Thursday, September 11, 2008

Be Prepared: Well Maintained Equipment

A word about maintenance; don’t do it and you will be sorry. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of performing routine maintenance on all your equipment, firearms, vehicles and tools. The better to take care of something the longer it will last…makes sense don’t it.

Some things you should do to keep your “stuff” in tip top shape:
1.) Keep it clean – yes this is half the battle and it really does extend the life of stuff if you keep it clean.

2.) Don’t abuse it – don’t gun your vehicles engine for no reason, don’t use your knife as a pry bar and use your equipment for its intended purpose.

3.) Maintain it – lube it, sharpen it, charge it or whatever else needs to be done to it.

Some things you should do religiously:
1.) On any equipment with an engine – check and change the oil as needed, check plugs and wires, change filters. People often forget to do these things on their lawn mower for example or their chainsaw or whatever.

2.) On your vehicle change the air filter when it’s dirty and rotate your tires to keep the wear even and consistent.

3.) Keep your knives clean, sharp and coat them with a light coating of lubricant to protect the metal if you are not using them often.

4.) Keep your firearms cleaned and properly lubed.

5.) Your house – keep the gutters clean and change the furnace filters regularly, also make sure to clean out your dryer vent to prevent house fires.

You spent a lot of money on your stuff and keeping it in tip top shape should be at the top of your list. Many things have a usable life that can be greatly extended by following some simple steps and keeping up with routine maintenance.

Some more tips to keep equipment in good shape:
1.) Wash sleeping bags after a few uses and don't store them in their compressions will notice most good outdoors stores have them hanging.

2.) Use seam sealer on you tents to keep them from developing leaks. Use a tarp or tent "foot print" under you tent to protect the floor from damage.

3.) Don't stow away wet gear. If you have to when you get home take it out and let it sit in the sun and properly dry before stowing it again. This will prevent mold and mildew from growing.

4.) If you have an RV or Pop Up make sure if you are using AC to vent the camper by cracking open a roof vent or window to prevent condensation. Condensation is will have mold issues before you know it. If you see moisture on the walls or windows your are NOT venting enough.

5.) Go for quality. How many times have you done this...gone the cheap route buying something and then found it didn't meet your needs and you had to go back and buy the more expoensive one..sound familiar? I am not saying you need to buy the best of everything but shoot for the best quality you can afford if at all possible, it will probably save you money in the long run.

...that is all.

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  1. More times than I'd care to admit. Now, if it is a bigger ticket item I do an internet search to try to balance budget & quality. Too bad quality is getting so hard to find.

  2. Air filters on engines: I check the engine oil every weekend on my vehicles. When I do so, I remove the air filter and use a compressor to blow out the dirt and debris. Blow from the inside of the filter. If you don't have a compressor, most good shop vacs allow you to use the exhaust as a blower, use that.

  3. pillow cases are a good cheap way to store sleeping bags. You can get some fancy thing that isn't needed or just grab an old pillow case.