For most of us, the holiday season is festive, filled with good food, fun get-togethers with family and friends, and the sharing of gifts, large or small. The challenge we face is to determine how we are going to spend both our precious time and money to ensure that we make the most of the spirit of the season. Last year this time, my own household entered into unchartered territory as we experienced the holidays in the Arizona sunshine, instead of the cool winter climate of the Pacific Northwest. This year, it is more of the same as we now call the Southwest our forever home. Even though our location has changed, one thing remains constant. In December we still don our hiking boots and sturdy socks and hike the trails, seeking solitude and respite from the business of the season. . . . Read More
Who can resist taking advantage of free energy and power provided by the sun? I know that I can't and for that reason I opt-in to try out as many solar products as I can. Free energy that is renewable every twenty-four hours is difficult to ignore!
Over the years I have tested a number of portable solar panels. I recall the first one. It was heavy and cumbersome and the stupid mix and match of cables was a nightmare. These days, portable chargers rely on USB ports and standard USB cables you already own and not an oddball mish mash of proprietary cables. Thank goodness.
With that introduction, I would like to introduce the newest solar charger in my collection, the . . . Read More
Home baked bread is one of the simple joys in life. It is no wonder that I periodically write about baking bread. I have even gone so far as to say that the key to happiness is baking your own bread! Seriously, who can resist the aroma and taste from a fresh loaf, straight from the oven, or even from your automatic bread machine?
I think making bread the old-fashioned way is grand. Rolling your sleeves up and transforming a lump of dough into a smooth loaf is a great way to work off stress. But what if you could save some of the work and create delicious breads by using a manually operated dough maker? You may have seen these advertised but do they really work?. . . Read More
The biggest issue with emergency lighting, and flashlights especially, is if the batteries are dead, you are out of luck. Sure, you may have lots of extra batteries but why is it they are never handy when you need them? Although there are a number of light sources that can be charged via a solar panel, they take both planning and space, and are not ideal for someone on the go.
One solution to the "my flashlight is dead" dilemma is the Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight with its integrated solar panel. You read that right. This is a powerful flashlight that can be charged using the sun! But that's not all. The Torch 250 can also be charged with a hank crank or via a USB source. In my opinion, this rugged flashlight is right up prepper-alley, and the best news is I have one to . . . Read More
When it comes to personal items, I tend to be a bit of a fashionista. Except when it comes to boots. Boots are boots and performance trumps fashion. But what if you can have a pair of tactical boots that both look good and perform well? And I am not talking just about the ladies, either.
It takes a lot for me to get excited about survival gear that is worn which is probably why I don't write about such products very often. On the other hand, if a particular item is outstanding, I am going to tell you about it. Such is the case with my new Maelstrom TAC FORCE Tactical Boots (also available for men). I have been wearing them full time for the past week and have to tell you, these are fantastic.. . . Read More
Let’s face the facts. Prepper’s are lighting whores and solar geeks. Add a flashlight or lantern to our preps and we are over the moon excited. Get our hands on something powered exclusively by the sun we are thrilled. Who said preppers are difficult to please?
Today, for all of you lighting and solar fans, I have the perfect solution to your portable lighting needs: Nokero Solar Lights. Part lantern, part light bulb, the Nokero N233 Solar Light is lightweight and small but puts out an extremely bright beam.. I am going to share with you my thoughts on the Nokero N233, but beyond that, I have five up for grabs in a giveaway plus one super Nokero W100 Solar Work Light valued at $179. That . . . Read More
When it comes to non-electric lighting, there actually is a genie in the bottle. Oh my gosh, if you only knew how long I have been waiting to say that! So now you ask: Genie? Bottle? What the heck?
Many of you have mentioned that you have a kerosene lamp. Some have been of older vintage, passed down from grandparents or purchased for a song at a garage sale. Others have a newer lamp, purchased specifically for prepping purposes. And then there are the rest of us, lamp-less and yearning to learn more.. . . Read More
As some of you may recall, late last year I had a number of customer service issues with personal orders I placed with Emergency Essentials. After many attempts to resolve these issues, I felt I could no longer endorse them even though I felt they had a robust product line filled with terrific products at a good price point.
I will not bore you with the details other than to say that after a number of heartfelt conversations with their management team, I came away feeling that Emergency Essentials was committed to improving their customer service infrastructure so that my experience would not happen again, to me or to anyone else.. . . Read More
When it comes to solar panels that charge portable electronics, you have a lot of choices. At the top of my head, I would say I have reviewed at least six different set-ups and have given as many away to lucky readers. So, when I was approached by Enerplex to review their entry into this field, I sighed and thought "here we go again".
But wait. There was more. In addition to the Enerplex Commandr 20 Solar Panels, they had the Generatr S100 battery unit that included a 19V laptop port and an integrated AC inverter. That's right. A laptop port. Taking things one step further, the battery unit could be charged by a standard AC or solar panels.. . . Read More
When it comes to having alternative methods of cooking food when the power is out, most preppers have it covered. For some, an outdoor gas grill will do the job while for others, camp stoves, fire pits, and rocket stoves of various types will ensure that at the very least, there will be a viable method for heating both food and water.
My favorite are rocket stoves, mostly because they are fueled by wood and biomass. To that end, since the start of my own prepping journey I have been enamored by the amazing Solo Stove. I started with the Solo Stove Lite and have now moved up the line with various sizes so that I now own a total of four, including the fantastic Solo Stove Campfire. That is how much I love my Solo . . . Read More
As more of our lives become digital, having a simple way to keep our devices charged poses a dilemma when out in the field, hiking, or during a power outage. Luckily, there are many solar options available and with each passing year, they get lighter in weight and lower in cost. Plus, as technology advances, the panels are producing more sun-juice then the portable systems that were available a mere three years ago.
Why should preppers care about charging our digital gizmos? After all, if the grid is down, cell service will be INOP as well. The simple answer for me, at least, is that my devices are a virtual library of knowledge, crammed with eBooks, PDFs, photos, and a bit of entertainment to keep me occupied during dire times.. . . Read More
When it comes to filtering water while on the go, the LifeStraw personal water filter rocks. It is lightweight and easy to use, and, in sort of a perverse way, a lot of fun. That said, I do not mean to poke fun at the very important task of ensuring that drinking water is safe, but it sure does help when the experience is pleasurable.
Do I love my LifeStraws? You bet. I own three of them, one for each of us and a spare. So, when I learned that there was an all-new LifeStraw Steel, I became excited because the all-new LifeStraw Steel includes a 2-stage filtration process instead of just one. How cool is that?. . . Read More