Don’t Forget Repairs

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

Have you ever been on a camping trip and had a piece of equipment break on you? It could be nothing more than a tent peg bending, as you were trying to pound it into some hard ground. Or maybe the pump on your Coleman lantern inexplicably stops working. Then there are problems with sleeping bag zippers, fire starters that don’t work, a burnt out bulb in a flashlight, and canteens that spring a leak.

Maybe these types of things haven’t happened to you, but they sure have happened to me. In fact, I’d say that I’ve had more than my fair share of them. It seems that every trip I take, something goes wrong with some critical piece of gear.

Having that happen on a camping trip is bad enough, but having it happen when you’re in survival mode is dangerous. But when you think about it, much of the gear we depend on for survival is the exact same sort of gear that we use when we go camping. So why do we think it will fare any better, when we have to use it to survive?

This is why redundancy is so important in your survival gear. Nothing you own is perfect, so chances are, something is going to break sometime; and it will probably do so at the worst possible time. Having redundancy in your gear purchases gives you something that you can use, when you can’t use what you normally depend on. Maybe the secondary piece of equipment isn’t as good, but it’s surely better than nothing.

There’s another way of looking at this whole issue of broken equipment and redundancy, and that is to plan for it. In other words, plan on having to repair the stuff you have, so that you’ll always have what you need. I’ve gone so far as to create a kit of repair parts and materials, so that when I’m out in the field camping, I can repair anything I need to. The same sort of kit is stored with my survival gear, so that I’ll always have what I need.

So, what sorts of things can you find in my kit?

  • Duct tape (the ultimate handyman’s helper)
  • Super glue (another obvious one)
  • Paracord (especially for tents)
  • Sewing kit, heavy on safety pins (clothes rip at the most inopportune times)
  • Pump rebuild kit for Coleman lanterns and stoves
  • Spare mantles for Coleman lanterns (I use the old-fashioned kind, not the propane ones)
  • Epoxy putty (great when you need some structural strength, as well as for repairing leaking canteens and even pots)
  • Assorted small screws and nuts
  • A couple of strong carabineers (between these and the paracord, I can string anything up)
  • Disposable lighter (backup fire starter)
  • Small honing stone
  • Grommets and a grommet setting tool (high winds can destroy grommets in tents and tarps)
  • A couple of feet of 2” wide nylon webbing (for repairing or making a shoulder strap)
  • Assorted plastic bags, especially small zipper bags
  • A couple of feet of wire
  • AA and AAA batteries, as well as button cells to fit anything I have
  • A small vial of lightweight lubricating oil (works as honing oil and gun oil as well)

This may seem like a lot, but it doesn’t take up any more space than a paperback book, and it weighs less than the book as well. But with it, I can make a jury rig repair to just about anything I might need to, while out camping or in a bug out situation. Granted, I can’t repair my car with it, but that’s a totally different set of gear.

The only real tool I have to go with this is my multitool. Lots of people include a multitool in their survival kit, thinking of it as a useful survival tool. But I don’t see it that way. I can think of very few survival tasks that a multitool with help with. To me, the multitool is a survival tool for my survival tools. In other words, I carry it along so that I can repair my survival gear.

Of course, the other thing I do is buy quality gear. That way, my chances of having something break are at least somewhat minimized. Even so, something always manages to break, but with this stuff along, I don’t have to allow that break to mess up my camping trip.

Just seems to go right along with keeping my powder dry and my survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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