Over the last few years I have developed a habit of replacing the batteries in equipment like smoke detectors, flashlights and optics every January. Fresh batteries every year is a small cost to ensure that equipment that I am literally betting my life on will work when I need them to.
I used to be pretty good about inspecting the contents of my get home bag and my EDC (every day carry) bag regularly as well. Since I started working from home I don’t go nearly as often or for as long. As a result I have gotten a little lazy about inspecting these of late.
Over the last few weeks this laziness has bitten me on my proverbial rear end on couple of occasions.
For example, I keep a few supplies for making simple repairs in my EDC bag. It’s not a full toolkit or anything just a multi-tool, a few zip ties, “duck tape,” electrical tape and some superglue. Having just that little bit with me has been handy any number of times. I have used it to help make my car drive-able after an accident and fix grand kids toys when they have been broken. On thanksgiving the leg broke off the dinosaur ornament my grandson received in the white elephant ornament exchange we do every year. To a tired three year old this was the end of the world and Pappa went to save the day but when I reached into my bag…no superglue. Not life threatening but a big deal to a little boy but a little foresight and checking my bag regularly would have solved the problem.
The second example was a little more serious and could have been downright dangerous. My blood sugar will, on occasion, tank. When this happens I get shaky and more than just a little cranky. Worse, if I don’t take care of it quickly my brain function can be impaired. I have trouble focusing and staying on task. My memory is affected and problem solving goes out the window. Even simple tasks like opening a can of soup and heating it become a serious challenge if I don’t take care of this quickly enough. Ultimately, if it is not addresses, I will black out. I keep glucose tablets handy in my car, EDC bag, Wonderful Wife’s purse and anywhere else I can think of. These will take the edge off and keep it from getting too bad but something a little more substantial is required to remedy the problem. So, I keep energy bars or power bars in both my EDC and get home bag. We were out in the country cutting a Christmas tree with my middle daughter and her family when my blood sugar tanked. After a LOOONG walk back to the car I was shaking pretty badly and popped a couple of glucose tabs to take the edge off and reached for my EDC bag. No power bar, no granola bar, no energy bar, nothing but another roll of glucose tabs. I remembered later that I had thrown it away because it was out of date and meant to replace it but never did. I popped another glucose tablet and started going through my get home bag. I normally keep a couple days supply of energy bars in there. When I finally found them (between the low blood sugar and the long time since I inventoried the bag I couldn’t remember where they were). I ripped open the wrapper and even in my state I could tell I probably shouldn’t eat them. Sure enough they had expired about two years ago. With the glucose tabs I wasn’t in danger of passing out but I was about to ruin everyone’s trip with a 20-30 mile run to the closest convenience store. Fortunately, Wonderful Wife had a big chocolate chip cookie I bought her at lunch saving the day and the trip.
The bottom line?
Remember to check your gear, supplies and the contents of your bags regularly!
Guess what I’ll be doing this week?