Whether you are planning for a deployment, an extended trip, or simply keeping more than the bare necessities on hand this will help you figure out how much you need. Food can be easy to plan because of serving sizes are fairly easy to measure but things like soap, toothpaste, detergent, are difficult to measure because who knows how many hand washes you get out of a bar of soap or how many squirts of shampoo are in a bottle.
The way I eval how much I need is by tracking how long a specified quantity lasts and the easiest way to do that is by marking the container of the product you are using or by marking the replacement for that product. For things like liquid soap, shaving cream, shampoo, etc where you can mark the container just break out your trusty permanent marker and put the date you opened the product in a clearly visible place. This will remind you that you are tracking the use and when you started using it. Once it is empty, do the math to assess how long the product lasted. If the item is constantly exposed to water consider putting clear packing tape over the date so it doesn’t wash away before you finish your test. For items that are used without their packaging such as bar soap simply label the package of the next bar that you have on hand. When I do this I put a clear note on the package to remind me why there is a date written on the packaging.
Once you have used up the product review the date and figure out how long the item lasts. This way whether you are packing for a 30 day mission trip, an 18 month deployment, or simply creating a supply of 30, 60, 90, or more days of household items for whatever reason you can do it based on accurate time frames as opposed to just guessing and ending up with too little or too much.
This can be applied to lots of things around the house or workshop. Pretty much anything that doesn’t have a standard unit of measure for use.
Here I have marked a tube of toothpaste to show the example. Yes, I blocked out the brand. OPSEC saves live ;-).
Until next time, stay sharp.