Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Under the weather and off the grid

I’ve been a bit under the weather lately. It’s nothing too horrible, a long running cold combined with a bit of intestinal upset. My lovely wife is actually feeling it a bit worse than I. However, we are both on the mend and should be better pretty soon.

Something always occurs to me when I feel this way, being ill in a survival situation is a lot tougher. Right now, the oil heat is temporarily disconnected and we’ve been heating with wood. I feel just well enough to throw wood into the basement stove. The firewood is cut, split and piled near the basement door. It doesn’t take a lot of physical energy to keep the fire burning.

Theoretically, I could heat my house by harvesting dead trees and fallen branches within walking distance from my house. They could be felled by ax and cut up with a manual crosscut saw. It’ve done it before when funds were tight. Problem is, a person has to be feeling pretty healthy to do all that work. If I had to do that right now, it’d be really tough and I’d probably get even sicker.

Recently I replaced the water pump. Had the pump not been replaced, it’s possible to get water right out of the well with a bucket. In an emergency, it’s good to know that’s possible. Once again, hauling water up the ice covered hill while sick is something I’m glad I don’t have to do.

I’ve got a bit of food for long term survival. Most of it takes time and work to prepare. Fortunately, I’ve other food in the house that’s quick and easy. Make sure you have the comfort foods you like to eat when not feeling well.

When you plan for an emergency situation, consider that you might not be at your best. What if everyone in your household got sick at the same time? What if you broke and arm or a leg? Could you do what’s necessary for survival with a limb in a splint?

When you make survival plans, don’t make the mistake of assuming you’ll be at your best. I spent a good part of the afternoon resting in bed with a good book. That sure beat the heck out of foraging for my survival needs in the woods.



  1. Hope you and the wife get to feeling better.I have noticed that holidays when friends and family meet some of them will be sniffly or not feeling well and 3 days latter i am sick to.I think a out of town cold is the worst.Jenny comes to grandmas with a head cold for thanksgiving then returns home.A week later grandma and uncle bill has a cold/flu that lasts till christmas. On the survival side of it.Years ago when you had to draw water and chop wood homes were multi generational.If dear old dad was sick the son did the work and vise versa.If mom was ill you starved.Son married a horrny red head that cant boil water.

  2. We are on the mend.

    People do bring new and exotic germs from far away this time of year.

    My wife worked at a hospital lab in a town that was an International vacation destination. She got to see exotic diseases from all over the world.

    Sometimes the whole multi generational household gets sick, then it gets rough.

  3. I'd budget some of that quick and easy fire wood for later on, you gather all the close stuff means later on, you will have to roam further to bring it back.

    Sort of like doing the harder physical work first, then having the easier to accomplish when you are more tired.

    Sorry you and the wife are feeling under the weather but it sounds like you are on the mend.

  4. Get well soon, just think about the warm days of sailing you will soon be having. I assume that the Florida trip is still on fot the end of this month??

  5. Anon: the hard physical work was done when I was feeling well and piled up wood next to my basement door. As for gathering wood, it's best to start from the ground up. Once the snow gets deep, that fallen wood is hidden.

    Dizzy: I think of sailing every day. Depature is still scheduled for Jan 3, right after my wife's Dr. appointment.

  6. You and the wife take care!

    Good points made about thinking of the worst of all situation in a disaster situation. Sounds like some sound thinking to me!

    You have a great day, my friend!

  7. Hermit: Thanks for the kind words.

  8. Having broken an ankle before, I take that kind of thing into consideration. That's why I bought a pair of crutches to add to my medical preps, and they came in handy when I sprained my ankle last winter. You never know when the worst might happen, so better to prepare for it.