I am a big fan of the test drive. Doesn’t matter what it is, I think you ought to give it a whirl before you commit. This is especially true if your life or well being hangs in the balance.
If you buy gear, you should take it out and play with it, get to know it. You don’t want to be in the middle of an emergency and unpack some crucial gee-gaw only to find that it’s defective, or that you don’t understand the directions (you do read directions, don’t you?).
If you have a plan, you should do the same thing. You don’t want to be in dire straits and discover that your communication plan is crap, your rally/meeting point is inaccessible due to construction, and no one remembers what they’re supposed to be doing anyway.
In the words of a former sensei of mine: practice makes permanent…
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