Episode 220 S6-20
The Endless Night Ch 20
L. Douglas Hogan
Having the right clothing in an evacuation or longer-term survival scenario is essential. Your clothing is your first line of defense and your shelter from the elements. On the podcast today, Dexter is outfitted with a new uniform, in The Endless Night adventure, and US Marine Veteran and accomplished author, L. Douglas Hogan, is here today to discuss the proper attire for an urban vs. wilderness survival situation.
The environment you find yourself in is going to dictate the proper attire. In a disaster situation, when law enforcement in on high alert, you want to blend in with the general population. Dawning your camouflage clothing or tactical BDUs might not be the best choice at a moment like that. However, when you are in a woodland environment, you don’t want bright khaki pants giving away your location.
In general, durability is critical! Purchase pants that have extra material in the knees and the elbows. The clothing you choose to evacuate your home in may be the last items you get for a while if the situation turns into a long term problem. The pants you choose should always be button fly. The sound of the zipper is the last thing you want people to hear if you need to stay quiet. Find a pair of pants you can tie or cord down over your boots or at the top of your boots. Use nylon laces to help prevent burs from sticking to your shoelaces.
Invest in some quality rain gear like Frog Togss©. Choose a color that would blend in the woodlands but not stick out in an urban environment like olive green, for example. Ensure that you don’t buy a material that makes lots of swishy sounds, and if it does, find a way to stop it.
If it is a survival situation, make sure you have tactical boots. However, you don’t want to wear tactical pants in the urban setting. Even though they are becoming more mainstream, they still may make you seem like a threat. You don’t want to look militaristic. You do not want law enforcement or anyone else to perceive you as a threat. Don’t wear a coat in the summer or have large lumps in your pockets. Look normal. Don’t make excessive eye contact or look intimidated. Law enforcement will be on hyper-alert.
Remember, clothing gets heavy. Some folks suggest carrying three outfits, but I recommend at least two. That way you can wear one while washing the other. In an urban environment, you may wish to maintain a professional look, so you don’t stick out. When going to work in a skirt or dress shoes make sure you carry something more appropriate that you could change into in your vehicle. Guys will want to do everything they can to be less intimidating, and women should not be wearing skimpy clothes that may attract unwanted attention.
The color you choose matters as well. Black is generally seen as a more tactical color and does not work well as a camouflage in the woods. There is not much natural black in the forest unless you plan on traveling at night. Khaki is useful in an urban area. If you get caught in the woods in this color, you can always rub dirt on it to make a camouflage. Blue is the only color deer can see, and mosquitoes love it as well.
Heat escapes from your head so carry wool cap. A ball cap or Boonie hat is useful, as well. These types of hats with brims help keep the sun off your face. Mosquito netting is a lightweight, insect deterrent, that can be used to design a makeshift ghillie suite.
If you wear prescription lenses, always put your old pair into your go bag when you get a new set. The prescription might not be as good, but having a backup is never a bad idea.
For your shirt, remember the saying, “cotton kills.” Wet cotton clothing will suck away your body heat and leave you vulnerable to hypothermia. There are flame retardant clothing options on the market, as well.
For your hands, make sure you have a pair of gloves for keeping warm. Have another set that is fire-safe so you can easily manage your fires and food. Also, carry a pair of work gloves that are durable, yet thin enough to feel things and pull the trigger of your firearm.
A good belt is a must. Some people prefer paracord belts because it is an easy way to carry a lot of backup cord. Others like riggers belts because they can be used for climbing if the situation presented itself. Doug likes web belts. They are highly adjustable, due to the pinch buckle system. However, these buckles are usually shiny. You can scratch or paint it, so it is not flashy.
Always carry extra socks. “Cotton kills” so bring a natural fiber sock, like wool or alpaca. You should have thick and thin pairs. Wear the lightweight pairs under the thick pair in the cold.
Break in your boots before you have to use them for survival. Wear the heck out of them for a couple weeks then put them on the shelf to wait until they are needed.
For kids, you may want to pack clothes that are too big. Children grow fast, and you can always put a belt on or roll-up pants, but you can’t get them into clothes that are too small. If you are in an extended survival situation, try to develop a community trade network so you can obtain additional sizes.
When you are on the move and starting to sweat, don’t stop. Slow your pace until the sweat is gone before you stop. Layer up in the cold so you can remove and add layers as needed. If you sweat a lot, you will get hypothermia. Your body will produce temperatures 20 degrees warmer than it is outside, so dress appropriately.
The Changing Earth Series
L. Douglas Hogan
L. Douglas Hogan is a U.S.M.C. veteran with over twenty years in public service. Among these are three years as an anti-tank infantryman, one year as a Marine Corps Marksmanship Instructor, ten years as a part-time police officer, and seventeen years working in state government doing security work and supervision. He is the best-selling author of “Oath Takers”, has authored four books in a series titled Tyrant, and is working on the sixth a final book of the series. He has been married over twenty years, has two children, and is faithful to his church, where he resides in southern Illinois.