This blog is to help you in preparing for an emergency. It also contains other information that you might find spiritually up-lifting. This is not an official website of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". This site is maintained by Barry McCann (barry@mail.com)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Advantages of Storing Freeze Dried & Dehydrated Foods

Right now millions of Americans are returning to a practice of our self-reliant and independent forefathers: Storing supplies of food.
The events and circumstances we are facing here in America are unfamiliar to most of us. But they are so serious that we each must choose wisely how we will face our future. The unpredictability of Mother Natures’ natural disasters; The unpredictability of a greedy Stock Market; The unpredictability of Terrorism; The unpredictability of Sickness all have one thing in common – they were prevalent in the past, are prevalent today and will be prevalent tomorrow. These challenges purpose dangerous threats to the unprepared, and significant tribulation to the prepared, but if you have food and water reserves you will have personal solutions to how these things affect you and your family.
History has proven over and over again that having a stockpile of food and water is the solution to almost every major problem, particularly those involving independence, freedom, security, and most importantly PEACE OF MIND.

History Repeats Itself

Runaway inflation in pre-war Germany followed the same inflationary path that the United States is presently on. Extremely high inflation caused the price for one loaf of bread to double daily until it cost so much that it was impossible to purchase.
Economist, John Williams has spoken concerning the projections of future U.S. food price increases due to the massive monetary inflation being created by the Federal Reserve’s $600 billion quantitative easing. Similarly, a report was written by NIA’s President Gerard Adams, who believes food inflation will take over in 2012 as America’s greatest crisis. According to Adams, “making mortgage payments will soon be the last thing on the minds of all Americans. We currently have a currency crisis that could soon turn into hyperinflation and a complete societal collapse.”. Kevin Freeman, noted in an interview with Hugh Vail that “after the crash of ’08 American’s were prioritizing the payments of their credit cards over the payments of their mortgages”.

Peace Of Mind

The unpredictability of our human experience requires us to naturally search for accurate sources of peace and comfort. One of the primary reasons that more and more Americans are putting away supplies of food and water, is because of the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can always provide the basic needs for your family. Food and water are what we depend on the most to fuel our bodies and accomplish our life’s goals. Having plenty of food and water in our own pantries, independent of grocery supplies, semi-truck deliveries, crop shortages, and hoards of people panicing when disaster strikes, and it always does at some point, is the most comforting source that families have discovered.
Let’s look at a few other good reasons to build up food reserves….
  • Legislation to prevent people from gardening is being proposed
  •  Doomsday Seed Vault is being built in Norway with the intent of being the only source for seed to grow food worldwide.
  • Global warming; whether real or fabricated, will likely be used to control fertilization of crops and tax many farmers out of business.
  • Christians searching the Book of Revelation believe that there will come a day when no one will be able to buy or sell without the “mark” (most consider the mark to be the National ID card) which is expected to be required in order to buy food.
  • Imported food from countries with no safety standards for insecticides, fertilizers, bacterial and chemical contamination have entered our country’s food supply and have proven to be very dangerous. Storing safe, clean food is essential.
  • The financial and emotional impact of job loss and illness are hugely reduced with a strong savings account in the form of food.
  • In the case of quarantines, martial law, disasters and emergencies, if people do not have their own individual supplies, they will be dependent and helpless like the miserable conditions people faced after hurricane Katrina.
  • Storms and weather could make food impossible to transport, destroy crops and isolate some people from food supplies.
  • The gasoline prices are predicted to reach $5.00 per gallon in the near future. When this happens the price of food will go up by about one third. Potentially, putting trucking companies out of business and make it almost impossible to get necessary supplies needed for everyday life.
  • With a food supply you can help your neighbors, family members, or anyone in need.
In any of these scenarios, the most valuable asset or currency you will have is food and water. It will be more precious than gold, silver or cash. Having food and water reserves is our greatest need. Let’s face it, when you’re hungry, nothing else matters, besides eating gold and silver is very unhealthy.

Alternative Sources of Heat and Cooking

  • Make sure you have a propane stove with enough propane for three to 12 months.
  • Don’t forget the matches. Store a lot of them. (Two large boxes per month.)
  • It is also good to store lighters.
  • A wood stove is a big investment, but it will come in real handy if there is no heat or power, because you can cook on the top of the stove.
  • A solar powered Sun Oven
  • Any other outdoor or camping stove will work as well.

Menu Planning

It is very important to plan out one week of menus and calculate all the ingredients used for every recipe. These menus should all be your favorite recipes and only what you know your family will eat. When you are finished with the menu, then multiply the ingredients used by 12 (because there is approximately 12 weeks worth of meals in a three-month period of time, give or take a few days). That is how much you will need to store of each item.
These foods would get you by in a short-term emergency without having to change your diet and run the risk of getting sick from foods you are not used to eating. For a one-year supply of food, multiply the ingredients by 52 weeks. I recommend that you add pre-packaged convenience foods such as freeze-dried and dehydrated meals to your food reserves. The only requirement is the addition of water and a small amount of cooking.

One-Week Menu Planning Chart

To help you plan a week’s worth of menus and itemize all of the ingredients you’ll need to purchase to have a 3-month supply of the foods that you normally eat. Refer to the chart in my book; Food Storage 101, Where do I begin? Or you can make your own charts for every day of the week. You must tailor your list to your family’s eating habits and according to the way you normally eat. If you are using Freeze-dried meals, dehydrated foods or pre-packaged convenience meals, just insert the name of the meal into the dinner menu plan.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

5 Best Survival Foods on a Budget

If you’re looking to stockpile on foods that you will need in case of emergency, but you want to save some money, then don’t worry you are in the right place. Survival foods, as a whole, are not very costly.
Buying them in bulk isn’t going to break the bank. In this article, we seek to provide a concise list of the 5 best survival foods that you can buy on a budget.
It’s very important to be prepared for whatever disaster that comes your way. Below, you will find a list of 5 great survival foods to buy on the cheap. We didn’t mention water, but it goes without saying that safe drinking water is the most important prep to your survival.
The following list will give you your best options when purchasing some new emergency supplies on the cheap!

Top 5 Survival Foods for Those on a Budget

  1. Rice

Rice should be first on every list of survival foods. It feeds millions of people every single day and only a little of it can keep you full for hours. Bulk rice from somewhere like Sam’s Club or Costco (which sells many items in bulk) costs around $17 for 50 lbs. of rice.
It will certainly hold you over for a good amount of time, even if you are trying to feed other people as well.related It’s a staple of diets all around the world and for good reason.
Rice is cheap to buy and filling and nutritious for those that consume it. It can easily be prepared and it’s no wonder it’s a popular survival food.
Be sure to keep some amount of rice on hand in case of an emergency. Plain rice, while not very flavorful, will definitely keep you going during tough times.
  1. Spam

Spam is another survival food that will keep you fed in an emergency.
It’s no surprise that canned foods are one of my favorite survival foods and although I don’t love it, spam does the trick just fine. Spam is easy to maintain for a long period of time and is quite filling.
The average container contains 12 ounces of spam meat. At Walmart, you can buy one can for less than $5. Also, if you buy 10 at once for a total of 120 ounces of spam, you will only spend around $40. That one-time investment will help you and your family a long time.
To some, that may seem like a lot of spam, but think about how long a survival situation might last in case a bad storm hits.
It’s important to note, spam is consumed in slices. It is a meat, which can be hard to find for a low price and even tougher to keep when you do not have access to freezers or heat sources. Spam can and should be eaten cold.
  1. Powdered Milk and Drink Mixes

Powdered milk can be used for both convenience and for survival situations. Powdered milk is often used to make food that calls for a milk ingredient when the liquid form isn’t available and while providing a good nutritional value.
It is also very valuable when you need it to last without electricity and an emergency strikes.
A box providing 10 quarts of powdered milk costs around $10. That’s a good investment to stock up on if you ask me.
Consider purchasing breakfast drink mixes to use the milk with. Breakfast drinks typically pack in essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins that a cooked breakfast meal normally provides.
Try purchasing Puritan Pride Spiru-Tein, which is very high in vitamins A, C, and D. A two-pound tin sells for around $30 at the time of this article.
The powder can be easily stored, packed with nutrients, and is meant to substitute and entire meal.
  1. Dried Eggs

Dried eggs can be used just like powdered milk. It provides the same nutritional value and works just as well as a cooking ingredient and a meal. Eggs are one of my favorite nutritious and affordable foods.
There are not many mornings that I don’t go with a couple scrambled eggs to get my day moving.
Dried eggs were originally produced first for the U.S military, but are now being sold specifically as a survival and emergency preparedness food. Try it out, I am sure you will find then quite tasty when things go south.
On Amazon, a one pound container costs $25. You can maintain them for a good while unopened and should be mixed with water.related
  1. Energy Bars

Last but not least, why not trying out energy bars. Energy bars are used by almost everyone from athletes to extreme sports enthusiasts to adventure lovers who go hiking and camping.
Even the normal Joe likes to snack on one if they do not have time for a full meal. We know how many brands exist out there and how expensive energy bars can be, but you can purchase Clif Builder’s energy bars in a box of 18 for around $20 at the time of this article.
That’s plenty to stock up on for you and your family.
They are a good meal substitute which is normally high in protein and meant to keep you going during heavy activity periods. Save up a few and keep them stored away in case of tough times.


All of these budget survival foods can be purchased online or in stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, which sell many bulk items for a fair price. In case you prefer shopping online like I do, I put some referral links on the foods that we recommend to buy on Amazon.
Remember that your emergency survival foodsrelated may be extremely necessary one day and are worth investing in. We tried to offer a few low-cost items, but either way, you are going to have to spend money to be prepared.
Not everybody has money to throw around even for necessities. If you fall into that category, hopefully, none of these prices seem out of your range for the amount of food and nutrition you get and the peace of mind you will obtain. Just make sure to store your food in a good place.
Survival preparedness is no laughing matter, so please don’t make the mistake of forgetting about it!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wool Blanket Roll

I have always been fascinated with how survivalist, campers, hikers etc. were able to tuck their survival gear inside a military style wool blanket and then turn it into a pack that can be carried in multiple ways. I have personally had a wool blanket like the one in the video for a very long time and just used a basic roll to attach it to my pack.
A wool blanket can be used in multiple ways. The most obvious is a way to keep warm by fashioning it into a sleeping bag. It can also be used as a coat/poncho, a back pack, a lean to, an insulated cushioned seat, cordage or even a water filter. (Note: As a water filter that simply means to filter out debris, not diseases or parasites that may lurk in the water.)
In the video posted below, produced by BlackOracle69, he will show us all how to easily roll and tie down a compact pack using only the blanket. The items he rolls into the back are your very basic needs. A tarp shelter, a cooking pot and fire starter, some dry socks, a bandana, a light, para-cord, and a hammock. He shows the placement of each item and how to fold a pocket to keep things you might need, such as a fire starter or dry socks, accessible without undoing the blanket.
I hope you enjoy the video and please feel free to leave comments below.

Monday, September 11, 2017


Most people dismiss hydrogen peroxide as an ineffective antiseptic, but there are many reasons to keep a supply of this simple chemical not only in the medicine cabinet but also in the laundry, cleaning closet and garden shed.

Hydrogen peroxide is H2O2—two hydrogen atoms with two oxygen. This compound wants to revert to the more stable H2O water molecules and O2 oxygen. The release of pure oxygen is what makes hydrogen peroxide so valuable—and so dangerous. Oxygen is critical for life, but only in diluted form (the air we breathe is only about 20% oxygen). In high concentrations pure oxygen is flammable, highly reactive and mildly toxic. High concentration of hydrogen peroxide can rapidly release concentrated pure oxygen in an extremely hot reaction (often used for rocket propellent). High concentrations of the liquid form can also chemically burn skin and other tissues. For these and other reasons H2O2 is typically only sold diluted in water—typically 3% but sometimes as high as 35% (which is still very dangerous). All the following recommendations refer to the 3% solution.

Hydrogen peroxide does work as an antiseptic. It’s ionic charge breaks open bacteria cell’s thin membranes and reacts with the catalase enzyme inside. This enzyme is prevalent in our cells too, and those with thin membranes (like in the blood and under the skin) are also susceptible to hydrogen peroxide’s oxidative damage. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean wounds, but it harms the cells used to repair as it kills the bacteria. Dr. Mercola recommends mild soap (not anti-bacterial) and warm water to clean wounds. I recommend pure tea tree essential oil as the antiseptic in your medicine cabinet. If you do use H2O2 for treating skin don’t continue to apply or wash the affected area with it—the fizzing action will dissolve clotted blood and impedes the bodies healing cells at the damage site.

Before you banish hydrogen peroxide from the medicine cabinet consider these other uses: Some use it to clean out earwax, spray on feet for fungus, gargle on a sore throat, kill odor-causing bacteria and generally disinfectant. For a mouthwash and oral irrigator use a 1.5% solution (dilute 3% with equal parts water). It’s fizzing kills bacteria and helps whiten teeth. You can tell when if your solution is too strong by how much it fizzes and tingles and it leaves your mouth just a little numb afterwards.

One of the most potent natural surface disinfectants is to put a spray bottle top one of the brown bottles of 3% solution and keep it next to a spray bottle of pure white vinegar (don’t mix the two). Spray vinegar on a surface and then follow it with a spray of H2O2. The resulting chemical reaction is considered as effective against bacteria, mold and viruses as bleach—yet is much more mild on humans. In fact you can almost replace your bleach with hydrogen peroxide. A cup of H2O2 in a load of whites help brighten them considerably.

Hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a fruits and vegetable wash. Wild watercress from questionable streams and any fresh berries or melons at risk for salmonella can be disinfected by soaking in water with a splash of hydrogen peroxide.

These are just a few of the many useful applications of a mild dose of oxygen. Some use it with plants, such as adding a capful to the watering can to help seeds sprout, and keep root fungus from growing (a common source of seedling failure). Anecdotal stories say you can even rejuvenate yellowing plants by spraying it on the leaves as an exfoliar mist.

Because the diluted form is mostly water, 3% hydrogen peroxide is very cheap: A liter typically sells for less than $2 at drugstores, supermarkets and at big retailers like Walmart. Light degrades its effectiveness, so it should always be stored in opaque bottles in a cool place. Official shelf life is only 1 to 3 year unopened and only a few months if opened, but I find even ten year old bottles still have plenty of life left in them. A simple test is to splash some in the sink and see if it fizzes. If it is truly degraded only water will be left. I have yet to find a bottle no matter how old (even opened) that acts like water. This is good, because it takes laboratory level work to manufacture it yourself. I suggest stockpiling a dozen bottles of 3% and one bottle of higher concentration 35% (often sold as “food grade”) to make another 10 to 15 bottles as needed.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

How to Recognize Which Berries are Safe to Eat

MegLearner / Pixabay
Berries are a quick and easy way to feed yourself in the wild in case you’ve run out of supplies recently and aren’t really a good hunter. However, not all are created equal and not being aware of this simple fact can often cause you a lot of trouble. Certain berries can be non-edible, or they can be straight out poisonous, and learning to recognize them is the only way you’ll know if they’re safe to eat or not. In this short guide, I’m going to attempt to explain, very simply, how you can avoid this an issue like this by giving you some basic tips about the berries that you can eat, and those that you absolutely should not.

Don’t Risk It

First of all, I have to say that if you aren’t a hundred percent certain about a wild berry being edible/poisonous or not, you absolutely must not eat it. Your body is way too important to risk poisoning it just because it “might be fine”, and you don’t have to eat the first berry you stumble upon. I’ve seen dozens of people do this, and a large number of them regretted it a few hours later when the berry made its way through their organism.

The Colors

That being said, you can tell a lot about a berry just by looking at its color, because its color is a result of its chemical properties and it’s those that decide whether the berry is poisonous or not. For example, most white, green and yellow wild berries are absolutely poisonous and to be safe you should stay away from all of them no matter what. Red berries are another case entirely, as around 50% of them are perfectly edible. You do have to watch out for the other 50% though, so unless you have a good idea of what you’re eating you should still be very careful.
Berries that are black and blue in color are, ninety-five percent of the time, perfectly edible. Several of them are poisonous so you should still be careful, but most of the time you can eat a black berry with no concern at all.

Get a Berry Guide

There are dozens of quick guides on berries that you can pick up or find online, that will tell you all you need to know about the most commonly found berries in America, and having one of these on-hand can help you instantly recognize a berry and know all of its characteristics.

The Edible Berry Test

If all else fails, there’s actually a little trick you can do in order to make sure whether a berry is poisonous or not. Take one or two berries, smash them into a pulp and first rub just a little bit of it on your skin. Wait a couple of minutes. If any kind of irritation or skin reaction shows up then you probably shouldn’t be eating that berry. If not, try the same thing with your lips and tongue, just a dab of pulp on each and wait a few extra minutes. If there’s still nothing, the berry is almost certainly safe to eat.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Making Pemmican: The Ultimate Survival Food

In survival scenarios, it is vital that you have a consistent source of protein. This means a great deal of hunting, fishing, and trapping. However, you may find yourself facing a common survival dilemma – and making pemmican is a good way to solve that!

Making Pemmican: How To Preserve Meat To Last Ages

What do you do to preserve your meat? Without refrigeration, it will be spoiled and full of maggots within hours. Anytime you take more meat than you can eat in one or two sittings, you must have a way to preserve that meat. Making it into Pemmican is an excellent solution.
Pemmican is a mixture of dried meat, fat, and other ingredients that can be stored without refrigeration for anywhere from a few months to decades depending on the mixture and conditions. It was invented by Native Americans to give them a protein source that would last and could easily be carried while traveling. Often scouts and hunters would need a food like pemmican to take with them on their long journeys. In this article, we will cover how to make pemmican that will last on your shelf as long as you need it to.


Preparation | Making Pemmican: The Ultimate Survival Food

In order to make pemmican, you will need to prepare your ingredients before combining them. The meat should be stripped of all its fat. After which, it needs to be cut into thin strips less than ¼ inch thick and dried in an oven or over a fire.
The meat cannot be cooked, so you need to keep the temperature between 100°F and 200°F. This will dry out the meat over the course of six to twelve hours. I like to set my oven to 175°F, but if using a campfire you should set the meat on a rack at a level that allows you to hold your hand over the fire for five to ten seconds before pulling it away. Construct a tripod over your fire and either build a rack or use cordage to suspend the meat above the fire. When it is dry it will break apart when bent.
After the meat is dried, it needs to be shredded to a powder. You can use a grinder or you can use a mortar and pestle to break down the meat. You then need to render the fat down to a liquid. Cook it in a container on low heat until it is liquefied. You can add nuts, dried fruit, honey, and spices to improve the flavor. However, anything added other than salt and spices will reduce the shelf life of the pemmican. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands. Only add as much fat to the mix as is needed to hold everything together. You do not want the mix to be too wet.
Once everything is combined evenly, you will have to mold it and wrap it with plastic wrap. The easiest way I have found to do this is to use a muffin tin. Lay down a 10 inch by 10 inch square of plastic wrap over the dip on the muffin tin. Then spoon a big spoonful of the mix into the center. Press it down with something flat until it forms a solid piece. Then fold over the edges to give it an airtight wrap. Once you have done this with all of the mixture, put all of the pemmican in an airtight container. Keep it in a cool, dry place and it will last as long as needed.

Food Storage and Survival shows a video on how to make Pemmican:
Pemmican is an excellent way to preserve your meat so it will not spoil in the wild. I suggest that you try a batch at home before you ever need to make any in the wild. This will ensure that you know how the process works before you ever need to rely upon that process. With a little knowledge and practice, you can always save your meat from spoiling.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Which Self Defense Weapons You Need?

Self-defense weapons have become a necessity in today’s society where your personal and household self-defense is frequently threatened. If your prime concern is the safety of your loved ones and yourself, do not have second thoughts about being prepared. Just remember -– it is important to have the right self-defense weapon for your particular situation.
Yourself defense does matter. There are many ways you can prepare for the possibility of attack. Sometimes, preparation consists of nothing more than prevention. Knowing how to act, which situations to avoid, and moving with confidence can all help. But—-sooner or later—-you may be facing an assailant.

With the right self-defense weapons, you’ll have TIME to protect yourself and may even be able to bring your attacker down! Your attacker won’t know what hit him. Some weapons can even help you mark him, which will make him easy to apprehend.

Know that the safety and security of your family, home, office and property is assured because you’ve taken steps to protect yourself.

Have more peace of mind, sleep better at night, and walk the streets in confidence and control, because you have taken the time to learn about which self-defense weapons will best meet your needs. Your personal protection is at stake!
Here are a few weapons you might consider as you start to explore what’s available:
Although bolt-action hunting rifles may be perfect for taking large game, they make a wrong choice for home-defense. These guns load slowly, fire slowly, and the high-power cartridges they shoot produce excessive muzzle flash, noise, and recoil and are very likely to over penetrate the target. If you want a rifle for home defense, then consider a tactical semi-auto or pistol-caliber carbine. Always try to keep a rifle scope for perfect shooting.
Telescopic Steel Baton
This is the self-defense weapon that most law enforcement and police agencies use today. Many of these organizations are replacing the old “Billy Club” style baton with the more technologically advanced telescopic baton.
What could be better for keeping the attacker in place once he is subdued than handcuffs? You can also use leg cuffs or thumb cuffs to immobilize him.
There are many different types and styles of knives that you could use. You can read all about the many varieties of knives that are available, including butterfly knives, pen knives, and folding knives.
Metal Detectors
For security and law enforcement personnel, a hand held metal detector is an essential self-defense weapon. These small scanners can pick up almost any metal weapon, including pistols and knives.
And here are a few weapons that are not used as much for self-defense as for sporting and fun…
Cross Bows
A crossbow gives its user far more power and accuracy than a traditional bow. If you’ve never shot a crossbow, you can’t believe how powerful it is. This is more commonly used as a sporting weapon, but you never know when it might come in handy for self-defense too.
Blow Guns
Over 40,000 years ago, the first blowguns began to appear in many different parts of the world. In today’s world, blowguns, paintballs, and stun darts offer a wide variety of sporting activities.
Sling Shots
High-Velocity sling shots fold down to a compact size and have over a 100-yard range. They’re perfect for slinging insects, rocks or even bad guys Brings back memories of the good old days.
Air pistol:
This weapon is styled after some of the world’s most famous firearms. The air pistol maintenance free design and affordability make them an excellent entry level weapon for the hobby and recreational enthusiast.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

SOLVED: Bug Out on foot with family AND gear…

It all started with a problem….
What if I needed to leave on foot?  If my mode of transportation was stolen, broken, out of fuel, stuck in a ditch, fried by an EMP, or in endless bumper to bumper traffic…
How would I take my young children …some who are too little to walk…or too little to walk for long…AND my food, supplies, and gear away to a safe place?
PROBLEM: Be ready to leave on foot with my family AND my gear...
I needed a reliable, time proven method for transporting people, goods, and equipment.  I needed something that was light weight, that could potentially hold a LOT of weight.  I needed something that required no tools, was easy to maintain, and could hold up to the rigors of mother nature in various climates and terrain.
So I went to work.  After a year of design and engineering, burning through three different prototypes, and over 980 hours of 3D printing…something truly remarkable was born:  The Polymule Handcart
A modern handcart that takes less than five minutes to assemble, has a completely tool-less design, and can be disassembled and stowed inside itself. It is both durable and functional, with a high-impact body, solid frame, and integrated kickstand mechanism.
Features :
– Over 300 lbs Capacity and up to 15 Cubic Feet of Cargo
– High Impact and Tough Thermoplastic Body
– UV Stable / Cold Hardy
– 5 Minute Tool-less Assembly and Disassembly
– Completely Stowable (All components fit inside the handcart body)
– Integrated Kickstand
– Precision Sealed Bearings
– No Flat Tires
– Drain Plug
– ATV Attachment
– Optional All-Weather Canvas Cover
How to get one :
In order to help make the Polymule a reality, we have launched a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter.  On this page, interested parties can PRE-ORDER the handcart to help raise the capital needed to start production.
Cards are charged AFTER the campaign, and ONLY IF we reach our funding goal.  Therefore you could say, it’s “ALL OR NOTHING”.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Solar Generators Vs Fuel Generators

In the past 10 years, many companies have tried to develop a new way of powering our lives. Most of them have placed their bets on solar energy. Sun provides so much energy in one minute that it can power the entire Earth for one year. Learning to harness that energy would bring so many changes, starting with the cost of electricity bills. But are solar generators the future, and can they replace fuel generators? Which one is better and provides more energy? Let us break it down and judge them based on their performances.

“Free energy”

The concept of free energy is pretty simple. Sun is there for a reason, and we might as well utilize some of its energy. There are plenty of reasons one should install solar panels: they will generate so much energy in the upcoming years that you will never have to pay for electricity again. Yes, they can be a bit expensive to start with, but the prices of solar panels are dropping every year and very soon they will be available even for the “common people”.

Solar generators rock!

These little wonders are very simple to use. Just place them somewhere safe, and let their photo-voltaic (PV) panels do all the work. The PV panels will transform the sunlight into electricity and send it to be stored inside the batteries to be used later. Once the batteries are full, the inverter will take direct electricity (DC) and convert it into alternative electricity (AC). If you are up camping in the wild, you can use these and get all the electricity needed for powering your favorite gadgets, charging your phone and even some more complicated devices. On top of all that, they are Eco-friendly and will not release any chemicals or gases. Your home value will skyrocket and if you ever decide to sell it, buyers will offer more only for the solar panels and generators.

Their performance compared to fuel generators

Yes, fuel generators are known to produce electricity a bit faster, but they require much more to start with. They require fuel to power the generators without which they are useless. In case you go out of fuel, you will also be left without electricity. Another downside of fuel generators is that they create a lot of pollution by releasing chemicals in the air. They are portable just like solar generators, but their function depends on having enough fuel to power them.

Preppers choose solar power

Since the technology is developing so fast, preppers can now safely rely solely on solar power. Designs such as goal zero yeti 400 generators have proven to be more than enough to power an entire house in case something “unexpected” happens. There is a chance that one day, something bad may happen to the world. It could be a nuclear strike, a zombie apocalypse or a virus outbreak. If that occurs, electricity will be almost unaffordable and the only remaining source of energy will be the Sun. So we might as well prepare?

Time to go solar

If you haven’t done it by now, do it as fast as you can. It will most likely be the most reliable source of energy in the near future and it will save you a lot of money if you invest now. With solar panels and grids set, you can become completely energy independent. Yes, there will be days when the clouds will cover the sky and you will collect less energy, but the Sun as we know it won’t leave us any time soon.

Monday, August 21, 2017

What’s Up with Wind: Your Small Scale Wind Energy Questions Answered

windWind energy may appear like a no brainer for renewable energy production in many places. Is it always windy at your location? Doesn’t it seem like it would be an easy thing to harness all that free potential energy?
Q: The wind is always blowing at my house, should I go with wind energy?
A: Though the winds may blow, it may not be consistent enough for energy production. Sound crazy? Wind speeds for reliable energy production have to blow consistently (average of 15 mph), AND keep sustained speeds at the right height. You can’t put a turbine right outside your front door and expect great performance, and variations occur once you get up to 20, 30, 40 feet in the air. Tower height is a major contributor to wind system performance. Putting a large turbine on a short tower is the equivalent to putting a solar panel in the shade: it just doesn’t make sense.
Q: Does a bigger turbine equal more power?
A: Sort of. A larger turbine may produce more watts but a properly sizes turbine for your conditions will produce many more watt-hours. Also, not all turbines are created equally. Some excel in light winds while others are created for higher mile per hour winds.
Q: I have an old windmill; can I use that to make my own energy?
A: Not if you want to sell power back to the grid. Grid connected wind energy systems must be UL listed and not home built. But if you are looking to pump some water or charge batteries under the radar, your old windmill might just come in handy.
Q: What’s the deal with vertical access wind turbines?
A: Vertical access turbines take a different approach. They rely on a vertical axis and are marketed as a safer option for animals because of the lack of defined blades. Noise pollution can be reduced and they can also operate in more fluctuating gusts. This technology is experimental at the present.
Q: How do I know if my site is windy enough for wind energy?
A: You really need to monitor wind speeds at your chosen tower height for a sustained period of time. Raising a pole with a wind monitor and collecting data for a year can accomplish this. For an ideal site, wind energy can be extremely cost effective but only if the right conditions exist. Without enough site data you risk buying a really expensive piece of yard art. Plus, marauders can find you from a distance.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Batteries are some of the quickest items to disappear in a crisis—and for good reason. Batteries are a critical technology that can’t be manufactured easily and so many items need them when the power goes out: flashlights, LED lamps, FM radios, shortwave radios, handheld ham radios, radiation meters, GPS receivers, and many other devices. Although some electronics like handheld ham radios have their own rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, these eventually become unreliable so be sure to get the optional accessory case that accepts standard AA or AAA batteries. 

Rechargeable batteries have earned themselves a bad rap over the last several decades due to the fast self-discharge qualities of conventional Ni-MH (nickel-metal hydride) batteries. Within a month they lose 30% or more of their stored power leaving users frustrated by the poor performance and dim results. The unsophisticated chargers of the past also contributed to the bad experience by failing to sense accurately the quirks of the Ni-MH units. Fortunately modern developments have improved on both of these problems. New low self-discharge (LSD) batteries retain 85% of their power for a whole year and hold at least 70% as long as 5 years later. They also perform better in a variety of devices from fast discharge (like electronics) to slow discharge like remote controls. The best modern chargers can sense sub-par batteries and often reinvigorate them.

Low self-discharge technology was pioneered by a Japanese battery company that produced the Sanyo Eneloop batteries—a brand that quickly became well respected because of the performance. But when Sanyo was bought out by Panasonic the production was switched to a Chinese factory that didn’t produce the same quality product. Cheap Chinese low self-discharge batteries are now everywhere under various brands. Fortunately, the Japanese factory is still making and improving their batteries but now under the Fujitsu brand and this brand is the best option on the market. Packs of 8 AA are available for $22. They also make AAA. The latest batteries are rated for 2100 recharge cycles.

The downside to the new low-self discharge batteries is that they aren’t rated for as much initial power as conventional Ni-MH cells so you will still see the old variety out there. Disposable alkaline batteries are also rated for higher power but after a few months the others have lost so much power that the LSD batteries become roughly equivalent in as little as 5 weeks. For easy information about everything related to rechargeable batteries read Joe Golton’s well-researched blog that concisely highlights the pertinent issues and compares the different varieties well. He also covers the best battery chargers which I will discuss in next week’s tip.

Unfortunately the improvements in technology are harder to carry over to the larger C, D and 9-volt batteries, so they are still behind. I am certain they are working on it and we will see better options in the future. Currently they are still fairly weak compared to the equivalent alkaline and self-discharge faster than the AA and AAA options discussed above. Still, if we don’t see better options in the next few years it will be worth getting some of these just to have a rechargeable option when you can’t get disposables for a time. The current Tenergy brand rechargeables are pretty good and certainly much better than resorting to the sleeves for the tiny AA cells—they just don’t have enough power to last long in the situations where you need a C or D. We maintain an updated link to the best products we have found including batteries on our recommended products page.

I recommend everyone begin the transition over to these newer rechargeable batteries for all but the slowest discharge items like clocks and remote controls. Although the new batteries work just fine in these devices the cheap alkalines are a little better so there’s no reason tying up your more expensive batteries where they won’t be used as often.