Underwear is probably one of the least thought of items in our preps. I know, I think of the weirdest things … but go with me on this one. What if the end of the world as we know it happened on one of our date nights? You know, the kids (or in our case the barn animals) are finally asleep; dinner and dishes are done, and your hubby pours the wine as you go and slip into something … well next to nothing? Sure, in case of an emergency, you have your go-bag packed and ready to head out the door, but have you ever given any thought to if your clothes would be ready to go out the door too? True you can jump into a pair of jeans and throw on a t-shirt fairly quickly, but what about your underclothes? I doubt much thought has been put into your get-outta-dodge underwear - undergarment, underpants, panties, undies, unmentionables, briefs, boxers, boy-shorts, or whatever your personal preference is for that swath of fabric that covers your hiney and privates.
If you had to hoof it for a long distance to get to a safe destination, that cute little lacy thong of yours could cause more problems than the blisters on your heels from walking. These little numbers are not meant for long duration wear and could cause infection, irritation, bacteria, and viruses; and yes even skin tags! Ewwww!
“What about wearing cotton underwear?” you ask. Well, I’m afraid cotton won’t fare much better long distance. Although cotton underwear is great and healthy for everyday wear, if you had to get out of harm’s way quickly and leave your home on say, a hot, muggy day or night, eventually your clothes; first those close to your body - your cotton underwear - will become clammy. The cotton will soak up sweat and moisture and stay wet – which means you too will remain wet. And, if it happens to be cold day instead of hot, you may also become chilled from the dampness. Oh, and the fact that cotton dries really slowly – so if you were thinking of hand-washing your undies to wear for the next day … it’s probably not gonna happen.
So, what then is the proper bug-out underwear? In a not so perfect world, you want something made of synthetic materials; polyester and polyester blends such as nylon, polypropylene, spandex or rayon are all good. Underwear, both men’s and women’s alike, made of synthetics are usually softer and lighter than cotton. You also want something comfortable; that wicks moisture and won’t chaff - which brings me to … travel underwear.
Travel underwear is made of quick-drying fabrics that are breathable, and sweat wicking. They are made for repeated washes; usually dying in 3-4 hours and are really durable. The fabrics are more breathable than cotton, and are made for a more active person on the go – perfect for a disaster scenario where we would be working harder than ever. Some brands even have anti-microbial properties and odor control as well.
Now I hear ya, the name travel underwear probably conjures up images of not so feminine or masculine looking underwear but you would be surprised. They are not your grandma’s underwear (images of big white cotton underwear hanging on the clothesline.) These undies come in a lot of flattering styles and colors for men and women. There is really something for everyone’s tastes and style; yes even lace.
You may want to consider having two or three pairs of these travel underwear packed in your emergency bag, so even if you do have to leave the house in a hurry while wearing your not so durable or desirable undies, you can later change into a more practical pair.
Another thing to consider when picking out your underwear is the cut. Depending on where the band lies on the body, could determine whether you experience chaffing or binding. Low cut styles may rub against your back right at the point where the base of your go-bag hits, high waist cuts could become a little binding round your waist if you are wearing a belt. So, ultimately, mid cut styles may afford you the best option.
There are several companies to choose from that make travel underwear such as ExOfficio, Icebreaker Merino, Patagonia, Smartwool, Lululemon, and Underarmour; to name a few. So, just as you would for your other preps, do your research to find the best fit for your survival underwear.
Or, you could just do the wide-legged walk wearing the wrong underwear bugging-out.
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