How to Prep for a Resort Vacation.

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As a Canadian every winter I feel the need for at least a small break from the snow and gloom.  This generally means heading south to some form of all-inclusive destination.  Although most resorts are relatively safe this does not prevent me from being as prepared as possible even in this situation.

My preparations can be broken down into three different types.  What I do ahead of time, what gear I bring and finally what I do once there.

Ahead of time
#Prepping ahead of time is key to keeping yourself safe during resort vacations. Click To Tweet

You should do as much as possible ahead of time to ensure you are prepared for most eventualities.  This includes:

  1. Make sure you don’t choose a dangerous country.  Check the travel advisories before anything else.
  2. Make sure your vaccines are up to date.  A local travel clinic or the government of Canada site to see what vaccines are appropriate.  (Personally I err on the side of getting more.)
  3. Make sure you have travel health insurance.
  4. Download an offline map of the country.
  5. Find out where the local Canadian Embassy or Consulate is.
  6. Get a prescription to deal with Montezuma’s revenge.
What to bring
When going on a resort Vacation the top 3 most important things are water, water, water. Click To Tweet

For heading south I always place extra emphasis on water.  When you are in countries where the normal tap water can cause you issues you want to ensure that you have as many purification options as possible.  Bring as many of these as carry on.  If you must pack them then divide your things between checked bags in case one or more bags never arrives.

  1. Water filter.
  2. Water purification tablets.
  3. Refillable Water Container (preferably that you can boil water in)
  4. US Cash in low denominations kept in at least 2 different places.  I would recommend $200-300 which you won’t use for anything else.
  5. Some nuts or a snack bar or something similar.
  6. A general survival kit with fire starters, bug repellent, some medical supplies, knife, flashlight, binoculars.
Once there
When staying at a resort, stay hydrated and create a stash of water. Click To Tweet

Once you’ve arrived there are a few things you can do to ensure you stay safe.

  1. Figure out where the closest town is and how to get there.
  2. Build a water stash.
  3. Always keep a small bugout pack with you.
  4. Always keep some of your cash with you.
  5. Stay hydrated (especially if you are drinking heavily).
  6. Keep your phone charged.
  7. Relax, Breathe, Enjoy.  Remember the most likely event is maintenance of the status quo.

These are the things that I do to feel safe while I stay at a resort.  Are there any things that you do that aren’t on this list?  If so I would love to know!

Stay Safe!

Prepper Montreal

Bonus Note:  Having had to live through losing all my luggage I have some advice on packing.  Always have enough to last a few days in carry on, always split your stuff evenly between checked baggage.  Those two things will ensure that lost luggage doesn’t completely ruin your vacation.

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Your style choices will kill you.

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What you wear out in winter could really hurt you. Follow one simple rule to stay safe.

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It’s undeniably and unequivocally winter here in Montreal.  On bad days there is snow halfway up to your knees or a slushy slurry of snow and near frozen water that could very quickly result in frostbite or worse.

..and yet I still see people making fashion choices that could potentially kill them.  The worst offenders are often a complete and total disaster but many others could still do a lot to keep themselves safer.

The way I see it there is one basic rule of thumb that could save your life when leaving the house in winter.

Winter Prepping: Could you walk home in that? If not then you are endangering yourself! Click To Tweet
Let’s start this discussion from the bottom up as usually that is the most frequent and blattant offense (especially for women).  Appropriate footwear is an absolute must in winter.  You never know when you may need to walk outside or how far you will need to go.  Sure the sidewalk might be fine right now but if it really starts to come down how are you going to fare with what is on your feet.  At the very least you need something that is warm and waterproof.  The higher the boot the better to keep snow out and yourself warm. Most people won’t want to wear winter boots wherever they are headed so just bring a change of shoes.  No real Montrealler will fault you and most bars will have a coat check or something similar that will accept your boots.

Next top offender is the jacket.  No matter how fashionable you think it looks, if you are shivering you look like an idiot.  The secret here is proper layering.  You don’t need a jacket good to -60 C but you do need layers that will see you through at least 10 C lower than forecast.  Take the layers off when you get where you are going and use the to moderate your body temperature on the way.  Everyone will still be able to see your expensive coat and you can stay warm and safe.  Try and remember when you first try it on you need some room to layer.  In this case something longer is also better.

Third are a hat, scarf, and gloves or mittens.  Your fingers and ears are among the parts most likely to suffer frostbite.  A good hat or tuque needs to cover your ears completely.  Warm and waterproof gloves are also essential and dependant how cold it is you may want to layer here as well and keep a thin pair inside a larger outer pair. The scarf is necessary so that you can cover most of your face if the wind is blowing.

Next I would suggest a quick review of your EDC (Every Day Carry).  Personally I keep several extra things in my primary winter coat including:

  • Extra cash in case I really need a taxi
  • Hand/Foot warmers
  • Kleenex/Facial tissue
  • An extra flashlight

Although not stritly a clothing choice being informed about upcoming weather can also be key.  I never put all my faith in the weatherman knowing it’s an inexact science, but I do still check for any weather warning signs.  Freezing rain, snowstorms and extreme cold can be very dangerous and should be treated with respect.

None of this is rocket science but it is the uncommonly found ‘common sense’.  You simply never know when things could go bad so you try and make sure you are as prepared as possible.

Winter Prep: When leaving the house ask yourself. Could I walk home in this? Click To Tweet

Stay Safe!

Prepper Montreal

The Prepper Pyramid

Prepping can be fun.  It’s a good escape from reality to think of how you would survive in a zombie apocalypse scenario.  But the reality is that the prepping community as a whole overemphasizes end of the world events and under emphasizes those things that are much more likely to happen.  With that in mind I have come up with an easy to consume pyramid to help you focus where you put your energy as you move forward in your prepping journey.  It is essentially a general progression in terms of how serious things are getting when it comes to disasters.
 The Prepper Pyramid
The Prepper Pyramid
The Prepper Pyramid helps you concentrate your effort on the most likely scenario.
So let’s first address the elephant in the room.
You need to be able to survive and prosper if nothing changes.  This is completely devalued in the prepping community but before you do more weapon preps or pack you bug out bag you need to get your life in order.
Prepping for the status quo.
Potential situations: Your life right now, the foundation.
Some Basic Preparations:
  • Ensure your finances are in order (including for retirement)
  • Ensure you are healthy both physically and psychologically
  • Do not put off getting help for whatever ails you
Prepping for Minor emergencies
Potential situations: Someone in your family is injured, you have a house fire, a community boil water advisory occurs.
Some Basic Preparations:
  • Have a communications plan for your family but also for hearing local news
  • Know your local emergency services (eg: Where is the closest hospital?)
  • Learn first Aid
  • Get a fire extinguisher
  • Have home/auto insurance
  • Learn how to defend yourself
Prepping for Major emergencies
Potential situations: Major power outage, tornado, ice-storm.
Some Basic Preparations:
  • Have stores of food and water
  • Have a bug in plan
  • Be able to produce electricity
Prepping for Catastrophic emergencies
Potential situations: Wildfire, Tsunami, Riots, War.
Some Basic Preparations:
  • Have a bug out plan, but only use it if absolutely necessary
  • Have a backup place to go out of harms way
  • Learn how to defend your property
  • Learn how to live off the land or survive while camping
  • Learn how to deal with medical emergencies
  • Have a prepping team or community you can rely on
Prepping for The end of the World
Potential situations: Nuclear War, Zombies, Mega Volcano, Super Virus
Some Basic Preparations:
  • Be very very lucky
  • Stay away from everyone until things settle a little
  • Know how to rebuild from the ground up


So how do I actually use this?  The key thing I want you to take away from this is that the larger the space taken up on the pyramid the more likely the event.  This means that you should be putting more time and effort into prepping for those things at the bottom of the pyramid than at the top.  This goes against a lot of what is out there at the moment in the prepping world but is a more measured way to approach the realities of how life happens.

Stay Safe!



Avoid 2 out of 3 types of Preppers

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When you start #prepping you need to find trusted sources of information. Here are two types of preppers to avoid.

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So you’re new to prepping. You’ve had this itch in the back of your mind that something might happen.  Maybe a friend or a family member asked you what you have done to prepare for an emergency.  You weren’t sure what to answer but you want to take the first step.

As with most things you started with a search on the net. Oh Boy! a LOT of crazy stuff has come up.   If you spent any time going through the results or checking comments you will quickly find articles ranting and raving about the Illuminati, TEOTWAWKI and SHTF.  What a turn off!!  All you want to do is try to make sure that you and your family are safe.

The truth is that there is a ton of misinformation out there. There are also plenty of people who are out to exploit or convert you.

In #prepping trusted sources of information can be hard to find. Click To Tweet

From my own experience you can can divide the prepping community into three basic types of people.

  1. End of the Worlders: They talk about guns, ammo, bunkers and years of food and water storage.  They may be very wary of the government or have one too many pet conspiracies.
  2. Product Pushers: They tell you that some gadget or book will miraculously save you no matter the situation. They send links to products or tell you how great their latest book is.
  3. People like you: They  want to make their families safer the way you do but often get lost in the sea of other voices.

The first two types of peppers can be very vocal and drown out the third because they have a vested interest in getting your attention. Unfortunately there isn’t an easy filter you can just turn on.

When you start #prepping you need to build a set of trusted resources. Click To Tweet

You need to find those trusted resources and use them to start down the road to makeing you and your family safer.  My suggestion to you is avoid those first two types when you’re starting.

When you start #prepping avoid 'End of Worlders' or 'Product Pushers'. Click To Tweet

To be clear I think the first two types of preppers may have valuable information.  I just wouldn’t suggest starting there.  Personally I started by looking at recommendations from the local, state and federal authorities who have a vested interest in my well being.  They have well developed programs and a ton of resources to help you prepare for many different (and likely) situations.  If you don’t trust your own government then take a look at someone elses.  I’ll share a few ideas of where to start in a future post but would love to know what other resources you suggest either as a new or experienced prepper.  Give me a shout out in the comments below!

Stay Safe!