Jay is a stockbroker by day and prepper by night. With the help of Mountain Scout Survival Coach Shane Hobel, he hopes to be ready to escape from New York City in the event of a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11. He is worried in particular about the threats of a dirty bomb, something we have seen before on Doomsday Preppers.
One of the first issues that comes up in Jay’s attempt to escape from the city is his level of physical fitness. Like many Americans (including myself) he works at a desk job that requires little to no movement throughout the day.
While this can be inconvenient for conditioning it is by no means a death sentence. If time is a factor, cardiovascular conditioning can be condensed into what is known as High Intensity Interval Training. While more challenging psychologically, it has been proven to boost cardiovascular health more than steady state cardio for much longer intervals and also increase fat loss.
You don’t have to train like a marathon runner to get your fitness level up.
Charcoal for filtering
One of the interesting moves Jay learns from Shane is how to create a homemade filter. Using only a bandanna and pieces of crushed up charcoal, he is able to take fountain water (steeped in leaves, feet of dirty children, pennies and all sorts of fun stuff) into potable drinking water. Does it hold up?
While carbon based filters like charcoal are the basis for most of the commercially sold filters worldwide, such as brita, there are a few weaknesses to them. First, not just any form of charcoal can be used to filter. While trying to McGyver a way into finding drinking water, we have to take what we can get. But in a situation where we are preparing in advance, the best choice is a form of charcoal known as activated carbon.
Filtration is all about the size of the holes in the filter. Think about using a fishnet versus a butterfly net – the smaller the holes, the less gets through. Using charcoal in this way will be a fine dust, but activated charcoal is treated to make tiny microscopic holes between the carbon atoms themselves. This creates holes so small that dangerous contaminants cannot get through In addition to being used in filters, it can even be taken directly like a supplement to negate toxins! One of my favorite bloggers, Dave Asprey, actually recommends this for detox diets.
Plaintain Pulp and Aboriginal Skills
Much like Chris Nyerges, Shane directs Jay to make use of his local environment as a pharmacy on the go. In this case, he uses a plantain leaf to create an antiseptic poultrice with the bandanna. We see time and time again that the ability to harness aboriginal skills is a tremendous asset to surviving on the run. We’ll close this post off with an old joke:
A Short History of Medicine
I have a headache:
2000 BCE: Here, eat this root.
1000 AD: That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
1850 AD: That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
1940 AD: That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
1985 AD: That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic.
2011 AD: That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.