Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Prudent Prepping: Seasonal Gear Transition

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.

Seasonal Transition:
Weatherizing My Gear

Spring is right around the corner here in California, with the last regular rains for the next 6 months ending two weeks ago. What this means is that it's time to switch my winter gear for summer!

Going Out
  • Rain gear and California-style cold weather gear. 
  • Long sleeve t-shirts, flannel shirt, heavy socks and knit cap.
  • My Marmot Gore-Tex jacket, which has a broken zipper pull and needs to be repaired. (Marmot offers a lifetime repair for simple items like bad zippers or snaps, and I learned about their service when I had a broken snap repaired for free.)
Going In
  • A long sleeve cotton shirt, Boonie hat, short sleeve t-shirts, lighter weight windbreaker jackets, shorts and bug repellent to go with the all-year sunscreen in my various bags. 
  • I'm taking extra care in re-packaging all my soft packed items like cocoa, dried fruit and jerky to prevent puncturing and spoilage. 
  • This is also where I double-check all my expiration dates on everything, again, just as I do when things get used from my bags.

New Purchases
One item recently added is the SOL Heatsheets Survival Blanket.

From the SOL website:
"The most advanced emergency blanket on the market - meticulously designed never to fail when you're counting on it with your life. It all starts with the material, vacuum-metalized polyethylene, that reflects 90% of your body heat while also offering a number of other important features that set it apart from traditional mylar blankets; it opens easily and will not shred if nicked or punctured, rips and tears can be repaired, it is quiet and won't crinkle in high winds, and its high-visibility orange exterior makes it easy for rescuers to find you. Plus, survival tips and techniques are printed directly on the blanket so you have them when you need them. Sized to fit two people."

I purchased two of these blankets to replace a pair of much cheaper (and very flimsily packaged) blankets that were damaged over the winter when they migrated down to the bottom of my bag and were punctured by other gear. I saw this item last year in the supplies of my friend the gear-nut, and it is much heavier than what I had before, plus the actual package is very stiff and durable feeling.

Another purchase is a Coleman 100 piece First Aid Kit.

I purchased this kit more for the size and closures on the box than for the contents, as this is  going to be placed in my every-day carry "salesman bag" rather than my GHB. The kit this replaces was larger and heavier, with a single latch and a molded hinge that started to wear and break after only a few months!

  • 2 SOL Emergency Blankets: $14 (Amazon)
  • 1 Coleman 1st Aid Kit: $15.90 (Amazon)
  • Also purchased: 1liter Nalgene water bottle from REI, $10.50

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 by 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.

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