Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Reality Check: 5 common problems in your survival Kits

I was recently asked about my car kit so I took the opportunity to go through it.
What I found brought me very little peace of mind, the opposite of what preparedness is supposed to do.
After several months of neglect, my car kit was a mess and a reality check is in order.
Here are five of the most common fails found in kits.

I had used up most of the water in my car for different reasons and only had one 2 liter bottle left in it. Hardly enough for my family if stranded in summer out in the road.
Water is so important, you end up using it up often. The problem is that sometimes we forget to resupply what we use.

2)Expired Food
While water gets used up, with food the problem I often come across as years go by is that is simply expires. Some types of food and some packaging is better than others but it’s still important to check. I just threw away several energy bars that came in individual mylar pouches. Mylar works well but it isnt magic and food can still go bad in them. Check the expiration date and replace as needed. Its cheap enough insurance.

Spare clothes for each family member are an important part of the kit. For me it has saved the day more than once.
The problem is, kids grow and clothes don’t fit them anymore. I just realized we need to replace the ones we have for some that actually fit if/when needed.

4)Medical supplies
Just like food, your meds expire too. Check those vehicle first aid kits and make sure they haven’t expired. This goes for other supplies that have an expiration date or other items that require regular check, such as batteries or your fire extinguisher. Make sure it still has enough pressure.

5)Missing stuff
Oh, it sure is useful to keep a kit with gear handy. Now, you need to make sure you return everything back to its place because if not you end up with a kit missing many vital components. I just checked and cant seem to find the small folding shovel in my car kit. Who knows where that thing is now? I’m sure there are other items missing too.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”


Mike said...

Being prepared does take some effort and time. I find it helpful to make a checklist of all your prepping stocks and equipment maintenance needs. An annual check of this list would have alerted you to the need to review your car stocks.

Anonymous said...

Most medical supplies (except meds, see further below) do not expire.

So long as the packaging is intact and the contents are not wet or dirty, bandages and dressings and such are perfectly safe and effective.

Occasionally one will find latex or even nitrile gloves have become brittle; those will break, so those should be replaced. Similarly, a tourniquet from synthetic webbing may deteriorate from age; I haven't had mine long enough to have experienced that. Certainly sun-exposure might have that effect, but mine never see the sun.

Meds are just a bit more sensitive. Gov't research on stockpiles showed almost everything tested was effective well beyond marked expiration dates. As with other materials, if the packaging is still good, and there are no discolorations, precipitates, or obvious leakage, meds should be fine.

Anonymous said...

If your fire extinguisher is the dry powder type (like in a 2A10BC) once per year you need to turn it upside down, and beat on the bottom with a rubber hammer, to keep the powder from packing into a solid. When you squeeze the lever and the powder is a solid layer in the bottom, it does not work! That is the rationale for having them serviced every year. Obviously, if the pressure indicator is low and not in the Green zone, that too means it won't work when needed.

Reltney McFee said...

Another issue, is ambient temperature. Meds out date way more rapidly, in a hot summer vehicle. I had a remote-sense thermometer, and logged temps every day last summer. Through July and August nearly half the time my tmax was "high", On a device that recorded up to 130 degrees (f). Similarly, in winter (I live in northern Michigan), temps may trough, and hold, at below zero (f). THAT will speed your food, or med outdate, as well. Cans do not really do all that well at zero farenheit.