Survival Starts at Home: Tools, well there are a million and one ways to address this and I will start off with this one, make sure your tools are in good repair and ready to go. So much of what we do in the outdoors is seasonal and because of that a third of our gear can be shelved for the season at any given time. So, we should be aware that what we need to make sure we might need to keep our backcountry adventures safe and fun might need some periodic maintenance and a check out before we grab it and go.
First off that can mean making sure it is stored properly, the stuff sack. That we backpack with isn’t always the best thing to store our tents and bags in. We should also make sure that perishable items are not kept with this gear, trust me. But sometimes that’s not the case and learning about proper storage per the manufacturer and industry standards can extend the life of that expensive gear you got.
If it wasn’t stored properly it’s not too late to break it out and do so, in fact as we head into different seasons, we should be breaking out that gear and inspecting it for serviceability and making sure we remember how to use it. After all the side of a mountain is not the time to find out something is worn or broken. That’s why Ima big fan of pre opping my stuff.
Think of it this what upcoming trips do I have and what will I need? This doesn’t have to be a major event after all you are just grabbing you camping gear like you would for any other trip. It doesn’t take that long to get the gear together and set it up like you would for camp. This is one of the best ways to shake everything down and make sure there are no issues.
As for special tools and equipment like snowshoes and ice axes for instance give them a good inspection now and make sure everything is working. A lot of gear can be repaired so the night before isn’t the time to do it instead start looking a couple months ahead of the season. Basically, you are buying yourself time to get it fixed and get it fixed right. Sometimes when we are in the middle of the season companies might run out of repair parts or repair shops might be too busy to get your stuff fixed in time.
Lastly, we tent to learn new skills and tricks with some of this seasonal gear, well skills can be perishable too. Part of getting ready is doing the research on the gear, how to use ot and the areas you plan on exploring. Even areas you go to every year can change and might require new skill sets, gear and training. Having the tools to the job correctly is half of it, knowing how to use the tools correctly is the other half.