Have you ever had something happen that would normally be a major inconvenience and find you are okay with it? That is happening to me, right here and right now as I am sitting here writing.
Welcome to the Twilight Zone of no internet, no cell service, and no communication with the rest of the world! I do have my Ham radio turned on, but there is no activity at the moment so all is very quiet. And I am loving it.
You might even say that ultimately, this sense of taking things in stride comes from being prepared and being a prepper!
This has happened before. The big communications cable under the sea (okay, not so big, I am told it has the diameter of a CAT5 cable) suffered a break during a minor earthquake a few years back and it took weeks to fix.
There is an alternative to that antiquated cable, namely a state of the art system run by our local power company co-op. Alas, the roll-out is both slow and expensive, and not something mere mortals have access to. Lucky for me, there is a hotel nearby that is blessed with this super-duper communication service and they are allowing me to send out email and blog posts.
With that introduction, I thought I would keep things simple and perhaps even a bit quirky today as I share my latest gear review coupled with a product giveaway. This one is for the fun of it: an iClever review and giveaway!
Review: iClever 6 Port USB Travel Charger
First of all, I make no apologies when I say these items are not especially survival or prepper-centric. Well, maybe the six-port USB travel charger is a bit necessary since powering all our gizmos from inside a hotel room is often a stretch. And since I have my big road trip coming up, a travel charger is going to come in handy.
I would like to describe the charger. It is small and compact, no big deal, but also what is called a “Smart” charger. The way it works is that each of the six USB ports identifies the device that is plugged in and delivers the just right amount of charging juice. It has a total capacity of 10 amps and even with an iPad, Kindle, and two iPhones plugged in, I get a fast charge.
It is a simple device, but it works and does its job well. I like it so much I now own two.
Review: iClever Bluetooth Stereo Headset
Before I tell you about this headset, I need to tell you that Bluetooth and I do not get along. I have a history of being unable to connect to Bluetooth devices and get so frustrated that nine times out of ten I will reach for a wired device.
For example, I use Skype for 90% of my phone-type communications. With Skype I use a wired headset. You would think I was back in the 20th century. So here is the deal. The iClever Bluetooth headset from iClever connects all by itself each and every time. I have used it with my computer and with my iPhone. Like the charge, it just works.
There are a few features that make this headset stand out. First, it will remember up to eight devices, always attempting to pair with the last device first. Two, customer service is exemplary. I had a bit of a problem charging my first pair and after contacting support via Amazon, I had a replacement within days.
The headset does all of the standard things such as mute when a phone call comes in and move forward and backwards within your library, but at the end of the day, what counts is comfort and sound quality. This headset sounds great and is lightweight. The ear buds stay firmly in place so well that you won’t even know there are there!
I use the headset for listening to audiobooks during my daily hike with Tucker the Awesome Wonder Dog. What better way to shore up your fitness than walking briskly with a favorite tune or book keeping you company along the way?
The friendly folks at iClever provided the review units and are additionally holding one six-port USB charger and one Bluetooth headset for a lucky Backdoor Survival reader. You know the drill when it comes to the Rafflecopter.
The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.
The Final Word
Between the time I started writing and now, I have learned that an automobile has hit a utility pole on the mainland causing a county-wide communications outage. Service should be restored soon, whatever that means.
As for me, I plan to enjoy my time with no internet, thank you very much. I have plenty to do that does not require being online and simply refuse to get stressed over this minor blimp in road. Like you, I am prepared.
Note: Service was restored in the wee hours of the morning. So much for the internet holiday; it’s time to get back to writing about prepping!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
Bargain Bin: Below you will find links to the items featured in today’s article as well as some prepping favorites.
iClever 50 Watt 6 Port USB Desktop Rapid Charger with SmartID Technology: I own two of these. Love the form factor and the fact I can quickly charge up to six devices at once.
iClever Lightweight Wireless Bluetooth Headphones: Lightweight and a cinch to use. Good sound quality while hiking, walking, exercising or simply enjoying a bit of music or an audiobook. It has a microphone for use in making phone calls and in my experience, the person on the other line has no idea you are using a headset.
Ticket to Ride: When it comes to board games, this is my favorite. (It helps that I usually win.) This is fun for the entire family. Warning, you and your gift recipient will become addicted and will often ask the question: Want to play train aka “ticket to ride”?
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2oz. making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.
Sunferno Flintstone Portable Solar Panel with Rechargeable Battery Pack: This sturdy solar power pack is lightweight and small enough to be used in an EDC kit. I especially like that it has 2 USB ports.
RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports: This compact, three panel, solar charger will charge two devices at once, including tablets, smartphones, Kindles, and even AA/AAA battery chargers. Value priced at about $50. For more information, read: Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports.
Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I first learned about Blocklites from a reader. I am impressed with how long they will run on a single, 9V battery. I now own 8 of these spread out in drawers, emergency kits, the car, everywhere. This is my number one pick for a small, but effective flashlight.
For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices. Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic. This month note the great sale prices two of my favorites, the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) now only $14.95 and the Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid, now only $11.79.
Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.
Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are. All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.
Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!
Essential Oils for the First Aid Kit
Consider adding an assortment of health and wellness related essential oils to your first aid kit. At a minimum, include melaleuca (tea tree), lavender, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, and clove oils. At a cost of less than $45, these six essential oils will serve you well in a wide variety of first aid and emergency situations.
For an even broader selection of oils consider this Spark Naturals Health and Wellness Kit which includes a total of 10 oils and blends, nicely packaged on a tin that is perfect for your first aid kit. And note that with any purchase from Spark Naturals you will enjoy a 10% discount by using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.