Increase Your Chances of Survival with These Gear Maintenance Tips


(Modern – As a survival precaution, what piece of equipment should be unpacked and checked before and after every trip?

• First aid kit

• Electronic devices

• Fire starting kit

• All of the above

Answer: All of the Above. Here’s why…

There’s nothing quite as disheartening as getting out in the field and finding that survival gear isn’t operating properly. Be it a camping or hiking trip, or even a full-blown bug out scenario, having broken or malfunctioning equipment can be a big problem. This is exactly why doing routine maintenance checks is vital.

It may seem like a hassle to break down the camping gear, survival pack, or bug out bag (BOB) and check each piece for continued viability. But, it is important to know that everything is working before life depends on it.

Here are some key survival items to routinely check:

First Aid Kit

Ensuring all the contents of the first aid kit are up to date and ready to go should be a top consideration. Personal medication kept with the kit can expire, and finding out in the middle of the woods is not good. Carefully check the inventory to ensure anything used in previous trips is replaced, and that all medications have not exceeded their expiration dates.


Test all electronic devices to ensure they are operational. Replace old batteries, both in the gear and the spares, to avoid being surprised by dead flashlights in the field. To test these devices, turn them on and off a few times. Check the battery compartment for corrosion or acid leaks.

  • TIP: For gear that is in storage for long periods of time, consider removing the batteries to avoid corrosion.

If batteries need changing out, replace all of them within the device at the same time.

Fire Starters

Test lighters to see if they still work, or if replacements need to be made. Check to see if any additional fire starters need to be restocked.

Fire is absolutely vital to survival, and having multiple ways to create it is important. Getting to the camp and having to resort to rubbing sticks together is a great way to ruin a fun vacation (unless you enjoy bushcraft, of course).

  • TIP: Pack multiple fire starters in different compartments of the pack or bag, and carry one or two in personal clothing, as well. If one gets lost, the backup can be a lifesaver.

Survival Food

For the bug out bag, check any survival food or MREs for expired units. Many preppers tend to pack these away and forget about them. Sitting down to eat after a hard day hiking out of a disaster zone is not the time to find out the survival food in the BOB is rancid.

  • TIP: Keep an inventory of items with their expiration dates to make it easier to track when specific units need to be used or replaced. Update the list as needed.

When it comes to preparedness, there is no such thing as overdoing it. Developing a habit of inspecting survival equipment is highly recommended. And, after all, checking and double-checking gear can prevent major disasters when it counts.

To see why being prepared isn’t just important, but is actually a civic duty, check out our article here.

~Here’s to Your Survival!

Copyright 2023,