Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Prudent Prepping: Gear Check

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.

Gearing Up
After going through my stored food last week, it is time to look after the more permanent items in my emergency supplies like stoves, stored flashlights, lanterns, shelters, sleeping bags and rain gear. One item that is missing on my Must Have list is a tent. I have been looking for a good used tent for almost a year now, with no luck. I have been to garage sales, looked at Craigslist, and checked back with two local college outdoor clubs, all with no luck finding what I need in my price range.

But this is changing! My local Gear Nut friend pointed me to a site for folks wanting to move extra camping gear and anything else remotely outdoor related called Gear Trade. My friend has sold items through them, and has made several purchases, with no problems on either end of the transaction. Looking through the listed items, I found several tents that fit my needs and (very limited) budget. I am in the process of getting more info from two different sellers where the posted pictures and descriptions were not as detailed as I would like. This is still going on as of this afternoon, so there will have to be a 'to be continued' tag on this story.

In addition to Gear Trade, I'm also using the link Erin posted to Woot! with their blow-out prices on all sorts of really cool outdoor and camping items You have until May 3rd to get those deals, and then the clearance ends.

Repairs and Cleaning
I have an old but good working Whisperlite fuel stove as my backpack/bug out stove, along with an equally old 2 burner Coleman stove (link is closest I can find to mine) that is my car camping /bug in stove. I am not going into a detailed explanation of how to maintain either item, since there are too many variables. (Please check each manufacturer's website and YouTube for detailed instructions.) I will say that cleaning your stove before storing will guarantee fewer problems when you go to get ready for the first trip of the season or having to break out your gear in an emergency.

What to Do:
  1. Drain fuel and leave tank caps off to allow all fuel to evaporate. Do this outside away from any open flames! Draining keeps any leftover fuel from gumming up tanks and lines. 
  2. Follow manufacturer's suggested timetable for replacing any normal wear items like valve gaskets, "O" rings and the like. If this is a vital part of your Prepping gear, plan on having a complete spare parts kit on hand like this for the Whisperlite. 
  3. Leave tanks unpressurized, with lids on and all valves closed. This will help keep moisture, dirt and bugs out of places they don't belong. 
Other Items
My ancient Marmot Gore-Tex jacket is being sent back to fix a broken zipper pull. I had to wait until the last chance of rain passed here and before I would normally stash it for summer, since I might forget to have it fixed if I wait too much longer.

None this week, since I'm planning to blow up my budget on a tent soon. Really blow it up.

As always, 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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