Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Prudent Prepping: Winter Tune-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.

Winter Tune-up Time:
Because checking your gear 
never takes a holiday

This winter has been very mild so far, with our coldest weather starting this week and expected to last through the first week of January. As I've had an extra day off the last two weeks, I started to go through my gear and see if everything is up to par and ready for the weather. Yes, temperatures in the 30s classifies as cold in California. Deal with it!

This is what I found.

The Bad
My best rain coat, a Goretex Marmot jacket I've owned for the better part of 20, years just had thezipper pull break. This doesn't make the jacket unusable, just not very convenient to use right now. Marmot will service the jacket for free if there is a mechanical problem like the zipper or a snap fails (which they have done for me in the past). I will be sending the jacket in next summer to be fixed, since it is being used right now.

The two inexpensive emergency space blankets that were in my G.H.B. were both damaged by heavier, sharp-edged items shifting around and tearing both the packaging and blankets. This is my fault, as the blankets could have been placed inside a zip-lock bag for extra protection or placed in a side pocket and not allowed to migrate to the bottom of the bag.

The Tylenol, Advil and Triple Antibiotic were all out of date and from being kept in my truck, probably should have been replaced sooner. The band-aids in my kit were also damaged (by heat, I think) since the paper protective wrapper was separated on half the box.

The Good
All my other gear looks fine. Cans of chicken and tuna are in good shape, as are the jerky and energy bars. However, the bars were pretty smashed but the wrappers did not tear, so that was a plus.

The small bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap (kept in its own zip-lock bag) is intact. My Life Straw, Sawyer Mini filter and Katadyn Micropur MP1 tablets are fine. Socks, long sleeve polypropylene tee shirt, knit cap and rain hat are in good shape.

The Takeaway
If you get an hour or so, take the time to inspect all your gear. You never know what you will find and what shape things are in until you look!

New Arrivals
After telling everyone NOT to buy me anything, I recieved several gifts. People don't listen.

(Left) UST U-Dig-It folding shovel (R) Doan Fire starter

The Doan Magnesium is a familiar item but I had no idea what this shovel would look like. The U-Dig-It seems pretty cool, if a bit heavy at 6 ounces, but looks very sturdy. I do not have any other digging tools in my G.H.B. at the moment, so this is a needed addition. A test and evaluation will be coming in the near future.

I also received a $50 Amazon gift card, from my son and his wife. Who was really told not to get me anything, but whose kids ever listen to their parents?

Thank you all for the nice gifts, cards and Christmas Wishes. I hope the New Year sees you never needing your supplies, but always having them ready.

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

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