Beware the leaky trunk! $$$ gear damaged or ruined

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    So yesterday I decided to pull my BOBs (yes, plural) out of the trunk of my car and re-organize them, switch out some gear for some new items, etc. I hadn’t checked them in a while, so finding them damp and mildew-smelling set me into a panic almost immediately, because I have hundreds of dollars invested in them.

    Both bags are unusable for the time being, and I had to transfer as much as I could to one large backpack and one shoulder bag.

    All cloth sheaths and pouches are unusable. One of them contained an Altoids kit, which had several spots of rust. One knife now has no sheath at all. Fortunately, this knife was not rusted or affected, other than the paracord handle wrap being mildewed. I had to remove it as well.

    Three folding knives were affected. One was rusted to the point that I almost couldn’t open it, and I will either have to figure out how to fix it, or just throw it away. Fortunately, it was junk to begin with. Of the other two, one had a little evident rust, and was slightly tough to open, and the other seemed okay, but was a little tough to open. I’ll have to inspect those more closely later.

    All paper products were ruined. This included a small notepad, sets of instructions, a local map, and cardboard containers for various items, and the case for a pack of survival playing cards (wild edibles). I’m trying to dry out and salvage the cards themselves, but I’m not optimistic. I may have to spring for another six bucks to replace them.

    Shemagh and all paracord smelled mildewy. I’m confident I can just wash the shemagh, but I’ll probably have to air dry the ropes.

    I had three dry bags inside, but water made its way into them as well. It didn’t seem to affect the electronics too badly, other than making the paint run on a cheap crank radio/flashlight. My walkie-talkies were okay, as was a hand-crank flashlight, and the Eton solar/crank radio/flashlight/USB charger. My mess kits were also okay, but I could tell that these “dry bags” would not necessarily stay dry.

    As near as I can tell, there must be a tiny leak that allowed water into my trunk, and since we’ve had so much rain lately, it must have soaked through and gotten into the bags that way. (I can protect the car from rain at home, but not at work.) Anyway, I’ll work on getting that fixed, and take much better care not to let that happen to my gear again. I’m taking steps to waterproof everything I can in the trunk until I can nail down the problem, and as for my BOB: I now have one heavy backpack in a garbage bag, which I’m going to cram into the floorspace of the back seat of the car for now.

    Anyway, just wanted to put this out there for everyone. Be careful! Whether your car, garage, basement, storage unit or cache, ol ‘nature can be unforgiving!

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