Conserving your physical energy

This is a critical part of my survival and preparations with my disability.  I don’t think many preppers understand just how much more physical work it will take if the SHTF. Oh sure people know in theory that they will work harder but until you do the work day in and day out for a week or more it’s not quite real, or at least that is how it is for me.  I got through my five day water test but the last day was really tough as my fatigue level was going up and I could not fully recover via sleep. If the SHTF you probably won’t be sleeping as long or as well so that will add more fatigue. It is imperitive that you do all you can to conserve your physical energy just like you would conserve water or fuel.

Most of the energy saving tools I am getting are electric or battery powered. Going with electric give me the option of using the gas generator for power as long as my fuel holds out or using the Solar powered system I’m slowly building up. I can’t power a gas power tool with anything but gasoline.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some big  jobs that will have to be done with a gas powered tools that is better use of your potential energy rather than using muscle power.  I got to thinking about this idea reading Pioneer Preppy work feeding his wood stove experiment. He cut a lot of wood and loss quite a bit of sleep feeding that beast.  I’m sure the affects on his body were starting to slow him down a bit. I know if my water test had lasted even another day or two  I would have had to stop almost all work for a day or two just to recover physically. My disability might make hitting that wall happen faster than for most people but I think most urban and suburban prepper types will hit that wall physically and mentally.

It critical that a person thinks about physically energy as a precious commodity to be conserved when ever possible and not as if you are lazy or some other such nonsense.  I saw a person today blowing snow off the sidewalk and drive way with a battery powered leaf blower. That’s brilliant use of power made the leaf blower a year round multi-tasker and probably very low odds for any heart attacks or injuries compared shoveling snow.  Getting things like good work gloves will help protect against blisters until you toughen up a bit. Pain relievers,  heat/ice packs or muscle creams will help you ease the pain and let you sleep so your body recovers. Fatigue clogs the mind and body, that can result in avoidable injuries. If the SHTF there might not be an emergency room or doctor available if you are injured. Best to take steps now to avoid that kind of fatigue.

You have to get your mind ready to think “outside of the box”.  You have to test your preps and how you will use them in a disaster.  Start with short little test of 48 hours going with out lights or tap water or even your microwave and stove for cooking.  Next time the news tells of a disaster some where in the country do a mental walk through of how you would handle that disaster, then a short test going without whatever the news or you think is the critical item. It could be as simple as a family going through a house fire and got everyone out of the house safely but what would you do next?

One thing I loved about the Army is the idea of Crawl, Walk, Run, way of teaching. Make a plan for the most likely disaster in you area and write it out/discus what you will do if you are work/school or whatever. That’s the crawl phase.  Do a planned test of your plan and find anything you need to improve or you come up with new ways of doing stuff.  The “Run phase” You can do a test at anytime and see how it all come together.  Look for things that go wrong that need fixing but also think of things that go right and you add encouragement/positive attitude.


10 Responses to Conserving your physical energy

  1. Marilyn says:

    Have you ever considered converting your gas generator to propane?

    • Jamie says:

      Marilyn: I like the idea of having multiple fuel sources for critical items. But I’m trying to focus on solar as it’s free and good batteries will last about 7 years +, after the basic setup and requires no input from me but some basic maintenance, I hope!

      I don’t think I can store enough petroleum products as a long term solution. Don’t get me wrong I store fuel that might last anywhere from a couple of weeks to year depending on usage and the fuel. Idaho’s biggest weakness is a lack of petroleum fuel source or refinery so that sort of limits any petroleum products as a long term fuel.

      I don’t think solar energy is perfect but Idaho is rich with Hydro electric dams and I think going electric/solar is my best shot for long term power.

      I’m preparing on a much longer timeline than most preppers. I think 6 months to a year is a good start for prepping. About seven years worth of basics either on hand or that I can collect is my goal. Staples and water I can store/collect. Stored petroleum products for 7 years not so much!

  2. I haven’t been sleeping more than six hours a day for as long as I can remember. Any more than that and I’m useless. If I retire before 3am it ‘s unusual. I ‘m nocturnal. Guess I ‘ll get the late shift when the SHTF.

    • Jamie says:

      rat. my Mom does great with a good six hours of sleep and a nap. I tend to do okay with about 7-8 hours of sleep a night and a bit of nap in the afternoon with my disability.

      I tend to be a night person as well and can get by with less sleep when I’m on the night shift. I don’t think that is a bad thing as we need to take advantage of those that can stay awake at night. But, I think most that are unaware of just how much physical work day to day survival will be and collapse in bed in heap of exhaustion might be Contra-indicated in a SHTF situation.

      I think it’s best to test now in a safe and controlled enviroment. Rather than wait to test during an actual disaster.

  3. You can do a lot these days with electric and rechargeable battery tools, especially if you have a solar panel set up to recharge em on. In fact I have backups for all of my gas powered tools in electric and battery powered. My next electric purchase is going to be an electric log splitter. They won’t get up to the same ton limit as a gas powered one but they will still do a number on most logs. After that will be an electric tiller and a small wagon/wheelbarrow design to cart the solar batteries around in.

    Unless you are really going to hit the heavy stuff I am about to the opinion you can do enough with the electric and battery technology that’s out there.

    And become even more self sustaining.

    • Jamie says:

      Pioneer I have a corded Greenworks lawn mower and tiller. They both work great.
      My Dad liked the mower so well he went and got a Greenworks mower for his lawn.

      • I even went so far as to get a battery operated chainsaw. It only lasts about 20 minutes but is the handiest pruner and small limb tool I have and no cord to worry about.

      • Jamie says:

        Pioneer I have been looking at couple of different battery powered chainsaws. I think that it will work great for my RV “tool box”

  4. TOR says:

    Youtuber NutnFancy has a saying “time, calories, energy”. These things really need to factor into our plans.

    For example saving weight by not carrying a light tarp for a shelter means you need to take time for primitive shelter building. You’ll also expend calories and energy doing this work. All of a sudden a 2 pound nylon tarp looks like a decent to good idea.

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