Do You Have Your Prepper Maintenance Checklist Handy?
In the world of prepping, assembling the right mix of food, equipment and other necessities is critical. But while many may see this as the main step towards preparedness, it’s actually only the first. More often than not, it’s what we do with these items after we’ve purchased them that can have the biggest impact on our survival: if not looked after properly, equipment can malfunction or food can expire.
Thankfully, with a regular prepper maintenance schedule, you can ensure you’re not just prepping, but prepping smart. So today we’re pulling out the checklist and inviting you to do the same, so that if the worst were to happen, you’re ready to act.
Plenty of guides offer advice on the best gear, whether it’s choosing the right weapon, the right fire extinguisher, or the right camping equipment. More important still is maintaining this gear, ensuring it’s ready to be used at a moment’s notice.
Fire is an important part of any survival strategy. Both the ability to start it, and put it out.
To start, check that matches are being stored in a dry place, well away from any water sources. This includes areas that could end up underwater in the event of a flood, as well as any water stored nearby that could leak should their containers be damaged. A soggy match never started any fire I’ve seen! You can also make waterproof matches and add these to your stockpile for some extra peace of mind.
Similarly, if you’re relying on butane lighters, make sure they’re topped up, and that you have the ability to refill them at a later stage.
Next? Ensure fire blankets and extinguishers are easily accessible and close to hand. You won’t have the luxury of time to dig through boxes should the need arise.
Physically, extinguishers should be free of any dents, leaks, rust or chemical deposits, and the pin and tamper seal should be intact. Manufacturers also recommend you shake dry chemical extinguishers at least once a month, as this prevents the powder inside from settling. And if yours is getting on in years? You should have it pressure tested.
A fire is of little use if there’s nothing to cook with, or on. If you’re going to be using gas, make sure all tanks and bottles are regularly topped up. You should also check all hoses and connections are free of leaks that can come from damage or aging. This can be done by simply spraying soapy water over the hose: if you see bubbles? It means gas is escaping, and that the pipe or connection needs repaired or replaced.
3. Weapons & Ammunition
Whether you’re defending yourself or hunting for food, cleaning of weaponry should be commonplace. Even more so if you’re regularly using these weapons to practice. Oiling and disassembly can be an involved process, but there are a number of videos that showcase the steps involved.
As for ammunition? It should be stored much like matches: in a dry place, away from water sources or younger hands. At the top of cupboards or high shelves is always good.
4. Tents, Bags & Blankets
Survival isn’t just about staying fed and protected. Mother nature is a fickle thing, and depending on your location, and the disaster you’re facing, the weather can fluctuate rapidly. For this reason, regularly checking your sleeping bags, tents, blankets and bags for holes can mean the difference between staying warm or spending the night out in the cold.
Your Food & Water
Proper storage and management of food is a vital step in any prepper maintenance schedule. Planning for long-term survival involves more than just filling your pantry: keeping track of exactly what you have, and when it expires is just as important.
1. Store It
How you store your food and water can impact its longevity, and the method you use can vary wildly depending on the food. Keeping dry cooking ingredients away from moisture is a must, and fresh fruit and vege vary wildly in their ideal storage temperatures and climates.
Take stock of your food, and ensure you’re storing it as best as you can to maximize its use. Guides, like this .PDF, can make this process a lot easier.
Likewise, how you store your water is also important. Bottled water can be expensive, both in costs and storage space. Instead, look at using drums or larger containers. These are often more practical, and keeping the water in a cool place where temperatures don’t fluctuate dramatically can help it stay fresh for longer.
2. Manage It
If you haven’t already, check the use-by dates on your food. And while you’re at it, keep a record of this for future reference. Whether you do this using one of the many Apps available, or in a spreadsheet of your own, this will help you keep track of what food needs to be replaced.
And when you’re putting the food back? Move older tins to the front. Not only will this help you use these items first, but you’ll be better able to rotate aging supplies with new items.
3. Assess It
Stand back and look at your food. How prepared are you? Sweet treats may calm the nerves, but ensuring you have a diverse range of multi-purpose ingredients is better for you in the long run. Flours, beans and other ingredients are great. And if you’re worried about the longevity of fruit and vegetables, try pickling or canning your own. It’s a surprisingly easy task, and your food will keep for years rather than weeks or months.
Do you have any regular checks or maintenance routines? Any tips for keeping your stocks fresh and equipment maintained? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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