Letter Re: Clothing and Shoes, Post-TEOTWAWKI

Okay, a year or three goes by, [after TEOTWAWKI]. My wife can sew, but where do you get cloth and thread?

I love Goretex (since I live in Western Oregon), but where do I replace those great Hi-Tec boots?

No one seems to be discussing what happens when a shoelace brakes after Schumer is in session. You can hardly find them now.

Cloth – one will make a spinning wheel and loom after “the fan” has become clogged!

All that I can recall is an anecdote about the early Oregon Trail, when the newly arrived – skinny and starving (but had good threads)- were greeted by the locals (fat and in rags)…

I woke up early this morning dreaming about this. Any ideas? Thanks, – Steve S.

JWR Replies: There will be no perfect substitutes to modern clothing and modern shoes/boots in a long term societal collapse.

Consider that shoes and boots weren’t even made with distinct “right and left” shape lasts until the early 1800s. Thus, you can get an appreciation for the level of comfort that we can expect, if and when we are suddenly thrown back into a medieval level of existence.

In anticipation of chronic shortages of good quality footgear and clothing in MGTEOTWAWKI, I can recommend the following as a baseline of preparedness:

1.) Stock up in depth on garments, coats, underwear, shoes, and boots. Watch for “Going out of business” sales and be sure to patrol your local thrift store vigilantly. Buy low, stack deep.

2.) Don’t overlook the need to buy children’s clothing and shoes in graduated sizes. If and when your own kids outgrow those sizes, you can pass them along to others, charitably.

3.) Develop traditional sewing, spinning, weaving, and cobbler skills, as previously discussed in SurvivalBlog. Stockpile the requisite tools and supplies, including sewing needle assortments in a wide variety of gauges, thread of various thicknesses, heavy waxed thread, a sewing awl, and so forth. If nothing else, it is important to learn how to make tire sandals, and how to make moccasins. These won’t be a proper replacement for a nice pair of Danner boots, but they will be better than nothing!