There's Quiet, and then there is QUIET...


I once lived in a cabin built from the trees on my 40-acre property, located high in the Selkirk Mountains of northern Idaho. At 4000 ft elevation, I had 13 black bear living within a mile of my cabin. Elk, moose and white tail deer were frequently seen close to home. Water came from a small spring near the cabin or a small stream that came from somewhere higher up the mountain.

There were only 2 other people who lived up there, not surprising since you had to go to the end of the county road, then up a single lane forest service road for a couple more miles, then turn onto the "private road" which resembled a dry creek bed for another 8 miles. That last 10 miles to get to the end of my ¼-mile long driveway took nearly half an hour in a 4-wheel drive truck.

Was I crazy to live there? Ya, you betcha!, as they'd say in parts of the (sensible) Midwest where I grew up. Was it magnificent? Oh yes it was, said my heart and soul.

And quiet? Not just quiet, but the kind of quiet where a bee's drone sounds like a small plane, a twig snapping seemed like a large branch breaking. There was no electricity (not the "store bought power company" kind anyway) and never would be. No cell towers. No TV reception. In a city or urban environment, people are awash in these frequencies. Not so, up on the mountain.


While reading one evening, I heard a crashing sound coming from about 15' out my front door (well, the ONLY door). I was instantly alert – it could be a bear, but there didn't seem to be quite enough noise for a bear. Maybe a deer or raccoon passing by? I grabbed my trusty MagLite flashlight. I boldly opened the front door, sweeping the light from side to side. And then I spotted the culprit, the cause of the noise.

It was a golden brownish aspen leaf that had fallen off its tree and drifted gently down, to land upon previously fallen leaves. I had been living in the Silence (or rather the extreme absence of noise) long enough that the landing of a single leaf sounded very loud.

Since leaving the mountain, I've lived in an off the grid home for over 20 years, and while the silence is not as complete as on the mountain, there is still more silence than living in an urban or suburban home with power from the electric company.

Question: does the noise from your electric refrigerator cycling on and off throughout the day bother you? or, if during the night, keep you awake or wake you up? Chances are that it does not, it is just part of the background noise.


If you are someone who has an underground shelter, or a storm shelter, have you spent much time in it? I don't mean working on it. I mean time 'hanging out' in it, taking a day or two (or five) mini-vacation in it. If you have, you will probably have noticed that it is dang quiet in there. That's a good thing, right?

Yes, it is.

Until you have the other occupants in there with you. And everyone seems to have a different internal clock, and a different sleep pattern than you. So as you are trying to focus or to sleep or to twilight, they are making Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp (just add boiling water), having a glass of wine, and discussing, with the other person who is also up, whether they think the government is going to get into a fighting match with the (bad) aliens that are showing up to claim their rights that they got during the Eisenhower administration back in the 1950's at that air force base somewhere near Area 51.

Well, I probably don't have to tell you that this type of conversation, especially with wine and a nice fettuccine alfredo, could go on for hours.


EARPLUGS. Not just any old earplugs, they are NOT created equal. I mean Really Good earplugs, the Best earplugs. And lots of them. I am going to have 2 big ol' boxes of the Optimum 'Super Silence' Earplugs (I do not want to run out of them and they are inexpensive). 1 box has 200 pair of the best earplugs there are, the highest decibel rating available.

Now, one box of 200 pairs would probably be sufficient because I wear my earplugs several times (or until they start to look a bit questionable, or until I lose one of them). And yes, they are washable. One box might do me for 2 or 3 years. But what if there were no stores and I had to sleep with some super-snorer for a long time? Yikes!


If I have my Optimum 'Super Silence' Earplugs and some blinders, whomever I might be rooming with can cook, eat, chat, whatever. I won't care, because I will be in my own personal Cone of Silence.

Oh yes, and where do you get the Optimum 'Super Silence' Earplugs? At Optimum Preparedness of course! Click HERE to go to the Optimum 'Super Silence' Earplugs page.


One more thing – I also store several extra eye masks (aka 'blinders' or 'sleep masks'). We carry the World's Most Comfortable Eye Mask. The contoured design allows complete freedom of movement to open and shut your eyes, while keeping you comfortably inside a curtain of darkness.

One of the things I really like about them is they do not have a bulky buckle or a thick velcro closure at the back of your head. I don't like a big thick lump mashing into my head when I lay down with blinders on. These masks have 2 thin elastic bands, with the adjustment thingie on the side so it won't be a bother when you lay down (even if you lay on your side). They're so light and slim, you'll hardly know you're wearing them and they are washable.

On top of all that, these amazing blinders are SO affordable you can get some for each person in your family, and for your friends. PLUS, the World's Most Comfortable Eye Mask also comes in PINK!

Each eye mask comes with a pair of earplugs and a pouch to keep your mask and earplugs in, so all you have to do is pop the package in your car kit, the evac kit, the ug kit, and maybe your school bag. And you are good to go, or stay, or focus, or sleep...

So cheers until next time!

Teri Simpson


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