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By July 27, 2012 Read More →

Field testing your gear

[intro2]You won’t know it works until you try it![/intro2]

I love it when my gear fails.  Any time my gear fails and I live, I have received something sacred.  The gift of life most times.  You can either: A) change up the gear or the way you use it, or B) trash the whole rig as a failure and attack it from another angle.  Either way, you’ve learned something valuable.  I have been down both roads.
As a matter of fact, I am trying right now to create a key chain survival tool.  Or a collection of survival tools would be a more accurate description.  Anyway, it’s designed to increase the amount of gear I always have on me or am not more than a step away from.  Here you see I have the lanyard which has as many uses as you can dream up:  a compass, flash light, multi-tool, knife sharpener, extra carabiners, and of course my keys, all have multiple uses.

The whole rig can double as a weapon if needed. This is something most women probably don’t think about.  I’ve seen some key chains that must easily weigh the same as a small dog with all the trinkets and stuff some women carry on them.  (no disrespect intended, look at mine).  Rethink what you have.  This can be used as a weapon if you needed to use it this way.  Now I’m not saying go load up on the flip-flop and squeezable frog trinket chains, but the more weight you have on your chain the better.  Try trading in some of the more useless items for ones like a compass or flashlight, or even the fire starter (flint).  You will be grateful in an emergency situation.

the s link that is supposed to hold everything on

I thought I had come up with a pretty slick system, but after having CARRIED it daily for a few months now, I have  experienced a number of failures, from loosing single keys to whole components.  This ‘S’ link is supposed to hold everything on the lanyard but after testing it out…everything that can fall off has fallen off.  Short of maybe tack welding one side shut I don’t see a solution for this. Then if I do tack weld the one side shut it looses part of its functionality.

I am  including a picture of what I have going on and a list of whats there.  I’d like to hear your input.  I might wind up with an upgrade rather than just a fix.

This keeps my keys from getting jumbled having so much on the lanyard. I set them in order of importance

Practice With Your Gear

Get your gear out.  Put it on.  Something to consider with your backpacks…  Did you gain/lose weight since the last time you adjusted your pack straps?  Realizing that the old configuration isn’t going to work when the house starts shaking, or the volcano starts erupting, or bad guys are kicking in your front door, (fill in your disaster here), it’s not only avoidable it’s just flat out not PREPARING.

When seconds count, there is just no time to start adjusting pack straps, changing shoes, or realizing that you cannot carry all you gear AND a weapon.  That’s just one example.  I seem to learn something new about my gear every time I mess with it, much less use it, and THAT’S THE POINT .

My littlest ones can’t carry much more than their own water.  Even so, each of them has a camel pack to wear.  What good does it do if you haven’t fit it to your growing kids?  If all they can carry is water then THIS IS their to go pack.  It should fit and be tested just like yours.  I carry a duffle bag with my left hand, in addition to the pack on by back.  My dominant hand holds my defensive weapon when I am separated from my bug out vehicle for whatever reason.

Learn all your gear that you plan on surviving with.  Learn it inside and out.  Use them and mildly stress test them.  As you watch things unexpectedly happen, that could have cost you your life in a critical situation, you will be grateful.



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5 Comments on "Field testing your gear"

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  1. Why not just include most of this gear in a pocket survival kit? It would probably pack together better and not be a giant mess when you’re trying to open your house door or start the car!

    • Alive14 says:

      I laughed when i read this because I’m wearing my usual….CARGO. Ever single pocket is already full. I do have a pocket survival kit in a nice little wallet with velcro to close that I keep on me at all times. Still there are items I was missing in this kit.

  2. You should ALWAYS feild test every single piece of gear you own. You should be able to maintain it or fix it if something goes wrong and you should be familiar enough with it to use it in the worst of conditions. If you can’t (or haven’t), you need to get on it. Murphy’s law says that your gear will fail when you need it the most.

  3. PeteH says:

    Try going to a clip that has some kind of locking mechanism or “tongue and groove” latch. What’s happening is that the smaller rings on the clip will twist. if they’re right where the jaws of the latch come together, they’ll press in on the latch and open it. Tower climbers found this out the hard way with their climbing harnesses some tiem back. If the rope was flipped a certain way, it would open the clip of the harness, releasing the climber from the tower… and his life… The new clips have a spring loaded “safety” that must be depressed to get the clip to open. Maybe you can find a smaller version of this.

  4. I understand the concept of adding weight to your king ring to use it as a weapon. I do have one point to make, from experience, if you have to much weight on your keyring that you use for you car, you can mess up your ignition switch from the weight. we ended up putting a toggle switch on the truck before finally getting rid of it. So be careful about weight. Maybe find a way to take the weight off it when you drive?

    JG



Earlier this month, APN Author Stephanie Dayle got some scary news about her twin babies.  Let's see what we can do to help out.