*Gear Instruction Cards *
By: Landwire
14 July 2014

As an outdoor enthusiast, I have accumulated a collection of camping equipment. While I would like to think that I will never forget how to operate something, things happen. It has been discussed about keeping an Operations Binder that contains instructions for everything. There may be times where you do not have access to that binder. An unexpected SAR callout to a family emergency can quickly pull you from home. Since you are expecting to come home, you are not in an evacuation mode. As such, the binder stays home. There can also be more innocent reasons such as a new kid in the scout troop needs to borrow a tent for his first camp out.

Enter a printed and laminated instruction card. This card contains somewhat detailed steps on how to do _________on a 4x6 page. A hole is punched in the corner and is zip tied to the equipment. On the backside, I included my contact information. In an effort to be concise, I eliminated very obvious common sense items such as:
"Use a free hand to snugly grasp the zipper pull handle. In a downward motion, move the zipper to open the bag."

If I have to go into that much detail for basic camping gear, you are not using it. If it is something more complicated and requires some finesse, more details are needed. While I did eliminate obvious common sense instructions, I did however include tips that may NOT be so obvious. For example, with a self-inflating sleeping pad, it takes awhile for it to fully inflate. I added that, due to the time, it is suggested to roll the pad out early into the camp "set up process". The pad can self-inflate on its own and you can take care of other issues.

This is a picture of a sleeping pad that is being borrowed. Note the instruction card was attached to the pull string at the far end. This allowed for the bag to be fully opened without the card getting in the way.


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