by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:
Well, it may seem cliché to say that spring is right around the corner, as in most of the U.S. there’s still plenty of snow on the ground. Winter still seems “deep” to some (especially Yours Truly, as I have almost 3’ of snow on the ground), and the cold weather has not broken. Nevertheless, everyone out there in ReadyNutrition Land, the early bird gets the worm. I’m referring to all your gear that you’ll be breaking out soon when the cold weather breaks.
Stay on top of your prepper gear
Your gear can best be maintained according to a maintenance schedule and you can get a start on it now. Some preppers do it twice a year when Daylight Savings Time hits. But it’s more than giving it a glance and it doesn’t just mean cleaning it. It also means inspecting it for serviceability and function. It means making sure that it’s well organized and that you can pick it up at a moment’s notice to “rock and roll” with it…be out the door and on the moor! You can’t do that unless it’s ready. Let’s discuss it, shall we?
How’s that rucksack? If you’re the way I am, you absolutely hate anything that can detract from your load-carrying capabilities. Inspect that rucksack! Has it been sitting out in the garage or in the basement, on the cement floor? I hope not. Are your straps in order, and are there any signs of dry-rot, mildew, or water damage? You need to find that out now, and even more:
What does this mean? If you’re serious about survival and prepping, and you really want to survive a disaster/SHTF scenario when it happens (notice I wrote “when” and not “if”), then you’ll be on top of this…all the time. The conditions for the rucksack I mentioned should never occur. They won’t occur if you follow a regular schedule of checking it and correcting anything that surfaces. For the nylon on your rucksack you can use a shoeshine brush or a medium to stiff bristle brush to clean off any dirt and dust. Maintain the straps in the same way.
Dirt or mud, clean it off…if it’s not easy with the brush, then take some warm water on a clean towel or rag and “damp scrub” it off. The nylon of the straps and the pack clean up well, but you don’t want to leave it too damp. Always place the rucksack off the floor. Don’t allow it to contact the floor surface. Inspect the connecting points of the ruck, and inspect every piece that snaps or buckles. Everything should be clean and working. Canteens should be emptied and dried to prevent funk from going inside of them, or (as JJ does) if you’re going to store water in them the water needs to be changed periodically (say every month) to keep the “grand Funk railroad” from slipping in.
This may seem an oxymoron, however, unless you have a photographic memory you’re going to have a hard time remembering how you packed your gear…what is where. One way to solve this (as I mentioned in other articles) is to keep an inventory sheet of everything, listed on an actual diagram of your rucksack. This enables you to look at the diagram of the ruck and see how it’s made…where the pouches are, etc. …and know exactly what is in it. Guess what? It won’t be enough, because when you change seasons (in this case, Winter to Spring) you should have a full layout of all of your equipment you will tote.
Why? For accountability (know that everything you think you have you actually have), and for serviceability (to know it is all in working order). Along with that rucksack is that jungle hammock, that one-man tent and all of its accoutrements, flashlights, radios (don’t open that tube and find leaking batteries!), and all of your other gear and gadgets.
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