People have started thinking about what survival means to them, especially in a world that’s ever-changing. There’s a worldwide pandemic, natural disasters, and political turmoil in some countries. To survive in an emergency, you’d need the basics: water, supplies, and shelter. However, doomsday preparers will tell you just how important gas masks are in an unpredictable world.
When buying a gas mask, most people don’t know what to look for and can even get the wrong one. Consider the following factors to help you get the right mask for you:
1. Make Sure The Masks You Get Aren’t Obsolete
It’s important to check each type of gas mask for its expiration dates before buying them, especially if you’re buying military surplus models. Masks can be defective or in storage for so long that their expiration dates pass, making them defunct and not useful.
The different types of gas masks you can find in surplus condition are:
The Serbian M1 Gas Mask
This mask was widely used during the Gulf War by the Iraqi army, and the design of these masks was based on the old M9 American gas mask. Unfortunately, these types of masks contain chromium in their filters, and if you’re exposed to them for an extended period of time, it can lead to some serious health complications.
Canadian C-3 Protective Mask
This mask is considered the predecessor to the Canadian C-4 gas mask and hasn’t been in production for years. Despite this, you can still find it on many military websites, with threaded filters that are hard to find in any good or new condition. Materials on gas masks can degrade, so checking for the expiration date of an old gas mask is a good idea. Obsolete gas masks can contain toxic materials and particles that are harmful.
GP-5 Gas Mask
This is a Russian gas mask that’s outdated as production for this mask ended in 1990.
Czech M-10 Protective Mask
If you’re looking for CBRN (chemical, radiological and nuclear) protection, this mask won’t be helpful. CBRN defense consists of passive safety, contamination avoidance, and CBRN mitigation. The Czech M-10 protective masks are so outdated that they don’t contain the CBRN defense.
M17 Gas Mask
Military personnel used this mask in the U.S. Armed forces during the Vietnam war. Newer models eventually replaced this mask so they do contain CBRN protection. Despite this, it’s pretty tricky to use this mask because you have to take off the mask completely to change the filters.
2. Ensure You Have The Correct Filters For Your Masks
Filters are an essential part of the mask as they make sure you’re safe from contaminants and other toxic substances in the air. Expired filters provide no protection, so make sure you regularly change them. When you buy new filters, keep the filters in a dry place where they’re not exposed to direct sunlight and humidity.
3. Consider Getting A Mask That Fits You
When buying a gas mask, think about which gas mask will allow you to put it on quickly and comfortably during an emergency. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all when it comes to masks. In general, masks come in three sizes: small, medium, and large. If you want a reference to what your size is, look at your hats and caps for reference.
4. Get Masks With Additional Features If Necessary
Some masks also come equipped with hydration ports that allow for connected tubes that get attached to a water bladder. This extra feature enables the user to stay hydrated without removing the mask. If you wear glasses, you can also get a mask with a corrective vision feature.
5. Look At The Mask Rating
When buying a gas mask, make sure you pick one with a nuclear, biological, and chemical rating. A good mask will have a mast that’s been rated for chemical blowing and riot control agents like tear gas. Be sure to include replacement filters in your purchase and keep them in a cool, dry area in case of emergency.
Several factors can help you buy the best gas mask to prepare for most emergencies. If you purchase from a military surplus store, make sure you check the mask’s model’s expiration dates to determine its effectiveness. Be constant when it comes to replacing the filters in masks. Keep a few extra filters in dry places for any emergency that can arise. Also, don’t settle for the first one you see. Considering these factors will allow you to equip yourself with the best defense in a crisis.