Keep Everything Fresh


Goal: Ensure everything in your get-home bag is charged up, sharp or not out of date.

All the parts in this series:

Putting your get-home bag together is only step one. You need to check everything periodically and the easiest way to remember to do that is with checklists. No matter how smart you are, if you don’t have everything listed that you want to check over, you’ll forget something. Look at Einstein; even that guy forgot to comb his hair, if his pictures are anything to go by.

We created some handy checklists to help you, broken down into monthly, quarterly and annual tasks. Put a reminder in your calendar on the first of every month, quarter and year to go through them.

Monthly checklist
Set a calendar reminder for the first of every month to go through this checklist.

The monthly tasks you’ll want to do include:

  • Take out all rechargeable items and top off their charges.
  • Check the batteries on all non-rechargeable devices and replace as necessary.
  • Top off the charge on your battery jumper.
  • Check whether or not your emergency snack (e.g., Clif bar) is still edible.
  • Press check your gun and check the magazine to ensure it’s loaded.
  • If the bag’s been wet, ensure everything is still dry and usable: gauze, fire starting material, food.
  • Replace anything you used during the month. You should make it a habit to immediately return or replace anything you use from your pack, but this is a good time to double check that everything’s there.
Quarterly checklist
Set a calendar reminder for the first of each quarter to go through this one.

The quarterly tasks are:

  • Take your gun to the range and shoot it. More frequent is better, but at the very least do this quarterly. You don’t need to make sure it still works. You need to make sure you can still work it.
  • Check the expiration dates on the hemostatic gauze, Neosporin, glucose and everything else in your first aid kit.
  • Test that your satellite messenger can still connect.
  • Check the battery status on your Taser, if applicable.
  • Check to ensure everything still works: flashlights, Sharpies, etc.
  • Ensure your knives are sharp.
Annual checklist
New New Year's resolution: do your annual check the first of each year.

And finally, on New Year’s Day every year (makes it easy to remember):

  • Change the battery in the optic on your gun. This is assuming you’re running a red dot or other illuminated optic. The batteries in these are supposed to last years, but batteries are cheap so don’t take the chance; replace them annually. If you’re just rocking iron sights, just change the sight fluid ;) .
  • Ensure rubber bands are still...rubbery. Not joking. They get stiff and disintegrate over time.
  • Replace your glow sticks.
  • Reassess your life, skills and needs. Make any resulting modifications to your get-home bag.

And now, Part 12 - Conclusion.



We participate in Amazon's Associates Program, along with some others, which means that we may receive a small commission when you click on and buy any of our recommendations (at no extra charge to you). That being said, we don't really care if you decide to buy something we recommend or not, because our goal is to help you get prepared for anything. The reasons for our recommendations are spelled out in the articles, but they all boil down to one thing: this is what we think is currently the best option. Sometimes that means you'll buy it, sometimes not, that's fine. Just know that our recommendation was honest, unbiased and (hopefully) of value to you.

Apr 29, 2022

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