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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Prudent Prepping: Gear Check-Up

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

As it has finally started raining here (yay!), I went through my gear to make sure everything is ready for winter.

Now before everyone starts talking about how California doesn't have a real winter and posts pictures of "California cold weather gear" like this,

White Trash Socks and Sandals | TurboWhiteTrash












I want you to know that it has already been in the low 30s here at 55 feet above sea level.

Everything checked out fine in my winter additions to the GHB:
  • Ancient Marmot Gortex shell 
  • Disposeable poncho from Home Depot 
  • Polypro long sleeve T-shirt 
  • Two pair wool socks
What didn't check out were some things that I have in and on my car all year, like my spare tire, wiper blades, windshield squirter nozzles, and flashlight.

Spare Tire
I drive a pickup, so the spare is under the bed in a cradle arrangement that must be jacked up and down to gain access, so unless I remember to check, the tire is out of sight and possibly out of mind. I grabbed my tire gauge (you do have one and know how to use it, right?) crawled under to check pressure, and found my spare to be under-inflated by 15 lbs. That is still enough air to get me off the freeway, but not much else. A quick trip to America's Tire found a leaky valve stem which they replaced when they rotated my tires.

Wiper Blades and Washer Nozzles
I replace my blades on the 4th of July and Christmas, which usually does the trick, but the weather has been very hot well into the fall this year. This dried out my blades faster than normal. I buy name-brand inserts from whoever has the best sales when I need replacements.

Washer Nozzle
During the last big rain, I went to rinse off the windshield and found that one set of nozzles was only putting out 50% of the volume of the other, and the high-volume set was directing the spray to the top of the glass instead of the middle. I checked around, and the best plan was to use a very thin diameter wire to clean out the nozzle, and if that didn't work to remove the nozzle and try soaking in CLR. Cleaning with a wire improved things a lot, but not a 100% fix, so CLR is in my future.

Flashlight
I have several flashlights in my gear, and what I have in the driver's door pocket is a two-cell "C" Maglite. It has a small diameter, so it stores easily and isn't large enough to be thought a weapon if it is seen. Unfortunately, the barrel rotated and pushed against the door, which turned the light on long enough ago to kill the batteries. I keep 4 batteries in the center console, but if someone was driving my truck and didn't know where to look, it would be a problem.

The Takeaway
  • Plan ahead: pack for bad weather before it arrives. 
  • Check your vehicle's safety systems, including bad bulbs in lights.
  • Have spare batteries for all your flashlights packed and easy to find in an emergency .
Recap
  • Nothing was purchased this week, but items were moved around to keep supplies fresh.

If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased be me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.
 

The Fine Print


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License


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