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Old 02-01-2015, 19:08   #1
bdcochran
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Reviewing your gear periodically

Today, I went to check on the GMRS/FRS radios that are kept together with battery packs in a clear plastic container with extra manuals. I read the manual. Oh darn it!

I bought the units long ago. They did not have the capability to take AA or rechargeable AA batteries. They were designed to take a proprietary battery that was rechargeable through an ac adapter. Oh no!!! This would mean that the units would be dead when shtf. I also checked on the operating length. Well, if the circumstances were like the last two riots in town and if I had 24 hours to charge everything AND the electricity were still on, I would be ok.

Researched and contacted a vendor. Incoming are 4 GMRS/FRS units that will take AA batteries or rechargeable AA batteries (just like my 2 meter units). Some one might ask why I didn't just buy the $25 chinese 2 meter units. The answer is that I want to practice, legally, with people who do not have a ham license.

The moral might be - don't assume - check things out.

Last edited by bdcochran; 02-01-2015 at 19:09..
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Old 02-01-2015, 19:12   #2
John Rambo
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Ironically, I just went through my first aid and found most things with an expiration date had expired late last year, or worse in some cases...

...I'm not sure whats safe or good past its expiration date, so I threw it all out. Now I gotta buy everything from Antibiotic Ointment to Wound Wash...


My personal philosophy is if things are going bad and I haven't even thought to check them, I probably don't need them in the first place.
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Old 02-01-2015, 20:52   #3
fasteddie565
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I switched bags and found the crank on my CCRane radio had broken off. I checked the charge on my tablet - 100% and after much consideration, I put my G 19 in my Maxpedition Neat Freak so I could EDC my G 36.

I also had to replace my Quest Protien Bars due to low inventory. Someone ate them.
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:03   #4
Deputydave
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Good thread, it's essential to do a run through of your gear periodically or even often depending on what the gear entails.

I find myself checking my flashlights often, particularly if they have alkaline batteries in them. Over the years I've had a couple of lights get trashed by a leaky battery.

I'll go through my pack before every outing to check things out and I'll go through both vehicles bags as well fairly often, particularly in the summer where temps get pretty high.

Not only does it reveal potential problems but it also keeps you familiar with your gear. Consider that in a 'situation' you're likely to be under stress/duress and even possibly injured. That isn't the time to try to remember what's in the pack and where. And it sure isn't the time to get that thing you need just to find out it's broke/leaked/expired.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:36   #5
bdcochran
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After ordering new walkie talkies, I investigated potential accessories.

I am probably one of the few people who still uses cd players. This is because I study using the same. In my clear plastic cd player container, I have/had about a dozen new ear buds, the kind that you get with a radio, cb unit and other equipment "for free". Ok, I just took most of them and put them in a larger clear plastic container that will now contain the older walkie talkies and the incoming units. So, there was some money "saved" by keeping track of gear, instead of throwing the ear buds in some drawer that would never been opened.
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcochran View Post
The moral might be - don't assume - check things out.
I have been trying to do something different.

I would like to get to a position where I do a practical test 4 times a year.

And by practical test, I mean drag my gear out and have a camping shooting weekend.

For the in house preps go through the motions of checking out the processes.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:36   #7
jason10mm
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Expiration dates can be misleading. Lots of medical stuff doesn't really expire, but have a 1-2 year date because in a professional setting it is expected that inventory will be rotated out and stuff just needs a date. (I'm convinced they are in cahoots with regulatory agencies as checking inventory of expired items is a major part of inspections, kinda like how NCOs add little items onto a uniform list just to catch out guys who lack attention to detail). I have lab reagents expire all the time and we call the company to see if we can still use it and they say "oh sure, it's good for another 6 months!"

It's good practice to rotate out your stuff but don't feel like you MUST toss a tube of neosporin 6 months past exp date.

Meds fall into this category as well, though efficacy will diminish over the years and some stuff, like things that need to be refrigerated, definitely can "go bad".
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:09   #8
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Some don't, some do, some'll make you sick, a few will kill you. I have no idea which is which, so I'm unfortunately at the mercy of the date printed on the package.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:50   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Rambo View Post
My personal philosophy is if things are going bad and I haven't even thought to check them, I probably don't need them in the first place.
I don't see it that way.

I don't normally need an instant ice pack because I have access to a freezer during normal times. But if there is a SHTF or I am in the bush hiking....I will not have access to a freezer.

I have access to pain meds. I don't normally need them. They are long out of date, but I keep them. I don't anticipate needing narcotics, but then again if I get shot again and don't ahve a doctor around....
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deputydave View Post
I find myself checking my flashlights often, particularly if they have alkaline batteries in them. Over the years I've had a couple of lights get trashed by a leaky battery.
I have been trying to do something different recently and I don't know...
1. If batteries are stored in the device, put them in backwards so they will not activate. I have had several lights which were non-functional because of dead batteries.
2. For long term storage, don't leave the battery in the device. Store it close, but not in the device. So if it dies, it doesn't kill the device.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:55   #11
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I have been trying to do something different.

I would like to get to a position where I do a practical test 4 times a year.

And by practical test, I mean drag my gear out and have a camping shooting weekend.
Bingo, this is the best route imo. Only by actually using the gear multiple times will you know what really works and what doesn't. You get to know the piece of gear, know whether it will last, discover any quirks it may have or something you need to tweak. You also get to know what is junk or isn't needed. Some folks test it out multiple times a year while out in the field. Some do a full bug out to a BOL. Either way can be very revealing.

By doing it this way the SEP group has gotten experience with stuff like a bug-out-bike (what works and what sucks). Experience with what to pack and what to leave behind. What kind of weight is acceptable. Starting a fire in less than optimal conditions with a variety of methods. We've gotten the change to compare gear which is really a good idea. Not from a 'keeping up with the Jones' perspective but it can be beneficial to see others ideas and equipment. I've upgraded a few things because of this and it's worked better for me.
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Old 02-02-2015, 11:56   #12
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Some don't, some do, some'll make you sick, a few will kill you. I have no idea which is which, so I'm unfortunately at the mercy of the date printed on the package.
Different kind of meds than I am thinking of.

Things like Neosporan....buy it and forget about it.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:03   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWBlue View Post
I have been trying to do something different recently and I don't know...
1. If batteries are stored in the device, put them in backwards so they will not activate. I have had several lights which were non-functional because of dead batteries.
2. For long term storage, don't leave the battery in the device. Store it close, but not in the device. So if it dies, it doesn't kill the device.

Thoughts?
I don't see a problem with that at all. For many of my lights I'll use rechargeable li-ion batteries so I don't have to worry so much about leakage for them. For others I'll use a good rechargeable like Eneloop. But I do keep a large number of primaries, mostly alkaline as a back up since they're good for 7-10 years normally. Kept in a cool/dark spot. Doesn't make them leak proof but so far haven't had any issues.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:45   #14
JabbaNoBother
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Only things I've had to swap out recently were Cliff Bars and Jerkey...which were both past expiration dates.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:17   #15
Mike2
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Be sure to keep fresh duct tape, what I have found is that while in storage it will degrade especially if your bag is in a car for long periods of time. Also, the sticky part of the tape will migrate south as well and move out to the edges so a fresh roll rewound on a bolt of something is always a good thing. Another one to be sure to stay on top of is h20 purification tabs, those little devils are hydroscopic BIGTIME and if they are exposed to any moisture at all.....crumble time!!! Plus with normal use of a bag, meds will become old and sometimes just from being jostled about, begin to break down into a fine powder. Its good to rotate stuff frequently but the most important thing is using the stuff in your bag, don't just let it sit idly by and gather dust, get out and hit the woods!! Have a bug out day with your kids, practice fire building with wet materials, etc. etc. You can never build too many fires and can never spend too much time with your kids and family doing preps and learning together.
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Old 02-12-2015, 09:51   #16
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Quote:
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Be sure to keep fresh duct tape, what I have found is that while in storage it will degrade especially if your bag is in a car for long periods of time. Also, the sticky part of the tape will migrate south as well and move out to the edges so a fresh roll rewound on a bolt of something is always a good thing. Another one to be sure to stay on top of is h20 purification tabs, those little devils are hydroscopic BIGTIME and if they are exposed to any moisture at all.....crumble time!!! Plus with normal use of a bag, meds will become old and sometimes just from being jostled about, begin to break down into a fine powder. Its good to rotate stuff frequently but the most important thing is using the stuff in your bag, don't just let it sit idly by and gather dust, get out and hit the woods!! Have a bug out day with your kids, practice fire building with wet materials, etc. etc. You can never build too many fires and can never spend too much time with your kids and family doing preps and learning together.
Heat is the nemesis of duct tape. Which is odd because ducts carry hot air....
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