Emergency Power Generation/Storage, EMP Protection, Heating/Cooling, Handy Tools and Tricks

rrraven

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
@Channa does your backyard get any sun ? solar cooker designs - Google leit
solar cookers may be a go if you do get sun
if not or its raining
yes pressure cookers are brilliant too
or a strawbox ( use a wool blanket /feather doona if you can't get straw)
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A haybox, straw box, fireless cooker, insulation cooker, wonder oven, self-cooking apparatus, norwegian cooker or retained-heat cooker is a cooker that utilizes the heat of the food being cooked to complete the cooking process. Food items to be cooked are heated to boiling point, and then insulated.
 
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Eboard10

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
As a city boy with zero experience in emergency preparation and use of basic tools for energy generation/storage, I am happy that such a thread has been created as it provides useful information and tips on survival that will likely come in handy in the not too distant future.
Look forward to learning from you all.

I'm also a big fan of candles. I have one of these little guys...
Thanks for sharing, I plan on buying one. Is there a difference in terms of resiliency and efficiency between the brass lantern and the aluminium one or are they basically the same?

One of the best things I ever bought for hiking / camping... Everyone should have one. Firebox stoves.
I'm thinking of getting a small wood stove too. They sell titanium stoves that are supposedly lighter and stronger than the steel ones but I guess the difference is marginal given the size and use.
 

Woodsman

The Living Force
As a city boy with zero experience in emergency preparation and use of basic tools for energy generation/storage, I am happy that such a thread has been created as it provides useful information and tips on survival that will likely come in handy in the not too distant future.
Look forward to learning from you all.


Thanks for sharing, I plan on buying one. Is there a difference in terms of resiliency and efficiency between the brass lantern and the aluminium one or are they basically the same?
I can't imagine that there would be any difference. Mine is aluminum.

Though, if you can find them, the bees wax candles burn for 1.5 times as long and they don't give off toxic smoke.
 

Woodsman

The Living Force
In terms of vital basics...

Before thinking of tents and stoves and such, I think many people overlook basic tools. We take them for granted, but without them, we reduce ourselves from mighty humans to babes in the woods. -And when we picture the idea of survival, I think it's probably unrealistic to believe that it will be happening out in the woods. You'll probably be in a house or building when the lights go out. Why leave? That sounds unproductive.

We also have to remember that where animals have claws and teeth optimized for living in their world, we don't. We have brains, and our brains came up with the idea of making and using tools. But if you don't actually have tools when you need them, all you have are.., soft fingers and teeth which aren't very good at doing the sorts of things humans need to do, (like cutting up wood for little survival stoves, for instance).

I am regularly surprised and dismayed at how unprepared most people leave themselves when there is nothing simpler than having a basic tool box under the stairs.

That tool box should have at minimum a compliment of five or six basic items in it. In no particular order...

Pliers. Pliers are an absolute genius tool. -They are perhaps one of the most useful and epic inventions humanity has ever come up with. They are force multipliers with metal teeth. They can grip and pull at things which could easily hurt our hands, and do so with super-human strength. And all they are are two sticks built to lever against one another. Genius! Made from metal and with teeth added, they are a formidable tool. You can pull up nails, bend metal, cut wire or small branches, (most pliers come with a cutting section near the hinge). And they are durable and cheap and easily available. You can buy a solid standard set of pliers for about $15.

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There are lots of different kinds of pliers, but I personally find the sort pictured above the most practical; "Linesman" pliers. You can pull up a nail, cut thick wire and pry open a pop-bottle top, even undo some nuts without a proper wrench. And in a pinch, you can even do some decent hammering with a beefy set of pliers, (though, you should use your basic hammer for that). Needle-nose pliers are also useful for working with small items, but for the totally unequipped among us, it's best to just cover the main bases.

A wood saw. -And not the polite kind used for simple wood working, (though that's not a bad idea), but rather the kind designed to cut through arm-thick branches. There are various types of saw which can do this. Lately, there have appeared on the market these chain-saw wire devices, like sharp rope, with handles on either end. They look neat, but I like the basic folding kind designed for gardeners; they are cheap, easy to use, and easy to store. And if you don't have one or something like it, you simply aren't going to be cutting anything down. Not having a saw is like depriving yourself of a basic super-power.

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Next up... A fixed blade knife:

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-That is, not a folding knife, (though, those are also super handy and I more often find myself using one of those than the kind of knife pictured above, however, I currently live in a world where tools are disposable, and I've broken half a dozen folding knives over the course of my life. Even good ones are simply not as strong or made to last. Anything with moving parts is bound to fail, and will not be as tough or reliable as a single piece of sharpened metal). On the other hand, I still have the same camping knife I bought 30 years ago. A good, 4 to 6 inch blade made of thick metal stock with a proper full tang, (that is, the hidden part which the handle covers), which won't break if you use it to pry stuff, can last for many years, and is easier to sharpen than a fancy folding pocket knife.

It should be remembered that a knife isn't just a cutting tool, but rather an everything tool. You can use them to prepare food and to then eat that food in lieu of a fork. You can use it to carve wood into the right shapes, to cut rope or cloth, to jimmy into tight spaces, and everything else you'd use your fingers for but which would damage them. Oh, and obviously, a knife is also a weapon. Like the pliers, having a knife is like having a super-finger with a super claw which never gets hurt. If you find yourself living in rough circumstances, not having a knife will vastly diminish your ability to get anything done.

Screw drivers.

Nearly everything in your immediate environment which can come apart, from door hinges to computers, does so by unscrewing the little threaded metal pegs holding it together. If you don't have a screw driver with the right fit, it's like not having keys to the world.

There are lots of screw drivers on the market, but I personally like the one pictured below, and use mine all the time: It's got most of the ends you'll ever need tucked in the handle, it's very sturdy and easy to swap out the right ends, plus it has twisty bits in a couple of convenient places so that you can hold it steady with one hand while turning it with the other. Professional builders will use this thing, so it's a serious tool. -Though, as with any such item which has moving parts, it's not going to last as long as a well-made single-purpose tool built for one type of screw, but most people don't need that and this one comes pretty close in terms of durability while also providing a lot of options which would normally fill up a whole tool box. Not having a screw driver when you need one is incredibly frustrating, so every tool box should have something like this. The other nice thing about this particular model is that it's cheap! $25

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An adjustable wrench. Some of the things in your life are held together with nuts and bolts. This is the tool for that. An adjustable wrench is an ugly sort of tool; they are known for damaging nuts and making a mess of things, but the professional option is to have two dozen different fixed-wrench tools which come in a big case or a roll of leather. The average person faced with a small repair job, (a plugged pipe under the sink or a bicycle seat which needs raising), just needs the damned thing to turn this one time. An adjustable wrench is your friend. They are cheap and they work. -Not nearly as universally useful as a knife or pair of pliers, they are nonetheless "the right tool for the job" when the job comes up, as it will eventually.

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A Cigarette Lighter.

I don't need to include a picture of one here. Everybody knows what one looks like. They are that useful. Instant fire on demand. Wow! Solving one of the most intimately human problems faced by our species. The standard Bic lighter is also perhaps the perfect survival tool. Virtually indestructible, reliable and long-lasting. My personal belief is that if you don't have the ability to make fire on demand, you are falling down on the job of being Human. Always have a lighter in your house, backpack or car. Even if you don't smoke. If you ever happen to be lost in the woods, a lighter can make the difference between life and death.

Other items I find tremendously useful to have around is a roll of electrical tape and a ball of twine. Its shocking how often you'll find yourself standing there thinking, "Damn. I need a piece of something to hold this together or hang that up, (etc)." Electrical tape is good, because it's water proof and grippy. And if you do any electrical work, it'll stop you from shorting wires or zapping things.

A hammer and a box of 1" nails. (What are you going to tie that string to for your improvised clothes line?)

Okay... So that's my not at all fancy list of basic items everybody should have. If you find yourself alone and in tough circumstances, not having these tools can really make life difficult.

I'll end this little list with a fancy fun treat item:

Expensive and by no means necessary, (since all those other tools can do the job better) but actually really useful and nerdy for all the random little jobs which come up, (I have one in my back pack at all times for odd jobs here and there, and consequently use it more often than all those other tools combined) is this thing:

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It even has a wood saw capable of cutting through a two by four!

Now, while I wouldn't ever advise against having one of these cool tools, when it comes down to an actual problem or protracted bit of work, it's always better to use a proper saw, (for cutting branches), or a proper screw driver, (for installing that shelf) etc. A multi-tool like the one pictured above is just if you're too lazy to go get your tool box and the problem needing solving happens to be right in front of you. For people who are handy and whose lives regularly put them in places where odd problems come up, (garages, fishing trips, etc.), then this is a great little tool.
 
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Kari Baba

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Hello Kari Baba
I searched for this candle oven on the internet but I did not find it
Can you give me more information?
Hi @Channa

Sorry for the late reply. Your question has somehow disappeared from me. I bought the stove on the internet a few years ago. Unfortunately this shop no longer exists. But the principle can be recreated relatively easily with flower pots made of clay. There are many YouTube tutorials on this. For example this.
 

Metrist

Dagobah Resident
I always marvel at magnifying glasses after a long winter, and burn things with their focus. And I always wanted to buy a dozen or so and make an array to heat water - or a stove. It is so simple, and the energy is taken directly from the sun.
 
I bought a small cast iron barbecue, easy to move.
It can be used for my meals or to warm me up.
On some survival sites, they advise to store dry lentils, etc.
And if you don't have water, how do you cook them?
So I thought it was better to buy cooked lentils in cans
At the very least, just open the can and put it on a candle dish or the barbecue
Although I have two freezers, I am wary because of possible breakdowns.
So, I go for canned food: vegetables, lentils, meat, rillettes, pâtés, cassoulet, etc
As for a city environment I believe alcohol stove is a good thing to have.
- It can be used indoors (with caution of course), so it doesn't attract unwanted attention;
- is small and light to carry;
- fuel is relatively cheap and widely accessible;
- water can be boiled on it. Most of microorganisms are killed by boiling the water. I would stock up on water purifying tablets as well.

I don't remember where I heard this but it makes sense. People need to have hot food and liquids occasionally otherwise problems with digestion and stool may occur.
 

Brewer

Jedi Master
Perhaps a “how to” or “what is it” or “how do you make this” would be cool.
No worries! The folding camping panels, with built in USB ports was $220 AUD. The 12 volt 116 amp hour lithium iron phosphate battery, with a built in management system was $500. The battery box, $70 is not necessary but provides more features such as extra fuses, USB ports and so forth. Finally you need an inverter to step the voltage up, that's the silver box in the third pic and was about $170. You can go cheaper than this, with a smaller battery and an inverter is not needed if you're just charging USB devices.

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Michal

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
One of the best things I ever bought for hiking / camping... Everyone should have one. Firebox stoves.
My sis inspired me to buy for campings Kelly Kettle. One may use it for cooking and heating. Check this out:
I like it as it uses minimum wood and it is very easy to make fire in it comparing to normal bone fire. Small humidity does not hamper its function. Easy to boil water in it.

And for this candle heater when I was a kid we used flower pot put on the gas stove.
 

Cosmos

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I did some research over the years on those topics and thought it might be a good idea to share some of my results, as well as my personal setup for power generation/storage, EMP protection and Heating/Cooling as well as handy devices.

- So in an emergency, it is a good idea to rethink what you actually really need to power (most especially in terms of those high-power devices). And if you really have to power any of those high-power devices, you need to know that you should be careful with your energy reserves. For example: let's say you need heat to cook and/or to generate warmth; think it through and look for a solution that is the most energy saving and long-term reliable solution you can think of under specific circumstances. Here are some ideas, especially in terms of high-power consumption.

There is a lot more to say, and I will try to do so in the coming days/weeks on follow-up posts. For example, I'll describe how you can set up a relatively low-cost emergency power system that should be more or less EMP proof, so that you can power basic electric stuff and even some more power intensive stuff for short periods of time, from time to time.

But there is hope. As you can see later, there are what is called "Bi-Fuel" power generators available (preciously few good ones though) for a decent amount of money for public use! They are also called "dual fuel" generators. I found what I consider the best of those options fairly cheaply, which can be used in the power generating setup (described later) both with a Propane Gas Tank and with Petrol.

What follows is a shorter version of the setup I build that you can build relatively easily yourself too if you have a bit of money at your disposal. [I'll include the rough price in brackets at the end of each item/setup]. After that I also share some stripped down versions/ideas of the said setup that you could try as well which are more "low-cost" options. I will also try to not get into too many specifics to make it more concise. If anyone has any questions about anything, feel free to ask, and I can for example expand on the given subject, how I found the information, how I came to the given conclusions and why I choose certain products/approaches etc.

The reason I say that is because with each approach/product, there are a lot of considerations/calculations/experiments/research/ideas that have been applied to why and how I choose that specific device or approach. Also, be careful, because my setup is based around German/EU Plug/AC requirements and "powering a house" with three people, and it is meant to provide fairly reliable energy for longer time in which bigger power drains can also be used from time to time for "longer periods". That means if you live in the US for example, there are other Plug/AC standards for certain products. But everything mentioned is also available in those non EU Plug/AC standards. It also means that it might be too overkill for most.

In a roundabout way, my setup is meant to fulfill/prepare for the following scenarios (among others):

- Emergency Short-term energy/heat/cooling independents and generation and protection against EMPs at the same time
- Long-term energy/heat/cooling independents and generation in case of prolonged power outages and/or EMPs (many years - lifetime)
- EMP protection for key elements of the setup
- EMP protection and energy input for key electrical devices that would be good if they can function under power outage conditions
- Worst-case scenario considerations and priorities in terms of energy management and conservation

Doesn't mean anything like that ever happens, just that it might be good to be prepared if it happens. That's how I think about it and why I set it up as I did. Also keep my previous post in mind. Also, in everything I do here (and in general also) I'm always trying to find the best solution and always prioritize quality over price. IMO it is always better to research stuff thoroughly and use/buy only the best quality product you can get (within your budget) which usually means you have to pay more. I always apply that principle to things that are a bit more expensive and that need to run reliably. For stuff that is pretty cheap in itself I sometimes break that rule. I'm always looking for the best (and believe me, I research a lot before making a decision). I'm perfectly willing and happy to pay a good amount of money as long as the product has a very good quality and meets my high requirements in terms of quality and durability/compatibility. In other words: I would buy a quality product for a high price any day over a cheap one that could break any time and likely needs to be replaced again and again and isn't reliable. I also like to always cover all possible angles/scenarios that I can think of. A good example of this is the topic of solar panels: I did A LOT of research on it over the years and I found IMO the best solution out there (keeping scenarios such as bad weather conditions and many others in mind) that is a bit more pricey but IMO the best you can get unless you are very rich.

I realize that not everyone can or is willing to spend that amount of money, thus I will present much cheaper, stripped down solutions revolving/based around my basic setup later on.

My basic setup (excluding many other additional things not mentioned):

1 -
"
Bluetti AC200P" AC/Solar/Car Generator/Battery= 2000Wh/2000W = Fast Charge = Surge Power 4800W [1,699€]

2 - "Champion 2000 Watt LPG Dual Fuel Inverter Generator" = 2000W Petrol / 1800W LPG (and/or Propane). [939,99 €] Notice that the Propane tanks mentioned below will/can also be used for cooking/heating if you have a cheap Gas oven/stove/heater as mentioned in the previous posts!!!
  • 1 Motor-Oil= "FANFARO FF6505-5 SPX" [13,82 €]
  • 8 times 11kg Propane Gas Tanks + 8 times Gas [8 x 35€ + 8 x 22,80€ = 462,40€]. Notice that refilling one bottle costs 22,80€ and you only pay for the bottle itself (35€) once (to own it).
  • 2 times 5kg Propane Gas Tanks + 2 times Gas [2 x 29€ + 2 x 11,55€ = 81,10€]. Notice that refilling one bottle costs 11,55€ and you only pay for the bottle itself (29€) once (to own it).
  • 3 times 20L Petrol Tanks + Petrol [3 x 32,94€ + ca. 1,60 € x 60L = 194,82 €]. Make sure to use/replace the Petrol at least once a year with new petrol (but preferably, more like every half year or so). Petrol degrades over time!

3 - "EcoFlow RIVER Pro Portable Power Station" AC/Solar/Car Generator/Battery= 720Wh/600W = Fast Charge = Surge Power up to 1800W with the so called X-Boost mode! See example here, here, here, here, here, here or here! [749€]

4 - 2 times EMP proof Faraday Bags: "OGT Large Faraday Bag 126L, Room for all of your Electronics". [2 x $369.99 = $739,98]. Notice that I have put every single electrical device mentioned above (including all cables) into those two bags with still quite some space left in there (even though I haven't even mentioned all the electrical devices, cables, batteries, small power banks and tools I have also in there that are not listed above!). That means even if a comet induced EMP or CME type frying happens there is at least potential hope that you can power important things! But that is no certainty of course.

Some basic things to consider in terms of EMPs:

Do some research on EMPs and really think it through! You will realize for example that you have to protect not only the power generator and solar panels mentioned above against an EMP but also the devices you want to power after that emergency, including such critical things as cables! You will also realize that especially newer devices such as cellphones, Laptops etc, are charged via USB-C type of cables that have chips in them! So, that means your devices are basically useless if you don't put the charging cable in the EMP bag as well! What good is a functioning cellphone and the needed power generator for example if you have forgotten to put such a loading cable that has a chip build in into the bag? None! You can't recharge the Cellphone! Same for date transfer between your cellphone/laptop/GPS device etc and other devices such as hard drives. Also, make sure that you put all necessary batteries and power banks into the bag! The mentioned Faraday Bag might also be able to protect against some effects of CMEs but as with the comet or nuclear induced EMPs, nobody really knows. It depends on the severity among many other factors (many of which we might not even be aware of). IMO at least it is worth a try.

Maintaining all Batteries!:

Make sure that you create a list (such as this rough template I created around my setup (I excluded many things for privacy)) in which you list all items in the setup that have batteries in them or use batteries and you want to work if you don't have power and/or there is a EMP. Batteries need to be recharged every couple of months in order for them to not degrade and/or drain. If you don't do that and think you can just store those batteries for years you will wake up with a bad surprise, because at best they are degraded/drained substantially and at worst are kaputt! Depending on the type of battery, the timespan you can store it before you should recharge differs. In my setup for example, "for the worst" type of batteries, it is recommended to charge them every 3-6 months for storage. Thus, I figured it would be best that I recharge ALL batteries in my setup every two months to cover all eventualities! It is also a good way to ensure that every battery/generator/device is fully loaded/functional when an emergency hits.

[(04.08.2022) Edit to the "Maintaining all Batteries!.:" part above: As I have found out by now, depending on the type of battery you are using (for example: NiMH, Lithium Ion, LiFePO4 etc.), and the specific brand/product; if you store them long term, the way you have to maintain them can be quite different from what I said above! Best way to look for how to maintain your specific battery is by looking for what the manufacturer of the product recommends for long term storage (sometimes but not always found in the users manual). If you can't find a recommendation from the manufacturer, the next best thing you can/should do is to look up how you need to maintain your specific type of battery (Lithium Ion, for example) for long term storage, on the internet. Be aware that if you don't follow those long term maintenance/storage recommendations for your specific battery/product and/or you are using a wrong method (always keeping it fully charged, for example) for your type of battery/product, that you can do serious damage to the battery and even destroy it in a fairly short amount of time! You can find a rough guide here for example, for how to maintain different types of battery chemestries.]

Finally, I'll include some pictures.

What follows is just one of the two 120W "OFF Grid Trek" solar blankets powering the "EcoFlow RIVER Pro Portable Power Station" via two 5-Meter extension cables (all mentioned above in Point 3), through a window into my room in the house, on a fairly good weather day in the October morning hours around 49th parallel north:

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Close up of the solar blanket in action:

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Inside the hose powering the Ecoflow:

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Close up:

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Next, all key electronics stored in the above-mentioned two EMP bags from "Off Grid Trek" (Point 4). In those two bags all electronics (batteries, power banks, cellphones, walkie-talkies, kindle type readers cables, GPS devices, Flashlights, lighters etc) including the big Bluetti Power Station, the smaller Ecoflow power station, 5 times 120W Bluetti Solar Panels , 2x 120W OFF Grid Trek Solar Panels, 2 smaller 28,5 Watt Off Grid Trek Solar Panels and a bunch of other stuff is stored. And still quite some space left in both bags! Notice how little room/space is wasted (see cup for size reference):

photo_2021-11-01_10-06-00.jpg


Next, I'll explain some of the advantages that our big setup provides for different types of scenarios. And then I'll present a number of lower cost setups/ideas depending on budget (very cheap to moderately expensive).
 
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Cosmos

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Next, I'll explain some of the advantages that our big setup provides for different types of scenarios.

Our setup provides the following advantages depending on all types of scenarios. Generally, the setup as presented is meant to maintain/preserve/generate as much energy/heat/cooling as possible in short-term as well as in long-term emergency situations depending on many possible types of emergencies or "end of the world" scenarios, while being able to operate even on harsh conditions such as in an ice age or bad weather with little to no sunshine or complications such as cometary induced EMPs. It is also meant to be as lightweight and compact as possible, even though a lot of potential power/heat/cooling can be generated/stored. Everything is also meant to be as low-key as possible in terms of sound and outside threats: In short, it is designed around Operations security (OPSEC) principles.

Especially, key elements are also meant to be as durable/reliable as possible (preferably having military standards) while being lightweight. The OFF GRID Trek Solar Panels are one of those key elements that matches those criteria. They are IMO the best on the market. They provide the biggest amount of energy for the size, while being lightweight, deployable in any conditions (they are waterproof not water-resistant!) foldable to very compact sizes, very hard to break them and even if a solar cell breaks, the rest will still provide a good amount of energy. They are also especially designed for cold and low light conditions. They can also be used without any power generator or power bank: You can charge/operate small devices directly from the blanket and even bigger ones such as laptops via USB-C (if there is enough light!). You can deploy them easily and direct them towards the sun via the included 4 reinforced grommets/side and 4 aluminum carabiners to secure the blanket. Which is another very important point especially in bad weather or low light conditions.

The setup enables us to generate and store as much electrical energy as possible as quickly and silently as possible in either of the following ways (could be that I have forgotten some ways):

1= Dual charge (fast charge!) the "Bluetti AC200P 2000Wh/2000W Generator" (see Point 1 in my last above) with the "Champion 2000 Watt LPG Dual Fuel Inverter Generator" via Propane or Petrol (see Point 2 in my last above) and the "EcoFlow RIVER Pro Portable Power Station" (see Point 3 in my last above) at the same time. That enables us to charge the Bluetti Generator from 0 - 100% in 2 - 2,5 hours! Notice that you produce some significant sound and smell from the Champion Petrol/Propane Generator but only for 2-2,5 hours. The generator is one of the quietest on the market. All the energy is now stored in the Bluetti and you can use it without any sound for days/weeks and in your house without the need to have the Petrol/Propane Generator running.

2 = Charge (not so fast but still quite quick Charge) the "Bluetti AC200P 2000Wh/2000W Generator" (see Point 1 in my last above) with the "Champion 2000 Watt LPG Dual Fuel Inverter Generator" via Propane or Petrol (see Point 2 in my last above). That enables us to charge the Bluetti Generator from 0 - 100% in 4,5 hours. Notice that you produce some significant sound and smell from the Champion Petrol/Propane Generator for 4,5 hours now. The generator is one of the quietest on the market. All the energy is now stored in the Bluetti and you can use it without any sound for days/weeks and in your house without the need to have the Petrol/Propane Generator running.

3 = Dual charge (extreme fast charge!) the "Bluetti AC200P 2000Wh/2000W Generator" (see Point 1 in my last above) with the "Champion 2000 Watt LPG Dual Fuel Inverter Generator" via Propane or Petrol (see Point 2 in my last above) and the 5 "Bluetti SP120 120W SOLAR PANELS"(see Point 1 in my last above) at the same time. That enables us to charge the Bluetti Generator from 0 - 100% in 2 - 2,5 hours or less! Notice that you produce some significant sound and smell from the Champion Petrol/Propane Generator but only for 2-2,5 hours or less. The generator is one of the quietest on the market. All the energy is now stored in the Bluetti and you can use it without any sound for days/weeks and in your house without the need to have the Petrol/Propane Generator running.

4 = Dual charge (extreme fast charge!) the "Bluetti AC200P 2000Wh/2000W Generator" with the 5 "Bluetti SP120 120W SOLAR PANELS"(see Point 1 in my last above) and the "EcoFlow RIVER Pro Portable Power Station" (see Point 3 in my last above) either with or without simultaneous charging of the EcoFlow via the two 120 W Solar Panels from OFF GRID Trek (see Point 3 in my last above). That enables us to charge the Bluetti Generator from 0 - 100% in 2 - 2,5 hours or less! Notice that you now produce ZERO sound or smell because all the energy is coming from Solar! All the energy is now stored in the Bluetti and you can use it without any sound for days/weeks and in your house without the need to have any other Generator running.

5 = Dual charge (fast charge!) the "Bluetti AC200P" 2000Wh/2000W Generator with the included AC adaptor and the second additional one (see Point 1 in my last above) via normal Grid power at the same time. That enables us to charge the Bluetti Generator from 0 - 100% in 2 - 2,5 hours! Notice that you now produce ZERO sound or smell because all the energy is coming from Grid Power! All the energy is now stored in the Bluetti and you can use it without any sound for days/weeks and in your house without the need to have any other Generator running.

6 = Charge (not so fast but still quite quick Charge) the "Bluetti AC200P 2000Wh/2000W Generator" (see Point 1 above) with the included AC adaptor (see Point 1 in my last above) via normal Grid power. That enables us to charge the Bluetti Generator from 0 - 100% in 4,5 hours. Notice that you now produce ZERO sound or smell because all the energy is coming from Grid Power! All the energy is now stored in the Bluetti and you can use it without any sound for days/weeks and in your house without the need to have any other Generator running.

7 = You can also single or dual Charge the Bluetti with a combination of power from your car and solar or Grid power of Power from the Petrol/Propane Generator. Lots of possibilities and most will charge the thing fast!

What makes the fast charge abilities of both of these Battery Generators (see point 1 and 3 in my last post) so useful is the fact that we are now able to basically use any more or less good sun day (no matter if winter or summer, even in high northern latitudes!) to quickly charge both of these Generators via Solar alone! And we are EMP "protected" if we store them in the bags and are lucky enough no not have an EMP when that stuff is in use! LOL.

That means, lets say, that if you haven't any Petrol/Propane left at your disposal "during the apocalypse" any more you can still hope for 2-2,5 hours or so of more or less good sunlight on a single day to fully charge your generators and use the energy for days/weeks! That also means that you can theoretically live based on those two generators alone for many decades, with some power at your disposal, if the weather isn't going to get like "no sun/clouds ever". The idea with this setup is also to use the Propane/Petrol based power ONLY AS THE LAST RESORT if things get really bad (very bad weather = no sun/lots of clouds for a long time). So we are basically conserving the really good stuff (fossil based fuels) for times if there is really no other way to power things (namely via solar). So yes we can and should use readable energy in the form of solar as best as we can in that specific setup and use the petrol based stuff as the last resort.

Last but not least you can generate a good amount of heat for heating (for a pretty limited amount of time though, see above) and cooking (for a very long time, see above) via the Propane Tanks in our system alone. So even if all the generators and electronics go Kaputt, despite the "EMP protection" via the OFF Grid Trek Bags, we can still use those Tanks for heating and cooking. No electric worries there.

Next I'll present much less complicated and stripped down versions of the setup for much less money.
 

Cosmos

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And then I'll present a number of lower cost setups/ideas depending on budget (very cheap to moderately expensive).

Next I'll present much less complicated and stripped down versions of the setup for much less money.

Here are some stripped down lower cost setup options I would recommend, ordered from low price upwards. It will be divided into three sections. Section 1= Very Low-Cost to Low-Cost setup options with or without EMP protection. Section 2= Low-Cost to medium-Cost setup options with or without EMP protection. Section 3= Medium-Cost to high-cost setup options with or without EMP protection.

Section 1= Very Low-Cost to Low-Cost setup options without EMP protection.

Option 1: One "28.5W Solar Panel 23.8% Efficiency Rating 1.1lbs" from OFF GRID TREK [$249.99]

Option 2: One "EcoFlow RIVER Portable Power Station 288Wh" (EU and International Version available) [$349.00]

Option 3: One "EcoFlow RIVER Plus Portable Power Station 360Wh" (only international Version available [$449.00]

Option 4: One "EcoFlow RIVER Max Portable Power Station 576Wh" (EU and International Version available) [$499.00]

Option 5: One "EcoFlow RIVER Pro Portable Power Station 720Wh" (EU and International Version available) [$579.00]

Option 6: One "EcoFlow RIVER Max Plus Portable Power Station 720Wh" (only International Version available) [$699.00]


Section 1.2= Very Low-Cost to Low-Cost setup options with EMP protection.

Either one of the options mentioned above in Section 1 (1-6) with the addition of one EMP proof Faraday Bag from OFF GRID Trek respectively: "OGT Large Faraday Bag 126L, Room for all of your Electronics" [$369.99]. For example: Option 1 would then cost $249.99 + $369.99 = $619,98

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Notes:

Note that none of the above options except for option 1 is really workable for any significant long-term or even short-term usage in an OFF Grid Situation unless you already have a solar blanket or other type of OFF Grid generator (like a Diesel/Petrol/Propane generator or a car where you can plug it in) with which you can charge option 2 - 6 in an Off Grid environment. Note that all the options from 2 - 6 will work practically the same. They all have the same big advantages mentioned previously in Point 3! The only real difference between them is the amount of energy they can store in Watt-hours (Wh), the expandability of the battery (in some cases you can add more batteries, in some not) and the quality of the batteries (some are rated for 500+ live cycles while others are rated for 800 live+ cycles). With options 2-6 you will be able to power many things in the house, even a number of crucial things that need much more power than 600 Watts. See Point 3 where I mentioned that you can for example power the following power hungry devices with those small generators: a hot plate in action, a circular saw in action, a grinder in action, a full-sized deep freezer in action, a Microwave Oven in action (but make sure you have one that can be down regulated low enough) or a full-sized 15 amps buzz saw in action!

So if you are on a very tight budget, I would get Option 1 alone or in addition get any of the Options 2 - 6 if possible. Or I would get any of the Options 2 - 6 alone, or if possible, get Option 1 in addition if possible. Note that you can charge/power pretty much any small device (such as cellphone, flashlight etc.) with option 1 without the need for anything else except the charging cable = given that you catch some significant sunlight. That blanket also has all the previously mentioned advantages from the OFF Grid Trek solar blankets which I consider to be the best on the market. You can even charge/power bigger things like notebook directly from the blanket via the USB-C port (if your device supports that), but in that case you really need as much sunshine on the blanket as possible (due to it only providing 28,5W Max being under best conditions). In case of the solar blankets I wouldn't compromise it for cheaper ones. That thing can be worth gold in worst-case scenarios and there is a lot of Solar crap out there for a lot less money.

Also keep in mind the previously mentioned power needs and principles in mind.
 
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