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Monday, October 13, 2014

Keys To Survival: Mental Preparedness

My favorite show, (as I’m sure is clear by the amount I write about it) AMC’s The Walking Dead returned yesterday and in leading up to the season premiere I've been re-watching old episodes. There are a lot of practical survival applications to be learned from the walking dead, a few of which I outlined in a former blog post, but one thing that is often taken for granted when it comes to survival is mental preparedness. In survival and preparedness there is a lot of discussion about gear; what you need, what gear is the best, and where to get it. You can pack out your survival bags, create a fallout shelter, stock up supplies for years, but what good is that if you can’t keep it together? If you really want to survive you, of course, need equipment and gear but you’ll also need to equip yourself with knowledge and train your mental faculties.

It’s not a secret that any high stress situation can have a negative effect on someone but the strain of constant anxiety and fear can drive individuals to do things they normally wouldn't. I think the Walking Dead does a nice job of capturing human nature when pushed to its limits. Some people lose a grip on reality; at the start of season 4 of the Walking Dead, Rick runs into a woman named Clara who tries to feed Rick to her undead husband; similarly, the Governor isn't able to come to terms with his daughter being turned into a walker. Then there are those who, without a system in place to discourage or punish them, turn to violence and theft. To relate to the real world, many people turned to looting buildings and storefronts during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath.

Not having a sociology or psychology degree, I don’t have any professional guidance in terms of mental preparedness in high stress situations but I am sure of one thing; if you are mentally prepared for the worst before it happens, you won’t fall apart when it actually happens. If all that is running through your mind is doubt or fear, you won’t be able to clear your mind towards making sound action. I have researched survival techniques and read about survival stories in extreme situations, so I am confident that if I ever find myself in that sort of situation, I’ll know what to do to get myself through. Being prepared is more than having the right gear; it’s about having a plan, and having the self-confidence and clear-headedness to follow through with your plan; this is true whether you’re stranded in the woods, lost at sea, enduring a natural disaster, or fighting off hordes of zombies.

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Thursday, October 09, 2014

With October underway, Halloween is on everybody’s minds



Swamp Creature
Lady Crypt Raider
Only 21 days left until Halloween and this year Halloween is on a Friday and Halloween on a Friday is a retailer's dream because more adults participate in the holiday. Tracy Reynolds of NRF is predicting "this year will set a record for Halloween costume sales; the average person will spend $77.52 with total spending reaching $7.4 billion"


We have rounded up the top 5 costumes from our Movie & Pop email, Swamp Creature, Zombie Hunter, Crazy Cabbie, Lady Crypt Raider and Rosie the Riveter; we have plenty more options for popular TV and movie-themed costumes, check out our list by clicking here or click here for our Halloween Digital Catalog. 

Swamp Creature: Rothco Lightweight Ghillie Suit - 64127


Zombie Hunter
Zombie Hunter: Rothco Short Sleeve Khaki Uniform Shirt - 30035, Rothco Brown SWAT Cloth BDU Pants - 5985, Rothco Black Uniform Hi-Gloss Oxford Shoes - 5055, Rothco Brown Military Campaign Hat - 5655, Rothco Duty Belt - 10570, Rothco Black Dual Magazine Pouch - 10572


Crazy Cabbie: Rothco Olive Drab M-65 Jacket - 8238, Rothco Khaki BDU Pants - 7901, Rothco White Uniform Shirt - 30000, Rothco Aviator Sunglasses - 10804


Crazy Cabbie
Lady Crypt Raider: Rothco Women's Olive Drab Casual Tank Top - 4276, Rothco Women's Olive Drab Short Shorts - 3176, Rothco Undercover Shoulder Holster - 10564Rothco Black Tactical Holster - 10550, Rothco Duty Belt - 10570, Rothco Black G.I. Wool
Fingerless Gloves - 8411


Rosie the Riverter: Rothco Navy Flight Suit - 7503, Rothco Red TrainmanBandana - 4142, Rothco Combat Boots - 5075




Rosie the Riveter



Do you like these 5 top options? Which one will you chose to go as this year?




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Friday, October 03, 2014

Survival Showdown: Rick Grimes vs. Daryl Dixon

On October 12th, The Walking Dead is poised to start its 5th season on AMC. The post-apocalyptic zombie drama has grown into one of the most popular series on television as millions of viewers tune in every Sunday to watch Daryl and Rick fight for survival. As an avid fan myself, I thought it would be fun to debate: who would make the better survivalist, Rick or Daryl?

Warning: Don’t Open, Spoilers Inside.

Mental Toughness:
Rick has a resiliency about him that few could match; I know that he had a bit of a mental breakdown after his wife died but he pulled himself together after a fairly short grieving period. Further testament to his mental toughness comes from the series start, when he woke up to the realization that the world had come to an end and just picked himself up and went out looking for his family. That's right, he wakes up from a two month coma, in a world where most people had been turned into walking corpses, and yet he is determined to find his family. In season 4, Daryl lost Beth and just plopped his butt down in the road ready to give up; so in terms of mental toughness, I think Rick has an edge over Daryl.

Survival Skills:
On straight up survival skills, Daryl has a clear edge; he has demonstrated time and again his ability to track animals and people, he can hunt and fish, and since he grew up essentially taking care of himself, he isn’t reliant on others. While Rick may be capable of sustaining himself, he mostly has to stick to looting for supplies and doesn't have the built in survival instincts that Daryl has.

Social Dynamic:
Rick is the unchallenged leader of the group for most of the series and for good reason. Rick has demonstrated that there is no limit to what he is willing to do to protect his people, even going as far as biting a man's throat to save his son. Daryl doesn't have to deal with the pressures of a leadership role but has demonstrated loyalty as well as a strong moral compass. I don't know that the group would've gone as far with Daryl at the helm but I don't think either has a true edge socially.

Fighting Skills:
Daryl is a brawler but, as a police officer, Rick has formal firearms training and, I’d imagine hand to hand combat; therefore, Rick gets the edge in fighting skills. Although, if you haven’t noticed, Rick does seem to be pointing his gun down at the ground quite often; what are you aiming at Rick?

For me, it comes down to Rick being a natural leader who never stops pushing forward against Daryl's superior survival skill set and sick crossbow. I think I have to give the edge to Daryl; bottom line is Daryl has tracking and survival skills that are extremely useful whether you find yourself in the middle of the zombie apocalypse or just in the middle of the woods. Besides, ever since the first time I saw Star Wars, I've always wanted a sidekick with a crossbow. But what do you think? Is there an important point I'm missing? Would you rather have the sheriff around leading your group or the resourceful Daryl Dixon?


-Matthew J Leone @ Rothco

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