say it’s everything, but it’s pretty close if you take the time to truly understand how the human body works and what constitutes “cardiovascular fitness”. I would recommend “Body by Science” to you as well. It has a great introduction to this topic. You don’t have to bench your body weight and squat 500lbs. Start with the empty bar and be damn proud of yourself for making a positive change in your life! You won’t regret it.

        1. Oh, I understand and agree. We all need both. (I am amused when I see ultra-runners with thighs the size of tree trunks and zero upper-body musculature.)

          I spent many years working standing up, moving and lifting small to medium weights constantly, cumulatively about two or three tons a day. (I required about 3,000 calories a day to keep weight on and didn’t have to be very particular about where the calories came from.)

          Then I sat down at a desk. The result was predictable, so I started using what I had available: stairs and a pull-up bar and a nearby park and walking trail.

    2. Still cycling and hiking and recently (last four months) started lifting. Starting Strength with Mark Rippetoe is now my bible. A weak man is not as happy as that same man would be if he were strong. This reality is offensive to some people who would like the intellectual or spiritual life to take precedence. It is instructive to see what happens to these very people as their squat strength goes up.

    3. Functional fitness plays a part in “When There is No Doctor” (not to be confused with “Where There is No Doctor”). “When” is part of the Process Self-Reliance series, which focuses on readying yourself in case of a bad disaster. The author urges improving one’s fitness for functionality, e.g., being able to tote large buckets of water for a mile.

      For the last two years, I have walked to and from work (1.6 miles total) at a moderate pace. Some days I walk home for lunch. My dog also takes me for a walk for a mile a day. Combined with tracking and improving my eating, I have lost 40 pounds in the last two years. I can really feel a difference in how mobile I feel. I recently painted my kitchen ceiling and didn’t even get sore. (I am 62.)

    4. I agree, though I use Starting Strength by Rippetoe. But it boils down to : lift more weights, eat fewer carbs, walk more steps, drink more water, get a good night’s sleep.

  7. Dear Johnny,

    Thanks for this post. For similar reasons, and because I do a lot of desert hiking, I took the NOLs Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) course at the Farflung Outdoor Center in Terlingua, Texas, which in the desert on the US-Mexico border. I wish I had taken the course years earlier– not because I have any horror stories to recount, but simply because it was so much fun and such a confidence builder. The two teachers, one of the owner of the Far Flung, the other from Jackson Hole (lots of experience with ski patrol), were outstanding. Many of my fellow students were twenty-something river-raft and horse trail-ride guides who, aside from the obvious reasons, needed the WAFA certificate for insurance purposes. I think there two of us among the students who did not have tattoos. I still feel about 10 years younger!

    Thank you for posting this information about the emergency kits. That’s a good place to keep the bottled water!

    A general note about keeping bottles of water in the car. For people used to tooling around suburbia this might seem silly, but if one heads out on a hot day or anywhere that in case of a breakdown one might have to wait a while and/or walk a long distance for help– and certainly this could happen in suburbia– it is vital to have water in the car. For desert driving, I head out with a minimum of three gallons of bottled water in the car, ever and always, no exceptions. And I would also recommend dashboard reflectors, plus some extra reflectors for the back, over the water, to keep the temperature down. It also helps to wrap the water bottles in towels.

    Kind regards,

    C.M. Mayo

    1. It is also smart to rotate out water from the car, since the interior temp of a vehicle in the hot sun can easily get to 120…hot water heater temperature…and cause some bad chemicals from the bottles to mingle with the water therein.

      1. Yes, I rotate all my food and water reserves regularly. Fortunately I live in San Francisco and the interior of the garage is always about 55 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit year round. It’s just never that hot or cold here. I’m much more concerned about earthquakes where the garage itself may fail. That’s a different set of problems. I used to store emergency supplies on the back patio, but a new resident put the kibosh on that when he sited HOA rules. (Guess who isn’t getting food and water in a crisis?) The big stuff went to stay with nearby neighbors. The little medical stuff needs to stay close by.

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