The summer of 2018 saw an unprecedented heatwave hit the USA, and the general
scientific conclusion is that these kinds of extreme periods will continue for the foreseeable
The impact extreme heat can have on your survival plans cannot be underestimated. Heat is
draining; it saps your energy, your ability to think as quickly as you usually would, and can be
genuinely dangerous to health. Given the expected continuation of extreme heat as seen
over the recent summer, spending a little time considering the implications of this kind of
heat for your survival plans is sure to be time well spent.
Below, we’ve put together five important considerations that will influence your survival
tactics if SHTF during a period of extreme heat. By investigating these areas and learning
more about the items that can help you in such a scenario, you can be confident that your
survival plans are assured even in the highest of temperatures.
#1 – You can’t assume you will be at your physical best
If you intend to bug out, you will likely spend time rehearsing your route and testing your
physical fitness. However, in extreme heat, even the fittest person alive will struggle.
As a result of this, it may be worth investigating a secondary route that doesn’t require you to
be at peak fitness. You will want to find a route with as much shade as possible, a water
source if preferable, and covered areas where you can rest and recuperate. Extreme heat is
incredibly sapping, and while you should always work on your fitness with survival in mind,
heat will deplete your reserves of energy faster than almost anything else you will encounter.
#2 – Water is the single most important item you will prep
Prepping is expansive, covering a wide range of subjects and necessities. However, the
need for water is the single most crucial – and all the more so when faced with extreme
temperatures. Human beings can survive without food for months on end, but will die of
dehydration within five days.
There are two key principles to keep in mind when considering your water needs in a SHTF
● If you intend to bug in, store as much water as you have physical space for, and
prioritize water over anything else. While other items can be beneficial, nothing
matters more than water. Additionally, for a long-term bug in scenario, you will need
to investigate rainwater harvesting options.
● If you intend to bug out, you will need to find a source of water as quickly as possible;
water is heavy, and you will not be able to transport much more than a few days’
worth. Examine your route to determine possible sources of water ahead of time;
avoid relying on shallow streams, as there is every chance these will dry out during a
period of hot weather. You should also investigate simple methods for purifying water
that you find, so you can be sure to protect your health while obtaining the fluids your
body will need.
#3 – Bacteria control is paramount
Bacteria is a constant threat to prepping, both in terms of wound care and in terms of
preserving food. However, the bacterial threat is all the more problematic during a period of
extreme heat. You may find that your food spoils faster than you would expect when the
temperature is high, and appropriate wound care is all the more important.
As a result, you will need to investigate methods of food preservation, or potentially examine
options for food that does not spoil. In terms of wound care, sterile dressings are incredibly
important, so ensure you have plenty available to you. It’s also important to know that
substances that are often mentioned as having the ability to “clean” wounds – such as
rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide – can actually do more harm than good, so avoid
these at all costs.
#4 – Choose your clothing wisely
For most preppers, focus on the clothes they will wear when bugging out focuses more on
the colors and achieving effective camouflaging. However, if you are forced to bug out during
a period of extreme temperatures, you also need to think about the protection that your
clothing offers against the sun.
The best practice here is pretty simple: opt for clothing that covers as much of your skin as
possible, and always include a hat. Sunburn is a painful inconvenience in everyday life, but
in a SHTF situation, it can slow your progress to a crawl, so cover up.
#5 – Consider lighting options that allow you to travel at night
As we all know, the heat during the day is far fiercer than at night. If you are facing a survival
situation during a period of extreme heat, it’s well worth considering incorporating the ability
to travel at night into your overall plans. This should allow you to avoid the worst of the heat,
eliminate the risk of sunburn, and can also provide an extra layer of security thanks to the
cover of darkness.
However, although darkness offers cover, it’s not without its disadvantages for you – chiefly
visibility. The obvious solution to this issue is head lamps and torches, but these are
incredibly conspicuous, and will inevitably draw attention to your progress. As a result, many
preppers prefer to opt for night vision goggles, as these are invisible to others while still
allowing you to see your way forward.
While expensive, night vision goggles are generally considered to be a good choice for
preppers anyway – for example, you can use these goggles to hunt at night. Night vision
goggles are also a good choice for those intending to bug in, as they avoid the need to
illuminate your home – and potentially draw attention from outsiders – in a SHTF situation. As
a result of these multipurpose possibilities, if your budget will stretch to night vision goggles,
they are well worth including.
It is worth noting that many of the points above are just good prep sense in and of
themselves; the fact that they can be particularly useful during periods of intense heat is just
an extra bonus. As a result, by including these considerations in your overall strategy, you
should be both well-prepared for whatever the climate will throw at you. Good luck.