I’m a firm believer in having the right tools for a job if you can, being a prepper though I’m more than happy to make do when I have to though. It isn’t just tools though, it also includes clothing, which we quite often forget.
Having the right clothes goes a long way in protecting us from harm. Having warm clothes, gloves and a hat keeps us warm in winter and without those you would be stuck inside until the weather changed. It is the same with working, blacksmiths need aprons, eye shields and gloves to protect them from the heat while farm workers have good boots and gloves to protect them from their dangers.
It makes sense that you protect yourself from what you are working on. Blades slip, glass breaks and people get injured. That is something we want to avoid at all times never mind after an event where the knock on impact is much worse.
Starting from the ground up;
Boots. Everyone should have a good pair of boots to protect their feet whilst they go walking. This protects their feet and stops them becoming lame. It is also so easy to drop something on your foot or have an animal stand on it. Boots are essential. Steel toe caps if you are working with heavy tools, building components or large animals.
Nice thick socks to keep your feet warm and prevent chaffing are next. I like woollen ones as they dry quickly but I also have cotton and polysomething socks that keep me warm as well.
Underwear is next up. I have some thermal underwear to keep my important parts warm an safe but for normal use I use cheap underwear. I would feel uncomfortable without them but if necessary I could go commando.
Your choice of trousers depends on what you are doing. For out and about a good solid pair of work trousers, not jeans, to stop you cutting yourself or banging your legs is OK. Jeans are OK for pottering around inside but they don’t keep you warm. Use the right material for what you are doing, chemical resistant, heat resistant, fire proof. What are you doing?
Tops should be similar to trousers, functional and depending on what you do. You can combine the two by having a boiler suit for your work.
Gloves. I have several pairs, woollen ones for whilst out walking, thick gloves for gardening and working with tools. I like my fingers too much to risk them.
Glasses. I use safety goggles all the time when I am working with power tools, chisels or chemicals. I know someone who lost the sight in one eye because he was stoopid. I learnt from his mistake and take few chances with my sight.
Also consider ear protectors. Hearing is one area where because you can put up with a certain amount of loud noise you can make the mistake of putting yourself in a noisy situation, just for a few seconds, and those seconds add up. I know because I’ve spent too much of my youth at Black Sabbath concerts and there are certain sounds I can’t hear.
Finally, hats. depending on what you are doing you should have a hard hat to protect your head. Sometimes just a hoodie or a balaclava will be fine for the cold but other times you want something a bit more substantial.
Unfortunately we don’t now what we will be doing after an event so we can’t make a shopping list and get just what we need. We have to cover other things that are possible.
To this end for every member of our party we have at least;
- Two pairs of tough boots for work and walking.
- Several dozen pairs of thick socks.
- Several dozen pairs of underwear.
- Two good pairs of heavy trousers, several jeans.
- Several warm tops with long sleeves. Two heavy jackets.
- Several boiler suits. A chemical apron, trousers and jacket.
- Several pairs of woollen gloves, several heavy duty work gloves and several boxes of vinyl gloves.
- Several pairs of safety glasses ranging from cheap plastic ones for general use that protect from grit, broken tools and stones being thrown into your eyes to a good solid pair that will protect from chemicals and high speed tool accidents.
- Ear protectors come in various types from simple ear plugs to cups that cover your ears. Get both types. A good pair of cup types is best if you work in loud environments all the time as the ear plugs don’t fit everyone as well. ear plugs are best for occasional use only.
- Hats are similar to ear plugs. Get a hard hat for work and several woollen ones to keep your head warm in the cold.
All these items, except for boots, are cheap to buy now, many are sold in pound shops, yet they will be impossible for us to make to anything approaching a similar standard after an event. Buy them now whilst you still can.
Make a list of every person in your group and kit them out with everything. You never know who will be doing what and spare gear is never a bad thing anyway. Take care with kids, they grow, and you need to take this into consideration. In the clothing and safety gear area be realistic. They won’t we working with chemicals but they may be working near animals or tools. They need protecting too and regular replacement as they grow up. How old are they? What sizes are they now? Buy clothes to enable them to have the clothes they need as they grow up.
The purchase of clothing and safety gear will be one of the best investments in prepping that you make.