In last week’s article titled “Organized 01: A Place for Everything,” we mentioned how critical it is to be organized. We suggested that this is of particular importance during a crisis or emergency. We’ve learned through many incidents that having what you need when you need it makes a significant difference. For this reason, we’ve worked hard to be as organized as we can. We’ve gotten to the point where some colleagues jokingly accuse me of having Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or being “OCD.”
This being the case, I was shocked to find that I had allowed a tactical flashlight tucked into a chest rig to go uncharged. I generally do a pretty good job of keeping digital gear charged, but I completely forgot about this item tucked deep within our Loadout Level 04 (Residence Survival). When I saw it, I realized that I’d not charged it for a long time. Pulling it out, I clicked the tail cap and… nothing. It was completely dead. In effect, it was in a digital coma.
When fully charged, this Klarus XT2CR packs a powerful blast of light. It’s set up in tactical mode. This means that when I press the toggle switch on the tail a full 1,600 lumens of strobing white light will temporarily blind anyone at whom it’s pointed. Not being charged, however, the unit would have been of little use to me other than as a striking instrument had I needed it. It would have offered no illumination at all. I’ve since fully charged it, and it’s back to 100%.
One of the wisest things we can do is to learn from mistakes. It’s best to learn from the mistakes of others, or vicariously, and yet we can also learn a great deal from our own failings. I endeavored to do so from this situation.
Not long after finding my comatose XT2CR, I decided to make an inventory of all the digital items across our various Loadout levels. Please note that the overall Loadout Level concept is explained in detail in topics 01.02.01 to 01.02.05 of the Panoplia.org Soft Skills and Tactics (SST) course.
After completing the inventory, I was surprised to find that across the Loadout Levels we had more than 30 digital items that need periodic charging. Most had a pretty decent charge, yet some had a lower charge level than I would have guessed or wanted. This was an eye-opener for me, and led me to develop a schedule for charging the items shown in the inventory below.
I set up a reminder that notifies me on my iMac Pro, MacBook laptop, various iPhones, etc. Every two months I’m reminded to charge all the digital items listed above.
I’ll keep records and plan to let you know in a year or so how various digital items lose or retain their charges over the two month intervals. The downside of using a two-month schedule is that it creates a bit of work. The upside is that it allows one to become increasingly familiar with what digital gear he or she has, and exactly where it’s located within one’s Loadout Levels. This is an important benefit since knowing what you have and where to access it quickly is a core part of an efficient Loadout Level system.
To make the charging process easier and more organized I ordered a unit that charges eight items at once. I also ordered various charging cables. This includes Micro USB, USB C, Lightning, etc. The cables are all one foot in length and are color-coded. The charging unit has the added feature of letting you know how many amps are being drawn by each item attached to it. When they reach 0.00A the item is fully charged.
Learning from our own mistake in this instance has helped us to be more organized. I’m hopeful that following our new charging schedule will ensure that all our digital gear across the various Loadout Levels will be close to fully charged when they’re needed. We encourage you to establish a charging system that fits your needs and your context. This will help ensure that your electronic gear will not enter into a digital coma, and will serve you well when needed.