Spring Updates

Ah, spring….bi-polar weather and mud. It’s also time to pull out your gear and make seasonal adjustments. It’s also time for another important task – reassessing your routes. Let’s dig into these topics today. But first, let’s check the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

Matthew 16:2-3

Man, that rings true. There is a deluge of information coming at us and tensions internationally are at an all-time high, so it’s hard to know what will happen. Let’s just start then, with weather preparedness.

The one thing you are guaranteed about the spring is rain. It’s a good time to make sure your Get Home Bag or EDC Bag has an INTACT poncho in it. I’m kind of a fanatic about military issue ponchos, as they are very versatile. I have several and whenever I find a new one or a used one in pristine condition, I buy one. You can’t have too many as they make great tarps and shelters. I recently found some BRAND-NEW Dutch military surplus ones, which I think are superior to US ones, as they have a built-in pouch for the whole poncho to stow in. Interestingly, the grommets and snaps line up to US ones (probably a NATO thing). Check them for rips and tears each spring and fall.

Also, for me in my climate, it’s time to take out the white poncho and snow camo ponchos from gear and replace them with woodland patterns. Remember, there may come a time in preparedness when you don’t necessarily want to be seen or found. Plan for that as well. Ponchos are a great way to toss on camouflage in a hurry if you are wearing street clothes as well. A good middle of the road option is a hunting-camo pattern poncho. It provides concealment without looking overtly military and Realtree isn’t out of place in rain gear for normies.

Another area for a seasonal check is your vehicle. Double check dates on emergency food and switch out any water that has been in your vehicle since the fall. Inspect your vehicle fire extinguisher (yes, you should have one) and the rest of your supplies to make sure you still have all that you need. When you take out the ice scraper, make sure you still have a collapsible shovel handy in the car. I test my emergency lights (small disc types – see affiliate link below) and flashlights to make sure they have good batteries. Use a battery tester on any spares kept in your vehicle kit.

While I’m in Michigan and it’s not quite time to take out the extra clothing layers from the vehicle kit yet, it may be in your local area. As a reminder, make sure you keep a set of rugged, outdoor-type clothing and some boots in your vehicle if you don’t wear those on a daily basis. A lot of folks make all kinds of preparations yet forget that they wear business clothes daily. Your good Get Home Bag won’t help you if you have to walk 25 miles straight in dress shoes.

Around the house, it’s time to test your generator and double check your fuel supplies. Mine requires 50:2 mix, but thankfully, rather than having to be a chemistry minor, I can just buy that at the store pre-mixed. Make sure it runs and actually generates current, then make sure you have enough supplies.

The generator is vital with the grid attacks over the last year, and just this weekend, 2 suspected ANTIFA folks from Asheville, NC were arrested for cutting power to 40,000 people in Connecticut. While the cover story is about theft, it seems more likely that sabotage was the goal. Truthfully, though, for our purposes it doesn’t matter – the power was out, and you need electricity.

It’s a good time to test all your battery banks. Do this by using them to charge or run things, rather than just making sure they are full. As they age, they will appear to be full, yet won’t provide as much power for as long. The only way to test them is to time how long it takes to fully discharge them and if you can power devices with them. The same goes for any portable solar panels – hook them up to gear and run/charge the gear from them to ensure that they will work when needed.

In food preps, it’s time to rotate. Anything near expiration should be rotated from your emergency supplies to your regular foods and eaten, but make a list to resupply them. You should be doing this quarterly. Same goes for batteries.

Make sure that all of your radio equipment is working and charged. Admit it, you have two or three radios that never get used. Test them all, make sure they’re all programmed for what you need. Make notes of what batteries and antennas need to be replaced. An overlooked part is accessories. Make sure all speaker-mic’s and earpieces/headsets work. As I use a surveillance kit daily, I have several spares and this is a good time to decide what ones can be thrown out.

That brings me to a big sticking point in preparedness: Friends and fellow pack-rats, it’s perfectly OK to throw things out. No, you won’t salvage that earpiece connector for “parts”. You don’t need the old radio battery that only holds charge for an hour “just in case”. Toss them and buy new WHILE YOU STILL CAN.

Your emergency evacuation routes need to be reevaluated seasonally, especially in the spring. Spring begins “construction season”. Just this morning, we were reading about a new local construction plan that will impact one of our routes. Grab your plan, and then scour your local, county, and state road department plans for construction or closures that will impact your routes. Find ways around it and adjust your route plans.

Don’t overlook foot routes either. Last year, during some flooding, we realized that we needed more foot routes out of the area, as we were trapped vehicle-wise. One of those routes is currently closed due to a construction project on the adjoining highway. Another is blocked due to a project on a road that it goes under. Adjust your routes.

I’ll wait another two weeks, but it’s also time, if you have camouflage clothing as any part of your plans (you probably should even if just a bit for extreme cases), to switch seasonal camo patterns. For my area, I had been using MARPAT Desert and British Desert DPM to get through the winter, and I will switch to MARPAT Woodland, M81 (God’s Plaid), and British DPM Woodland.

Make some training plans for this year. So far, I’ve attended NC Scout’s Scout Course and his Recce Course, and I will be attending Von Steuben Training & Consulting’s Jager Course. I will be hosting Fieldcraft Weekends starting in May, where we will meet in a wooded area and camp for the weekend working on outdoor and fieldcraft skills. These will be things like individual movement, observation posts, secure camp sites, etc. No, they’re not shooting classes, but they are more vital than that. If I have great fieldcraft, I can avoid all that other stuff. Remember the ultimate goal – surviving.

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Published by JD

I am the author of the Tactical Wisdom Series. I am a personal protection specialist and a veteran of the US Marine Corps. I conduct preparedness and self-defense training.

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