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My Haversack Kit is going to be a test of limited gear but before I go out. I will show you what I’m packing out.

A brief and ugly summary of surviving cold climates

For visitors and writers alike.

  1. You were never meant to be here. Never forget this. You are an ape of the equator, built to run the savannah and swim in tropical waters. Whatever terms and conditions your body has, they are void here. Mother nature never certified to function in a Death World.
  2. Enduring the cold is never a matter of “how much” as much at it is “how long”. Think of it as the water levels of the vieogames you have played. No matter what equipment enables you to remain longer, you can’t stay there indefinitely. The coat that keeps you warm and toasty for three hours in -15 is enough to keep you functional for an hour of -40.
  3. Whatever the locals say, listen to them. Err to the side of caution if you must. You may not endure what they can endure, but you SURE AS FUCKING NOT cannot survive what they say cannot be endured.
  4. That being said, alcohol is a filthy fucking liar and so is anyone who offers it to you. The warmth it gives is an illusion, and a sign of damage. You are worse off feeling comfortable with a mouthful of whiskey as you are freezing your gonads off stone cold sober.
  5. Winter tires. Studded winter tiers are a MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH when you drive on a frozen road. That being said, whatever the locals tell you that your car will need to run as theirs do, take it. Taking the risk of being pranked is worth survival, and you can always stab their tires in the spring if they were shitting you.
  6. Eat. For the love of god, make sure that you eat. Heavier meals might be unpalatable at first for someone used to lighter nutrition, but maintaining bodily warmth in a cold climate takes up a lot of energy, and you will feel tired and drowsy for a long while shile your metabolism adjusts to producing more heat than Mother Nature ever intended. The skinny people in your party are especially vulnerable, ensure their well-being on a regular basis.
  7. If you have a smartphone/other essential technology on your body, keep them close to your body to keep them warm. They were not designed to be frozen any more than you were.
  8. Sleep is death. SLEEP IS DEATH. Never, ever stop to rest in the cold, if you do not have the means to make a fire/otherwise produce heat. The cold tires you out because keeping warm takes energy, but taking a rest will not return your energy. If you feel the need to sit down and rest because you are tired because of the cold, call for help. This is not a hyperbole, if you feel like you are too tired to go on in a cold climate, CALL A FUCKING AMBULANCE. If you fall asleep in the snow, you will not wake up. Hypothermia can and will literally kill you.
  9. Avoid skin-to-snow-contact if you can. It hurts because you were not supposed to do it. Consider ice to be like acid. Touching is bad for you.

Feel free to add to the list if you feel like I missed something.

The Thing About Trauma

It’s not as easy
as being Something That Happened to You,
a package you opened once.

You will wake up in a new ZIP code,
have to wander your way home,
carry a few of the things you love
to this new place
you live in now.

& so you buy throw pillows.
You put up twinkle lights
and have a big celebration,
point at the open windows
and tell everyone who has ever seen you crying,

look,

look how I have not caged myself,
look what I have made
out of two paint buckets
and the blessing of my still-here body,

but, of course, trauma leans into the bar cart.
Spills a drink on the new rug.
Breaks off the door handle on his way out.

Trauma sends you letters,
without warning,
for the rest of your life,
usually disguised as something else— 

a medical bill, maybe,
or a box of photo albums packaged up by your father,
just so you remember
trauma knows exactly where you live—

who did you think built the house?

What to Do If You See A Werewolf

1. Positively identify werewolf as a werewolf

2. Panic uncontrollably

3. Think (at least a little)

4. Derp like crazy

5. Joyfully give a large stick as a parting gift

6. Leave him in stick-induced confusion

Tips and Ideas for Writing Post-Apocolypse

Writing post-apocalypse/dystopian future can actually open a large range of possibilities and original ideas but there are some things we should try to keep in mind. The problem with this genre is that is a heavily research-based genre, it requires a lot of information so a lot of things can slip up or be forgotten.

Limits of the Body - This is something that seems to be largely forgotten unless in extreme situations. Yes, humans are tough, but they are also weak. We have that balance of nature within us. People can keep going whilst in a lot of pain, but something like a headache could knock them senseless. I knew someone who got shot in the leg and ran three miles because he thought he had been hit by the brick. The second he realised he had actually been shot and was safe to do so, he collapsed in pain. Quickly establish what your characters can and cannot do.

Children - Children are more robust than so many people give them credit for, they wouldn’t make it to adulthood otherwise. Children are emotionally stronger than they are physically but many children have a lot more endurance for their size than adults because they have to keep up with adults. Two good examples are The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

Hygiene - Namely with periods and stuff. It is hard work keeping the body clean, so personal hygiene will be poor but people tend to stop caring at a point when they realise how hard it is to maintain. A lot of people would revert to old fashioned methods of vagina health as well, so people would use reusable cloth or diva cups. The only book I know of that covers this is The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

Simple Killers - More people died of the Spanish flu than in the First World War (source). It is surprising how often it is “little things” that kill people off. An emotional death does not have to be all that dramatic, no bloody death or major killer. Something as simple as a small cut that festered will kill someone if not treated correctly. An asthma attack, diabetes, things we see as treatable would make quick work of us without medical aid. Also most deaths are really simple and sudden.

World Limitations - What is this obsession with guns and everything happening in the summer and unlimited cans of food? No, let’s be honest, none of these are realistic. Guns will not last, can goods will be snatched up by the shop loads, most natural disasters will happen in spring or autumn. Remember to do the key thing, make your world real and people are more likely to believe it.

Take a Page - Who are most renowned for their post-apocalyptic stories? British pre-1950s authors. Why? Their worlds are real, the possibilities of what could happen in those worlds are real. Some where and still are scarily accurate, they looked at the current and possible state of things, creating a world too similar to our own. Great examples like 1984 by George Orwell, The Death of Grass by John Christopher, The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, Soylent Green and the Mad Max Series.