Let me first apologize if my next few posts are a little short. I am dealing with a small burn on one of my fingertips.
What equipment testing should YOU be doing? Let’s discuss a survivalist, and backpacking gear list for you to think about and explain how to test and/or repair it.
It is extremely important with all of the gear that you will accumulate for your preps, that you test it. The problem that you run into is the fact that everyone is extremely limited on time these days. I will discuss some quick ways that you can do a legitimate endurance test on some of the main failure components. While you are doing a lot of these tests, you may realize that you are actually testing things that you will be using later in the year during your fun, leisure, or vacation time. It is extremely important that you come up with a system to care for and test your gear.
Depending on where you are keeping your water stored, Ensure you take a couple minutes each week to make a quick sweep through those spaces to make sure none of your containers are leaking or have busted. On top of that, every water container should have a storage date on it, and once past six months of storage time you should take precautions to filter / boil the water prior to consumption. If you have a water pump of any kind that takes maintenance, it is a good thing to clean them out, and this helps you learn what makes them work.
Eat what you store and store what you eat. If you don’t have a good food rotation for your stored food, you should consider making one. Also have a plan for the renewal of expiring stored food. This is at home, in a B.O.B., your B.O.V. or even your freezer and cupboard. One way to make the rotation automatic is to place cans in a gravity based can storage container, so you always pull the oldest can first. You can also inspect the date of the cans on the bottom without removing them and ALWAYS know that the others are at least that fresh or better. Another good reason to eat the foods? Because you can test the quality of your food, and switch brands (or methods of storing your own) of food, if required to get the best tasting food.
Use your tent in optimal conditions in the back yard with your children and have a fun time with it. This is the time that you will be checking the operation of sleeping bags, lamps and lanterns. Also, since tents usually need the seals re-applied every couple of years, it is a good time to maintain the seals. Test the tent for leaks in the yard during storms, even if you don’t feel like staying in it. You can still check the inside for water afterward.
Wear your awesome tactical gear/ outdoor gear to ensure comfort.
If you have an alarm system, test it quickly each week. If you have cameras, just check your video feed for odd things on maybe 4x, 8x, or even 16x speed (depends on your ability to comprehend at that speed). If you don’t see all of the feed, it is ok. Don’t let it run your life, just 30 minutes each week to view as much as possible. Trust me, you couldn’t handle any more time watching it.
Even if you live in an urban/suburban area, you can still regularly clean/disassemble/reassemble your firearms. This is a valuable part of owning a weapon.
Test your solar panels to see if the voltage is like it should be. Many of them will be around 36VDC and check that your charger is running. Also, I usually keep a small LED light on at all times to ensure the battery bank is charged. You want one that will NOT work below 11.5 volts.
Try using your fire-starting tools when you are camping, also use them in a fire pit, or charcoal grill at home when your dinner DOESN’T depend on it. Try out your backup heating/cooling devices prior to the cold or hot weather to ensure it works. It is always good to test each of your methods of backup lighting to see just how long they really last.
The items in medical kits expire, so when they do, don’t throw them out! Use them for training and practice. Teach your little ones. Use the reusable stuff, such as tourniquets, splints, and ace bandages. Try using them all one handed, because isn’t it possible you will have to do it that way when it matters?
Maybe live your life just as you would every single day, but tell everyone that your toilet is out in any bathrooms you have. Figure out ways to be clean and sanitary when this happens.
Testing your gear like this can be invaluable. Most of the testing is common sense stuff and you will find that you are testing it for more than just a “SHTF” scenario, you are testing that you have quality backups when ANY service has a hiccup, and you are testing awesome outdoor gear… thereby forcing you to enjoy the outdoors, and maybe making you want to “TEST” your gear more often!
Enter the challenge for: