After a couple of very hectic years trying to keep up with work and dealing with a crazy travel schedule Butch is finally home and getting back into prepping. That is not to say that I ever stopped prepping but it’s surprising how letting other things distract you can take away from the quality of your preps. In my case that meant that while I still had just about everything I wanted on hand in case of an emergency, things became really disorganized.
In the past if I needed a flashlight, a knife, matches, or just about anything else I knew exactly where to find them. Well, after almost two years of distraction things are not how I left them. Not one bit. Wife and kids tend to borrow stuff or re-organize cabinets and closets I’d rather not have reorganized. I think the only exception here is my gun collection which is always safely locked away and everyone knows not to even think about touching them or moving them around. Not that they could anyway with the safety measures I keep in place.
So, as I realized the sad state my preps were in I sat for a while and thought about how to get everything back to tip top condition.
First order of business, take a full inventory of everything I have stored up. This is really the only way to start. You have to know what you have, where it is, if it’s still useful or serviceable, and then you can plan how to move forward. Taking the time to do a proper inventory once a year or so even if you haven’t been slacking off is always a good idea. For someone like me who had been pulled away from prepping by work and the demands of everyday life it’s an absolutely crucial way to start.
What did I find? Well for starters I found that I had forgotten to rotate out a bunch of the food I have stored and and about 20% needed replacing. This is not really a big deal (since I caught it before I was put in a situation where I really needed it) because I would have swapped it out anyway. So it’s not really costing me extra money. Typically I dig through all of my stored foods just before Thanksgiving and I donate anything with an expiration date of less than 12 months or so to the local food bank. Some of my favorite items I simply move into our everyday pantry but the supersize cans of chili and such that we just ordinarily would not open up I go ahead and donate. Then on the way home I stop at the store and replace everything in one trip. Simple and charitable and with a little tax deduction to boot! Unfortunately after missing over a year I have some food that is past it’s expiration date and can’t be donated. It’s a crying shame…
I also found that during my travels a whole bunch of batteries I had stored inside had somehow been moved out to the garage, which in my house is not temperature controlled. Not that it gets overly cold in my area but it does get hot in the summer and I like to keep batteries (and just about everything else I stock up on) in a cool, dry environment for maximum storage life. After spot checking batteries out of a few of the older packages at random I found that they were all in working order but I needed to get them moved back inside.
After two years or so it’s amazing how devastated and disorganized ones first-aid supplies can become. I like to think I keep my family pretty safe but apparently they go through bandaids and neosporin like all of our furniture is made of rose bushes. Lots of reorganization and resupplying to do there. Of course my heavy duty medical supplies like my M17 Medic Bag were untouched. Still, I needed to get things back in order.
Next I went through all of the bug out bags in the house and cars. These were in surprisingly healthy shape even given my lack of attention to them. Sure I had to swap out some food bars, water bottles, etc… but that really only took a few minutes and the rest of the contents were looking good and organized. Apparently no one had decided to mess with them while I was traveling. Ordinarily I go through my BOBs twice a year on the weekends we turn the clocks forward or back for daylight savings time. I find this is a good time of year to swap out winter clothing for summer garb and vice versa.
In continuing my inventory I found my guns all in great shape but took the time to add a little oil here and there and generally inspect each one. I find this to be a calming therapeutic activity and never mind it anyway. The one change I did make was to add a small .22 revolver loaded with snake rounds to my quick access safe. It seems the draught here has brought otherwise rare rattlesnakes into my neighborhood and occasionally one will need to be dispatched.
My ammo situation is less than ideal. Apparently the one thing I did pay attention to during my time away from prepping was the ammunition shortage. Over the past couple of years I’ve kept a close eye on some of my favorite online retailers like Cheaper Than Dirt and AmmunitonToGo.com and scooped up hard to find calibers whenever I got the chance without putting too much thought into my purchases. So now I’ve got a surplus of some stuff and not enough of others. Well, that’s easily remedied as I need to get back out to the range anyway and most of my surplus is in .22 which I like to practice with after being away from shooting for a while. I can easily whip through 1,000 rounds in a couple of weekends. That should get me ready for the real tragedy in this story which is the beautiful Sig Sauer 716 AR-10 that I bought on impulse six months ago and haven’t even fired yet!