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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Guest Post: Keeping your Bug Out Bag Fresh, By Northern Raider

© 2011Northern Raider August 2011

Bug out bags are one of the keys to our survival in any given crisis or disaster, it is vitally important that our BOB’s are up to the job we require them to do. That means keeping it ready and effective.

We can and do leave our BOB’s untouched for months and some of the items within the BOB’s can be left for years. That in itself could be a problem if we do actually have to bug out in a hurry.

Basically there’s not much point in having a BOB if its contents don’t work when we need them to,
so we must keep the contents checked so that we are not left with a bag of junk instead of an effective survival system.

I keep a check card on top of my BOB that lists expiry / use by and best by dates for the time sensitive items in the kit. When they get close to their best by / use by / eat by dates I change them for fresh supplies.

Batteries   (radios, flashlights, electronic sights, GPS devices)   
Medical dressings   (lose sterility after certain time frame)      
Medical lotions        (lose effectiveness after time)   
Eye Glasses and Contact Lenses     (your eyes age making the kit lenses useless)
Water Purification tablets    (lose effectiveness
Food Stuffs       (dry out, lose nutritional value, spoil etc)
Water filter Elements
Hygiene kit (Toothpaste / deodorant etc) 
Clothing (have you grown out of it?)
Wet wipes  (they do dry out)
Vitamin suppliments (lose strength)

In some cases during long term storage items such as switchs on radios and flashlights can stick, radio receivers can simply refuse to work, magazine springs fail, medicinal potions can settle out etc
Its always worth checking on how mechanical and electrical as well as medical items function when you check your kit over.

Remember to keep your batteries separate from the devices they are meant to power, there is a Sods Law that demands the more expensive your kit is the more likely the batteries in it will leak catastrophically.

Make sure when you do bug out the kit is going to do what you want it to do, first time and reliably.

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