Quick Tip: Staying Safe in the Cold

For the thousands of people in the Northeast and Midwest, these are the coldest temperatures you’ve ever experienced. Frostbite is a real danger that occurs when flesh freezes, forming ice crystals that can damage your cells. This “Staying safe in a deep freeze” article on MSNBC prompted today’s quick tip.

Prevent Frostbite

Bundle up! Wear a hat, coat, gloves and/or mittens, good boots (with an extra pair of socks), and don’t pretend you’re too manly to wear a scarf.

Hand and toe warmers are also great for keeping the frostbite at bay, but make sure you don’t place them directly against your skin for extended periods of time.

Identify Frostbite

Most commonly affected areas are the fingers, toes, ears and nose. The skin will likely be hard, feel numb, and may look waxy, white or grey.

In extreme cases, frostbite will create blisters, can turn skin black, and cuts and cracks in the skin will appear. These cases are serious and should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible. They can lead to permanent nerve damage, gangrene, and may require amputation.

Treat Frostbite

When dealing with minor cases of frostbite, warm the affected areas gradually. Using blankets, room temperature, or the body heat of another person is the best way to thaw frozen flesh at home. But DO NOT rub the affected areas or break any blisters!

DO NOT use hand warmers directly on the skin, and do not use hot water. If you do decide to use water to re-warm affected areas, be sure that the water is just above body temperature.

After re-warming, gently dry skin and keep fingers and toes separated from each other with sterile bandages (and without adhesive).

The thawing of frozen flesh is extremely painful. I recommend you take a good dose of ibuprofen or other painkiller while treating frostbite.


Hypothermia is a real threat at these temperatures and can be even more serious than frostbite. If you can’t stop shivering, listen to your body and get inside.

Emergency Preparedness and Practical Survival

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”
-George Bernard Shaw

Perhaps the Boy Scout Motto put it best: Be Prepared. By definition, life will be full of unexpected circumstances—times when we’ll find ourselves in situations we may never have thought we’d see. These are the times we will lean on skill, practice and preparation.

If there was ever a time more evident that the common man (and woman) had lost practical survival skills and needed them back, I’m not sure when it was. In the past 50 years, the average citizen has gone from capable to grossly incapable of providing a living for themselves and their family. Yes, we’re still capable of facilitating a living for our families—we can earn money to buy the goods we need. But what about when the power goes out and we can’t earn money as a computer technician? Or the bank fails and our debit card no longer carries those 1′s and 0′s? Or worse—when what money we do have is worth no more than the paper it’s printed on—are we still capable of providing that living for ourselves and our families?

The goal of BugOutBlog is to help you gain the practical skills you’ll need in the event of natural disaster, terrorist attack, governmental turmoil, economic troubles and job loss. We’ll be sharing real-world experience, skills, tutorials and reviews to help the average person prepare for, and survive, real-life emergency situations.

As I toyed with the idea of building this website and shared the idea with others, I came across someone who asked “But isn’t that what the tv shows Survivorman and Man Vs. Wild are for?” The question gave me a good bit to think about. Does the world really need another survival resource? Is there anything more to add to the galaxy of websites, books, television programs and manuals already vying for our attention?

My conclusion was that “yes,” there is more. So, we aim to offer more interaction, more accessibility, and a more common-sense approach to survival and preparedness. You can watch Bear Grylls eat a Rhino Beetle or see Les Stroud escape from lions in Africa on YouTube, but it’s on BugOutBlog where you’ll learn the skills that can help keep you from having to resort to beetle meat in the first place. We call it practical survival.

So welcome aboard. Bookmark the site, add us to your RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, let us know what you’d like to see, and please, share this site with your friends and family. We hope to be a valuable resource as we learn together about how to prepare for the worst—using a common sense approach, and real-life experience to explore what “practical survival” really means.

Bug Out Blog Coming Soon

OUR GOAL: To make survival a practical matter.

If you’d like to contribute, we’d love your input. Send an email to bugoutblog@gmail.com. Bug Out Blog is launching soon and you can be the first to know—follow us on Twitter!