PREPAREDNESS FOR DISASTER SURVIVAL
DURING PERSONAL OR BUSINESS TRAVEL
(Includes Discussion And Checklist For Travel Emergency "Jump" Kit)
WHAT IS THIS ARTICLE ALL ABOUT?
When I first drafted this, I included a lengthy introduction, including some rather "pat" statements about the perilous times we live in; followed by some broad philosophical reflections regarding the importance of planning and preparedness in all of life's endeavors. Then I got totally carried away and included an over abundance of information on my background, qualifications, and experience.
After the first re-read (and waking myself up several times) I eliminated all that in favor of moving quickly and directly to the information that you will need; i.e., information which may save your life should you be unfortunate enough to be caught right in the middle of a sudden and catastrophic disaster, either natural, or man made! This is no "soft sell" to the concept of survival! I make no "political" statements or comments, other than to admonish the reader not to count on "the system" to provide you with one bit of help or support when you actually need it! I have outlined a "no nonsense" approach to preparedness, and survival based on my own personal experience and that of close friends who have "been there and done that", in some cases many times, under the most non-permissive conditions imaginable.
I have either tested and used all of the equipment and techniques described herein myself, or the information comes from sources whom I have trusted and do with my very life! This does not necessarily mean that they will always work well for you! Training, conditioning, experience, a high level of common sense, and a superior mental attitude toward survival have the ultimate bearing on how effectively, and in what condition you come out of a dangerous situation.
Comments on the various items of equipment that I list and discuss do not constitute "endorsements", only that I have used the item or technique, and it functioned well for me under the conditions outlined. I'll also take the process one step further, and tell you the weak points and failures of some of the equipment items listed, and suggest ways to overcome that particular weak point, or prevent failure.
Catalogs and store shelves are filled with items that are supposed to be the "ultimate" in survival equipment. Some of the equipment is excellent, however, a lot of that shiny stuff is pure junk that if used under "go for real" conditions, will almost surely fail, with an appropriate on-the-spot penalty for the user. I've also learned (the hard way), to strive for simplicity in equipment, and to carefully acquire items that have more than one use. Remember, when it comes to equipment, only the best is good enough, but the "best" does not always mean the most expensive!
The equipment that I have tested and selected for my own use not only provides high quality performance under the most adverse conditions along with outstanding durability; but also instills a welcome degree of "comfort" into the process. Many of us traveling these days are not in the very best physical (or emotional) condition! Attempting to sleep tied in a tree, or in a ditch with four inches of cold water, may be a "character building" exercises that many of us have undergone in the past, and could probably do again - if we had to. However, we do not have to "practice" being miserable. We remember quite vividly how to do that and would rather not repeat the experience, if we have the option!
During or shortly after arriving at a relatively unfamiliar location by air travel, you well may be confronted by any number of hazardous situations, ranging from a severe earthquake, flooding, a devastating tornado, or spontaneous civil unrest. The assumption is that you are far from your home, in a potentially or overtly hostile environment, and without immediate and trusted "friendly" support.
Traditionally, and for reasons of practicality, air travelers usually "travel light". Luggage for a short business trip in today's corporate world, usually consist of a light briefcase, possibly a laptop computer, one of those annoying "suit carriers" that hold more that a sea trunk, and a shoulder bag.
The extra equipment that I suggest, and which may save your life, weighs no more than a medium suitcase, (approximately 28 to 30 lbs.) The container can be checked through to your destination, and "Red Capped" to your rental car if you don't want to carry it yourself.
The scope of this article is on travel to a destination by air, and then personal safety and security on the ground while traveling on to a second destination, usually by rental car. With severe weather almost routine, and the threat of earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding; the chances of being caught up in one or more of these events while away from home are greater than ever before. Toss in the literal "combat zones" that many cities have become due to crime, gangs, and a general breakdown in law and order, and the importance of preparedness for what used to be "the unexpected" makes more sense than ever!
Consider that you've just landed at LAX on the "red eye flight". Its 1:30 Am and you have managed to get your rental car, survived getting "jacked" near the airport, and have made it to the "405" heading north to pick up the "101" to Santa Barbara. You're cruising along in light traffic between Simi Valley and Ventura with just enough ground fog present to provide a spirit of adventure, and suddenly the roadway starts doing the rumba, and acting like jell! After a few seconds, of shake, rattle and roll, you manage to get the car stopped safely, and have survived the earth and boulders that have smashed across the roadway. You sit there a moment, terrified and in shock! You get a grip on your mind, and begin taking inventory of your condition. You find that aside from a few bumps and bruises, you're okay. When you finally get up the nerve to get out of the car, you visually assess the situation as best you can in the dark, and find yourself trapped! You have steep embankments on your right, and dirt and small boulders are still trickling threateningly onto the roadway, the Pacific Ocean is to your left and a few screwed and wrecked cars in front and behind you. Some panicky people are starting to emerge from the wreckage, and do strange and dangerous things. You think that you can remember seeing the exit to Ojai ahead, but now it doesn't look like there is any roadway immediately ahead of you to the exit! In short, it looks like you are going to be right where you are for an indeterminate amount of time before "help" arrives.
As an alternate event, it may be that you are traveling on business to some remote part of the country where you have never been before. You're unfamiliar with the location, high-threat urban areas, the composition and current mood of the local population toward strangers, or where and how to obtain assistance. You're traveling over unfamiliar rural roads, at night, in a heavy rain storm, with lightning and thunder the likes of which you haven't seen since you were a kid growing up in the mid-west. You're in a rental car that you don't know the condition of, and suddenly, as you round a curve, the roadway disappears - washed out from in front of you. Assuming that you have managed to stop safely, you find that your vehicle has sustained mechanical damage, and can no longer be driven. There is no other traffic on the road, and you have been traveling through thick woods and swamp country. No houses or other signs of civilization can be seen, or have been for the last hour. The storm is getting worse, and you must leave the vehicle or be swept away by rising floodwaters.
At this point, you have very few options. If you are like most of today's business travelers, you're dressed in a business suit, or sports coat and slacks combination, with shoes that are inadequate for extended off-carpet walking. you're lugging a briefcase, and a suit carrier containing a change of cloths, and maybe your jogging shoes. The only map that you have is the one that they gave you at the car rental counter. Your in-pocket resources consist of a wallet full of credit cards, nail clippers, possibly a cellular phone, and your "sky-pager". Not much to face the predicament you presently find yourself in!
The first option you consider is to get on that cellular phone and call "Triple A" or dial "911" for help. Well, if you haven't experienced it yet, cellular phones have a way of turning into high tech paperweights when you need them most! Remember, you're in a remote part of the country, flooding is going on all around you, and the last thing you heard on the car radio was a tornado warning for the area.
Your second option at this point may be to leave the vehicle, and try to scramble up the embankment to higher ground, through the thick dark woods, soaked, cold and scared. If you find a piece of reasonably level ground, you may try to squeeze as much of your body inside of your suit carrier as possible, and attempt to survive hypothermia until morning - good luck!
Your third option upon leaving the vehicle may be to wander through the driving rain and darkness, back up the road way in the direction that you came from in hopes that you will meet another vehicle or spot a dwelling and thus be rescued. Well, lets assume that the flooding hasn't cut you off yet and you do manage to come in contact with another vehicle on the road. Assuming that you don't get run over outright, or shot at, the vehicle does stop. Upon approach, you discover that the snaggle-toothed, leering occupants of the beat-up old pick-up truck, are typecast straight out of the movie "Deliverance"! All three of them are drunk out of their minds on local "moonshine", and are taking a real fancy to "them purdy city duds", and that "fancy gold watch that you're "a-wearin". Within seconds, it's become abundantly evident that your potential rescuers have just decided to have you for supper as the main course! Again - good luck!
Now, let's take a look at what should be your real "best option".
THE BEST OPTION - PREPAREDNESS
Through hard-won experience, I always carry what I call a "Jump kit". The term, as far as I can determine, is an old military one that refers to a bag or container that's always packed and "good to go", and grabbable on a moment's notice! The kit contains all items of equipment that you would need to survive and complete a mission. The type, size, weight, and contents of the jump kit vary depending on the mode of travel, the season, the area to be visited, and the mission to be completed.
My air travel jump kit weighs approximately 28 pounds, and contains the exact equipment that I would need if "all systems" suddenly failed and I found myself in the middle of nowhere and "marooned" as a result of a natural disaster. The list of contingencies also includes being trapped in some urban hellhole as a result of a wrong turn. In a "worst case" scenario, I have enough equipment with me to survive and "walk out" if I have to. I've listed the contents of my air travel jump kit for your convenience in checklist #1, at the end of this publication.
Before I began the discussion on the contents, uses and options of the jump kit, let's go back for a moment, and do a little pre-travel planning. First realize that we are no longer living in a safe, controlled, and civilized environment. Those who think that we still are, are deluding themselves, and might as well stamp the word "VICTIM" on their foreheads in bright red letters! The country is rapidly turning into a jungle, where only the fittest, most aware, and best prepared survive. The weather, other natural disasters, and crime are unleashing an unparalleled amount of suffering and disruption. Being a victim of these occurrences on one's home ground is bad enough, but the impact multiplies geometrically when you are caught alone, in strange and unfamiliar surroundings.
TRAVEL AREA RECONNAISSANCE/INTELLIGENCE GATHERING
There is an old adage in the intelligence community, which states: "Nothing happens without a build-up phase". This can also be said for most emergencies. No matter how short the notice, there is always time to gather information about your destination, even if its only done during the time you spend at the airport while waiting for your flight.
At a minimum, you should consider obtaining a state road map(s) of the area that you are traveling to, and do a thorough "map reconnaissance" of the area that you will be traveling through and operating in. If possible, a city map should also be obtained and thoroughly reviewed prior to your arrival. Consider contacting the weather bureau, and getting the extended forecast to cover the length of your stay. This can be done by either phone or the Internet if you own a computer and have access. Consider contacting the local police or sheriff's department to ascertain if there has been any recent storm damage in the area, if roads and bridges are still intact, and if there are any areas that you should avoid. If you talk straight to the law enforcement representative, and tell them honestly that you are new to the area, and you want to know what areas of the city, county, etc. are considered to be high threat areas so that you can avoid them, you will usually get straight answers. Friends or your business contacts in the local area may also provide useful information. Don't count on getting factual information from the local chamber of commerce. They will tell you everything is just wonderful, even if there is a riot going on!
Take the time to become as oriented to the location that you are traveling to as you can. If you are already familiar with the area, and have friends or relatives there, you may want to consider alerting them that you are going to be in the area. Any friendly contact you have in the local area may provide you with help, emergency shelter, or humanitarian extraction if necessary.
SUGGESTED TRAVEL APPAREL
People traveling by air today, wear anything from those goofy looking shorts that make you look like you don't have any knees, and a tank-top, and sandals, to business suits or other suitable business attire. If you have to travel only a short distance from the airport, and go directly to a business meeting, then by all means, travel in your "corporate jungle" costume. In this case, you may consider carrying your "adventure" clothing along in a carry-on bag, so that if you are thrust into a "disruptive" situation, you can rapidly get rid of the costume, and be dressed out in functional clothing. There is also a different psychological advantage to being appropriately dressed to meet an emergency. That's one of the reasons that SWAT teams get "psyched" during the formal dress-out ritual.
Unless it's in the dead of winter, and I'm traveling to the northern regions of the country, I usually stick to the same combination. In cool to moderately cold or stormy weather, I augment the clothing I am wearing with a set of light thermal underwear, heavy sweater, knit "watch" cap, soft wool scarf, lined leather gloves, and a lightweight Gore-Tex® waterproof parka. This combination provides comfort in all but the most severe cold weather.
The clothing that I recommend for travel does lower your profile somewhat, as you see more and more travelers dressing this way. It makes no attempt to "blend in", but you would be surprised at how it does just that! Starting from the top and working down, my travel apparel usually consists of the following:
Warm weather ensemble
(Stick with me on the colors, there's a reason I'll explain later on).
A. Tan cloth "flop" hat, with three inch brim
This is a great utility hat. Its cut different than the GI "flop" hat, and does not have those useless nylon loops sewn around the crown that are suppose be there to stick twigs and grass into for "camouflage". This hat is moderately water resistant, comfortable, and gives great protection from the sun. It also folds or rolls up for quick storage.
B. Lightweight tan or olive cotton canvas long sleeve "safari" shirt
These shirts are gutsy and reliable. They have plenty of pockets, and the 100% cotton ensures that you will stay cooler in the high humidity of the east and south, or the dry heat of the southwest. They are easy to launder, and don't need ironing to look stylish!
C. Lightweight tan or olive cotton canvas "safari" trousers
These trousers are basically of the same material and style as the shirt. There is even a type that has cleverly installed zippers at thigh level, to allow the removal of the lower legs, and converts to a comfortable pair of hiking shorts. D. Good high-quality, cushioned sole athletic socks
These are the kind that wick moisture away from the feet, and allow it to evaporate.
E. High quality, medium weight hiking boots, with Gore-Tex® liners
F. Some version of the "Safari" or the old "photo journalist vest. (The kind with at least 10 pockets for securing sun glasses, airline tickets, passports, small flashlight, various other "goodies", and papers that you do not want to lose. These are marvelous pieces of equipment, and I have never failed to receive queries when I travel as to where they can be purchased.
The following checklist outlines the contents of the "jump kit". Items can be added or omitted as the individual sees fit. Please give serious thought to assembling and carrying one when you travel in these perilous times. If just one of you survives and/or escapes a dangerous situation as a result of the information that I have included in this article, then it has been worth the effort! If this has benefited you in any way, please share your experience with me and others by E-mail to this web page!
Keep your powder dry, and always remember that "luck" is not a factor...only proper preparedness!
Individual "Jump Kit" Air Travel
Warm To Moderate Cool Weather
(within the continental u.s. only)
|1||Jansport® World Tour Backpack"- Convertible to luggage bag with storable padded shoulder straps and waist belt (volume 4975 cu. in., expandable to 6575 cu. in (approximate weight 6 lb.)||(1) ea.|
|2||Water bottle, "Nalgene" plastic, 1 qt. - Full (approximate weight 1 lb.)||(1) ea.|
|3||Collapsible 5 qt. water bladder, plastic with nylon cover (approximate weight 8 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|4||Water purification filter, "PUR" ® or "Sweetwater" ® (approximate weight 1 lb. 5 oz.)||(1 ea.)|
|5||Cup, GI canteen type, stainless steel (approximate weight 9 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|6||Spoon, large, metal (approximate weight 3 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|7||Freeze dried main course meals (approximate weight 5 oz. each)||(3) ea.|
|8||Instant cocoa packs (approximate weight 2 oz. each)||(3) ea.|
|9||Instant "Gatorade" ® packs (approximate weight 5 oz. each)||(2) ea.|
|10||Plastic pouch containing instant coffee or tea (approximate weight 5 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|11||"Mainstay 2400" ® emergency food ration pack (approximate weight 1 lb.)||(1) ea.|
|12||"NUWICK 44" ® 44 hour heating/cooking candle kit (approximate weight 6 oz. each)||(1) ea.|
|13||"Gore-Tex ® fabric BQ Bivy bag cover" (approximate weight 2 lb. 4 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|14||Poncho Liner, G. I. Issue (approximate weight 1 lb. 5 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|15||Camo Poncho, GI Issue (approximate weight 1 lb. 6 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|16||"Therm-a-Rest"® sleeping pad (approximate weight 1 lb. 12 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|17||"Silva Ranger"® type 15CL compass (approximately weight 3 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|18||"Mapsaf Case"® (approximate weight 7 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|19||"Stashaway II"® Lightweight Gore-Tex Best Defense®" rainsuit (approximate weight 2 lb. 9 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|20||"Gore-Tex® Best Defense® Over Socks (approximate weight 4 oz.)||(1) pr. ea.|
|21||Individual field medical kit (approximate weight 1 lb. 8 oz.) (contents listed in checklist #3 coming later)||(1) ea.|
|22||Individual survival kit (approximate weight 1 lb.) (contents listed in checklist #4coming later)||(1) ea.|
|23||Individual accessory kit (approximate weight 14 oz.) (contents listed in checklist #5coming later)||(1) ea.|
Cyalume "lightsticks" (approximate weight 6 oz.)
|25||"TopSpot"® flashlight/headlamp (approximate weight 8 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|26||"Victornox"® Swiss Army pocket knife ("ranger" model) (approximate weight 5 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|27||"Tasco"® ultra compact 8X21 mm binoculars (approximate weight 7 oz.)||(1) pr. ea.|
|28||Toilet paper - small roll (approx. wt. 4 oz.)||(1) ea.|
|29||Small AM/FM/SW radio (approximate weight 1 lb.)||(1) ea.|
|30||International Orange parachute nylon 24" X 72" signal panel (approximate weight 2 oz.)||(3) ea.|
|Total Kit weight: ~ 33 lbs.|
WARNING: A word about the knife in your Jump kit - many law enforcement jurisdictions consider carrying any type of knife with a cutting blade over 3 inches in length in a backpack, suitcase, handbag, etc. or on your person, not in plain view, as a "concealed weapon". Be aware - suggest a check of the laws where you will be traveling. Best bet is to stick to the "legal" length.
CAVEAT: This Jump Kit is for use when traveling by air to destinations within the continental United States only. Different items are required for Alaska and Hawaii. Travel to a foreign country is a whole different situation. For instance never attempt to take any item of military equipment, or anything "camouflage" into a foreign country. At a minimum you may be branded as a "mercenary", questioned extensively, and watched by the country's secret police while you are in-country. Some third-world countries would even consider your cute little binoculars "spy equipment".
AFTER-USE MAINTENANCE AND RECONSTITUTION CHECKLIST FOR INDIVIDUAL AIR TRAVEL "JUMP KIT"
warm to moderately cool weather
The absolute last thing that you are going to feel like doing when you return home from a long flight or harrowing road trip is to fool around with your gear, at least for the first 72 hours. If you let your equipment sit for longer than 24 hours, you will probably let it sit until either it mildews, or you need it again! That's the catch! When you need it again you may not have time to run this checklist, and if needed, and not maintained and reconstituted, your kit may fail you. Practice what the late Elvis used to say: "TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS". Even the "professionals" have sometimes been made "believers" the hard way when it comes to the old adage, "take care of your equipment, and your equipment will take care of you!"
Empty all contents from backpack onto plastic ground sheet or other clean surface, or large table
Line up all items in the order listed in checklist #1
Carefully inspect the pack fabric for rips, burn holes, or abrasions - Repair any damage found immediately
Check for torn seams or broken stitching - Repair immediately
Check for torn or weakened straps - Replace or mend immediately
Check all zippers and stitching - repair if damaged, and ensure smooth operation. Remove any mud or crud
Remove any caked-on mud or other hardened unknown substances with a medium bristle brush
Sponge down outside surface of pack material using warm water and a mild detergent, and rinse with clear clean water
Remove any loose dirt, refuse, loose crud, and "wildlife" from inside pack and compartments (a vacuum cleaner works great)
Thoroughly sponge out all inside surfaces with warm water and mild detergent, and rinse with clean clear water
Hang up pack out of direct sunlight to air and dry
|1-qt Nalgene Plastic Water Bottle||
Empty any remaining liquid from the Nalgene plastic water bottle
Inspect bottle for punctures, gouges, or other leaks
Inspect lid and threads for cross-threading, and seal integrity
Thoroughly hand wash, (do not use dishwasher) inside and out, in hot soapy water including lid). Scrub inside with soft-bristle baby bottle brush and remove all stains and/or discoloring
Thoroughly rinse with clean hot water
Dry inside and out with a soft dish towel
Let air-dry in dish rack
Refill with fresh filtered water
|5-qt Collapsible Plastic Water Bladder w/Nylon Cover||
If used, empty remaining contents - Fill plastic bladder with hot water and mild detergent solution, and re-cap
Dry outside of bladder with a soft dish towel, and let sit for approximately 10 minutes
Apply pressure to full bladder, and carefully inspect for pin-hole leaks, cracks, and abrasions
Closely inspect the water-tight integrity of the screw-on cap checking for cross-threading and ensure that there are no leaks. Ensure that the small screen debris filter is clean and in place
While full, scrub inside of bladder with soft bristle baby bottle brush, and remove all stains and discoloration
Empty soapy water solution, and flush repeatedly with clear warm water
Open Bladder and suspend upside down in dish drainer to thoroughly dry
Carefully inspect the nylon cover for tears and abrasions, and repair if necessary
Ensure that all tie down cords are intact and functional
Ensure that the small Velcro closure on the water purification pill pocked is intact and functional
Replace small bottle of iodine water purification pills in opened , used, or expired
Ensure air-tight seal integrity on cap of the bottle of iodine water purification pills if not used
Reassemble the plastic water bladder and nylon cover, and store unfolded to prevent compression and "creasing" of the plastic bladder
|PUR® or SWEETWATER® Water Purification Filter||Follow manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and maintenance|
|Cup, GI Canteen Type, Stainless Steel||
Thoroughly scrub with hot soapy water and steel wool "Brillo" pad to remove any dried food or beverage powder particles or blackening on the bottom, if used to heat contents over open flame
Inspect and function-check handle or wire bail handle attachment and locking points to ensure integrity
Thoroughly dry with soft dish towel
|Spoon, Large, Metal||
Thoroughly scrub with hot soapy water and steel wool "Brillo pad" to remove any dried food or beverage powder particles
Thoroughly dry with soft dish towel
|Plastic Beverage Pouch||
Empty remaining beverage powder into another container
Fill pouch with hot water and detergent solution
Close, and check for small pinhole leaks, cracks or abrasions
Scrub inside of pouch with a soft bristle baby bottle brush to remove any dry caked-on contents and or stains
Thoroughly dry pouch with soft dishtowel
Place open pouch in dish rack to completely air dry
Refill pouch with selected beverage powder, re-seal
|Freeze-Dried Main Course Meals||
Carefully inspect unused meal pouches for tears, pinhole leaks, or abrasions, and ensure airtight integrity
Replace used or damaged meal packs
|Instant Beverage Packs||
Carefully inspect unused Instant beverage packs for tears, pinhole leaks, or abrasions, and ensure airtight integrity
Replace used or damaged beverage packs
|MAINSTAY 2400 Emergency Food Ration Pack||
Carefully inspect unused ration pack for tears, pinhole leaks, or abrasions, and ensure that the pack is still vacuum-sealed
Replaced used or damaged food pack
|NUWICK 44-Hour Candle Kit||If used at all, replace|
|GOR-TEX Fabric BQ Bivy Bag Cover||
Spread out bivy bag cover on clean level surface
Inspect every sq. inch of the bag (especially the bottom) for tears, holes and abrasions
Mend any tears, holes found
Remove any dried, caked mud and dirt with a medium bristle brush
Sponge down outer surface with mild detergent and warm water solution, and rinse with clear, clean water
Turn bag cover inside out
Remove any "wildlife", and use medium bristle brush to remove collected debris and crud
Sponge down interior surface with mild detergent and warm water solution
|GI Poncho Liner||
Spread out poncho liner on clean flat surface
Inspect both sides for rips, burn holes, and abrasions, and repair if necessary
Launder according to directions on the label
|THERM-A-REST Sleeping Pad||
Unroll pad on clean level surface
Open valve and allow to partially inflate, then close valve
Inspect surface of both sides for rips, holes, and abrasions - repair with patented repair kit
Sponge down surfaces with warm water and mild detergent solution, and rinse with clean, clear water
Open valve, and store loosely doubled, not tightly rolled and secured
|GI Camo Poncho||
Spread out poncho on a clean flat surface
Inspect for rips, burn holes, and abrasions, and repair if necessary
Sponge down surfaces with warm water and mild detergent solution, and rinse with clean, clear water
Hang up and allow to dry thoroughly
Fold loosely and store
|SILVA Ranger Type 15CL Compass||
Open compass, and inspect for obvious damage
Ensure that the liquid dampener fluid is still in place
Ensure that the needle rotates freely and still points to magnetic north
Ensure that the bezel rotates freely
Remove any grease pencil marks from clear plastic "window" with a soft tissue or soft cloth
Replace any used or depleted items such as templates, pencils, pens, grease pencils etc.
Unless you use your compass frequently, ensure that the instruction sheet is included in the contents of the map case
Return map(s) used to your map file unless you are returning to that same area on the next trip
Return map case to outside pocket of pack
|STASHAWAY ll® Lightweight GORE-TEX BEST DEFENSE® Rainsuit||
Remove parka and trousers from stuff bag and spread out on a clean dry surface
Inspect pockets for crud and "wildlife" and remove
Remove caked on mud and crud from outside surface with a medium bristle brush
Sponge off outside (to include pockets) of parka and trousers with a mild detergent and warm water solution
Dry excess solution with a soft absorbent cloth
Carefully inspect all surfaces for tears and abrasions, to include stress points (mend, tack or patch any found)
Inspect all seams for water tight seal integrity (re-seal if necessary)
Inspect all zippers and snaps to ensure operating integrity
Inspect all Velcro fasteners to ensure that stitching is intact and that the fasteners still hold
Turn parka and trousers inside out
Turn stuff sack inside out and clean as above
|Individual Field Medical Kit||Reconstitute in accordance with instructions provided in checklist #2 (coming later)|
|Individual Survival Kit||Reconstitute in accordance with instructions provided in checklist #3 (coming later)|
|Individual Accessory Kit||Reconstitute in accordance with instructions provided in checklist #4 coming later)|
Shake each "stick" and listen for the sound of particles rattling inside the plastic housing, and replace if sound is heard
Check expiration date and replace accordingly
Replace used "sticks"
Check battery case for moisture and debris
Clean battery contacts
Check wire contacts and repair if necessary
|VICTORNOX ® Swiss Army Knife (Ranger Model)||
Open all blades and check for tightness and signs of damage
Remove and inspect and clean tweezers and toothpick from special compartments
Wash knife in hot soapy water, and rinse (be sure to clean out all scuzz and pocket lint)
Replace tweezers and toothpick
Sharpen all cutting blades
|TASCO® Ultra Compact 8 X 21 mm Binoculars||
Inspect binoculars for obvious damage
Clean outer surfaces with a damp cloth
Clean lenses with lens cleaner and lens tissues
Replace in zippered case and store inside backpack
|Toilet Paper||Replace as necessary|
|Small AM/FM/SW Battery-Powered Radio||Check function, clean, store without batteries - keep batteries separate|
|International Orange Parachute Nylon 24" X 72" Signal Panel||Check, clean, fold, store in survival kit|