Homemade camping stove

Sometimes you just want a small stove for your tent. Wouldn’t that be nice to have an actual wood-burning method of heating a shelter that doesn’t cost a fortune, and is easy to carry around? Now dont’ get me wrong, I truly covet a nice stove for the wall tent I dream of owning some day, but reality hasn’t let that come into my posession yet.

Continue reading “Homemade camping stove”

How to survive a night without power

Just a quick post today. With the severe wind storms some people have found that they are not prepared for an emergency such as spending a single winter night without power. KSL posted an article this morning with some useful information on how your family can weather such an emergency.

Also, it might be a good time to refer to articles we’ve done about emergency kits, off-grid power, lighting, and heat.

Take a few minutes to read through it.

Utah survival example in the news

There is an interesting example of Winter survival in the news today courtesy of KSL.

There is an interesting example of Winter survival in the news today courtesy of KSL.

While these young men made an initial mistake that got them lost, they managed to remain calm and focused on survival. Creating a snow cave, starting a fire, etc. are all useful skills and as this example clearly shows can help to keep you alive.

Another aspect of preparedness is learning from our mistakes and other’s examples. In this case, if they had their avalanche beacon and some other gear, (perhaps some EDC items, or an emergency kit)  they would have been located much sooner or not been lost in the first place, and been more comfortable while waiting for rescue.

Read the article and absorb any information you can so you can use that information if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

Homemade ice-claws

When I moved to college in Idaho as a teenager, I had a really quick introduction into a new world of snow and ice. While the snow I grew up with was wet and heavy, and usually melted away pretty quick in the moderate temperature. Idaho however introduced me to the bitter hard-freeze that left our campus with an amazing array of forms of ice that were completely new to me. I, as with many of my fellow students, became intimately familiar with this ice while performing the splits, or landing on my back when trying to hurry between classes.

Image from KresimirPregernik

When I moved to college in Idaho as a teenager, I had a really quick introduction into a new world of snow and ice. While the snow I grew up with was wet and heavy, and usually melted away pretty quick in the moderate temperature. Idaho however introduced me to the bitter hard-freeze that left our campus with an amazing array of forms of ice that were completely new to me. I, as with many of my fellow students, became intimately familiar with this ice while performing the splits, or landing on my back when trying to hurry between classes.

In that time, I saw a few people that had some nifty attachments for their shoes allowing them to get traction on the ice.  Along the lines of higher end crampons used in ice-climbing, they strapped on over any shoes and allowed the user to dig into the ice a bit more.  Over on one of my favorite sites (Instructables) there are some instructions for creating a simple version of these yourself.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Ice-claws/

Wrapping Up, With Blankets

As snowflakes begin to frequently drift down, my wife began her odd seasonal transformation from warm, to cold-blooded being.  I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with this process, but it is the true mark of seasonal change around my home.  Appendages seem to have ice permanently on them, and thus have an odd habit of always finding their way to me, which is cause to no small amount of distress.

As snowflakes begin to frequently drift down, my wife begins her odd seasonal transformation from warm, to cold-blooded being.  I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with this process, but it is the true mark of seasonal change around my home.  Appendages seem to have ice permanently on them, and thus have an odd habit of always finding their way to me, which is cause to no small amount of distress.

With that in mind, we have discussed what else we can do in my family to increase our ability to stay warm inside (because my wife sure doesn’t want to go out).  Beyond just comfort in the dark months, my southern CA native wife is petrified of the idea of being without power/heat, and our ability to deal with that. Continue reading “Wrapping Up, With Blankets”

Reminder: Driving in Snow

With the recent storms, and onset of Winter conditions here in Utah, I felt it appropriate to send out a little reminder of things people should do to prepare for winter driving.  Please prepare before the storms come, so that you can be ready for they enjoyable experience that is Utah roads in the Winter.

With the recent storms, and onset of Winter conditions here in Utah, I felt it appropriate to send out a little reminder of things people should do to prepare for winter driving.  Please prepare before the storms come, so that you can be ready for the enjoyable experience that is Utah roads in the Winter. Continue reading “Reminder: Driving in Snow”

Prepping example on 18 Kids and Counting 4/7 on TLC

Tomorrow night, April 7th TLC will be showing a new episode of 18 Kids and Counting.

Tomorrow night, April 7th TLC will be showing a new episode of 18 Kids and Counting.

In case you aren’t familiar with the show, here is a brief description of this reality show. Michele and Jim Bob Duggar are the parents of a traditional Christian family. After 20 years of marriage, they have had 18 children with only one set of twins. They manage to afford this large family by being frugal, wisely investing the money they do have in money making properties and businesses and always paying cash for all their purchases. If they don’t have enough money to buy something, they save and buy it later or do without. All of their children are also home schooled.

What does this have to do with prepping? Continue reading “Prepping example on 18 Kids and Counting 4/7 on TLC”

TV Worth Watching

I’m not a big TV fan myself, as I expect many of the readers of this blog.  But last year I did stumble on a show I really liked, called “The Alaska Experiment“.  The show took a couple small groups (2-4 people) of “regular people”, and dropped them in backcountry Alaska, to survive into the winter.  Now, not only was this TV, but it was reality-tv, which by nature I detest.  And yet it drew me in like no other.  Why?  Because it showed just how little people knew, and just how difficult it was to survive, even with the large amount of help these people received.  They had minimal food supplies given, they had shelter, and constant checkups to make sure they weren’t in real harm.  And yet it was still *very* difficult.  Sure, at many points I would scream at people for what I saw as dumb decisions, but I have a better camping background than they.  I was also sitting in my nice chair at home, instead of in the middle of Winter in Alaska.

I’m not a big TV fan myself, as I expect many of the readers of this blog.  But last year I did stumble on a show I really liked, called “The Alaska Experiment“.  The show took a couple small groups (2-4 people) of “regular people”, and dropped them in backcountry Alaska, to survive into the winter.  Now, not only was this TV, but it was reality-tv, which by nature I detest.  And yet it drew me in like no other.  Why?  Because it showed just how little people knew, and just how difficult it was to survive, even with the large amount of help these people received.  They had minimal food supplies given, they had shelter, and constant checkups to make sure they weren’t in real harm.  And yet it was still *very* difficult.  Sure, at many points I would scream at people for what I saw as dumb decisions, but I have a better camping background than they.  I was also sitting in my nice chair at home, instead of in the middle of Winter in Alaska.

Well, season 2 is coming, albeit with a slightly different name.  “Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment”.  Go check out the preview on the Discovery Channel page.  This season changes things a bit by dropping folks off in the wild, and letting themselves find their way out.  I’m sure we’ll all see the dangers in that.

Winter/Snow Camping Ideas and Tips

wintercamptinyThis past weekend several friends and I got together for some fun in the snow.  About 50 of us (including kids) converged on the West Desert area of Utah for a couple days.  I had some new winter camping ideas that I wanted to try out, I’ll go over those results here.  I took a “barometer” of success with me for my experiments (being somewhat of a Polar Bear myself, I needed a better judge of my success).  I have an 18 year old daughter that HATES the cold – she sleeps on a heater vent at home as often as she can, she wears heavy snow clothes when there’s an old inch of snow on the ground and it’s sunny.

Continue reading “Winter/Snow Camping Ideas and Tips”

Emergency home heat

My next preparation project was obtaining an emergency heat source. This is a purchase that I have been researching and planning for a quite a while now, wanting to make sure that I had adequately weighed options and made the best choice. There are a lot of factors to consider including the size and shape of the ares you want to heat, portability, direct verse ambient heat, ease of use, safety, ventilation, and fuel source.

My next preparation project was obtaining an emergency heat source. This is a purchase that I have been researching and planning for a quite a while now, wanting to make sure that I had adequately weighed options and made the best choice. There are a lot of factors to consider including the size and shape of the areas you want to heat, altitude, portability, direct versus ambient heat, ease of use, safety, ventilation, and fuel source.

For me, fuel source was one of the most important factors. And, while availability, storage life, and heating power are importing things to consider, my main concern was selecting a universal fuel. Whether I am cooking, lighting, or heating, my preparations will be much more effective if I only have to store one type of fuel. I would also like a solution that I can use regularly in addition to working well in an emergency. Continue reading “Emergency home heat”

Get Home Bag

Recently I took some time to rotate a few items in my ‘Get Home Bag’ that I keep in my car.  The seasons were changing here, and they require different items to fill the bags purpose.  As I was changing, I realized I should take a few pictures to post on here (and satisfy the requests of a few friends wanting to know what I have).  With that in mind here’s a basic breakdown of my winter Get Home Bag.

Purpose:

I live a fair distance from my work now (oh how I long to telecommute again!).  Around 25 miles one way, around a lake, across a river, through several places that have limited road options.  How do I know this?  Well, I would say everybody should be very familiar with every alternate route between their home and most common destinations, because you never know when you will need them.  I have needed mine.  Beyond a natural curiosity and desire to optimize my commute, my neighborhood often requires it because it has a population that overwhelms the local road infrastructure on a good day.  Add in an accident, or bad weather and it becomes horrid.  Get worse weather, and you can actually shut down access to our town.  It’s happened before, it will happen again.  Throw in an earthquake, and there will be *no* cars heading home.  Whatever your locally preferred disaster, would you be able to get home to your wonderful food storage?

Continue reading “Get Home Bag”

Winter/Snow Driving Preps, Part 3 of 3, Driving Tips

This is the final post in our 3 part series, Winter and Snow Driving Preps. The first post, Prepping your Vehicle, can be found here followed by our second post, Supplementing your Gear.

This is the final post in our 3 part series, Winter and Snow Driving Preps. The first post, Prepping your Vehicle, can be found here followed by our second post, Supplementing your Gear.

To wrap this Winter Prep series up, let’s go over a few winter driving tips. I’m not trying to teach you how to drive, but just some good techniques to use while driving in snow and ice conditions. Continue reading “Winter/Snow Driving Preps, Part 3 of 3, Driving Tips”