Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Prudent Prepping: Semi-Monthly Buffet Post

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping. 

It's here again, the post where a bunch of topics too small to stand alone are put together!

Car Maintenance
First up is a quick update on my car. Other than these two issues I had no other problems, and have an oil change due in about a month.

Wiper Blades
With the weather getting crazier than normal in California, my car needed a set of wiper blades sooner than I had planned. Normally I buy two sets a year, one about May and one around October. Since there has been longer than normal warm and dry spells mixed in with the regular rain, the current blades are hard and not moving water off the windshield 100%. Last weekend I left home and turned on the wipers and washer to clear off some pollen, and it left streaks that made it really hard to see when driving into the sun.

I had to replace a valve stem on one wheel due to a slow leak. Over time all tires will deflate a small amount, but I had one that was losing about 3 lbs a week. The tire shop checked for a a nail or other damage, but there wasn't an obvious cause. They checked the tire bead-to-rim area for a leak and the only place where any bubbles formed was around the stem. They also rotated the tires for me at this time.

Prepping Projects
Since the weather is on the way to being warmer and dryer, I have moved some of my cold weather gear out of my GHB. Some food items, like my favorite candies (Werther's Butterscotch), somehow collected some moisture and became soggy even inside a ziploc bag. I suspect that's from being in the trunk of my car where it gets hot and cold, repeatedly.

Other Changes 
  • The Buckets of Holding are halfway sorted, and canned goods close to their 'Sell By' dates are being swapped out and replaced. Older items are going to the Food Bank.
  • My stored water jugs were dumped, rinsed and refilled. I know that doing this twice a year is excessive, but I have the time and the water.
  • Another friend asked about a walking stick and when the end arrives, I'll help them do a proper shaping and help install the tip.
  • In preparation for several weekends out in the country, I pulled all my Sawyer water filters out and looked at the pouches for wear or tears from storage. 
One thing still on my list is a proper pair of boots. I have some lightweight hiking boots for my job (they're really tennis shoes with a hiking sole) that work well, but they aren't a real boot. With a high arch and EEE feet, some of the very popular and durable shoe brands are already a no-go. I really, really hate mailing returns back and waiting for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice to arrive, so Danner and a couple others are out. Red Wing has boots that come in my sizes and will probably be where I buy boots, when I can afford them.

Long-Term Food
I still haven't found an affordable (for me) way to buy truly long-term food. The products are there, quality and reputation are there, but the holdup is price; the best and most economical way to do it involves larger quantities than I want pay for right now. I may have to purchase smaller lots, even if it means spending more per-pack than I'd like.

The Takeaway
  • Keeping spare wiper blades in your trunk or garage will age them almost as fast as mounting them.
  • There is nothing wrong with 'making do' with what you have. Waiting for perfect means not using good enough right now; what's important is that you have it now, and can build from there.
  • Set a schedule and try to stick to it for looking over your preps. Things can go bad when you least expect it.

The Recap
Two things were purchased this week:
  • One set of Rain-X wiper blades: $19.98 plus tax from O'Reilly Auto Parts. Similar blades can be purchased from Amazon, but I needed them now. 
  • One valve stem and tire rotation: $15 for the stem and labor. Shop branded tires were rotated free, even if I didn't buy them or have the paperwork!

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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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