Your sense of smell could well save your life post SHTF
Roast beef, flowers, perfume, fresh mown grass…we mostlytake our sense of smell for granted. Some people have a condition calledanosmia, they have no sense of smell. This affects their sense of taste, andsufferers report that it has a major negative effect on their lives.
The inability to smell smoke could easily mean thedifference between escape and death, but smell can do more than just save yourlife should fire break out.
Animals use their sense of smell to avoid other animals, andpeople. Hunters stay downwind so as their quarry does not get their scent anddogs are used to find everything from cadavers to drugs so good is their senseof smell.
Much is written by peppers about the smell of wood smokegiving away a position, or the smell of cooking attracting undesirables to ourhomes, so smell is already on the peppers radar, but smell has moreimplications than you might imagine.
Many people today have no idea what really bad personalhygiene smells like. If you imagine a gym locker room that has not beenventilated or cleaned for some time, and add that to half a dozen pairs oftrack shoes left festering in a bag, and add that to a faint smell of urine youare beginning to get close to a body unwashed for a couple of weeks. Freshsweat does not smell, it is the bacteria that arise from the breakdown of sweatthat causes the thing we know as body odor. The odd whiff that you get fromsomeone you pass when out shopping does not even come close to the smell of atwo week or more unwashed body.
Think of a time when water is in short supply generally.It’s a sad but true fact that if everyone in your vicinity, including you,stinks, you will not notice it after a very short while. Whilst this means thatthe unpleasantness of body odor is reduced within a few days, it also meansthat one warning system is removed from your arsenal. You will not be able tosmell other people who are in your vicinity who should not be there. Even if it’sa sponge bath or the use of baby wipes keeping yourself clean so you can smelleveryone else is a very prudent thing to do.
To many people who have not planned ahead, the hunt for foodand water will take precedence over personal hygiene. Many will be living ascant existence having no idea where their next meal is coming from, where theywill get water to drink. Washing with that precious liquid will be far fromtheir minds, and it is obvious as to why. Their failure to plan, and to keep themselves clean, can assist greatlyin your security. If you own a dog, they will smell unwanted visitors coming atquite a distance. Even without a dog, the odor will be noticeable simply byopening a window, long before they get close to it, and the more people thereare, the stronger the smell will be. If you are outside you will often be ableto tell the direction of the smell….and goes the other way.
This can of course work the other way as well. Leaving yourhome smelling of perfume and soap will make you stand out in the very smellycrowd, and will allow people to work out where you are and the direction youare travelling in. Smelling good means you have soap, and water, and if youhave those things you maybe have other stuff as well, and that means you havejust become a target. If you need to leave your home you need to be smellneutral. Do not wash the day you are going out, even un-perfumed soap has a‘clean’ smell to it when compared to unwashed bodies. It is best to use as fewperfumed products as possible post shtf as these smells linger, even if you donot notice them others will. Keep a set of clothes worn several times to wearwhen you need to go out, it will help you fit in, but will not smell bad enoughto mask the body odors of others.
On the plus side, smells within the home can improve lifefor the family enormously. Having familiar smells around calms children, inparticular young children and babies respond well to the familiar scents oftheir parents, they will often settle better having something with them thatsmells of mommy, or in the case of myyoungest, daddy.
One spray of perfume sprayed into the air, or a perfumedcandle that was enjoyed before the shtf can help provide a sense of calm aroundthe home. Pleasant smells are known to enhance mood and anything that can dothat in dire situations should be considered. Mental wellbeing in a crisis iswell documented as being a key to survival. Smells are evocative and can remindus of better times, the memories they induce can start conversations, giving asense of cohesion at a time when doubts and fears are more than likely going tobe a huge part of our lives.
Consider the smells around your home, those you enjoy, thatcalm you, or make you smile, and add a few items that provide these smells toyour preps. The idea of prepping to me, means living, not just existing, aftera crisis. Being aware of smells can enhance our lives in more ways than one,and in some cases it can even save our lives, and that’s not something to besniffed at!