Spring Cleaning – Toby Cowern

As the snow melts, light draws out for longer each day and Winter gives way to Spring I now begin the process of packing away all my ‘extreme winter gear’ and breaking out the boxes of ‘summer stuff’.

All well and good Toby, you say, but what does this have to do with Conflict?

Well, one of the routines I have through the year is periodic inspection and maintenance of my equipment. A lot of my professional equipment I am literally entrusting my life to, so keeping it in good condition and working order is essential.

One of the things I find consistently when running (Survival) courses is a lot of people’s fundamental lack of knowledge or understanding when it comes to equipment maintenance, ESPECIALLY with regards to edged tools, although this sadly, very often extends to firearms and other items as well. A staggering number of people will own multiple knives etc but have very little idea on how to effectively sharpen and otherwise maintain them….!

With this short article I would encourage you all, instructors and students alike to make this month one where you focus on:

  • a) Inspecting the equipment you routinely carry to make sure it is in good order.
  • b) Thoroughly clean and maintain your equipment.
  • c) Encourage someone else to also do so…!

School owners, consider ending a class this week by encouraging or inspecting your student’s knives etc they may be carrying and make sure they are in good order and condition… You *may* be surprised at the results…

Clint Overland mentioned in the March issue of Conflict Manager that ‘Complacency Is a Killer’. I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment and firmly extend that to the realm of failing to maintain your equipment correctly…

Marc MacYoung tells a story from when he was in high school where someone slashed him hard across the forearm, but their knife was so blunt it had no effect!

This gives a stark example of the very real consequences of not maintaining your equipment. So make a little time this month for a ‘Spring Clean’ of your essential gear!

For any questions or advice on ways to best maintain equipment, just post a thread on our Conflict Manager FB page, and our team of experts will be happy to help you.

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