Frequently asked questions are organized according to the module they are most closely related. In a few cases a question may logically fit into more that one module:
A- Y2K was one possible event that could have had widespread impact. Gratefully the dire predictions did not occur. However, there always have been and always will be many different kinds of threats that we all face. Some events may be felt by individual households, others by whole communities, regionally, even nationally and beyond. Some are only inconvenient and a nuisance, while others are truly life threatening. I believe that it is our individual and family responsibility to do all within our power to prepare for and take care of ourselves, no matter what may happen. In short, life happens, be ready for it:
• Earthquakes, • Tornadoes, • Blizzards, • Extended Disability, • Hurricanes, • Floods, • Depressions, • Ice Storms, • Terrorist Acts, • Loss of Income, • Famine, • Tsunami, • Volcanoes, • War, • Drought, • Pestilence, • Tyranny, • Climatic Change, • Becoming Lost, and more
A- Well yes and no.
Certainly I don't want to dwell on emergencies, disasters and all the challenging things that could happen some day. I believe in loving and living life without fear for what might happen. The simplest way that I know to explain this is with the moniker by which I am known.
There is no doubt that tomorrow will come and there is no dispute that "things" happen. How you are prepared to meet tomorrow will make all the difference in the world. If you are prepared for the worst, then no matter what happens, it will be an adventure.
Most people get into trouble when they just go out for a little while (summer, winter, spring fall) and conditions are just fine. But something happens, things change, and people find themselves in trouble and in need of rescue.
With knowledge, wisdom, care, planning and appropriate preparations, nearly every personal emergency can either be avoided or so ameliorated that it is no big deal.
A significant number of these emergencies, rescues and suffering events happen while recreating. Therefore, much of what I do directly applies to proper recreation, planning and preparation.
A- I don't believe there is tragedy in the loss of wealth, possessions, health or even life. Certainly these kinds of things can be challenging, even life changing, but they should never be terrible negatives. I believe there is only one tragedy and that is when a person loses who they are, what they stand for and where they are going.
A- I discovered what I believe to be the 16-Laws for Well-Being and Success. Thirteen of these I describe as the governing laws of true preparedness. You must learn and live them if you want to be ready to face the future with hope and confidence, they include: The Law of Provident Living, The Law of Stewardship, The Law of the Parachute, The Truth About Life, The Nine Provident Living Modules, The Personal Be-Attitudes, The First Law of Survival, The Second Law of Survival, The Third Law of Survival, The Law of Freedom, The Law of Outcomes, The Principle of Community, and the Law of Human Behavior.
The first place to start learning about these laws is published in the DVD The Foundation, product no. 1101, available on this website.
In addition there is one other thing you must do. True preparedness is not a theory. It must become a fact of your life’s experience, in other words, LIVE IT! It is only by actually doing, playing with and experimenting that you learn and make it a part of who you are and what you do.
A- The answer is almost the same as what I just gave above. I'd recommend that you buy DVD The Foundation, product no. 1101, subscribe to our free news letter, go to out contact page. Attend the free audio and video broadcasts that will be announced in the news letter, plus other events and links we periodically provide.
A- Most of the time people think they are asking about their emergency supplies or evacuation kit.
Certainly material preparation is vitally important, but is not at the top of the list. In fact, material things are at the bottom of the list!
I teach the correct order of priority for your needs as the "Law of Provident Living." Very quickly the key words for the true order of priority are: 1 - Spiritual, 2 - Attitude, 3 - Knowledge, and 4 - Material Things (which I like to call stuff).
For your physical survival when things are really tough, the "thing" that will determine whether you live or die, above all the other things, will be your ATTITUDE. You can learn the details about this concept in the published class The Foundation, product no. 1101.
A- Yes. Let me illustrate with the following.
In March and April of 1999 I was on a national speaking tour sponsored by a private organization. The program that I was presenting in over 24 cities across the country was how to prepare for and survive winter and extreme cold weather emergencies.
On one of my flights I was wondering why I was bound for West Palm Beach, Florida. Who could possibly care about my message in that warm and sunny place. I told myself to not be disturbed if there was no audience, and it was just me and the host at the meeting room.
To my utter surprise, in West Palm Beach we had one of the largest and most enthusiastic audiences during this coast to coast tour.
Nearly all of the people in attendance had moved to the area from much colder areas like Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, Michigan and Canada. They still had family and friends in those cold areas, whom they regularly traveled to see, or that they were concerned about helping. Some of these people were afraid that they might get caught in the cold again while visiting for Christmas.
Another vital consideration is that, it does not have to be below freezing for deadly hypothermia to set in. If you are exposed to rain and wind in temperature in the 40s, even 50s, you can get into serious trouble surprisingly fast. Every year many people have a close brush with death from hypothermia and unfortunately quite a few people die from the exposure. A majority of these hypothermia cases are in relatively mild conditions, well above freezing.
Learn and prepare for the most severe conditions that you, or your family, might one day be exposed to. If not, you might pay a very high price.
A- Not necessarily. Certainly using layers has its place. It is something that we all do, layer up and layer down to match the conditions.
I use traditional layers for mild conditions and for short periods of times. When I spend time in more severe conditions and certainly in the Arctic and Arctic conditions I wear one set of single layer clothing, Sometimes it is worn 24 hours a day for weeks on end. The type of system I use does not need to be removed, changed, dried or serviced at any time while in the field for weeks in below zero temperatures.
Learn about this clothing system in depth in class I've published om DVD available on this website: Correct Clothing is Personal Portable Shelter, Product No. 2100. The whole system I use for living, working and playing in the cold is known as PALS (an acronym for Phillips Arctic Living System).
The Thermal Johns™ are an extraordinary insulation liner for clothing based on the PALS clothing technology. You can read about the Thermal Johns™ in the January 2000 issue of the AMERICAN SURVIVAL GUIDE, starting on page 54.
A- I certainly agree with you that cold feet will make you miserable. In years past I've suffered terribly with cold frozen feet, including Frostnip and Frostbite. So let me share a few thoughts and experiences with you.
To begin with, I've never considered battery operated socks to be a truly viable way to reliably keep feet warm. First, there is the cost and weight of the batteries.
Next, the energy density of common batteries is not high. The batteries will not last very long in a high current application such as resistance wire heating. The amount of heat that you can get out of battery socks is quite limited.
But most critical of all to me is the overall issue of reliability; what happens to your feet when the electric socks fail or the batteries go dead, right when you need them the most?
Let me use myself as an example; I have spent hundreds of days and nights outside in temperatures well below zero. I've had the pleasure of living outside above the Arctic Circle on five different occasions, all of which were in the winter. Some of these working "vacations" were for several weeks at a time living without tents, space heating or backup clothing.
My father and I have taught thousands of individuals to live outside in below zero Arctic conditions. The single most critical part to making this possible is the unique clothing that we use. One way to have the proper clothing, which is a part of what is called PALS (the Phillips Arctic Living System), is to make it yourself.
However, since most people don't want to live outside in Arctic conditions, know that these same principles work for much more moderate conditions also. Well back to your cold feet.
By looking at the problem a little differently you will find solutions that really work. Very briefly here are three key concepts to help you keep your feet warm.
Very simply your feet get cold because more heat is being lost from them than is being produced by them or being circulated to them. Warmth in the feet comes from the heat that is being generated from muscular activity (an exothermic process) or that is being circulated to them by the blood stream from the warm core of the body.
Also consider that your feet are at a significant disadvantage over much of the rest of your body for four main reasons: 1- there are not a lot of muscles in the feet to generate heat, 2- the feet are out at the "end" of the blood circulation system, 3- the feet have very little fat surrounding them for insulation, and 4- the feet, inside the footwear, are down in contact with snow and the cold ground.
The real solution is to insulate the feet well enough so that they are losing less heat to the outside than is being produced by them or circulated to them, therefore, they stay warm.
Another important thing to understand is how the body responds to becoming cold. As the core chills, even just a little bit, an automatic protection system kicks in to try and save the core from becoming any cooler. The blood supply is restricted to the extremities (most notably the hands and feet) to conserve heat for the core. Simply put, in order to keep the feet warm you must maintain a warm core.
Since a lot of heat can be lost out the head (it has a large circulation of blood, not much fat for insulation, and the blood supply will never be restricted as the body chills because the head is the top of the core) well insulated headgear is an important part of keeping your feet warm.
In order to keep the body's internal furnace running at peak efficiency and to keep the circulation of warm blood flowing freely to the feet, you must remain well hydrated.
Something that most people do not realize is that in cold weather you dehydrate rapidly. The colder it is the more quickly you dehydrate. The only practical solution is to drink lots of water. In the winter, in the cold, you must drink more water than you think. The colder it is, the more water you must drink to make up for the dehydration effects of the cold.
If you are outside in the cold, like zero or below, you will need to take in a gallon or more of water per day.
Learn and apply all three of these principles I've briefly touched and you can do what I do, what my family does, what my friends do, what my students do -- you can sit outside all day at 40 below zero and never get cold feet (or anything else for that matter):
1- Surround your feet with adequate insulation - over 1" of trapped, stabilized, dry air.
2- Keep the core warm and at its normal toasty temperature.
3- Stay adequately hydrated by drinking far more water than you think is normal - a gallon or more per day, spread out over the whole day.
Here I can only briefly touch on all of these points.
You can learn more about the PALS approach on our web site (we will be regularly adding more information to the site). Especially check out the FAQs/Library for more detailed information (this section will regularly expand).
At this time the best and most detailed information available on PALS is presented in three published classes available on this website: The Foundation, product no. 1101, Correct Clothing is Personal Portable Shelter, product no. and Winter Safety Made Real, product no. 2290. These will give you over 16-hours of detailed instruction.
I do not believe in having cold feet, been there, done that! I do believe in having warm feet, am here, do this!
A- I go into depth on fuels in my live classes, which I am working to get onto video. However, let's very briefly consider a few major points.
Everybody is going to have to evaluate their own circumstances and conditions. But first, what might you need fuel (energy) for?
Most often people think about cooking, lighting, sanitizing, processing, water heating and space heating as being major uses for fuels, other than for engines and vehicles.
You will need to evaluate and consider the merits and disadvantages of all types of fuels. I recommend that you learn and prepare to use several different ones. Wood, coal, paraffin, charcoal, naphtha, kerosene, alcohol, propane, solar and wind are some of the most common and readily available.
Often people seem most concerned about how to heat their home in winter.
There is one thing you can do to greatly reduce the massive amount of fuel it takes for winter space heating should your current method of heating be interrupted. The answer, don't be too concerned about trying to heat your house.
Almost immediately everybody says, "But I don't like a cold house."
The real issue is not about keeping your house warm, but rather keeping you warm. Do it with proper clothing. This concept is covered extensively in three classes available here: The Foundation, product no. 1101, Correct Clothing is Personal Portable Shelter, product no. and Winter Safety Made Real, product no. 2290. These will give you over 16-hours of detailed instruction dealing with the cold.
Using this approach greatly reduces the volume, cost, safety and regulations of having adequate emergency "fuel" on hand.