Creature comforts?

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Creature comforts?

Post by HanShot1st » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:36 pm

I'm starting my "official" prepping (I put official in quotes because other than food and water I have all the other equipment lying around somewhere) and I've hit upon a musing: We're getting down to nitty gritty, take-what-you-need-and-go stuff but what are your thoughts on small concessions to indulgence? For instance, I am a coffee fanatic and even though it would be taking up extra space and adding some weight I'm including a bag of coffee grounds in my supply list. Do you think the psychological benefit from having a few of our favorite things outweighs the additional burden? Or if TSHTF do we need to take a necessity-only approach?
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by jakecwu » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:51 pm

I think morale is essential. When you have something to look forward to, it tends to make tough situations a little less tough. That doesn't mean we should all pack our TV's and generators, but a couple packets of Starbucks Via or the equivalent will be worth it's weight in gold on about day four in the cold and wet.

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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by TCB Firearms » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:53 pm

My general rule has always been that if you are willing to carry it, go ahead and pack it. Look up native plant species that you can brew/eat also. Eventually you will run out of your comfort supplies. For example i pack several pairs of socks...i cannot think of having bad or no socks...i love fresh soft socks. In my wifes pack she has some "instant" coffee and some actual grounds in our camping gear.

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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by Horatio_Tyllis » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:37 pm

Here's an excellent thread on the topic. http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/view ... f=6&t=3063" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Winter driving guide: http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... =6&t=82858" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by polliedes » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:44 pm

i keep some of the Land-o-Lakes flavored hot chocolate in my BOB.
I also pack a deck of cards.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by raptor » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:45 pm

When it comes to coffee in my house it ranks right up there with air for me. So yes little things like that are quite important.

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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by ZomCon Sargeant » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:23 pm

I keep a deck of cards in my pack, a pair of dice, and spices. I love spicy food.

The only major morale booster would be my phone for all of the music on it. Have a USB Solar/handcrank charger for it. Need a better one though.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by HanShot1st » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:53 pm

Wow, I had actually expected several "ffsssstt!"'s and maybe a pshaw or two. I hadn't even thought about cards or entertainment. Maybe if he had had that Jack Nicholson wouldn't have ended up frozen in the snow while his wife and son go bankrupt on therapy sessions.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by raptor » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:52 pm

HanShot1st wrote:Wow, I had actually expected several "ffsssstt!"'s and maybe a pshaw or two. I hadn't even thought about cards or entertainment.
Surviving in a disaster is as much mental as it is physical. Morale can literally be a life or death matter. You should plan to provide yourself with some morale boosting items. Music, cards, dice, paint/drawing supplies or whatever you may find relaxing and entertaining is essential.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by duodecima » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:28 pm

Nah, it's a really valid question. We're not coffee people but there's tea and hot cocoa (and sugary pop tarts that mean mom won't serve the kids at home!) in the BOBs. Coffee's also practical in some ways - if you're a hi-volume daily drinker, going cold turkey and getting the withdrawl induced migraine + whole-body-ache whilst bugging out is not going improve your disaster experience. In daily life, coffee is a social lubricant, I bet it'd be even more so in a disaster.
ZomCon Sargeant wrote:I keep a deck of cards in my pack, a pair of dice, and spices. I love spicy food.
DICE!!! You are brilliant, sir! (scurries off to add dice to the card games in a couple BOB's)

Stuff adds a little weight, but it can be ditched or traded if the ounces are starting to matter.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:48 pm

HanShot1st wrote:Wow, I had actually expected several "ffsssstt!"'s and maybe a pshaw or two. I hadn't even thought about cards or entertainment. Maybe if he had had that Jack Nicholson wouldn't have ended up frozen in the snow while his wife and son go bankrupt on therapy sessions.
There's a reason that warfighters (soldier/sailor/Marine) have a fair number of toys. iPods, books, magazines, and fatkid food make up about half of the mail sent to FPOs. A deck of cards is almost mandatory to each squad, and learning to play spades is a rite of passage for mortarmen.

It's about staying motivated, and decompressing.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by H. neanderthalensis » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:55 am

Toilet paper. The good stuff too; Charmin Ultra Soft. Dropping a duece in the field isn't pleasant when all you have within reach is some grass, leaves, or a rock.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:21 am

H. neanderthalensis wrote:Toilet paper. The good stuff too; Charmin Ultra Soft. Dropping a duece in the field isn't pleasant when all you have within reach is some grass, leaves, or a rock.
I never think of it as morale, but when camping I keep a TSK with a full roll of Charmin, individual baby wipes, etc. in a small tupperware/gladware container. Keep it dry, keeps yer butt nice and clean. The first thing I learned in boot-camp was to always keep a ziploc baggie to stow extra toilet paper in.

While I'm thinking about poo, remember the mighty ManPon.

ManPon: a small wad of toilet tissue inserted between the cheeks to prevent one from biggin-ing their pants. It's excellent when you are in a situation wherein you cannot trust a fart, but also have to work.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by TXwaterdog » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:24 am

I have an abundant amount of flavored Tea bags in my BOB. My thought on it is: If I catch a rabbit or squirrel I have two options roast it or boil it. If I'm stewing it along with local greens I'll either use the bullion cubes, green tea or normal Lipton teas.. I have raspberry teas, orange, etc.. all these will be good on their own but they will also help make stews and great comforts. I'm probably going to have to boil water anyways. Teas are a diuretic and may dehydrate you but they weigh nothing and mean everything when the time is right. One day when you swing by my camp and I whip up some rice and orange chicken you'll flip out.

I've been meaning to get some playing cards with local plants, and survival tactics on the backs. I've added a planisphere to my kit as well. It's good for navigation and keeps you busy looking at the stars when there's nothing else to do.

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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by yale » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:27 am

When I was deployed Operation Desert Shield (which become Operation Desert Storm) our unit, (Task Force 1/32 Armor, 1st Cav Div think a HQ platoon of admin/supply guys, a platoon of Bradly Fighting Vehicles, 2 platoons of us driving M1Abrams tanks and a platoon of engineers and Stinger anti air dudes) got morale boxes delivered regularly. These boxes had things like candy (hard candies like Now & Later), hygene items (shampoos and shaving cream), coffee, paper and envelopes for writing home and other items. Every MRE has an accessory pack with Coffee and some desert or candy (M&Ms). Think about how popular the little bottle of tobasco sauce was in the MREs ended up becoming.
Morale is VERY important. I've worked as a shelter volunteer for years (ham radio operator with local/Parish OEP) and have seen first hand the need for people to have even a small comfort item. It will sometimes make all the difference in attitude and will power.

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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by stu_wat » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:42 am

While i was in the army i always had a moral bag with hard boil and gummy sweets while on exercise, it made a real difference when I was in a trench at 2am hungry cold and waist deep ib water.

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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by TacAir » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:43 am

HanShot1st wrote:I'm starting my "official" prepping (I put official in quotes because other than food and water I have all the other equipment lying around somewhere) and I've hit upon a musing: We're getting down to nitty gritty, take-what-you-need-and-go stuff but what are your thoughts on small concessions to indulgence? For instance, I am a coffee fanatic and even though it would be taking up extra space and adding some weight I'm including a bag of coffee grounds in my supply list. Do you think the psychological benefit from having a few of our favorite things outweighs the additional burden? Or if TSHTF do we need to take a necessity-only approach?

Sometimes it's not just a "small concessions to indulgence"

I hump a 1L Stanley thermal flask in the winter. Weight is a wash vs a Canteen, Arctic w/(worthless) cup and pouch. In the summer, it's a 750 mL lightweight thermal bottle. I can boil water at night when the stove is fired up, drop it in the bottle and have HOT water for oatmeal/grits/coffee in the AM. Wunderbar!
Holds extra water when melting snow, and can make all the difference if you become hypothermic - at least for a while.

I now carry my ICOM R2, an all band receiver w/earbuds. The size of a pack of butts, it weighs in at just 6 oz. One of smallest, high performance rigs out there. Runs off of a pair of AAs, same as the LED flashlight. A hank of wire to extend the ant for HF, and you are GTG.

As for the coffee packets, tea bags and such, those are a normal part of chow, not an small concession to indulgence...
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by HanShot1st » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:39 pm

Thanks guys! TacAir, I was only using coffee as an example. I have no idea what else I will be putting in now but everyone has given me some great ideas. I guess I was getting caught up in the "less is more" mindset.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by SiXiam » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:10 pm

HanShot1st wrote:Thanks guys! TacAir, I was only using coffee as an example. I have no idea what else I will be putting in now but everyone has given me some great ideas. I guess I was getting caught up in the "less is more" mindset.
In one of the severe weather threads someone said that when they go and top off their gasoline stores they always make sure to pick up some cookies, chips, & other comfort food. This is because they planned well & already have the stuff like food & water needed to last the storm.

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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by TacAir » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:10 am

HanShot1st wrote:Thanks guys! TacAir, I was only using coffee as an example. I have no idea what else I will be putting in now but everyone has given me some great ideas. I guess I was getting caught up in the "less is more" mindset.
LOL
Sometimes less is just, less.
Sometimes that 'extra' few oz may make the difference between a miserable night and a trip to the morgue.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by HanShot1st » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:51 pm

You may not have intended it as anything more than an offhand comment, but "Sometimes less is just, less" struck a chord. Going to be one of those that sticks with me.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by angelofwar » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:52 am

Tagged for further reading...

Coffee, tobacco, hard candy, some slat & spices can go along way...and bullion!
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http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/view ... w#p2141127

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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by JackBauer » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:55 am

raptor wrote:
HanShot1st wrote:Wow, I had actually expected several "ffsssstt!"'s and maybe a pshaw or two. I hadn't even thought about cards or entertainment.
Surviving in a disaster is as much mental as it is physical. Morale can literally be a life or death matter. You should plan to provide yourself with some morale boosting items. Music, cards, dice, paint/drawing supplies or whatever you may find relaxing and entertaining is essential.
Morale/'will to live' is the most critical factor in survival. Human spirit trumps all!

I like how Raptor placed coffee right along air ;) My creature comfort NECESSITY is Tazo Earl Grey tea. My tea along with my music on my MP3 player and I'm spiritually prepared to face any horde of zombies or disaster.
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Re: Creature comforts?

Post by raptor » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:27 am

Cockroach wrote:
I like how Raptor placed coffee right along air ;) My creature comfort NECESSITY is Tazo Earl Grey tea. My tea along with my music on my MP3 player and I'm spiritually prepared to face any horde of zombies or disaster.
There are matters of life and death and there there is coffee (or tea). :D

As long as I have fresh coffee (and ice cubes) I can deal with damn near anything. The rest is just noise. :lol:

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