If there is one thing we all should be mindful of when it comes to our emergency kits it is weight. Let me tell you this: strap more than 20 pounds on your back and unless you are an experienced backpacker or in the Army, you are not going to get very far.
For that very reason, I am always on the lookout for prepping items that are both light weight and useful. If the usefulness extends beyond emergencies, and the item is value priced, all the better.
My latest find is a very cool inflatable Solar Air Lantern from SurvivalFrog.com. I love it because it works and I love it more because it is affordable and fun. Just because we are preppers does not mean we can’t like something for the fun of it, right?
But the best part? I have 10, that’s right, 10 for you in this week’s gear giveaway. That means 10 readers will win an inflatable Solar Air Lantern. Want to learn more?
The Inflatable Solar Lantern from Survival Frog
When you first get your solar air lantern, it won’t seem like much. Deflated, it is only about an inch tall and five inches across. At just 4 ounces, it is indeed light weight. It might seem insignificant and toy-like but nothing could be further from the truth.
After taking it out of its package, all you need to do set the solar lantern out in the sun, at a sunny window, or even under an incandescent light, to fully charge up. Mine appeared to be fully charged right out of the package but just to be safe, I set it outside on a overcast day for eight hours so I could be confident in my testing.
To inflate the lantern, you flip open the top flapper-thingy and blow it up, much like a beach ball. It does take a few puffs to get it totally inflated but once done, I found it stays that way as long as you tuck the flapper under the ridge along the side of the opening. Curiously, this area is marked “squeeze”.
My Solar Air Lanterns have been inflated for 3 weeks and still looks the same as the day they were blown up.
The specifications indicate that the 10 super-bright LEDS in the Solar Air Lantern will yield 6 to 12 hours of light when fully charged. There are three modes, low, bright, and strobe/emergency flasher mode. I wanted to get maximum longevity during my testing so I turned the lantern on “low” and kept it there until the light was no longer usable.
The good news is that 15 hours later, the light was still usable. The bad news? Can’t think of anything because as I write this, it has been close to 22 hours and by switching to “bright”, I still have plenty of light to read by in a darkened room.
The Solar Air Lantern has a handle on each side that canbe used for hanging purposes. Above you will see where I attached it to my bug out bag where it will charge while I am on the move. But what about usability? Read on.
11 Ways to Use the Inflatable Solar Lantern
I thought it would be fun to think of all of the ways the Solar Air Lantern could be used in an emergency situation. Here is what I came up with.
- Brighten a room during a power outage
- Light up the electrical box when the breaker flips
- Illuminate the inside of a tent
- Campground lighting
- Use as an accessory light in your vehicle when stranded at night (and thus prevent running down car battery)
- Strap to bug out bag to light up the trail
- Find your way to the out-house or latrine at night
- Signal for help (using the strobe/emergency flasher)
- String around a porch or deck to brighten the outside of your home and keep the bad guys away
- Spotlight when changing a tire in the dark
- Provide a night light to the kiddos when they are frightened by a storm
plus #12. Toss around and play catch at the beach. Okay, with this one I am just kidding!
There are probably at least a dozen other emergency uses but I am going to let you tell me about them in the giveaway!
In the event your forgot, there will be 10 winners, thanks for the generosity of the nice folks at Survival Frog! To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below. Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours. The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”. After that, each option you select represents an additional entry. There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.
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
I found the Solar Air Lantern to be extremely versatile, mostly due to its light weight and extreme longevity with a single charge. Because it is waterproof and completely powered by the sun, it can be used anywhere, no batteries required.
Plus, as I mentioned in the beginning, the Solar Air Lantern is value priced less than $20. Trust me, this solar light source is a keeper. Please enter the giveaway; I want you to win!!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: I carry my portable survival kit whenever I leave the house. The nice thing about it is that it fits neatly in a pocket, day pack, glove box, or handbag. If you are interested in more details or need assistance building your own kit, see 8 Essential Items: The Perfect Portable Survival Kit. In the meantime, here are some items you should consider carrying with you as you travel near and afar.
BIC Classic Lighters (12): A dozen full size BIC lighters at a bargain price with free shipping.
Paracord Lanyard: I prefer a paracord lanyard over a bracelet because I can use it’s clip to attach my whistle as well as other items that I may want to add from time to time such as a second flashlight, a Swiss army knife, pepper spray, or a flash drive (thumb drive).
Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: One of my readers (James) claimed that these work great. So I bought one. Then I bought another. All told, I have 8 of these spread out in drawers, in my emergency kits, the car, everywhere.
Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife: This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing.
Windstorm Safety Whistle: This particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds. I love my cheapie whistles but this is the one I would depend on for wilderness survival.
Lavender Essential Oil: This is the Swiss army knife of essential oils. My favorite lavender oil is from Spark Naturals. Enjoy a 10% discount with code BACKDOORSURVIVAL.
Rectangular Tin with Window: I found this tin that is very similar to mine on Amazon.com. Chances are you have something similar already that can be repurposed for free.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: Too large for a pocket kit but important to have with you is the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter. At only 2 ounces (in weight), the LifeStraw is suitable for a backpack or bug out bag. It is easy to use and requires no chemicals to remove a minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria.
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