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Most essential piece of gear: You body
Most essential piece of gear you own, and the one most often neglected.
Brain gets covered when we talk about mindset, but what about the rest?:cool:

How many people out there consider themselves ready for disasters and a plethora of SHTF events but can’t run for a couple miles, or even walk 10 miles a day without needing an IV dose of sugar?

God gave us all different bodies, that part there’s not much we can do about it. But think of it this way:
What car runs best? One that is 20 years old, that got properly maintained through the years, even customized here and there with various upgrades, or the rust bucket with the same amount of years that received no maintenance at all?

Your body is your first weapon, your most essential, irreplaceable material belonging, take care of it the way it deserves so it will serve you best when needed.

Cardio and Muscle

You may be a huge muscle mountain and have no cardio resistance at all. You not only need to be strong, you need to be able to walk and work for several hours a day. Your ability to run and walk long distances may be a matter of life and death during a crisis.
Running and walking 3 times a week, for at least an hour, is a good way to get started. If an hour is too much start with 30 minutes, but you really need to work it up until you can easily do an hour of cardio without getting a heart attack. This is of course you minimum setting, if possible you should do more, find yourself a good program and stick to it.
While running is nicer, stationary bicycle and escalator aren’t that hard on your knees so you might want to do that instead.
Doing 40-60 minutes of escalator works nicely and you can do that while watching TV.

If there’s a crime problem in your neighborhood, going out jogging might not be the smartest thing to do.
I use the escalator thing a lot and going up and down stair isn’t a problem.
10 floors by stairs in the hospital because there’s a broken elevator and a line waiting to use the one working? No problem, I take the stairs instead.

Think about the situations when power goes down and or there’s a fire and you must use the stairs, like it or not.

Running away form danger, getting out of a collapsed structure, swimming to save your life when falling in a lake or river, just walking or running to get yourself form one place to another when there’s no transportation available, are just a few situations I can think of right now and are very real possibilities.


Mostly for getting work done, using a shovel, axe or machete, moving things around, lifting heavy objects.
Also for fighting, weapon retention and wrestling, you need strength.
Again, think of it as upgrading your car.
Granted, it’s not just laying down the money, you need to invest time and physical effort, but you can shape your body the way you want up to a point.
As a kid, my mother made me and my brothers swim like fish in the local health club.
Summer brake was worst, we trained everyday, 8AM for two hours.
In return we got good strong backs, good cardio and lung capacity, and that’s something you can’t put a price on when you grow up.
I’m sending my kid swimming as well.

Careful not to make a kid too young do weight lifting, get professional advice otherwise because it can ruin a young boy’s body .
The body should be fully developed before doing serious weight lifting, so it will depend a lot on age. Some say 15 to start lifting, others say 18.
All I know is that I knew two kids from school that overdid it while in their teens, 15 or so, and they ended up with nice looking muscles but lost several inches of the height they would have otherwise, one even had growth problems in his legs and needed surgery just to keep walking, forget about running for the rest of his life.
Both ended up noticeably short, specially when compared to their parents and brothers.

Bench work, barbell and dumbbells of various weights. I do a bit of each at least 3 times a week to keep arms and torso strong.

This website has some good exercises.

No, not suggesting people to get into body building, but the neck exercises pictured are similar to the ones my chiropractor gave me when I hurt my neck, and the rest also sounds like good sound advice.
I don’t care for that kind of looks, but it’s good to have a strong neck, shoulders, back and strong up upper body generally speaking.

Self Defense training

Whatever it is you do, do it often and practice it a lot.
Personally, I believe a combination of box, Muay Thai, BJJ (or some other grappling/wrestling technique you like, such as Judo) is the best combination.

You’ll need a partner to spar with. Real sparring with gloves and mouthpiece is the only thing that works for preparing for what you may encounter on the street.
Run away from instructor that teach self defense but claim the stuff they teach is too deadly and can’t be sparred with full contact.

Of course you’re not going to pop your partner’s eye out, kick him in the groin or crush his windpipe, but other than that you can do all the kicking and punching you desire, and in particular submissions work just like they do on a real fight, the difference being that you wont care if your attacker tried to tap out.

A boxing heavy bag becomes mandatory for any self defense involving punching and kicking, and there’s this great full scale dummies used to practice wrestling that would be neat for practicing submission moves and locks on the floor.
Don’t own one myself but doesn’t look that difficult to make on your own.

The speed bag is also something you’ll eventually want to get, for fast hands and coordination.
The humble jumping rope will get your feet in shape.


Most of these are all mandatory in Argentina
At birth, I got BCG (anti tuberculosis) and anti hepatitis B
From the first month of life onwards, I got SABIN for polio
MMR (measles, mumps y rubella) The VZV shot, commonly called chicken pox.
Antihepathitis A.
Diphtheria, Pertussis, tetanus and Hemophilic influenza type b infections. Tetanus shots.
Getting flu shots once a year isn’t a bad idea either.

There’s somewhat of a debate in USA regarding vaccines and side effects.
There’s no debate here. You’d be an idiot not to get them, given that in recent years we’ve seen many of these diseases believed eradicated resurge, and many kids die because of them.

Best thing you can do is to talk with a doctor you trust about this.
But there’s a catch though.
Your doctor might not think a certain vaccine is really necessary, given that your doctor probably is not a survivalist, and he’s not taking into account the possibility of a more poor, dirtier population in the future, with viruses thought extinct coming back. Yellow fever and dengue just to mention a couple.
As long as there’s no significant serious side effect, get them covered, especially the ones that are common in third world country since these are the ones that may show up as general social health standards to go down along the crisis.


How would you manage without your eye? Oh, I do applaud those that even blind mange to go through life better than most but it is a true handicap, specially when SHTF or when you have to manage in a more brutal society.
I’ve needed glasses almost all my life, but even at a young age I couldn’t find myself wearing glasses.
Maybe others have different experiences and that’s dandy, but in Lomas de Zamora at age 13 wearing glasses was a social death sentence, since any weakness would be exploited.
Right away I refused to wear them and went directly to contacts, only wearing glasses maybe to watch TV or read at night.

Once you grow up? Things change little.
While GQ and Maxim magazine may say glasses make men look sophisticated, your pal FerFAL tells you social predators will see weakness in your glasses, and they are indeed something you don’t want to have in your nose when getting hit.:)
Safety glasses and google are another story, but a piece of glass, and one that you need to see your enemy is not something you want to rely on.
The solution?
For me it came in the form of LASIK.
I didn’t hesitate as I signed the paper that said I acknowledged the possibility of loosing my eyeballs during surgery.
People feel sick in the stomach when you mention the possibility, but for me it was a risk small enough worth taking, when weighted against the benefits.
Glasses ..100 USD with your MasterCard.
Upgrading your eyes and never again having to reply on contacts, glasses, worrying about getting eye solution, loosing your contacts when getting punched… priceless.

This is what I talk about when I compare your body to a tuned up car. You get what you get in life, but it’s up to you to make the most out of it.
Mind set is terribly important for a survivalist or prepper, for any person than not only wants to survive, but succeed in survival and in every other aspect of life, reaching his maximum potential.
Think of everything you can do to better yourself:
Loose weight, workout, get your eyes fixed, your teeth, having a beauty mark/mole that is a bit too dark removed (skin cancer), fix and improve everything you can about yourself.

Getting rid or a mole today sounds ridiculously silly.
Will you be able to pay for it in the future?
Will you have a doctor available to get it done?


1 Posts
Thanks. Great post. I been thinking about glasses for a while now. Aside from the fact that contacts are disposable, they can also pop out at the worst time. Martial arts knowledge is good too but it can take a loooong time to use effectively and lead to a false sense of confidence in a violent situation. Gotta be carefull with that. Agree with most everything else you've said.

191 Posts
Good idea,

Health and fitness training is the second most imporant consideration.

However i hope one day i can share my thoughts on nessisary knowledge aswell.

1,771 Posts
Don't forget your teeth!

If the SHTF, there will be a lot of people taken down by their dental problems.

While there are still dentists available, get a checkup every 6 months. If you know you need dental work done, don't put it off any longer.

If you don't have dental insurance, find a dental school. The students need to practice on live patients, and you can get work done at steep discounts, sometimes even for free.

73 Posts
"Train as we FIGHT"... That's one of the things we say in the U.S. Army....

Novel concept.

I have to ask, can you throw your bug out bag (ruck,pack,duffle) on your back and actually carry it for 1 mile? How about 2,5,10,20 miles?

One of the things we do for physical training is to put on a ruck sack and our combat boots and do a ruck march. By that I mean start out with about 20 lbs in the ruck, and go about 2 miles for starters, say 3x week.

Do what you can for a pace, steady is what we are shooting for, but try to move as fast as you can , at a walking pace. DO NOT RUN !!!! You can hurt yourself. Take your time and improve at your own pace.

Slowly add a little more weight each week, say 5 extra lbs. And increase the mileage, what ever you are comfortable with. The goal is to be able to get up to about 8 miles without stopping or falling over :p

Just make sure you are healthy and if you have medical concerns check with your DOC first before doing ANY exercise program.

It is a fun way to kill two birds, get the cardio and muscle conditioning and be able to "hump that ruck" someday if need be.....
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