Winter’s Bite

The cold can be a bitter rival when you have no safe harbor and this is for homeless people as well as those enjoying the wilderness. Even for a mild winter hypothermia, frostbite, and pneumonia can put you down when you thought you were fine.

Here are some of the basics and some tips when dealing with the cold.

Portland 19The possibly biggest thing to worry about is staying dry as the winter brings down precipitation in various forms. Steam, snow, rain, and fog are some of the most common example and with a hard chill it can come back to haunt in multiple ways.

When you get wet it will be under conditions, that will as soon as it happens, make it so much worse. Adding weight to whatever moistened it could be the difference of making a nice wool sweater a scratchy, chilling, gripping maw that you have to escape from often shivering all the while.

Most tents will have outer coverings that are water resistant, but will have pieces that retain temperature. It is important to make sure you do not get cold water in your shelter whether it be a tent or just a covered sleeping bag, getting water in it may lead it to getting much heavier, so you will have more difficulty carrying it, or if it is cold enough for that water to freeze may damage it or even cause mold, and it can cause more damage to your lungs long term.

What happens if you get wet? Your clothes follow the function I set earlier for your shelter, but be ware your body is more capable of fighting the cold. Shivers are a sign where the body will try to make its own heat through subconscious processes, and this makes it much more difficult to stop if you already fatigued through hunger or effort. You will find that shivering will take it out of you faster. Deciding to go light, remove your glove only to find that hypothermia trying to have a party with frostbite doing the tap dance on your digits

Cover your hands and feet with as many layers as comfortable without losing movement and if you need to then double up on layers. The last thing you need is to take a chance because frostbite will come in the extremities first and work its way in, if you need more heat consider taking one of the hand warmers and putting them between the layers, I would wear two pairs of wool socks and when it was really bad I would get some hand heaters between them. All this can be boiled down to a proactive defense because it is much easier to keep warm then it is to get warm.

First and best option is always logically, but if there is none than being stealthy will be needed. Get a large mass of land without police presence or find a corner of a building that will work especially you get drenched to bad because liquid is not your friend in any cold situation when it is freezing, being wet may be signing your own death warrant. When you are in the forest or in the caves try to stay covered without keeping your back to the structure because you can lose a lot of heat that way. Stay dry, stay alive, water ,and other fluids can freeze on living flesh. That could be you reader, don’t

TL:DR: Stay dry, Stay covered, Dress in layers, Pack smart, Cover your extremities, Don’t over do it.

Stay warm and stay strong.

Handicapped and Homeless- Prepare for Hard Mode

Warning this goes over some graphic moments, I warned you.

Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday.  My neck had been really acting up and trying to give it some time to rest I decided to lay down all memorial day and it got me to thinking. After applying some Bengay just to get me to not notice the pain and after a look through of my articles I realized there wasn’t anything just what was the difference between healthy and handicapped while homeless.

Short version of that is just life is harder, there are no major benefits or charities at least in my area targeting handicapped homeless. That means a lot of them have to get the jump on everything versus other homeless that are physically healthy. For your information my body has nerve damage throughout resulting in about half my nerve function to be gone and resorting for me to walk with a cane. It didn’t matter when I tried to get help. Everyone had some one else they would rather help out more.

Dental, if you could get on state insurance and manage it, well you have clinics deny you as the Virginia Garcia Clinic in Cornelius denied me because they needed to take…

“Women, mothers and family are allowed to come in as customers at this time, unfortunately we are not taking any men.”

When my teeth broke, for various reasons, that meant I had to pull pieces out and the only way that could be done was the pair of pliers on my multi tool.

ozrk trail

This is the model of mine, an ozark trail multi tool, could be better but as served me well.

Trying to get help for housing I had gone to one charity that during my meeting I had passed out and had to be removed via ambulance. Keeping their eye on the ball they preceded to leave the paperwork on a desk for two weeks before sending it back and saying after they had stamped it, that I had never done it specifically that I could not be verified and needed a letter fro ma vocational rehab counselor. That letter was the first page of what was sent back You know it is bad when even a Vocational Rehab counselor was calling it bullshit when she is trying to be the calm presence.

Disability, something that is supposed to be there for people who meet the requirements had been so stymied in the area that the first meeting with a full breakdown from a neurologist at a specializing hospital, and a head of ER backed with other nurses, counselors, and another federal board looked at it saying clearly disabled. Meanwhile, SSDI ruling came for me last time and said I could go in to production. This is despite passing out at times, low blood pressure, can’t feel most of your fingers and some days different pieces of your body feeling like its tazed or on fire.

I have heard this from thousands of others and the disability I asked Senator Ron Wyden and he did not have an answer. People afterwards shook my hand and thanked me for those who had issues and who died waiting. The senator had no answer, but we did get a picture together, and if you check my instagram, you will find it, lost some fat since then bulked up a little, less facial hair, but it is still me.

When you are handicapped and homeless prepare to fight against the world. Work to show them of what a homeless person can do. Through the process you will find your mettle as well as your ability to continue.