There’s a long history with gas masks. They’ve been around for decades and have established themselves in media as a representation of post-apocalypse. Though it’s important that they’re taken seriously for the purpose they serve. Knowing the truth about gas makes will help you, the prepper, decide if and how you should invest in one.
Choosing a Mask
Like with all things, not all gas masks are the same. Often times there will be masks that focus too much on the aesthetic of things, sacrificing the utility of it in the process. If it doesn’t filter the air any better than a surgical mask, then it won’t be that much help. A proper mask should be rated for chemical blowing and riot control agents, designated by the CBA/RCA rating, and nuclear, biological and chemical agents, carrying the NBC rating.
It’s also important to consider whether a mask has a filter on one or two sides. A one-sided filter will offer less interference when aiming down a firearm. While a double filter will offer safer live replacements of filters.
Mask filters are finite resources and should be treated as such. Most filters need to be replaced after only hours of usage, depending on the environmental conditions. Filters also have a shelf life, meaning you won’t find one 100 years from now and expect it to work. This means you should have a hefty backup of filters if you’re expecting to navigate treacherous conditions in a post SHTF scenario.
Too Late is Too Late
If a gas mask is not securely deployed BEFORE exposure, you’re too late. This is extra true for the case of biological and chemical agents. This makes the decision of where to store a gas mask a difficult one because time is short if you are in the area of a sudden chemical attack, no matter where you are.
Sorry mountain man, but you cant have a beard if you want to use a gas mask. Facial hair, even short, can interfere with a mask’s ability to create a seal over one’s face. You may want to consider a clean-shaven lifestyle if you want to be ready for mask deployment at a moment’s notice. If you’re set on the ‘stache, then you should look into hooded masks, which cover your entire head. These are often manufactured to be compatible with facial hair.
Of course, there are leagues more one could tell you about gas masks, but this is meant as an introduction to such wisdom. If you’re interested in getting a gas mask of your own, check out our shop section, which contains a few masks of various prices.