INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: Triple your warmth options

image by Nicholas T

The Rule of 3 is an old stand-by in survival circles.

“Three is two.

Two is one.

One is none.”

Chances are you have multiple ways of purifying water and have more than one evacuation route planned, but have you applied the Rule of 3 to staying warm?

Cold kills, and it’s dangerous to rely on only one source of warmth, especially at a time when indicators point to the very real possibility of spikes in the cost of energy and fuel.  We may see a time when millions of families have to choose between staying warm in the winter and having enough food to eat.

In the meantime, think about how you and your family could stay warm if your usual source of power was gone.

  • Do you have enough blankets to add to beds and hang up on windows?
  • Is there a way you could protect your outside walls from high winds and extreme cold?
  • Can you add extra insulation in your exterior walls?
  • In extreme circumstances, would you be able to shut off all unnecessary rooms and contain your living and sleeping quarters in just one area?
  • Does everyone in the family have the right clothing for spending time outdoors in cold temperatures?
  • Do you know the warning signs of hypothermia?
  • Is your vehicle equipped with methods of staying warm in case of a breakdown?

What other options could you add to your home in order to stay warm?  In the coming days, retailers are going out of their way to offer steep discounts on just about everything.  If money is tight, maybe a really good snowsuit or heavy jacket would make a fine Christmas gift in place of a new electronic gadget.  When it comes to staying warm in cold weather, safety takes a priority over luxuries.

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

© Copyright 2011 The Survival Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Survival Mom
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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

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  1. Stealth Spaniel says

    Well, I like having a warm body to snuggle with, but in a pinch-the dogs are great little heaters! : )! Get flannel sheets; they are usually so warming that I can only stand a light blanket on top. If you cannot afford to buy them, get to a fabric store for the sales. Flannel is cheap on sale, just be sure to get 100% cotton. Insulate, put in those energy efficient windows and doors. Nothing beats layering for outdoor warmth. Check to make sure that your long-jons are moisture wicking type, as sweating can chill you. 110 always beats 220-so space heaters can be effective in one room areas. If push comes to shove, and the electric/gas is turned off, put up a tent in the room. Your body (or some bodies) cannot heat a whole room, but you can heat a tent in the room. The mylar blanket trick on Dual Survival was a great training item. Insulated (padded) moving blankets-I got mine at Harbor Freight-can also be used to block wind from doors, windows, etc. Get some bricks and try great-great-great grandma's trick. You heat the brick in a fire outside, then wrap it, and put it in your bed. It will warm the bed and you can then put it safely at the foot to keep the warmth coming. If you can get it, nothing, and I mean nothing, beats coal for a HOT fire! If it is the TEOTWAWKI then global warming be damned. In high school, we lost all utilities for 5 days due to flooding. My mom cooked on, and heated a 1700 sq-ft house with a combo coal/wood fire in one fireplace. We were fully fed and completely warm for those 5 days. Remember-even if you have natural gas, if you don't have electricity, you have no heat. Her iron pans and skillets were unscathed from fireplace cooking. Keep thinking ahead-the government will not rescue you!

    • TheSurvivalMom says

      Years ago I lived up in northern Arizona, and the only source of heat I had was a wood burning stove. Every once in a while, a friend who worked at the coal mine up there would bring me a few lumps of coal, and I loved it!

  2. katzien says

    Great point….and one I haven't thought of since I live in central Texas and we just had over a hundred days of 100+ temps. Long johns, wool blankets stored in bins under the bed, and new gloves sound like reasonable next purchases.

    • TheSurvivalMom says

      Just today I stored 3 very heavy \”mink\” blankets under our bed. Even though we live in a desert that gets very hot, if we ever had no electricity during the winter, blankets and cold weather clothes will come in handy.

  3. karyn says

    I think it's also helpful to see how low you can regularly keep the thermostat and see how long you can go before firing up the wood stove or fireplace. If you're constantly used to 72 degrees, it will be hard to adjust to lower temperatures if you had to do so.

  4. AR15 Bob says

    We live in the northeast inthe last year we have lived threw a tornado, micro burst,hurricane, earthguake and 24 inches of wet snow ,in the last year we have lost power at least nine time,we have not skipped a beat,being prepared is everything,we had lights- generator,heat-coal stove(excellent form of heat) stored food and water.Be prepared it works.

  5. Dagny says

    Being a camper and shopper, I've applied the rule of 20 or so to staying warm. Zero-degree sleeping bags, fleece liners (they add another 10-15 degrees of warmth). Down booties, down mittens, fleece neck gaiters, balaclavas, ski masks, long underwear, fleece hats galore, Smartwool socks, blah, blah. Chemical hand and feet warmers.

    Look for down booties – I've gotten them for as cheap as $20 from REI (on sale, they're normally $30) and they're great for sleeping as well as lounging. It's all about layers, potentially lots of them.

    And look for Reflectix — an insulation for water heaters and other items. Home Depot carries it in their stores and online. I have pieces cut for the car windows for camp trips where I sleep in my Honda Element — keeps the car much warmer and would serve the same purpose sheltering-in at home.

    Survival Mom – have you explored the utility of dog hair — especially the undercoat of certain double-coated arctic breeds? Our Samoyed club has a "FiberArts" group that spins Samoyed hair into yarn — usually mixed 50-50 with merino wool to "cool" it down. Samoyed hair is warmer than merino wool. Some of the knitters spin their own yarn, others ship the hair off to commercial woolen mills for processing into yarn. It can be died any color and is absolutely gorgeous. People use it to knit mittens, hats, scarves, blankets — anything that can be knitted. Extremely warm.

  6. LizLong says

    We have thermal curtains for all our windows. We have dual heating, and the bedroom area is cooler than the downstairs. We have electric blankets, and we find that we sleep better in the colder rooms. And we definitely sleep better since we have lower power bills thanks to it! (Night sweats, and a hot blooded kid have made it even more appealing.)

  7. says

    Hmmmmm…..great things to think about. I live in Texas too so its hard to think about cold. However, BECAUSE I live in Texas, I get cold way faster than other humans! I don't even wanna step outside if it dips below 60 and there's a wind. hahaha! This is timely for me though, because just last night, my husband and I watched a ridiculously stupid movie called Frozen. 3 people got stuck on a ski lift and I won't tell you anymore in case you want to see it. (Don't. Its dumb) But, it did make me really cold watching it and gave me the heebies. So, I've been thinking about cold preparation on and off all night while I couldn't sleep due to the disturbing content of that stupid movie.

    • katzien says

      Misty…that's so true! We do get chilled more easily than those who live north of us. It can be a cold 30 degrees when I go to work and a lovely 65 degrees when I come home. Layers…that's the key. More layers in the morning, less in the afternoon.

  8. WritingABookHere says

    I read somewhere that for a whole family in a winter blackout, try to get them to sleep in the same room. With a tarp or blankets, create a tent that completely covers your sleeping family. If you can get everyone off of the floor, then even better. Bring every blanket you have in that area, and you will create your own heat pretty quickly. 😀

  9. Diana says

    Don't forget that wool blankets are better than cotton or synthetic. LL Bean has washable wool blankets that I can say are truly washable and quite warm. They are not cheap by any means, but wool is great if you need to stay warm.

  10. EastTenn says

    I use a wood stove as primary heat in a 2100 square foot ranch. I have a gas furnace but pay for heat. The living room easily stays above 78 degrees and often above 80 and that is with a window cracked and its 20 degress outside . The other end of the house where the bed rooms are stay in the low 70's to high 60's. I could use the fan on the central air and heat to move the heat to the other end of the house but who can sleep when its that hot. So if you have access to a wood stove, use it. I like burning pine during the day and hardwoods at night. If your wood is good and dry and not green, creosote will not be a problem regardless of the wood used. Most people will not burn pine becuase of the " it creates creosote myth" so it is easy to find. Burning wet and green wood creates creosote regardless of type. Anyway, sorry about the rambling.

  11. traumamamma says

    I created bottom sheets from yards of Polar Fleece purchased at Joann's Fabrics. It's thicker, warmer, and softer than flannel, and can be used as a poncho or blanket in a pinch. Top sheets can be also be made, but the Polar Fleece is so warm, that I end up kicking off my covers. Mine is "camo" patterned, and I plan to make a zippered hoodie out of it this summer (recycling for next winter!) Use your 50% off coupon! A 5 yard length covers a king or queen bed with one seam down the middle ( the 5 yd length cut into (2) 2 n 1/2 yard lengths, then the long sides butted together and zig=zagged together, which makes a nice, flat seam) and a 2 and 1/2 yard length covers a twin bed. No elastic needed, the fleece just somehow stays in place. Cozy!


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