Spring is in the air, but not here quite yet as evidenced by warm days followed by snow and high winds the next. You can hear the frustration with the weather almost everywhere you go and phrases like “if you don’t like the weather, just wait” are thrown around as much as possible. I think we usually have periods at the change of any season just like this where you are teased with a glimpse of the new season’s weather. A taste of what is to come, but you are not really out of the current season (winter) at all. It isn’t time to put away all your sweaters for most of us and break out the shorts and flip-flops, but it is coming.
With the warmer days and the renewing of our yards in the form of blossoms and green starting to creep back into yards, our thoughts turn of cleaning out the house. It’s nice to have a freshening up of what has been locked tight against winter’s chill for so many months and I thought that this would be a good time to take care of some prepper housekeeping items I have been meaning to do myself. I have written on this in the past at the Prepper Journal, but I had some other spring cleaning ideas that preppers could do that would keep our skills and supplies up to date and fresh.
Rotate your stored water
Storing water is just smart and we have seen a lot of recent cases where for one reason or another people were unable to drink water from the taps. Having stored water insulates you from something like this happening to your home. Most people store their water in large plastic jugs and over time water doesn’t necessarily go bad, but it will taste and sometimes smell funny depending on how or where it was stored.
At least once a year I like to empty all of my stored water our into the garden and fill up my containers with fresh water. This way I know that should anything happen, my water will be as reasonably fresh as it can and hasn’t been sitting for 5 years in the same container.
Also, I like to clean out my rain barrels and give them a good scrubbing so they are likewise able to have fresh water stored in there from the upcoming rains. Now, my rain barrel water does go through an extra filtering process so it isn’t like I am drinking right from the rain barrel, but it like to start the season with a clean container if possible.
Go to the Range
The winter time reduces my time at the rifle range. Sure, indoor ranges are open for pistol mainly that are comfortable year round, but I admit that I slack off in the winter time. With warmer days it’s good to get out to the range and re-zero your rifles. Even if they are driving nails, it’s good to practice anyway and try out any new equipment you may have mounted to your weapons. We have several ranges within an easy driving distance from my house. Ideally, I would be able to shoot on my own property, but that dream hasn’t been realized yet.
Schedule some time with a friend and go to a range that has at least a 100 yard option. If you are lucky to live near a long distance range, go out and scope your rifle in at 700 yards and see how you do.
Clean your weapons
Cleaning your weapons after some range time is always a good idea but even if you haven’t fired anything, I think it’s a good idea to break them down and give them a good cleaning. For my concealed carry pistol, I know that it gets very dirty so this is the perfect time. Cleaning your weapons not only conditions and protects the surfaces, it will also ensure you know how to disassemble your weapon easily. I had some family members who struggled with disassembling one of their handguns because they had never done that even though they had owned the weapon for a couple of years. This gives you the chance to show your firearm some love that could save you if your life depended on it.
Rotate the food in your pantry
Unless you have spent the big bucks on the fancy can rotation systems, keeping the food you have stored in the pantry requires a little work. We have a first in first out system, but that still requires some manual adjusting of the items whenever we come home with groceries from the store.
I try to go through the pantry once a year to make sure the items in there haven’t fallen back in the back and have become neglected. I found a few very old items the last time I checked on my supplies and you want to make sure that what you have in your pantry is as fresh as possible. Use this opportunity to straighten everything up, maybe conduct a new inventory and ensure you don’t have 5 year old cans of peaches back in the back that are starting to swell.
Inventory your Bug Out Bag
This could also be done for your Get Home Bag just as easily. I keep my get home bag in my car and have used some of the items as the need arose. The best thing to do is to restock anything you take out of your bags immediately after you use them, but we are all human. Life can get in the way sometimes, and those bandages you removed might need to be refilled. Maybe the lighters you have somehow leaked out because the button on the top was depressed by another item in your bag. Your survival food bars may have either cooked to death in the heat or have been eaten by a hungry child after swimming practice. I know, it happens.
Also, you should refresh your stored water in the bug out bags at the same time you refresh the water stored in your house and make sure any medications you have in there aren’t very expired or damaged in some way.
Taking the time now to conduct a little spring cleaning on your prepping supplies could identify problems now that you don’t want to find out about when you actually need this stuff. Better to do it now when the days are getting brighter and you are looking forward to nicer weather.