Test Your Equipment! 6 Reasons WHY You Should
By Jeanette Vale
My sister and I liked to camp and test our emergency preparedness equipment. We stood in her garage as we packed for a trip. I assured her that I had the stove packed and she could put hers back on the shelf. She trusted me and did so. Upon arrival at camp, the stove I promised her, was non-existent. I had not packed one.
We had to suffer for a week finding wood as fuel for every meal. Do you realize how long it takes to find wood, get it lit, hope it cooks the food long enough to be safe and at the same time burn it–all while you are hangry? Savage week. My name was a cuss word she would hiss at every meal.
I look back on this and realize that it was actually a very successful venture–because we learned. The goal is to find what crucial items are missing from your gear or what processes you need to improve on.
1. You will find out what is missing from your equipment (like the stove). You will find out the propane leaked out and there is no fuel to cook a meal with. You will find that your sleeping bag did not keep you warm at all. You will find out a lot of stuff AND have the time to rectify it.
2. Camping and testing will give you strokes of ideas of how to make a process flow better. For example: Thermos jugs can hold hot water until morning. Sure, it cools down a bit, but it's lovely to have warm water in the morning without having to build a new fire. This could be used with a washcloth to wipe your face and hands. Brushing your teeth or washing your hair is not shocking because warm water is so lovely while camping!
3. You learn things you would not have learned like, butt fat freezes. My mom told me so, then I tested it, and she was right. I sat in the snow to see how long it would take before the cold seeped through my winter pants. It was painful within a few minutes. I didn’t even reach thirty minutes. I couldn't take it anymore, and I was bored. Butt fat is not an insulator– I thought I was going to do awesome in this area. Tip: Pack a pillow, thick and dense that you can sit on. Macho Survival guys with no butt fat would’ve never told you this. Ladies, prevent your fat from freezing so you can sleep later that night. It doesn’t matter how nice your sleeping bag is if you’ve got a built-in ice pack.
4. As soon as you buy something, open it, test it! Make sure everything is there. During a real disaster is not the time to find out that something vital is missing, broken, or has gone bad. If you don’t want to open an item, at least watch a YouTube of someone opening and using theirs. Be familiar with it. No company is perfect, errors can be made during boxing of a product. Catch problems early if there is something missing from what you ordered.
5. Test your gear in real weather. I tested a little fold stove by a river once. It tested great at home, but in the wilderness, my kindling took forever to ignite. And while I was struggling with that, I found out I was sitting on an ant hill. Mean little buggers! Wilderness life is where I learn the best. A great option for a stove is our folding stove with 24 fuel tablets.
6. Being well versed in how your equipment works gives you confidence. Panic, on the other hand, can kill you. For real. Having your brain freeze up as you attempt critical lifesaving tasks in the wilderness with no prior experience is not recommended. Burning through the whole box of matches and still not having the fire start is scary when darkness and dropping temperatures are minutes away. Did you know we carry stormproof matches?
Use the Buddy System
Find someone who will do these adventures with you. Survival skills on the internet are hot channels to watch, test some ideas together.
You don’t need to go far
Your back yard or terrace is fine for testing some things (not bonfires, the neighbors might throw a potted plant. This type of bushwhacking is not advised).
Folks, step on, prep on and test a little crazy. Come visit us! www.emergencyzone.com