Fashion for the Apocalypse
Ah ha ~ those that know me, will say, ‘oh that’s so her’, because in my previous, lah de dah lifestyle, I was all about fashion ~ and still am in a fashion (pun intended); so I can’t pass up this opportunity of talking about fashion in the reference to packing for emergency situations. And in my research so far, for ‘emergency preparedness’, I found hardly any discussion on what to wear, or what clothing to have ready in your “BOB or BOV” aka “Bug Out Bag or Bug Out Vehicle”; well not for women, by women, at least.
Men have shown in their tutorial videos on what they’d pack ~ and depending on the extremeness of their preparing…it ranges in general from long johns to layers to “all or nothing” camo gear. Note, the best advice I saw was from experienced hikers, who actually use the clothing they are discussing and in different types of weather. The important key is pack or dress in layers ….so….
Let’s start with layers. What every person needs to pack for an emergency evacuation ~ or any event that would require them to leave their home in a hurry ~ they should have clothing packed that would assist them in whatever climate situation they’d find themself in ~ so yes layers would be the best bet.
Think camping or if you’ve never been camping, think three day trip through an area that could be one day hot, or wet and rainy; or could turn cold the next. You’d want some or all of the following items on that kind of trip (plus your basic underwear):
Hot: swimsuit, shorts, tank top, light jacket or light long sleeve shirt, sandals, sunglasses, hat.
Wet/Rainy: light weight able to dry fast type of clothing or repels water, umbrella, poncho or waterproof jacket, over clothes type of rainwear, sandals or boots, hat.
Cold: pants, long sleeve shirt, vest or sweater, scarf, gloves, socks, insulated undergarments like long johns, boots or all terrain shoes, hat or stocking cap.
Go online and search using the words: Camp clothing, Safari clothing, Hiking clothing. These will give you a much broader idea of what to pack for possible multiple weather situations. You’ll also find clothing that can be both pants and shorts ~ undergarments that can be versatile as outer clothing as well and many other creative alternatives; key is to pack less but have multiple usages.
So after the basics how does fashion come into play? ~ Well, it doesn’t really have to, but I’m a fahsionista and I want to be prepared in that area too. Ok, silly to some I know, but let me explain further ~ I have a legit reasoning.
A while back, I was conversing with a friend and said, “Well, if it’s the end of the world and I have to leave my home for good, and my plan is to go somewhere else to start a new life….”, I said, “…I’d want to take at least one dress or skirt.” She’s like, “That’s not what she’d take, she’d pack her grungiest to take-on the end of the world!”.
And I said, “Well I wasn’t talking heels and a party dress, but what I meant is, that if this is the only clothes I’m going to have for a very long time and I’m going to start a life somewhere else ~ I’d want something nice too, for later; you know, girls clothes, to remind me of better times, normal times.” I added, “Don’t worry, the main clothes I’d be wearing while traversing the apocalypse would be all terrain type, blend in type, as I probably wouldn’t want to stand out as a woman during that time”. Of course our discussion was half in jest. We both are into being prepared, but don’t think the world is coming to an end or if a version of it does happen, don’t think it’ll be as bad as a ‘zombie apocalypse’ but in reality, really being prepared more for like a general home evacuation need, due to a natural disaster of some sort.
It did make me think about a fictitious packing scenario, when I dreamed of back-packing around Europe and taking the train. I remembered I had planned in that imaginary satchel the following: a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, two piece bikini, tank top, long sleeve button up shirt (can be used as top or jacket) long skirt (can be rolled up to make short), strap dress, sandals, boots, t-shirt, zipped hoodie, a lightweight overcoat and hat n scarf (and undies, socks). I pictured wearing mostly the bikini under my shorts, tank top and long sleeve and sandals on the coastal areas, always ready to take a dip. The dress and sandals would be for the nights I’m able to go out to dinner. The boots, jeans, t-shirt, hoodie and scarf when I went to the local dance club …the rolled up skirt, the next day, again over my rinsed out bikini, maybe with the boots or sandals …etc … versatile and fashionable. I still think I should make that trip J I was thinking ending up on one of the islands of Greece, like in the movie “Summer Lovers”, (a beautiful film of Greece, but forewarn kind of cheesy storyline.)
I also remembered the days I travelled to see the band “the Grateful Dead” in concert. The people of the parking lot and their caravan buses, they were always so colorful and dressed in layers. The girls wearing much the same as I described above but more extreme as they wore their clothes like they were the suitcase ~ skirts over long johns or shorts ~ layers that would be shed as the day’s sun heated the area; and put back on as the chill of the night started in. It also brought to mind, the story of “Heidi”. As a little girl, I was read the story of “Heidi”. And on her trip to go live with her grandfather, she wore all her clothes on her body, in layers, for her travel; anyhow, if its winter when an evacuation happened that could be an option.
So the talk of what really would you pack continued ~ and again it kept going back to which evacuation plan would it be (BOB or BOV) and what was the type of emergency situation that would have you fleeing?
That’s what makes preparing for the ‘what if’s ‘tricky ~ you don’t know, so you have to assume it’s a major reason you will be evacuating your home and all your things ~ and prepare accordingly.
I personally have two types of emergency evacuation plans ~ and using my vehicle is one of them, which is called the *BOV aka Bug Out Vehicle. And a simple back-pack with survival items for three days is the other, called a *BOB aka Bug out Bag; so packing clothes for each will be different. As the BOV scenario could fit more than one bag of clothes, I’ll skip over that and just relay what I’d have packed in the BOB. But first let’s talk about situations that may be the emergency cause for such an evacuation ~ that causes you to have to evacuate your home.
Name a natural disaster from anywhere and there’s a valid reason why someone would have to evacuate their home; earthquake, tornado, tsunami, hurricane. Around here in Southern Oregon, most likely would be an out of control forest fire or possible flooding, in those cases Id most likely be able to use the *BOV plan, and I would pack out also the pets, and yes they are part of the BOV plan. In a dire ‘end of the world’ scenarios, economy collapse, asteroid, polar shift, EMP, marital law ~ whichever that may be ~ I plan to *BI (aka Bug In) first, as hopefully I’ll be living a self-sustainable life about that time on my own piece of land; but if due to immediate danger to my home or myself ~ i.e. unlawful people ~ I may need to just hit the high road in an instant and the *BOB comes into play.
Yes ~ none of this may happen ~ but I feel good knowing I’m prepared for “what if’s” in this world~ well semi prepared ~ I can only do so much by myself ~ but I’m working on it gradually.
So now that I’ve covered the possible what if’s and why’s you’d be evacuating your home ~ and the reasons for two plans ~ and furthermore why I feel fashion consciousness still is important for a semi normal future; lets discuss what I’ve chosen in basic for the evacuation plan using a BOB.
Note ~ this is not an all-inclusive listing; it does not include the survival item details. This entry focus is clothes and accessories only.
BOB ~ *Bug Out Bag:
I have my *BOB packed and ready to go with three days’ worth of survival items (see basic essentials listed below)
The 10 Essentials:
1. Water ( & water purifier) , 2. Food /cooking devices, 3. Fire Starter / Lighter / Matches,
4. Shelter items (tent or tarp) 5. Items for warmth: blanket, sleeping bag,
6. First Aid Kit / Sun & Bug protection, 7. Flashlight / Headlamp, 8. Map /Compass/hand crank radio,
9. Knife/Fishing tackle, 10. Clothes
I’ve found a backpack suffices better for packing all of the above and still is quite comfortable to carry for a person my size (5ft), but you can “Bug Out” with any type of bag ~ the main thing is having it ready to go and it’s easy to carry.
(One thing to add about a good back pack ~ find one with interior frame, adjustable straps around chest, waist and torso. Has a separate sleeping bag compartment. Water bladder inserts capabilities, and has lots of pockets for separating items and easy accessibility. Most have one big interior for main packing area; a plus is the ones’ with the capabilities of two compartments and access separately to both; they are out there but may be more spendy)
So what kind of clothes would “I” pack in my *BOB? I’ve listed above the basics you’d need for all types of weather ~ I mentioned what I’d take on a backpack trip around Europe above ~ but this is a possible “all that I will have for a while” clothes situation and will have to be a condensed version of a normal trip bag; so on thoughtful consideration on what I have ~ I’ve put together the following:
My *BOB ~ Fashion for the apocalypse (my colors are more black/brown/orangish/green and though I do like white, it’d get dirty fast, so only maybe something very cottony thinking like safari heat ~ I’m kinda going with the earthy/natural style) Note underwear a given.
Levis pants (button fly)
2 pairs Cargo shorts green and khaki (or versatile pant/short s version … on my list to purchase)
Zip up hoodie jacket ~ Green
T Shirt ~ ‘Fave’ The Doors (brownish/green)
Tank top ~ ’Fave’ Orange/brown
Flannel long sleeve button up (mix of same colors)
Two piece swimsuit ~ brown
White cotton oversized breezy swimsuit cover up ~ it’s like a long shirt
Skirt (elastic band) ~ can be rolled up to be short (several colors matching above)
Hat, scarf and gloves
Thermal long johns ~ I have the basic white but thinking they need to be dyed… a color of the green so can be worn under the skirt or shorts if needed. The long sleeve under the T’s or Tank.
Doc Martens Boots ~ natural leather brown (Ive had these for years, and have hiked in them before)
Socks ~ matching above
Hiking/rafting sandals ~ waterproof
As my fashion tastes change so will the above (and also as my budget changes, I know of some actual hiking / camping wear that I’d like to invest in later) ~ but the main thing is keeping the clothes packed for 3 days that can be interchangeable, being versatile, prepared for all types of weather & climates and in my case ~ be semi matching.
Hope this article helped or if anything, added some sunshine to the doom and gloom of preparedness.
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9 thoughts on “Fashion for the apocalypse”
Are you going on vacation or bugging out. To much stuff to carry. You need to get from point A to point B quickly, this will not be a day at the beach. The lighter your ruck the better. Remember a 72 hour perior in reality when on foot is if your lucky a total of 25-30 miles. This is what you plan for to get to either your cashe or a bug out location. All your gear is great for rec. camping bright colors if you get lost but in a situation which requires OPSEC you might as well have a sign that reads “Come and Get Me”. Change your colors, get rid of the nice to have stuff. Get your gear down to the 30-35 pound range. You want to be high speed and low drag. God Bless and Keep Your Powder Dry.
Well, I like the article. I’ve often pondered the fashion question. I think it is more likely that you’d be fleeing from a local natural disaster and hence may as well take a little of everything, as long as you can throw it all in your vehicle quickly. If your local employer is forced out of business because of the disaster, it helps to be ready to start over with as many familiar and comforting items as possible.
Thank you for your comment RGR ~ I enjoy the feedback ~ but to clarify on few points you brought up ~ my pack is 25lbs without the water bladder, and with 33lbs and fits my 5ft frame. I’ve actually used the above set up for a 3 day hike last summer. What I didn’t report above, is I am an avid hiker / camper so yes, my 3 days bag is set up for more of a survival in the woods, like a camper would be. And I didn’t think I needed to mention, but I do have a waterproof camo sleeve that goes over my pack if camo is needed. But my article above was to talk about clothing for one’s BOB. I covered the basics (all weather/all terrain) and why and brought in a little personal thoughts from a females perspective. I hope you all enjoy and welcome any more comments and thoughts on the topic. Any suggestions on what you pack as all weather type clothing?
Not meaning to be off-topic, but I have an observation about camo clothing that might be helpful to those wishing a low-profile and/or semi-invisibility might consider: NOT wearing military camo simply because it may draw unwanted official notice from those badges offended by “militia” or “preppers” etc. Bow hunter camo is made from a softer fabric that eliminates the scraping sound other fabrics create during movement. Because wild animals exhibit different colors/color schemes from topside (dorsal) to bottom side (ventral) so, too, should those bugging out into or through wilderness. A forest camo jacket above desert camo pants turns a large, human-sized signature into two, indeterminate signatures. Think deer or fish–the top is dark, the belly is light, with a subtle gradation on the sides.
I enjoyed the article. I’m sure you have looked at Tilley clothing but if others have not they make great traveling clothes. A little pricey but great versatility and they hold up to hard wear.
Having it hit the fan for any given individual doesn’t have to mean a natural disaster, or a zombie apocalypse. Don’t get tunnel vision.
My own recent TEOTWAKI-event, back in 2001, was losing 4 jobs in 1 year due to internet-company failures, losing my house, and living in my van for 6 months afterwards.
Having a tweed sportcoat, a collared white shirt, khaki pants, a regimental tie and some black leather running shoes packed away in a waterproof container, and a solar charger for a cellphone, in my vehicle allowed me to get to job interviews, even if I was carrying water and cooking on a campfire, “at home”. If I had showed up in my “normal Grizzly Addams” outdoor attire/appearance, I probably would have never found another job.
The disaster you expect may not be the one that bites you in the rear. You may never be able to cover ALL the bases, but don’t dismiss them out of hand.
Well done, AniOre – keep us all thinking ahead about possibilities.
AniOre, Good weight range and outstanding addition on the cammo cover for your Pack. For wetweather gear I’m an old timer so I use a military issue ponch and poncho liner. It not only keep you somewhat dry but also doubles as a shelter. If you are traveling in pairs two can be snapped together to make a shelter for two with a floor, very light weight. The poncho liner is great for most wweather conditions above 40 degrees and will keep you warm even when wet and drys quickly. Also as a Army Ranger, spent a lot of time in very wet conditions and may not always be an option for the ladies, don’t wear underwear, it takes forever to dry and will start to rub in area’s you are quite familar with. I like Rip stop nylon, and polypro under garments, again works well when wet and is supper light weight. Good Luck, God Bless and Keep Your Powder Dry
A lot of folks carry modern rucks and packs which often come in a variety of very visible colors – great for hikes in the woods, not so much for covert travel through hostile territory.
One solution is to carry a military poncho (modern version, ditch the Nam stuff from the surplus store). They have an oversized back portion specifically designed to cover your pack without hindering movement. You can add some shemaghs to soften the outline without adding much weight. The German Flektarn pattern works best in my neck of the woods.
BTW, my 3 sons, my nephew, and I all carry about 75 to 90 pounds of gear regularly on our patrols around our property – boots, jeans, camo shirt, kevlar, pack (food, water, medical, poncho, personal stuff), load bearing belt (pistol, rifle and pistol mag pouches, fixed blade knife, flashlight, drop leg pouch with binos), e-tool or machete, rifle, comm gear, and nvg gear. Even if I left the pack behind I’d exceed RGR’s weight recommendation. Perhaps I have a greater need for comfort while roughing it.
I usually wear jeans and boots so my BOB (navy blue and black) packing consists of: 2-pairs wool-blend, hiking socks. Antimicrobial unisex underwear http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-08-19-british-underwear_x.htm.
Brown shorts and T-shirt. Sweat-wicking, poly long-johns. Water-repellant, flannel-lined nylon sweat pants, one size too large (fits over jeans) and matching nylon jacket with hood – olive green. Black turtleneck. Lightweight. Dry. Many layering options.