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Posted by Jason Ross on

Sutures — Plan2Survive

by Jason Ross

I bet you $20 that I can list ONE HUNDRED pieces of preparedness gear and survival skills that you’ve left out, no matter how well you’ve prepared. Fair warning; I spent a year of my life setting up this bet.  

I first published an article in American Survival Guide when I was 15 years old and I’ve been “that guy” ever since. Still, to ensure I would win this bet, I poured over hundreds of preparedness lists. I read a couple dozen survival books and countless novels. I tracked down hundreds of articles. I grilled our Special Forces guys. I ran everything past dozens of ReadyMen. And, I ordered and field-tested literally hundreds of pieces of gear.

I could’ve just cranked out a behemoth list in a big ole PDF, but that would’ve been too easy. Instead, I asked Trav the Programmer Stud to create the most-complete, most-custom, most-interactive phone and computer app. It tells you exactly what to buy and learn next, in perfect order, precisely customized to your situation. It’s the Plan2Survive or P2S, as the boys call it.

Input your situation: your budget, your region, your neighborhood type, your family size, your fitness, your current gear and even how you think society might fail, and the Plan2Survive cranks out the perfect list for you, complete with links to the exact gear you need next. 

After a bazillion hours of research and testing, I challenge anyone to find anything like the P2S ANYWHERE. You’ve got to check this out. I geek out over mine weekly. 

But that’s not even the best part. Once you’ve taken a few minutes to set up your Plan, you can then reach out to other ReadyMen through the ReadyMan Secure Network, or RSN. With the push of a button, you’ll looking at the profiles of other ReadyMen within a specified distance of your home or bug out location. You see a summary of where your local ReadyMen are strong and where they're weak. Then, if you feel like meeting, you can reach out over secure messaging built into the RSN.

Strong community will do more to keep you alive than any weapon. The Plan2Survive and RSN are the ultimate, secure community builder.

You can get yours by upgrading to Level Two of ReadyMan membership.

As part of the roll out of the Plan2Survive/RSN, over the next few months, I’m going to showcase a bunch of the critical preparations I’m sure most guys have left out of their preparations. 

Today’s forgotten prep: SUTURES.

You’re not going to find sutures on Amazon or at the drug store because the “powers that be” have decided they should discourage “average people” from performing medical procedures on themselves. BUT sutures are usually available at gun shows or at

“Expired” pharmaceuticals aren't what you think. In a secret-to-the-public study called Shelf Life Extension Study, the military has determined that most pharmaceuticals last far past their expiration dates. For the most part, expiration dates serve just to sell more pharmaceuticals. Expired sutures are far cheaper than new.

Suture Basics for Skin Cuts (as opposed to internal sutures): 

  • You’ll want to use the finest needle and thread that will hold, for pain reduction while sewing, if nothing else.
  • Normally, you will use a 3/8 of a circle needle, reverse-cutting point.

Suture Sizes:

3-0 Foot, back, belly

4-0 Arms, legs

5-0 Face, mouth, penis, hand

6-0 Lip, ear, face, brow

Nylon and Polypropylene thread serve well as general purpose sutures. So, get some 3-0 through 6-0 in nylon with 3/8 needles to cover all skin suturing. 

For internal suturing like in surgery, recruit a doc into your community and probably let him do it since risk of infection is so high. If you want to stock internal sutures for internal work, buy “absorbables.”

But, in a grid down scenario, sutures aren't always the best option. Sewing a possibly-dirty wound closed is a horrible idea when antibiotics are scarce. Today, we worry more about scars than infection but that would change. Sutures have their place, but many deep cuts may be better off left open and cleaned and re-bandaged often.

Without an emergency room, even the best first aid kit won’t save your family. You need to start thinking beyond first aid when you prepare for a world that might not have ERs. Even if your best buddy is a sawbones, you're going to need to supply him — and he's going to need more than band aids and burn cream. 

When you think about it that way, there’s probably lots you've forgotten.


When to Remove Sutures 

  • Scalp: 10 days
  • Face, Ear, Eyebrow, Nose, Lip: 5 days - Follow with papertape or steristrips
  • Eyelid: 3 days
  • Chest and Abdomen: 8-10 days
  • Back: 12-14 days (10-12 days in children)
  • Extremities: 10-14 days (8-10 days in children)
  • Hand: 10-14 days
  • Foot and sole: 12-14 days (8-10 days in children)
  • Penis: 8-10 days
  • Condition delaying Wound Healing: 14 to 21 days
  • Chronic Corticosteroid use
  • Diabetes Mellitus

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