Plan Ahead To Be Prepared

I’m just getting over a 48-hour bout of food poisoning (or an acute flu). I don’t get sick very often, and sick to where I’m confined to laying around has happened just a handful of times in my life. But this one knocked me out. We’re still unsure what the offending piece of food was, and compounding the mystery is the fact that my son and my wife didn’t get sick at all, while my daughter and I were both sick.

The good news is it happened at home, surrounded by family, where I didn’t have too much I needed to do. At the peak of discomfort I was able to smile thinking that I was glad I wasn’t going through this in a tent in the middle of nowhere.

I’m not writing about it here to elicit sympathy, but rather to emphasize the merits of being prepared for what can go wrong. Here are two things that come to mind with regard to dealing with the unexpected on a cold weather trip.

  1. Cut more firewood than you need. When working up a pile of firewood for the night, get more than you’ll need to make it through the night. This way, if you wake up to sleet outside or illness inside, you’ll be able to keep the stove going and be comfortable and dry.
  2. Bring enough sleeping bag. A common problem on our fall courses is people not getting a good rest when it starts to get cold because their sleeping bag is inadequate, even after we sternly warn them about the issue. Don’t make this mistake. If all else goes wrong, your sleeping bag is your last resort for comfort, sleep, and survival. Bring more than you need – You can always use the extra for a pillow. It’s a good insurance policy to know that if things go wrong you can curl up in your bag for a few days and be warm enough.

Tomorrow’s the taste test of the simple hard cider from a few posts back.  I’m hoping it’s either really good, or really strong to burn the rest of this out of me.  Either way, if I’m able to tilt the jug and hold a glass I’ll be trying some.

Private community & online learning platform.

JMB Blog & Media Hub
Home to our blog, videos, podcast and photos, going back to 2006.

JMBS Calendar
All of our upcoming events.

Typos, Etc.
Anything that appears to be an error in spelling or grammar is actually the author’s clever use of the vernacular, and as such is not an error, but rather a carefully placed literary device demonstrating prodigious artistic prowess.

Fediverse & Mastodon
Follow us and comment on Mastodon and the Fediverse. We’re at

Email List
Join our email list for a weekly recap of our posts.

Featured In:
Jack Mountain Bushcraft Media Appearances Image

Private Community & Online Learning Platform graphic
Western Colorado University
Academic Partner

WSU graphic

Maine Wilderness Guides Organization Quality Endorsement Award

Life Member – Maine Professional Guides Association
mpga graphic
Life Member – Maine Wilderness Guides Organization
mwgo graphic