Monday, October 10, 2011

Athletic Shoes: Your First Piece of Preparedness Gear

This is a hard post to write.

So I finally got a rough bugout bag put together.  A bugout bag is a bag with a few days of supplies to keep you alive until you can get from a place of danger to a place of safety.    Here is the bag I am using, a Spec Ops THE Pack (THE stands for Tactical Holds Everything).   I added a GI issue sustainment pouch on each side, a 5.11 Tactical 10.6 Pouch on the top, and three small pouches to the MOLLE webbing on the bottom exterior pocket.I put in the food, clothes, water, fire making materials, and other elements to my bag the other day.   It weighed about thirty pounds according to my digital scale.  It sat there in all its glory, ready for use.

Then I got the bright idea to put it on and walk around the back yard.

Within a few minutes, my shoulders and hips were aching, and moving up and down the hill in my yard caused my shins to hurt.  I may have lots of goodies in that bag, but unless I am in a car I sure won't be able to tote this thing.

So today I am starting a new walking program - one designed to build my cardiovascular endurance, and as I get in better shape, I will add the bugout bag with increasing weight to get my shoulders in shape.  As part of this plan I am going to lose some weight by eating right and taking better care of myself.

I believe that often those of us in the preparedness community, particularly those of us in America with our interest in gadgets, fall into the trap of the Magic Tool - if we only had just the right piece of equipment or set of equipment we would be set.   We overlook that every tool must be cared for; firearms must be cleaned, knives sharpened, food supplies inspected to ensure the contents have not been compromised, etc.  The human body is the ultimate Magic Tool, capable of repairing itself if cared for and fueled properly.

A post I read last year (remember, I've been READING this stuff for awhile) summed up what I am talking about very well (thanks to bclark for posting the following):

Prepared Fitness Criteria
Let us analyze some of the functional areas that are important in an exercise program:

  • Creates stamina to work at elevated periods over an extended period of time
  • Protects from injury and enables one to perform increased workloads safely (core - back and abs strength)
  • Enhances the ability to bend, squat, sprint, pull up one's on body weight, support the weight of another
  • Increases raw power and strength
  • Increases agility
  • Increases carrying and grip strength and endurance
Prepared Fitness Requirements
Essentially what you want out of an exercise program that makes you more prepared is the ability to:
  • Walk all day with a pack
  • Operate a few days with little sleep or rest
  • Carry a load, say a couple of filled five gallon buckets over a distance
  • Perform manual labor all day, everyday for several days without a back injury
  • Sprint, dive, crawl, climb and sprint again to get out of danger
  • Carry an injured person some distance to safety
  • Scuffle with an assailant and demonstrate enough strength and endurance to break away and escape before you are crumpled up on the ground out of breath
I think we underestimate how much physical activity is required to survive because most of us have never had to fight for our lives or face such extreme situations before.   My goal is to prepare my body so I am capable of caring for myself and my family.

1 comment:

  1. I Enjoyed reading your posts. I like you and many Americans are over weight. My BMI is about 36.3

    But I am still healthy. I camp and backpack a few times a year. Good luck being healthy is the key. I am no stranger to 3 plus mile walks (which I actually enjoy)