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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What About Some Zombie Weather in Two Weeks?

Hunting Zombies in extreme weather can be rough and the weather in Texas in February can be extreme. It can range from a record 30 degrees below zero, as recorded in Tulia in 1899, to a balmy 88 degrees in Amarillo in 1957(must have been global warming). So we can expect a wide range of possible Texas weather for the run. Thus helping to validate the old saying that "Only fools and Yankees try to predict Texas weather". So how will we know what kind of weather to expect for February in Texas? The Texas Almanac says the temps should be around 45-50 degrees with possible showers. That is about the best I can give you at this time, but you already knew that didn't you? That it might be cold in February in Texas?

From my front porch in February of 2009
 So how to prepare? I would make sure all my gear was weather ready. I use several types of treatment on my leather boots. I have mink oil that I keep the leather preserved with and if I think I might get some extra water, I will use a heavy coating of bees wax on the shoes or boots. Paying close attention to the seams by rubbing in the wax with a toothbrush and making sure the wax is completely covering all seams and folds in the leather, outside and also inside the tongue area.Then I take a hair dryer and warm the wax until it melts and soaks into the leather. This will keep the boots waterproof for a week or so and will also help keep the leather supple.

I make sure when I dress for cool weather, that I do so in loose layers. You have heard this all your life right? That way I can capitalize on the ability to trap insulating layers of air between the layers of clothes and also so that when the weather, or my body starts heating up, I can either shed the amount of outer layers I need to stay at a good temperature, or if I am wearing zipper or button up garments, I can open the garments to outside air.Having the outside layer be some type of a waterproof shell is a good idea too.

Having head and neck gear in cool weather is a must. You lose the majority of heat through your head and neck area. Wearing a hat or cap does a good bit of heat retention. They can also prevent those "Head Freeze" headaches you can get when doing physical exercise in cold air. Something that can be pulled down over your ears is a also a good idea. Some folks forgo traditional headgear for a type of headband when working or performing physical exercise out of doors. This keeps the ears and forehead warm while allowing the head to leech out the extra heat being produced by the body. Even if I used one of these, I would still make sure I had some type of watch cap, or other head gear in my pack for when I was cooling down or done with the physical exercise.

Proforce Shemagh Scarf Olive and Black 61030
Wearing a scarf is a great idea. I wear one to seal off the area at my neck where my clothes all come together. This keeps the warm air inside my clothes from bleeding out from my neck area. I have several I use, some wool and some cotton. Right now I wear an old raggedy Shemagh someone gave me a few years ago. It was old when I got it and I have dropped it in a bucket of green die since then to make it look less like a "homeless" accessory. I really like these because they are just the right size and design to do the stuff I need. They are made of soft cotton and when tied around the neck, help to keep the heat in my neck area from dissipating or bleeding out. If I run into any wind blown dust or sand, which is pretty common in winter as summer, or if I want to put some cloth between the cold air and my lungs, I can pull up a small bit of the cloth to cover my mouth and nose. Wearing clothing designed by people who have lived their lives in hot and cold weather extremes is not a bad idea.

I carry gloves with me every single day I am out of the house. I use them to work barbed wire, pick up mesquite branches and to feed hay that has grass burrs in it. I learned a long time ago it is easy to injure a hand or finger and it takes a good time for it to heal and become less painful. So, I try to make sure I wear gloves and when I do injure a hand or finger, I try to immediately clean any cuts or punctures and put some antibiotic ointment on it (to seal out anything from getting in). Wearing gloves to keep hands warm in cold weather is also a great idea. Your hands will usually be in contact with a firearm during an event like this and having your hands touching cold metal is not a good way to retain heat. There are a lot of options for gloves out there. Take the time to try some out and find out what works for you during events like this, where the Apocalypse ends after a few hours, and you do not find out something does not work when the End of the World is here to stay.        

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