The Survival Buzz #177: Update Your Emergency Kits At Least Once a Year

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 1, 2019

Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

As you may have noticed, in recent weeks I have been moving beyond a simple report on my personal preps.  Since I am getting bored with it (the reporting, not the prepping) I can only assume that you might find it tiresome as well.  Okay, maybe not.

That being said, this last week I continued my efforts to re-work and update my emergency kits.  The primary focus has been on my bug out bags and first aid kits.  Various incarnations of these kits were put together years ago and over time, have been added to as I find just “one more thing” that needs to be included.  What a mish mash.

Update Your Emergency Kits at Least Once a Year | Backdoor Survival

In an effort to refresh and renew, what I have done is empty my various kits into large laundry baskets where I can sort through the jumbled mess to determine what is good and what is not.  For example, at the bottom of one of my bug out bags I found melted protein bars, leaky batteries in a Dollar Store flashlight, and four year old prescription meds that we no longer use.  I found newer items stuffed into the top of the pack.  These were mostly of better quality, and definitely in better condition.  Can you imagine wading through this stuff during a real emergency?

Likewise with the first aid kit.  Inside were a bunch of OTC remedies that I will never use because I have replaced them in day to day life with natural solutions using herbs, spices, and essential oils. There were bandages but not nearly enough, and trauma supplies were in an unmarked plastic tote, completely separate from the rest of the first aid and medical items.

And so it goes.  My message to you this week is two-fold.

1.  Things change.  Stay informed of new methods, skills, and technologies that you can use to improve upon the emergency kits you have already built.

2.  We are only human and no one is an expert at everything.  You may have noticed that I have not written about bug out bags in a long time.  That is because I am still learning and still refining my craft.  What I have done in the past is mediocre by today’s standards and I need to make improvements.  I am making improvements.

You can bet that once I have it figured out, I will share the results.  The good news is I already have multiple kits serving different purposes and not all of them are a train wreck.  The bad news is that my living area is cluttered with laundry baskets containing a jumble of prepping gear.

And so it goes in the life of a prepper.  My advice?  Update your emergency kits at least once a year, if not more often.

Current Backdoor Survival Giveaway

This week’s giveaway is going like gangbusters and may turn our to be one of the most popular giveaways ever.

Minutemen Cabinets: How to Hide a Firearm in Plain Sight + Giveaway

With all BDS giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.  Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article.  This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway. 

Essential Oils: Deal of the Week

20% Off Discount Code:  BACKDOORSURVIVAL
This is the sale you have been waiting for!Spark Naturals Anniversary Sale | Backdoor Survival


Remember to use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL for an additional 10% off your entire SN order.

Please extend a warm Backdoor Survival welcome to our newest sponsor, Factory Express.  Factory Express carries a great selection of gun safes, including fireproof gun safes, at great prices.  They also sell gun cabinets in all sizes, small to large.

Gun Safes from Factory Express

I hope you will pay them an online visit.  It is companies like this that allow Backdoor Survival to remain 100% free for everyone.  There is never an obligation to buy but I do encourage you to shop at sponsor websites.

Ham Radio Cheat Sheet

A hat tip to “Ranger Rick” for sending over this cheat sheet.  This Ham Radio Cheat Sheet is from my friend Rob Robertson at Off Grid Survival.

Ham Radio Cheat Sheet - Backdoor Survival

If you are interested in a printable version, click here.

The Final Word

Something I did not mention from the get go is all of the strange happenings in the cyber world this week.  With United Airlines, Wall Street, and even the Wall Street Journal suffering outages, it kind of makes you wonder.  Heck, even this small website was hit with an outage this week.

As a precaution, it might be a good idea to read up on strategies to implement in the event of a cyber attack.  Mind you, I am not saying that something is going to happen, but you just never know.  You also might want to read or re-read this article form the BDS archive Are We Headed Toward a Cyber War? and this one from The Organic Prepper How to Prepare for a Cyber Attack.

What about you?  What did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites

In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Top Prepper Websites Banner

Here is a list of most of the items recommended by Backdoor Survival reader, Karen Skoog, in the article Best Practices: The Every Day Carry Bag (EDC).  A great article, in case you missed it.

Rothco MOLLE Compatible Water Bottle Pouch:  I never would have considered using a water pouch as an EDC bag.  This one is a MOLLE compatible pouch so it can be easily attached to the rest of your MOLLE gear.  It features MOLLE loops around the entire pouch, two 6 inch straps on the back, and D-rings on each side. The straw hole on the top and a drain hole makes hydration simple. A perfect companion to my favorite Rothco Medium Transport Pack.  I own three of these packs – two in black and one in tan.

5.11 MOLLE Padded Pouch: When I read about the “food pouch”, I had one of those “why didn’t I think of that moments”!

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle:  This is the bottle that Karen chose and it is one that I have recommended in the past.

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Bottle Cup/Pot:  Nice and something that I am adding to my own shopping cart.  It is designed to slip over standard 1-liter water bottle and holds up to 18 ounces.

Military Army Trainmen Paisley Bandanas: Speaking of bandanas, be sure to check out the article How to Use a Bandana to Save the Day.

Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets:  Ultralight tablets provide fresh drinking water anywhere you go. Effective against viruses, bacteria, giardia and cryptosporidium. Fresh tasting water-no unpleasant taste. These easy-to-use tablets meet EPA purification guidelines. Purification method: Chlorine Dioxide tablets. 1 tablet treats 1 qt. of water.

Cobra Products 4-Way Sillcock Key:  This 4-way sillcock key has a 1/4″ , 9/32″, 5/16″ and 11/32″ stem to service most sillcocks in common use. It is durable, easy to use and has an attractive finish. Used to open and close sillcocks or spigots and made of durable steel construction.

The Friendly Swede Magnesium Alloy Emergency Easy Grip Fire Starter (2 Pack):  Firestarters are an essential piece of any survival/outdoor kit – waterproof, durable and easy to use as follows:

1. Scrape off black protective coating from firestarter rod
2. Prepare your tinder
3. Hold the striker at a 45° angle to the firestarter. Scrape striker hard and fast down the firestarter
4. Allow sparks to fall onto tinder

Dorcy Waterproof LED Flashlight with Carabineer Clip:  This is a floating waterproof flashlight that provides 55-lumens of light output and a 31-meter beam distance. I am a big fan of Dorcy products so this one is definitely going in my shopping cart as well.  Not that I need more flashlights!  Wait – you can never have too many!!

MTECH USA MT-378 Tactical Folding Knife 4.5 Closed: This folding knife features a 3 inch black finished 440 stainless steel tanto style blade with a quick opening thumb stud. The comfortably contoured black steel handle features a brushed metal finish, a heavy duty pivot pin and the liner lock blade locking design. It has a closed length of 4 1/2 inches and comes with a durable pocket clip.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

Emergency Essentials | Backdoor Survival



[50% Off Flash Sale] Lifesaving Personal Water Filter

(Normally $20) $9.99 - 0.01 Micron, Ultralight, Portable 2,000L Capacity - Limited Quantity in Stock

Claim My Filter →

Updated Jul 1, 2019

Flash Sale | Water Filter
[50% Off Flash Sale] Lifesaving Personal Water FilterClaim My Filter →

7 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #177: Update Your Emergency Kits At Least Once a Year”

  1. We check and update everything every 6 months (usually with the time changes).

  2. I do mine twice a year, fall and spring because needs change with the seasons. Also, the heat of your vehicle will affect contents so they should be checked at least that often. Nancy, the time change idea is excellent and easy for people to remember. Thanks!

  3. Thank you for posting the ham Radio cheat sheet.
    Regarding cyber attacks, if we ever experience one I will miss reading your blog!!

  4. I originally stored sugar, rice,beans etc. in qt jars. 5 gallon buckets are not an option – I’m 70 & just unable to lift them. I found a small bakery that will give me 2 gallon buckets & they are just right; if I should have to move my preps in a hurry, I can and it has freed up so much space! Of course I have to buy a couple of their heavenly, calorie-laden cupcakes when I go in for buckets – you know, just to be polite. lol Anyway, that’s what I’ve done this week. Thanks for your help.

  5. I too re-examine and rotate fresh stuff like meds every time there is a time change. I have been personally affected by one of the recent major data breeches, don’t know the full fall-out yet though… 🙁

  6. Do you take your Bug Out Bag outside somewhere and test some of the equipment, or all at once, to rely on it for a short time? I do not have a Bug Out Bag, however; I have a Camping Bag, which is very similar. I’ve been meaning to take it to a campsite and dump the contents out, use them, test them and some other newer gear. Just haven’t, yet.

    As I read this I thought: Go Outside somewhere, like a park or campsite (with a table and a fire-pit) when you Update Your Emergency Kits At Least Once a Year. [take some photos and be gone before 10 P.M. when the terrible and giant turkey mosquitoes completely take over?] … then see how it all works in a hotel room? Transitional practice? Chigger avoidance skills?

    This week I watched some of the films your friend Daisy Luther wrote about in her article, 40 Flicks for Prepper Movie Night.

    A theme from some of the films which is supported by real life examples such as Katrina, etc… [see: theplacewithnoname online about Katrina if you haven’t already] that theme is: if you do not have a place already to bug out to, your Bug Out Bag becomes a Refugee Bag. And that’s a tight spot to be in.

  7. As a girl, my Dad would announce, “Let’s go, you have 15.” This was the sign which said, whatever adventure he had in mind, we had to be ready in 15 minutes.
    Those were the days before backpacks and electronics. Since there were older kids and younger kids, we older knew that if we wanted to go, then we also had to help the young ones be ready or one of us would chosen to stay home with the ones not ready.
    I have carried that 15 minutes over to today and it’s so much easier. I’m absent-minded, so I have learned to keep some things organized. So, each 1st of January and July (New Year’s Day and pre-4th)I assess my medical equipment. Since I review/changeover my clothes about 2 weeks into seasonal changes, I also review what’s being carried in those kits/bags. I rotate anything perishable or close to expiration. For me, this is the only sane way of having peace during crisis.
    O I should also say, when going camping…those are our testing times and I still keep to my Dad’s spontaneous 15 minute trips, after all fishing and setting snares and foraging for food are skills to keep sharp too. 🙂
    I didn’t do anything this week, illness stopped by my house for a visit. So even here, I was refreshing in my mind what I would do if medication wasn’t around to deal with it. I also did some family history work and added to family stories to be shared for future generations.


Leave a Reply