On Flip-Flops and Magic, Fireproof Underwear

On Flip-Flops and Magic, Fireproof Underwear

These past few weeks have been eventful ones around the Jackson household.  We’ve been preparing in a different way…preparing to take daughter #2 off to her first year at university.  The fact that she’s several hours away from home is a little worrisome, but children need to learn to make their own way at some point.  I do take some consolation that she’s so far back out the boonies that it’s twenty miles from the nearest Walmart (which has hitching posts for their Amish customers).  What does all this have to do with flip-flops and magic, fireproof underwear?  I’m glad you asked…

I’ve been very busy helping my daughter get ready to move away for the first time and have been anxious to spend extra time with her so I’ve fallen behind on my laundry washing.  No big deal as I’m a prepper so I just dug into my tub of ‘just in case’ underwear and guess what I found…that’s right it was my magic, fireproof underwear.

What does Magic Fireproof Underwear have to do with preparedness…and flip-flops for that matter…Read on to find out: 

Backstory on the Magic, Fireproof Underwear

Magic Fireproof UnderwearI know that having magic, fireproof underwear around the house isn’t quite normal.  Mine is actually left over from my tour of duty in Iraq.  When I deployed in 2006, it was at the height of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threat.  The IED’s were powerful enough to destroy M-1 Tanks and many of the (survivable) injuries were from fire.  Now you should know that the magic fireproof underwear isn’t really “fireproof” so much as it is just designed to not melt onto you–which would really hurt as we’re talking about UNDERWEAR!  Technically, it’s fire resistive but if exposed to extreme heat it won’t add insult to (the burn) injury by melting to you.

 Lesson one:  Man made materials melt unless specifically treated not to.

Why am I talking about Flip-Flops?

Don't Wear Flip-Flops To Move AppliancesAs I mentioned in the opening paragraph…we’ve been getting ready to send daughter #2 off to university and we just returned yesterday from dropping her off.  If you’ve never been through this procedure, it’s where you and every other freshman’s parents descend on the school for one day and everyone tries to move in at once…and if it’s an old school there’s just one elevator in the dorm that you don’t want to take… because you’re a prepper and you stay healthy enough to climb all those stairs with those armfuls of stuff your baby just can’t live without…and because a lot of those parents haven’t climbed more than one flight of stairs since they went to school… so the line for the elevator is really long.  Oh yes, I was supposed to be talking about flip-flops–guess what the footgear of choice for the young college students (and many of the parents as well) on moving day?  That’s right…flipping flip-flops!

I know a lot of people wear flip-flops but that shouldn’t be your footgear of choice when there’s a lot of walking to do….much less on moving day…much less a moving that includes furniture and appliances.

Lesson two:  Shoes (not flip-flops) are designed to protect your feet…but they can’t help you if you don’t wear them.

Wear the Right Clothing for the Activity

These two seemingly unrelated events/observations had me thinking (long drive, remember?)… about how we need to match the proper clothing, which is part of your ‘safety gear’, to the proper activity.  Wearing the proper clothing for your activity is important now… but imagine how important it would be after a disaster or collapse that reduces access to both medical and sanitation services.  If you break a toe or have an infected cut now, it can slow you down for a few days and cost you a little money at the doctors…but if it happens ‘after’ then it can mean the difference between life and death…through the disease process or even the inability to move quickly enough when it matters.

 Lesson three:  Match the proper clothing to the proper activity

Below are some additional examples of the activity appropriate clothing and considerations:

  • Many natural fibers are heat & fire resistant while untreated man-made materials will melt.  An additional example of this from my life is that I have two different sets of boots for my Army uniforms, the natural leather sets for wearing overseas and the more comfortable (and meltable) synthetic boots that I wear here in the states.
  • To stay warm in cold weather:  Wear a wicking material (like silk or polyester…now renamed microfiber for easier marketing) close to your skin to wick the moisture away from your body and into your middle layer…make sure to have a windproof outer layer like leather or Gore-Tex.
  • Another cold weather trick is to wear wool…it was designed to keep sheep warm when it’s wet and cold out…it will do the same for you.
  • GalebeyaTo stay healthy in the sun:  Wear a hat and long sleeve shirts and pants.  When I first deployed to Egypt as a teenager I couldn’t believe that the Arabs would wear galabeya (what my redneck buddies called a man-dress) instead of shorts and short-sleeved shirts.  The Galabeya is generally white, has long sleeves and reaches clear to the ground.  Turns out (yes, I bought one and wore it every Halloween for years) that it’s very comfortable in a hot, dry, sunny environment.  Its color doesn’t let it absorb as much heat, it keeps the sun off your entire body and the material is a very thin cotton which allows even the slightest breeze to blow right through and cool you off.
  • This new tan through clothing is just asking for trouble.  Can you imagine putting it on by mistake before you go out to work in the garden for the day…
  • Gore-Tex Chaps for chain sawing
  • Welding apron for welding
  • Leathers for riding your motorcycle (another lesson I learned the hard way as a young man)
  • Steel-Toed boots for construction and heavy lifting jobs
  • The fit of clothing should also match the activity.  The Army’s Physical Training (PT) uniform just doesn’t fit my body, therefore the only time I run in my PT uniform is when I’m running at my weekend duty.  The rest of the time I wear clothes that really fit and don’t hurt me.  Loose fitting clothing should never be worn around machinery.
  • The colors of your clothing must also be considered.  If you’re running along the road, wear bright colors or even reflective tape if it’s going to be dark.  If you’re hunting, wear colors to blend in or stand out (blaze orange) as appropriate for the type of hunting you’re doing.
  • Wearing appropriate clothing can also help you save money.  A painters’ smock or cooking apron will keep you from replacing your nice clothes as often
  • If you’re going to walk, wear good walking shoes.
  • If you might have to walk over broken ground, wear boots with good ankle support.
  • If you’re going to walk over debris, wear boots with good ankle support and a steel shank

Add to the conversation below…

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3 Responses to “On Flip-Flops and Magic, Fireproof Underwear”

  1. Daughter #2 says:

    Flip-flops have one very important use here at school. Shower Shoes!!!

    • admin says:

      That’s the only worthwhile use I think of for flip-flops…well maybe another use as ‘reactive’ shooting targets nailed to a board on the gun range.

  2. Bill in Miami, Florida says:

    Another tip for those authorized to carry a concealed weapon…match your clothing to your preferred carry (waistband holster, shoulder holster, ankle holster, pocket holster etc.) to make sure that you exercise your carry rights discreetly.

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