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Tag Archive | "gel mat"

A Different Perspective About Survival Gear


Today I watched a video about survival gear for the summer. What was intriguing about this video was that the narrator, Brian Brawdy who is a survival expert, discussed a few items that were totally new to me.

For instance, I had heard about the idea of packing insect repellent in your outdoor survival kit, but I never heard someone make a differentiation between insect repellant for adults and for children.

Insect Repellant for Adults and For Children

Mr. Brawdy discussed getting Ben’s DEET insect repellent (a water based product) for adults and Natrapel for children. Mr. Brawdy likes Ben’s DEET insect repellent not only because it works but also because it is water based and doesn’t evaporate as quickly as alcohol-based repellents.

Regarding Natrapel, Mr. Brawdy stated that this repellent does not contain DEET but is as effective as DEET repellents and is also safe for children. Keep in mind that Natrapel has not yet been tested on infants, so stay away from using Natrapel on infants.

In Case You Still Get Insect Bites

What do people do if they still get a few insect bits ever after applying an inset repellant?  In case you still get bit by a mosquito (or another insect) after using your insect repellent, Mr. Bawdy recommends using a product called AfterBite. There’s an AfterBite for adults that is baking soda based and an AfterBite for kids.

The basic idea about using AfterBite is that it effectively stops the itching.  Why is this important? With itching and scratching, it’s relatively easy to get an infection. So essentially, AfterBite is used to significantly reduce itching and help prevent infection from scratching the insect bite. This was another product I had not seen mentioned by other “survival” experts.

A Quality First Aid Kit

Although I had read numerous times how important it is to pack a first aid kit in your survival kit, no one has ever recommended first aid kits that were designed by a medial doctor who is a mountaineer. And this is exactly why Mr. Brawdy recommended two first aid kits from Adventure Medical. These kits, as mentioned above, were designed by a medical doctor who is a mountaineer who and is quite aware of first aid needs in the wild.

Another product I had not read about before was QuickClot. QuickClot was designed for the military and is for trauma relief from deep cuts. It’s a gauze pack that you simply break open and apply to the cut. QuickClot is important to have in the wild because it stops severe bleeding and can therefore help save a person’s life.

Consider a Gel Mat to Cool Down Your Body

With an eye toward reducing summer survival issues, Mr. Brawdy discussed a product he called a “gel mat.” When you lie on the gel mat in temperatures up to 85 degrees, the mat will take some of the heat from your body and transfer it back into the mat.  And this process will work for up to two hours or more.

I would imagine that this product would be great for people in the outdoors who are starting to feel slightly ill due to the heat. In such situations, it is always advisable for people who are starting to feel overheated to get out of the sun, drink some cool water, rest, and if possible cool down via a fan–and by lying down on a “gel mat.” Keep in mind that the “gel mat” is NOT a substitute for medical attention.

An Emergency Solar Powered Generator Kit

For emergency power in case your electricity goes out, Mr. Brawdy talked about a solar powered generator kit that comes with a deep cell battery backup, an efficient solar panel, a “charge controller” to keep your battery from overcharging, and 50 feet of cable for your solar panel. The entire system takes just a few minutes to get up and running. Indeed, just point the solar panel toward the sun, plug your generator into your solar panel, and plug your appliances into the generator.

Practice Using Your Survival Gear Before a Crisis Arises

Some of the best advice Mr. Brawdy gave was for people to practice using their survival gear and equipment before an emergency takes place. For example, take your gel mat on a hot sunny day and go in the shade and lie on your mat. Did the mat make you feel cooler?

Set up your emergency solar power generator kit in the back yard and plug in some small appliances. Does this solar generation system work? Learn about basic first aid so that you can administer first aid in case of a medical emergency.

Apply some Ben’s DEET insect repellent on your body.  Does it repel insects? Do the same with your children and apply some Natrapel. Did it work?  If you or your children still got bit by some insects, apply some AfterBite. Did this substantially reduce the itch?

The point: if you practice using your survival gear and supplies before an emergency, you will be that much better prepared when an emergency arises. Plus you will have greater peace of mind knowing that your survival equipment works.

A Solar Powered Generator is Mostly For Home Use

One final note. With the exception of the solar powered generator kit, all of the other products discussed by Mr. Brawdy were light weight enough and small enough to include in an outdoor survival kit. The solar generator kit would be great to take camping, hiking, fishing, or hunting but it’s too heavy and too bulky to transport into the wild.

So my recommendation would be for people to get a solar powered generator kit for their home, condo, or apartment in case the electricity goes out. This way you can have backup electricity for small appliances such as a small two or three cubic foot refrigerators, radios, cell phone chargers, fans, ipods, small computer systems, laptop computers, etc.

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