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#250810 - 09/10/12 08:42 PM Check your gear
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
This is from something that happened last night on Survivorman. Les went to use a flare and nothing, twice. The use by dates were in the 90s. Way out of date.

Go check the gear in your BOB. See if anything is way out of date. Like chem lights, they do go bad. Check lighters to see if they work. Check your food. Batteries and spares?

Just something I will be doing this week.

#250812 - 09/11/12 01:15 AM Re: Check your gear [Re: JBMat]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Piggybacking this, don't forget to check your flares in your vehicles.

I think mine are at least 5 years old. Wife's car might be a bit newer, since I didn't put flares in until we were a serious couple.

#250815 - 09/11/12 02:18 AM Re: Check your gear [Re: JBMat]
Teslinhiker Offline

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1383
Good reminder for all.

A few weeks ago, I needed something from my main first aid kit which is packed in a medium sized, soft sided bag. Upon trying to zip the bag open, I noticed that the nylon based zipper had been gummed up with an unknown substance. After struggling for a few minutes to finally get the kit opened which included the use of multi-tool pliers on the zipper pull, I found the source of the problem. There was a small bottle of liquid disinfecting soap (laying on it's side) which had leaked the soap into the bag. The leaked soap ruined some supplies such as bandages of various sizes, ABD pads, telfa pads etc and also leaked onto the length of the zipper. Judging by the semi-solid (dried out) remnants of the previously liquid soap, it had leaked quite some time ago. This resulted in some new first aid supply purchases and luckily I was able to get the zipper cleaned up enough so that it still works.

Had this been a real emergency and time was of the very essence, I would to of had to cut the bag open with a knife in order to gain quick access to the first aid supplies.

I also have a bulk pack of AA Alkaline batteries that have been carefully stored, meaning no extreme high/low temps/humidity etc. These batteries have a "best before" date out to Dec. 2013. However as you can see, the batteries are leaking. I sent a nice email to the manufacturer and they are sending me a couple of replacement packs in return...no questions asked. Had I not checked these on a regular basis and waited until I really needed the batteries...it would of been too late.

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

#250820 - 09/11/12 04:09 AM Re: Check your gear [Re: JBMat]
widget Offline

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 550
First-Aid kits are the one I am most lax about checking dates. It is certain that meds are going to have an expiration and some other packaged items also have USE BY dates on them. A good idea to check them out before an outing.

Anything with a battery should also be checked for leakage or to ensure that the item works. I packed a small AAA flashight for a quick overnight to a friend's luxury cabin last week and when he said that T-storms frequently knock out the power and asked if I had a light, I said sure then showed it to him, the batteries were almost dead. It came from my ready packed daypack. Luckily he had several flashlights around the house.

Always check items for serviceability too. Knives oiled and sharp, matches still good, lighters working and so on. I kept a ferro rod in a pack for years in a small kit and one day opened it up and it had corroded to dust because the protective coating had been scraped off. Check it!
No, I am not Bear Grylls, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and Bear was there too!

#250831 - 09/11/12 01:35 PM Re: Check your gear [Re: JBMat]
Montanero Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1447
Loc: North Carolina
I use my outings for work and with the scouts as an opportunity to check, rotate and resupply perishables. While I carry new batteries, I will take the previously purchased packages and refill all of the electronics. I have a box at home where the replaced batteries go and we use those for everything around the house, still keeping a fresh supply on hand. All bags are emptied and repacked, including survival kits, before every outing. Everything is cleaned and resupplied upon return from any outing. It does require discipline, but that is part of what I am teaching the scouts anyway, planning,preparation and leadership. Old flares, tinders, and other perishables get used for training and practice. I am fortunate that my work allows me to use some of the old stuff that is being replaced for scout training, so I don't have to pay for it all.

#250839 - 09/11/12 04:48 PM Re: Check your gear [Re: JBMat]
barbarian Offline

Registered: 01/18/12
Posts: 70
Loc: USA
Something else that should be common sense, but deserves mentioning- many perishable items in vehicle kits often expire sooner than the listed date, due to temperature variances and moisture condesation, etc. in many locales.

Batteries, ammunition, and medications are exceptionally short lived, in my regional climate (East KY).

#250843 - 09/11/12 06:40 PM Re: Check your gear [Re: barbarian]
spuds Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/12
Posts: 822
Loc: SoCal Mtns
Originally Posted By: barbarian
due to temperature variances and moisture condensation, etc. in many locales.

... ammunition, and medications are exceptionally short lived, in my regional climate (East KY).
Good points.

I vacuum pack in mylar,still the temp is a big factor for meds/food.

Most of stuff in our BOB in truck is either in vacuumed mylar or food storage bags to protect from moisture and to smash down bulky items.

#250852 - 09/11/12 09:27 PM Re: Check your gear [Re: JBMat]
GarlyDog Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
I have had a few ferrocerium rods turn to dust over time. I wasn't expecting that. Good to check everything before you need it.

#250855 - 09/11/12 09:33 PM Re: Check your gear [Re: GarlyDog]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4987
This is one reason I prefer "user" kits rather than emergency only kits. Kits with expendables (batteries, MRE's, water, et al) need to be used and expendables replaced with new as they are used. It keeps everything up-to-date.

#250859 - 09/11/12 11:01 PM Re: Check your gear [Re: JBMat]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3010
Loc: USA
Checking and replacing batteries isn't enough -- you must function test all electric and electronic devices. They break, often at inconvenient times.

All tools (including those made with high quality stainless steel) need to be cleaned, lubricated and occasionally have the blades sharpened. Don't leave them out.

I once found that some emergency food bars had been opened and nibbled upon by a rodent. This led me both to replacing the compromised food bars and laying out new traps for the varmints.

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