Friday, December 21, 2018

Backup Electricity for under $50

Most US families own a power generator, even if they don't realize it.   

It is your Car.

For this reason,  it is a PREPPER HANDBOOK RECOMMENDATION to have a good DC to AC inverter in your vehicle to use as a 120 VAC power supply. For under $50 you can use your vehicle as a back up power supply.  



This 300 watt (continuous) inverter is enough to power most refrigerators, or Freezers as long as your vehicle motor is running.  For this reason, it is good to never drive with your fuel tank near Empty.  Here is a list of estimated power requirements. that will allow you to see what you can run (power wise) using this.

A typical Car Battery stores about 50 Ah (Amp Hours) at 12 VDC (Volts Direct Current) which is 600 watts but you can only use a vehicle battery when the motor is running. You can however add an additional 200Ah Deep Cycle Battery for about $400 that will store 2,400 watts (12 VDC X 200 Ah) or 1,200 usable watts (2,400 X 0.5). While the above 300 watt charger could charge your 200Ah battery, it would take at least 4-5 hours.  Buying a dedicated Battery Charger for $200 could keep this 200Ah battery charged using your household electricity and have it at peak readiness when the power went out.  




Include a Battery Clip-on Car Cigarette Lighter Socket Adapter (above) for $10 and you have a standby battery back up system for about $660 that will provide 1,200 watts of power. Here is a list of estimated power requirements. to show what 1200 watts can run.  For example, it would keep a small refrigerator or freezer running for approximately 2 days, and a large one for over 1 day. 

Combine this with other Backup Power options to have more power available for longer periods.


Another low cost item for power outages are solar powered lights.





It provides solar powered lighting for outside security AND lighting for the inside of your home. In addition, these can be used as a solar charger for rechargeable batteries and make great stealth Prepper gifts for family members. With a package of extra rechargeable batteries, these will provide lighting for years.

Here are a few good passive lights that are solar powered and use common AA so they can double as solar battery chargers:


1) LED version
2) Economy version

I would avoid solar powered lights that use non-standard battery sizes as you will not be able to use these as battery chargers nor their batteries to run other devices like your radios.

Both of the Inverter and Solar Powered Lights are handy to have and very affordable (under $50), making them each a PREPPER HANDBOOK RECOMMENDATION.



For more information:
Blog Table of Contents

Power Outage Preps
Power Outage Heater

EMP Survival
 
The SHTF Day One
Survive a 2 week Power Outage
Complete Sustainable Living Plan
Backup Power Supply
Backup Electricity for under $50
 
 
See similar topics by clicking on the labels below

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Backup Power Supply


The cost for back up power is very affordable starting around $260 for a highly rated DuroStar DS4000S that can run for 8 hours on 4 gallons of gas.  At $2.00 per gallon, the is $1.00 per hour for electricity.  This could save your food from spoiling in the refrigerator &/or freezer, and easily pay for itself in one power outage. Short of running a heater, air conditioner unit or an electric dryer, this 4,000 watt generator will power all of the important things in most homes.  Here is a list of estimated power requirements.

Add to this, a cover (for the long periods where you hopefully don't need it) at a cost of $20 and an extra 14 gallon gas can that will run your generator for 28 hours.  This is the first backup power system I would purchase.




Another option I actually prefer is the Champion 3800 Dual Fuel Generator which will run for 9 hours on its 3.4 gallon tank or 10.5 hours on a 20 pound Propane Tank, which is much safer to store and has an infinite shelf life vs E10 gasoline which has a 6 to 12 month shelf life.  This is about $0.76 per hour to run on gasoline and about $1.90 per hour for propane. Short of running a heater, air conditioner unit or an electric dryer, this 3,800 watt system will power all of the important things in most homes.  Here is a list of estimated power requirements.

Granted the propane is more expensive but it is safer and has a much longer shelf life which could make it lower cost long term.  I would keep propane stored for long term use, but use low cost gasoline while it was easily available.

 A generator is affordable short term, but even the lowest operating cost option ($0.76/hour) becomes expensive long term, costing $550 per month for electricity and requiring daily trips to the gas station  Solar power on the other hand requires a larger investment for equivalent power, but is cheaper to operate.

 A wind generator in conjunction with a solar power system is actually the best combination for long term, sustainable power, that will continue to operate long after the gasoline supply is gone.  When the sun isn't shining, the wind is probably blowing, providing a supply of electricity during the night and during the day.

Such a system might start with a Goal Zero Yeti 3000 Lithium Portable Power System for $2,400, as an addition to your generator system above.  This is basically a big (280 amp hour) battery that can be charged by your homes power, your generator above while its providing power for your home, or by solar panels or a wind mill once there is no gasoline to run generators with.  Fully charged, this will run your refrigerator for 50 hours. You can buy batteries at a much lower cost to build your own Starter Solar System, but this includes a lot of extras.


You can also run your Generator above for a few hours and charge this large battery to use during the rest of the day, extending your Generator fuel for potentially weeks.

For $575 you can add 200 watts of portable Goal Zero Solar Panels specifically designed for this battery power pack.  It is pre-wired and ready to go by plugging one connector in. This 200 watt system will run your refrigerator, an LED light and a box fan.  Here is a list of estimated power requirements.



The addition of 8 Solar panels for $2,500 will keep this battery charged and provide 800 watts of 12 VDC power for each hour of sun shine. This 800 watt system will run a refrigerator, freezer, LED lights, radio, charge your phones and more. Here is a list of estimated power requirements.


A 2000 Watt Wind Mill for $750 will top off your system and provide a more balanced supply of power, even during cloudy days or at night. Add this to the 8 panels above and you can power all of the important things in most homes, indefinitely. Note that the 800 watt solar system generates up to 800 watts when the sun is fully shining, and the 2,000 watt wind mill generates up to 2,000 watts when the wind is blowing hard.  Figuring a maximum of 50% on both system is reasonable when sunny and windy.  So on a windy sunny day, you might expect about 1,400 watts of power supply.  Here is a list of estimated power requirements


For more information:
Blog Table of Contents

Power Outage Preps
Power Outage Heater

EMP Survival
 
The SHTF Day One
Survive a 2 week Power Outage
Complete Sustainable Living Plan
Backup Power Supply
 
 
See similar topics by clicking on the labels below

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Prepper Training for Youths

Young children learn rapidly, but are also easily scared.


So what life skills should you teach them to be prepared for a potential economic or societal breakdown, i.e. the proverbial SHTF scenario?

Here is a list to consider:
  1. Gardening - the most valuable skill for sustainability.  Let them plant their own seeds.
  2. Livestock - Raising "Pet" chickens is a valuable skill for sustainable living. Let your kids check for eggs & see chicks hatch.  Raising pet goats is a most valuable skill for Nomadic living. 
  3. Fishing - probably the most valuable skill for living in the wild.
  4. Horse Back Riding - is fun and a useful skill as a form of sustainable Transportation.
  5. Camping - cooking & sleeping outside in various environments without fear is essential.
  6. Water - Safe drinking water is critical to survival.  See the Rule of 3.
  7. EDC Survival - Surviving with your Every Day Carry (EDC) items. 
  8. Shooting - starting with Gun Safety, followed with shooting a BB Gun at a young age. 
  9. Archery - a fun sport and precursor to hunting.  
  10. Build your own bow and arrows as well as using modern ones.
  11. Paint Ball or Laser tag - a fun way to learn military drills and security skills.  
  12. Fire Making - a key skill to teach with caution as they become Teens.
  13. Wilderness Survival - Knowledge is free and light weight vs a heavy pack of supplies.
  14. Hunting - a key skill to learn as Teens but mental preparation to kill an animal is important.
  15. Edible Wild Plants - another good skill for Teens, especially the Universal Edibility Test.
There is so much you can teach your children starting as young as 6 to 8  years old. The most important thing is to make learning fun, where they are looking forward to it.  If some of these prove to be boring, move on to another one.  Avoid talking about dooms day or situations that will scare them; just have fun learning valuable skills.

For additional information see the following links: 
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