This 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.
Attention, preppers! We’ve been given the opportunity to organize a group buy on the Volcano II Stove I wrote a review about a couple days ago. Now is your chance to get one for a great price.
To make things easy, we’re going to focus on offering only one of their products: The Volcano II Stove with propane attachment. This kit sells for $150 on the website; with the group buy, you’ll be able to grab one for just $108 (before tax)!
Here is a case where the recent Salmonella contaminated Peanut Butter might affect us in unanticipated ways.
A Class I Recall notice has been received from Boca Grande Foods, that there is a potential Salmonella contamination of peanut-based products which were supplied to SOPAKCO, Inc. The recalled Boca Grande Foods peanut butter is packaged in 1-oz and 2-oz squeeze packets and included in certain cases of Sure-Pak 12 Meals. A copy of the Recall Notice is attached. Check it for the affected lot numbers. (You can also it from our home page) Check your emergency supplies to see if you have any of the recalled products, and if you do, fill out the Recall Notice.
I ordered a Solar Oven Society Sportster Oven with optional reflectors on a Monday and it arrived on my door step a precisely one week later. My neighbor has a Global Sun Oven, but hasn’t used it. Not having any experience with this subject, and not knowing anyone who had used one, I performed some research online.
One of the best reviews I read was by Cook’s Illustrated based on the number of models, the breadth of tests and overall quality of the written review. My wife swears by their advice and their reviews are generally spot on, so I ended up going with the model they recommended most highly. I’ll freely admit that it didn’t hurt that the oven was similarly priced with its closest competitors but also included two pots, a water pasteurization indicator and a cookbook.
A post reviewing the performance of this model (SOS Sportster Solar Oven) as well as a comparison with the Global Sun Oven is on my list of projects. If all goes well, I will be able to perform those tests this coming Saturday.
So without further ado, Unboxing the Solar Oven Society Sportster Solar Oven:
Continue reading “SOS Sportster Solar Oven”
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.
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?
No literally, I’m writing this late at night, and wondering just how many people have really given thought to how they will see at night. Whether you are preparing for a couple days of power outages due to an event such as an ice-storm, or some longer-term emergency, it’s not feasible to expect that you can run a generator 24/7 in order to still be able to flick the lights.
While our ancestors did keep better time with the sun, there was still a need for light outside of what the sun provided, and we all know you can’t store *enough* batteries for every need. In this situation, many people will immediately fall back to the use of candles as a primary source of light. While candles are useful, there is a better answer. Candles tend to release a lot of smoke which will leave soot over time, they are an open flame, which is dangerous, and are very subject to drafts. The better answer for indoor lighting of course is the lamp, which from ancient time, in many cultures has provided simple, clean, and efficient lighting to humanity. Continue reading “Burning The Midnight Oil”
Here in Utah it is very common to have a basement, often fully finished. My house is no exception. Our basement is around 2,000 square feet with only two finished rooms, both bedrooms. The previous owner of our home had ducting installed to heat the downstairs, but to do so would require another furnace which they apparently decided to set up in the closet of one of the two bedrooms.
In the interest of preparedness and to avoid losing a closet (and therefore a bedroom per building code) I started looking into the option of installing a wood burning stove in the basement.
Continue reading “Wood burning stoves as a prep.”
An important piece of any Bug out Kit is a way to make a whole lot of noise. You need some way to create some attention-getting noise that can really travel the distance. This tool is a way to get the attention of a search party if you are lost or injured, as well as a way of helping find somebody who is lost. But all whistles are not created equal. Some are bulky, some are tiny, some have Pea’s, some don’t. How do you know which you should get? Well, I was recently pointed to a site via edcforums to an excellent PSK whistle review (PSK). Go check it out before you buy your whistle, it’ll help in selecting.
A local friend of mine recently posted his notes about creating a set of emergency bags (BOB – 72 Hour Kit) for his family. It’s great to see a friend getting his family so ready, and even better when they can share such excellent information. In his example, I think he does a great job of presenting how he will get his young sons to carry a small part of their own gear, without overtaxing them. I know all younger families like myself worry about how to ‘carry enough’ for the younger children, and this example shows great thought in dealing with that concern. Check out the Lances BOB setup. Several pictures showing all the included gear, in and out of the bags.
In the recent Costco mailer, some friends and I all noticed that a “72-hour” kit that Costco carries had a limited time online discount available. The $60 kit was/is available for a limited time for $40 with shipping (Costco 72 hour kit sale), so I decided to check it out. One more 72 hour kit could be good for my family, and if it was nice, would make a great gift to give to some family members and friends.
The kit is all self-contained in a 2.5 gallon bucket, that has a nice airtight seal (gasket lined-lid), but has the one-time use strip around the edge, so you know if it’s been opened. The bucket of course will still reseal, but
with the thinner lip that’s left after the protective strip is removed. So you don’t need a bucket tool to open this thing, but you will need some kind of knife or tool to release the first seal. I had to cut that part open. The bucket itself contains a listing of contents, as well as basic nutritional information for the food inside, which is nice to have available. However for this review I wanted to actually get my hands on what was inside, to see the quality, etc.
Just passing along a link I got from amazon for one of their black friday deals. A Leatherman Micra for just over half off. $12.99. Obviously this is a limited time deal from them.
These are handy little tools for your EDC, and a great stocking stuffer.
Christmas is coming, and it’s time to think about what to get the hordes of family and friends. I thought I’d share something I found last year that was my favorite thing to include with gifts, hand out to everybody at work, and drop in every stocking, all without hurting the budget.
One of my favorites comes from a site I often visit, DealExtreme. This is a discount site for imported items, and they have quite a variety of fun toys for the prepper and geek. In the flashlight section (which has good name-brand as well as really good knock off lights) they have a special deal on bulk packs of keychain LED’s. Under $5 for a 10 pack, and even less if you grab a couple packs, it’s an easy way to get an EDC item out to all those around you. I made sure to have an extra pack for myself, so every bag has one on it, as well as all our keychains.