C5 Practical Survival Advice For The Poor- Episode II- C5 in The Hood.

With your host, Category5.



I think I have a quick post in me in spite of the ongoing chaos and improvised computing.

It was because we finally fired up the woodstove the other night. November 2nd.

We returned basically to summer weather. Go figure.  While others were celebrating how nice it was I was the only person pointing out this is catastrophic and happening faster then even I had figured. One friend said I have Cognitive Dissonance Inability Syndrome. I got a chuckle at that. A hurricane hit Ireland for christ sake. That’s like finding a leprechaun raping a unicorn in your backyard. And to think these are only the weather changes from the lower carbon inputs from the late 80s, when you account for the 30 year lag time, and in case you are not up on the subject, until now, the ocean has been absorbing most of the carbon… and heat. Clearly, it’s about full. In case you were thinking, what’s the problem? Longer growing seasons. Our hay cutting guy reported that our fields produced about a 1/3 less hay this year. I’ll let you sit with the implications of that… but that is not what we are here about today.

In spite of this being an unseasonal summer (with the occasional tropical storm brushing us), it’s still fall so the night temperature drops down near freezing.

If you don’t have a woodstove… don’t get me started.  If You have more than one firearm but you don’t own a woodstove… I just can’t take you seriously. More on that another time.

Chances are, if you are poor… or middle class… in debt, not realizing you are actually poor, you just go to the thermostat and everything is climate controlled, hunky dory. Well every watt costs you something. It’s bleeding you. Some day you may not be able to pay that hydro or gas bill… but you will need to. During a cold snap, if you don’t heat, your water pipes will freeze… and burst, costing umpteen thousands in repairs… while not actually having water.

So this is about resource perspective and rationing.

I can just hear Monty Python saying in my head, “Every log is precious. Every log is great. When a log gets wasted, God gets quite irate…” except they didn’t say log. they said sperm which gets a bit confusing but you know what I mean.

So, we didn’t bother putting the heat on until Nov. 2nd and we could have gone a lot longer.

I thought of writing this post when I realized I was wearing two hoodies and a cap, hoods up, indoors on the couch contemplating whether it was not time for long johns.

People generally don’t think about hoodies in relation to prepping. It’s not even on the list. There is nothing cool, exotic or tactical toolhead about a hoodie. Remember when I said, forget survivalism, forget tactical, forget prepping, (I am no longer a prepper. I am prepped.) We need to start “The Adapters Movement”. A hoodie is adaptation. Let me explain.

First rule of Don’t Freeze To Death Club – Heat the body. Not the space.

Things I like about my hoodie. Control. I am a god. Too cold? Hood goes up… keeping in heat loss from my head and neck. Go Kenny.


Too warm? Hoodie goes down. Still too warm? Open the zipper. (I should point out here I generally choose hoodies with zippers instead of pullovers for this reason.) Now THAT is climate control.

Ya, it sounds stupid. (Remember KISS. Keep it simple stupid… or stupid simple). I can only report on what I know works (in the biblical sense) So let’s keep going.

A hoodie is pretty conformtable if it’s going to be lounge wear or even sleeping attire. That’s right. I often wear it when I go to sleep. We have lots of blankets (the next subject) but my head is exposed. Do you remember the christmas tune, “With Ma in her kerchief and Pa in his cap, they both settled for along winter’s nap”. Some comfortable caps or tuques for us Canadians. It should be comfortable enough to sleep in and have several so you can wash them. Now, a form fitting, high quality, mountain equipment shop, tech hoodie is a pleasure to wear but that is not what we are looking for. Big is better because you might be adding layers and you don’t want to restrict blood flow. Here is your layering. A t-shirt that can be taken off and washed. A long sleeved t-shirt over that. Then a wool sweater. Then a hoodie. Then a comfortable tuque. Then another looser hoodie according to need. Don’t forget your lowers. Polypropelene superman tights work better for heat but cotton breathes better to avoid those uncomfortable crotch rashes I always seem to get with poly. Let’s keep going. I have spent several years looking for the right pair of Tactical Bunny Slippers. Nothing says, “Don’t fuck with me!” like a disheveled guy coming out of the house in a biker jacket and bunny slippers.

But the point is to keep your body heat from flowing out your feet, absorved into the cold floor.

And all these clothers don’t even cover going outside. That is a whole other subject.

So repeat after me – C5 Rule of Survival -Heat the body. Not the space.

Now a few of you will be thinking to yourselves that you now have to head out to Cabellas for some manly man hoodies in a Real Tree camo for at least a $100. You are definitely at the wrong blog site. Go somewhere else, yuppie scum survivalist. If you regularly visit the 2nd hand clothing stores you can pick up 8-10 hoodies for the same price. We will cover that subject of effective shopping in a future post. C5 Survival Advice for the Poor – Episode ? – Taming the Hunter Gatherer Instinct.

Let’s throw in some pro-active advice. If you know you are going to be living without heat, for whatever reason, and you know a cold snap is coming, be proactive and drain your water pipes… so they don’t freeze, expand and burst. If you don’t know how to do that then there is a survival skill to learn.

I write this advice  from many years experience in substandard housing, cabins and an assortment of rolling homes from vans to trailers, sometimes candles being my only heat when it was -20C and the propane heater ran out while snowed in.

Second Rule of Don’t Freeze To Death Club – HEAT THE BODY! NOT THE SPACE!

Canada. It’s “Rocks and trees and water”. So let’s see what we can do with the combo. The hot water bottle is the obvious one. Mrs.C5 usually takes one to bed in the evening to heat the bed. It’s also comfy on your lap under a blanket on the couch. You can improvise with plastic bottles. Best not to use glass because hot water expands. We improvise by heating high density rocks on the woodstove. A towel is wrapped around it and it can be held in the lap or placed on the floor as a foot warmer or into the bed for added heat.

Next Rule of Don’t Freeze to Death Club – Linus was right. Blankets are  your friends – collect them when you find them.

(I try to picke them up when I find them used in the 3 to 5 dollar range. 10 for a high quality one. Obsesivness is good on this gathering techniqe. They can also be hung on walls like medieval castles or even used like trow rugs . High density wool are best. Plenty for people that show up to your door)

In the old days people had blanket cupboards to keep moths and mice out. They were filled. When I wintered in vans… and the heat went out… I slept under about a foot deep of blankets. Not just on top but several wool blankets underneath as well so my heat did not leak out through the mattress. I did as much living as I could in bed under blankets.

Next trick. It’s on my list of, must builds. If you have more time than money, consider building an old fashioned covered bed. It should have a wood roof for easy dusting and blankets for walls. The human body throws a lot of heat. Store that heat. (A bonus is that you can remove the blankets in the spring and add mosquito netting for disease control in a changing world). Have you ever slept in a domed tent, went out for a pee, came back in and realized how warm it was. That is because it held in your body heat. Same with the covered bed.

This brings up your final Adaptation technique of the day. If it really goes to shit, freeze wise, put up your domed tent in your living room and sleep there for the body heat effect. Toss a blanket over it to keep even more body heat in. A building within a building is a future technique we will talk about later. Your building around your indoor tent acts like a goretex shell to shed weather. The air around your indoor tent is Space Insulation.

That’s all I got. Back to work I go. We didn’t bother with a fire last night. I am writing this in my hoodie. Hood up.



You all know where the TIP jar is. Thanks