Many parents have received that dreaded phone call from a school nurse, teacher, or daycare provider requesting their child be picked up immediately from school due to probable “pink eye”? Though “pink eye” is layperson terminology, it has become synonymous in people’s minds as a highly contagious eye infection. But is this true? This article will review a variety of causes of a pink eye, the differences in presentation of each, appropriate treatment depending on cause, and the likelihood of transmission to another person.
It’s that time of year again – Christmas is over, the first hints of warmer & longer days have arrived, and the dreaded April 15th tax deadline starts to loom closer. Before we’re totally focused on going outside and making preparations for the spring garden, now’s a good time to reflect on balanced prepping, specifically in terms of wealth distribution. It’s often the case that due to price fluctuations, life changes, or overallocation due to specific concerns, even a seasoned prepper’s distribution of wealth can become unbalanced & less diversified.
The “bug out bag” is one of the most well known items in preparedness. Whether you literally use it to “grab and go” from your main location, or as a “get home” bag for getting from your car, work, or some other location back to your home, every prepper should be intimately familiar.
As a prepper, it is very likely you already have at least one bug out bag ready to go for yourself. If not, what are you waiting for? The worst case scenario is having yourself all prepped up at home, but being caught away from your preps or forced to abandon your preps by a fast moving crisis. The bug out bag will help hedge against this most unfortunate situation should it occur.
What one keeps in a bug out bag, what kind of bag to use, and how heavy it should be is a topic of frequent discussion in the prepper community. General agreement is to target needs for survival for at least a 72 hour period. This includes some form of shelter, food, water (or at least the means to purify water), means of defense, general tools (think duct tape, Swiss army knife, leatherman, etc), light, firestarters, first aid materials, communications (radio / walkie-talkie), etc. There are some great discussions on bug out bags on The Survival Podcast and on the PrepperRecon podcast.
While it’s great to have your own bug out bag, if you’ve got a family and/or a spouse, it’s important and often overlooked that they also should have their own bug out bags. Let’s discuss why.
We just had Christmas about a month ago, and if you’re like many preppers, you likely received some preparedness related gear as a gift. It’s tempting to think “ok, I can cross that off my list now”, keep it boxed up, and squirrel it away into your garage, shed, barn, or wherever you stash your gear. It is then very likely to either never get tried out, or sit idle for a long period of time before being rediscovered. This is a bad idea for several reasons.
Something Ain’t Right
The gear may be defective or not function how you expect. Most things have a limited time return policy, so if something is defective, you risk in the best case scenario not being able to return it to the store for a credit. In the worst case, if it’s something you’re depending on for survival such as a generator, piece of medical equipment, or solar panel kit, you don’t want to find out it doesn’t work on the day the power goes out for an extended period of time and you absolutely were counting on it. That new pre-built bug out bag looks very stylish and holds a ton of stuff, but unless you go out for a hike carrying it, you won’t know if it will be too heavy, be durable enough to last, suitably protect your gear from rain/snow, or rub a raw spot on your shoulder because it just doesn’t fit quite right.
A new year means a time to take stock of where we are as preppers, and see where we have to go for the next 12 months, both to expand as well as maintain our preparedness. In this spirit, we wanted to collect a list of resolutions.
Best selling author & podcaster Mark Goodwin over at prepperrecon.com released a podcast recently with his Top Ten resolutions. Rather than repeat anything he has already said, I want to list his 10 here, and then further expand to another ten, bringing us to a total of 20.
We won’t go into any explanations of PrepperRecon’s Top Ten list, for that simply go listen to the podcast. But here is the list:
10. Learn a new skill 9. Create a side business 8. Eat healthier 7. Wean yourself from excessive pharmaceuticals 6. Quit drinking 5. Quit smoking 4. Start a garden 3. Start exercising 2. Get on a budget 1. Read your Bible every day
And now our additional Top Ten New Years resolutions for preppers. As I was coming up with this list, it ended up that things sort of paired up nicely in groups of two, so we’ll be posting two resolutions per day in no particular order, but grouped because they are related.
But let’s start with just our first one today:
Get your spouse on board
Assuming you’re married, prepping can be tough if you are not both already on board. Spending any financial resources on prepping is probably the #1 concern. It’s sort of ironic because often times one spouse can have a “hobby” and divert money to that hobby, and the other spouse won’t worry about it too much, especially if it’s not a large percentage of the monthly budget. But if that hobby is prepping, the spouse might consider that a waste of resources, weird, or paranoid.
The key here is to win your spouse over to the idea that spending some resources, both time & money, on prepping is both akin to insurance AND should improve your life if the zombie apocalypse arrives or not. For example, putting extra food away in a smart manner where it does not get wasted allows you to always buy the items you use anyway when they are on sale. This helps save money, which pays a dividend that can be reinvested back into an improved lifestyle. And sure on those icy winter days where you might get snowed in for a while, or if for any other reason it is impossible, dangerous, or merely inconvenient to go to the store for a food item, you’ll have it on hand. The worst case if nothing happens: you time your purchases and buy extra when everything is on sale – cha ching!
Likewise in other areas of prepping, the same thought process holds true. Consider that having the ability to perform water filtration is useful in camping & hiking scenarios, which allows the family to haul much less water and therefore worry less about dragging heavy supplies along. Start out with something small like lifestraws and get your spouse somewhat on board before going for the Royal Berkey.
Communications can also provide useful in a camping scenario, and can provide an educational opportunity for the kids to learn about various radio frequencies. It can also be a very entertaining and rewarding hobby to communicate on the CB radio or even get your HAM operator license and talk with folks around the region or even the world.
If your spouse is okay with you pursuing a “hobby” so long as it’s not “prepping”, you can also disguise your hobby at the onset. Take up gardening – who can argue when they see fresh homegrown tomatoes and squash coming in to the kitchen from a previously non-productive back yard? This might equally apply to becoming a HAM, as mentioned above. If you like to grill, use that as an easy excuse to have an extra propane tank on hand – just in case the one you have ever runs out. No one likes a grill flame out due to propane running out when they’re cooking a BBQ for friends & family. The key here is to not be deceptive, but to be reasonable.
Once your spouse is eased into prepping through some of these initial ideas, she/he will start to see some of the benefits, and you can move along to intensify what you’ve already begun as well as add some of the “bigger” things. Don’t rush it though – it will take some time, and that’s okay.