Sunday, May 6, 2012

Frugal Prepping - Testing Used Survival Gear for Reliability and Function

Most preppers are on a pretty tight budget when it comes to obtaining all the survival gear they may need. One of the best ways to save money is to take advantage of yard and garage sales in your area. Quite often you can find fairly decent gear items at bargain prices that have very little wear and tear. It’s very important to remember that used gear items need to be tested prior to being needed in a survival situation.

Many times flaws and problems with different items of used gear may not be readily apparent. If you fail to do a proper check of that gear, you may find yourself in a survival situation without a reliable resource. The time to check your gear for proper function is before it’s needed in a crisis. Here are some simple tips that can be used to check used gear before you purchase it to find out if it can function in a reliable capacity that will aid in your survival.

Testing Used Survival Gear for Reliability and Function

1. Always check used survival gear to make sure all the parts for proper functioning are included. - Quite often gear items can be found that appear “new and unused” that are still in the box. This may be a bargain but it can also be a money trap. Many times items are purchased and never used. Parts may be missing that even the seller may be unaware of simply because they’ve never checked. It may even have been a gift that was never opened. Whatever the case may be, always check to make sure everything is included. You may have difficulty obtaining or making a replacement part to restore proper function.

2. Always check used gear items in case they can be quickly and easily repaired. - Many times used gear items can be easily repaired to restore proper function. It may even be as simple as replacing a dead battery, a zipper or some other minor repair that is easily performed. A used tent may simply need some additional water-proofing of the seams to make it a reliable piece of equipment.

3. Always check used survival gear to see if it can be used to repair a broken gear item to make it functional. - Don’t automatically discount a broken gear item you may come across. Sometimes the parts from broken gear can be used to fix other items of gear you may already have in your inventory. You can even bargain for a lower price if something is missing and may even be able to get it for free.

4. Always check the primary function of the used gear item. - If the used gear item won’t perform its primary function, it will be of no use in a survival situation. That used manual can opener you bought for 10 cents as a backup is worthless if it won’t even open a can. Any type of used survival gear should be able to perform its primary function or it’s just a collection of spare parts you may never use.

5. Always perform a “real world” test of used gear for proper function and reliability.  - Spraying water from a hose on a used tent may not make cause it to leak but setting it up in the backyard during a thunderstorm will let you know real quick if it’s going to perform as needed in a survival situation. Don’t be afraid to be a “little” abusive when testing used survival gear. In a “real” survival situation, that used gear will almost certainly have to be pushed to its limits.

Buying used survival gear can be a great way to cut down on your equipment costs. As long as you check to make sure it functions properly or can be easily and simply repaired, it can be an excellent way to improve your survival resources when on a tight budget.

Got used tent in a thunder storm?

Staying above the water line!



jambaloney said...

great post rw!

used gear really can be blessing or a curse - this is a great primer on making sure to keep on the winning side.

it's also a great nod towards training oneself to being able to repair and recycle equipment - which is essential in a survival situation. learning to repair a usedtent during a thunderstorm is a little late ;-)


Anonymous said...

and watch for mold/mildew on old tents and sleeping bags

HTSG said...

Goood information and very true, always good to take the time to check and prepare before the unexpected. Hence "Prepper"

riverwalker said...


Taking a little time to be prepared is always a good thing.

Thanks HTSG.


Survival Topics said...

So many times I've met people carrying gear on the trail that they did not even know how to use, much less even know it is in working order.

riverwalker said...

To: Survival Topics

I've seen a bunch of people that look at something simple like a firesteel...and all they do is ask "What is it?".

If you don't know what it is and how to use's virtually worthless.

Thanks Ron.


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