Checking Gear

Posted by: hikermor

Checking Gear - 06/20/22 11:36 PM

I am just finishing my quarterly check of gear stashed for various contingencies. Just about everything was fine, but one off brand battery had bit the dust and one of my multitools was stiff and unworkable. A session with WD40 helped.

No big deal, but a periodic check on stashed gear will often reveal problems that could be significant if not remedied in time. Also a good time to review the adequacy of your preps.......


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Posted by: Ren

Re: Checking Gear - 06/21/22 04:42 PM

Yeah.

Compasses checked if still point north.
Jet lighters refilled, cheap ( ~$4 ) Zengaz ZL1 ( https://zengaz.com/product/model-zl-1-flame-jet/ )
Regular BIC lighters replaced new ones.

Bought a French MOD BCB Ration Heating Kit, seemed a fairly easy way to get some consumables/expiring items.

https://5col.com/products/firedragon-ration-heating-kit-with-folding-stove-bcb-international

Though that US price is double of what you pay over here, and you get 10 water purification tabs.
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Checking Gear - 06/23/22 02:55 AM

It's always good to periodically check your gear.

When's the last time I checked the spare tires in our vehicles? It's relevant, since a flat last week revealed a less than stellar 12V air compressor in my wife's car. I also need to add some short pipe snipes to increase leverage on the tiny tire irons they provide. And, add a couple of 4x4 blocks to act as tire chocks if I have to change a tire on a hill. And I have never tested the manufacturer's jacks ...

I'm also concerned about my ancient MSR XGK stove. There are a lot of seals, and they won't hold forever. I should look around for a seal kit, if they are still available. It doesn't matter at home, of course, since I have five other stoves and a wood pile the size of a semi trailer.

I check things like tents by taking them on car camping trips, where the worst that can happen is a kinked neck from sleeping in the passenger seat. It's a good opportunity to test other gear as well, and frankly it's more fun while bumping around a mountain campsite.

I have a 3000W pure sine wave inverter, but I've never given it a hard test. I should, since it's a last ditch way to fire up my basement furnace during a power outage in an extreme cold event, to keep pipes from freezing.

Yup, I need to get busy on this. And I need to go camping too. :-)
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Checking Gear - 06/23/22 12:49 PM

Good stuff.

Make sure that your furnace doesn’t need more than 300W. Mine certainly does need more.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Checking Gear - 06/23/22 02:54 PM

Onie of the best and most productive ways of checing gear is regular usage. Nothing beats the good feeling when, faced with a crisis, you depend of equipment that has proven its worth and performed well in the o.

You may not always have time to read the instructions....
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Checking Gear - 06/23/22 05:25 PM

Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
Make sure that your furnace doesn’t need more than 300W.

It's a 3kW (3000 watt) inverter. Both of my furnaces are on a single 15A breaker, so there should be ample capacity for the startup surge current of one. For luck, I'm going to test the inverter with a 13A circular saw -- if it can handle that startup current over and over, I should be okay.
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Checking Gear - 06/23/22 05:39 PM

Originally Posted By: hikermor
Onie of the best and most productive ways of checing gear is regular usage. Nothing beats the good feeling when, faced with a crisis, you depend of equipment that has proven its worth and performed well ...

Wise words. I agree 100%.
Posted by: RayW

Re: Checking Gear - 06/23/22 11:00 PM

Dougwalkabout, if the inverter has trouble starting the load you might want to look into a motor soft starter. I added one to my 8k btu AC unit in my travel trailer and my 2000 watt Honda inverter genny will start and run the ac in eco mode. It significantly reduces the inrush current. It is a bit pricey, the one for my ac was about $300 US. It might be a workable solution without upsizing your inverter.
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Checking Gear - 06/24/22 01:43 AM

Good advice, RayW. I know soft starters from my work in industry, and they work. For my particular situation, I can reach in and physically give the squirrel cage fan a spin -- because that's where most of the current surge comes from.
Posted by: adam2

Re: Checking Gear - 07/04/22 12:29 PM

Very recently I was asked to examine, and where relevant test COMMUNITY preps in a village hall. Results were mixed.

Folding beds 42=== FAIL several failed to hold the weight of a 110 kilo volunteer, who was selected for being of greater than average weight but not hugely excessive. I recommended replacing half the stock, and marking the old ones "ONLY FOR CHILD"

Blankets 120 =====Looked in fair condition but smelled bad. Recommended laundering entire stock, and line drying outdoors.

Bath/shower towels 25==========FAIL no longer existing ! Funny thing to steal as more valuable items remained untouched. Replacements ordered.

Folding chairs and tables, no detailed examination as these are in regular use without complaint.

Mountain House doomfood 200 portions. All good, visual examination only, 15 years until expiry.

Other food stocks, checked for expiry dates and condition, all good.

Flashlights, lanterns, home made battery powered area lights 8 ====Functional test, all worked perfectly.

Alkaline D cells 150=============Visual examination and check expiry dates. One pack of 50 about to expire, others 3 years until expiry, two leaking cells discarded. Suggested purchase of another pack of 50.

Battery transistor radio receivers, functional test, worked fine.

Fixed emergency lighting installation 6=============FAIL, fitted new batteries and left working.

All portable line voltage electrical appliances tested in line with accepted practice. All but one passed, defective item replaced.



Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Checking Gear - 07/05/22 12:40 AM

Well done, adam2!
Posted by: adam2

Re: Checking Gear - 08/04/22 05:41 AM

Originally Posted By: adam2
Very recently I was asked to examine, and where relevant test COMMUNITY preps in a village hall. Results were mixed.

Folding beds 42=== FAIL several failed to hold the weight of a 110 kilo volunteer, who was selected for being of greater than average weight but not hugely excessive. I recommended replacing half the stock, and marking the old ones "ONLY FOR CHILD"

Blankets 120 =====Looked in fair condition but smelled bad. Recommended laundering entire stock, and line drying outdoors.

Bath/shower towels 25==========FAIL no longer existing ! Funny thing to steal as more valuable items remained untouched. Replacements ordered.

Folding chairs and tables, no detailed examination as these are in regular use without complaint.

Mountain House doomfood 200 portions. All good, visual examination only, 15 years until expiry.

Other food stocks, checked for expiry dates and condition, all good.

Flashlights, lanterns, home made battery powered area lights 8 ====Functional test, all worked perfectly.

Alkaline D cells 150=============Visual examination and check expiry dates. One pack of 50 about to expire, others 3 years until expiry, two leaking cells discarded. Suggested purchase of another pack of 50.

Battery transistor radio receivers, functional test, worked fine.

Fixed emergency lighting installation 6=============FAIL, fitted new batteries and left working.

All portable line voltage electrical appliances tested in line with accepted practice. All but one passed, defective item replaced.





Updates.
Folding beds, 30 new ones purchased and tested by a suitably heavy person. Best of the old ones kept and marked "only for child"

Blankets, all machine washed and line dried. Cool wash for wool ones and hot for the cotton ones. A few replacements purchased as two came apart when washed. Kept the damaged ones for pet bedding.

Bath/shower towels, 36 replacements purchased, ex hotel rental ones, cheap.

Alkaline D cells, 50 purchased.

Also tested the fire alarm with mains power turned off. Complete failure. Fitted new batteries to control panel and left working.
The alarm is tested weekly, but no one thought to test it on battery power only.

I also suggested purchase of a small rowing boat as the most likely emergency is flooding. Preferably not inflatable.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Checking Gear - 08/04/22 09:21 AM

What a great wake-up call for them! It sucks to think you have supplies only to have them fail when you need them.