Today I listened to another prepper deliver a speech on a blogcast about whether or not preppers could “walk that mile” if they had to bug out.


I’m all for preppers being in shape in case they have to bug out. That is, in fact, entirely what my blog is about.

I went and checked this person’s blog. I was shocked, and a bit insulted, to see that the blogcaster does not seem to make physical fitness a priority.

I’m looking at her photo and hearing her voice lilting through my speakers, “Could you walk that mile?”
I was annoyed.

I have to ask myself why. Why am I annoyed at this person. Could it be because she is obviously not practicing what she preaches? Oh, yeah. Then I hear her saying that weight is not an indicator of fitness. Okay, maybe I’m annoyed because she is stepping in my area. Even though I don’t think she has the stamina and fitness to “walk that mile”, she does have a good point.

I know a woman who walks five miles every day. She says that she is exercising and she is physically fit. However, her arms and legs are dangerously thin, and her upper belly protrudes. This is what her appearance tells me: she exercises, but she is not eating properly and her body has cannibalized her muscles to feed itself, causing extraordinarily thin limbs and a swollen liver (I’ve read that digesting yourself actually causes fatty liver).

The body faces catabolic and anabolic states during normal metabolic functions. Catabolic state refers to the breakdown of foods and nutrients so that they will later have the ability to build up and add to the muscle or tissue growth process, usually when you eat nutritional food. When you are resting your body is recovering and in an anabolic state. Now, if you don’t properly rest and heal your muscles, or if you do a lot of exercising without consuming proper nutrition, your own muscle tissue will break down. This really doesn’t sound that bad, until you consider that if your are nutritionally starved your body remains in a constant state of depletion and your body will eat away at itself in an attempt to find a source of stored energy.

Now, on the flipside, if you rest a lot and don’t consume proper nutrition then you never develop those muscles to begin with. The only muscles you have are the ones that you use to move yourself around. Some people exist like this, minimal muscle and lots of stored fat, and will claim that they are healthy. However, if you do research on human physiology then you know that this excess fat begins to wreak havoc on your hormones. Specifically insulin and cortisol.

I could give you all kinds of research information on obesity, and statistics that will make your head spin. Do you care? Probably not. I could preach about “real” foods that your body recognizes and turns into muscle and “processed” foods that your body doesn’t recognize so it stores them as fat. Would you care? Again, probably not. I can tell you that the woman that I mentioned before, the one that walks five miles every day, recently had a heart attack.

The aforementioned blogcaster and I can agree on this: If you do not practice how to build a fire, then you probably won’t know how to do it if you had to. By the same token, if you had to hoist your 72-hour kit on your shoulders and hike a mile, or fifteen, to get yourself and your loved ones to safety, then you probably won’t be able to do that if you had to either.

“Prepping” is all about practice. “Preppers” practice how to cook without a stove, practice being without water for a day, practice being without heat, and practice a ton of other skills. This prepper practices how to hike out of a earthquake or tornado ravaged area to somewhere safer. You can’t do that without proper nutrition and exercise.