Quest for Solar Continues

In our quest to add some backup power via solar energy we’ve been spending hours prowling online resources for practical (and complete) information on making this a reality. YouTube and other sites have plenty of articles and videos on the topic, but many are lacking complete information. We did however find some great information over at the TinHatRanch.com that we thought was worth sharing. If you are considering adding some solar to your preps here is a great video to get you going.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

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Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

I know many of my fellow preppers have slowed or even stopped their prepping activities as a result of the November Election; bad idea. The direction of our Government is certain to change, but that doesn’t mean crime will drop, doesn’t mean a financial crisis has been avoided, nor does it mean that there won’t be natural disasters – there will be.

We have a nation as divided as it’s ever been.

We have a national media that has proven to be intentionally misleading.

We have 96 million not in the work force, many who plan to stay that way.

We have left wing hate groups bent on creating havoc in the streets.

We have a National Debt approaching $20 Trillion.

We have race relations at probably the lowest level since the 60’s.

We have a generation of snowflakes unable to face the realities of the world.

We have problems folks.

I too am hopeful for a better tomorrow, but I’m just not willing to bet my life or the lives of my family on it.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

Stop the Madness! Feds Run $208.3 Billion Deficit in 1st 3 Months

Our ‘friends’ in DC continue to help themselves, to your wallet that is. Over just the first 3 months of fiscal 2017 your Federal Government just saddled every American worker with an additional $1,370 worth of debt – and they wonder why we’re preppers. The Feds raked in the 3rd largest tax haul in history, yet apparently felt compelled to spend 22% more! Where does it stop? How deep a hole will they dig us into before something gives? As of January 3rd, 2017 the debt per American household stood at $158,442, but wait there’s more! If you take into account the projected shortfalls in Medicare, Social Security, Federal Pensions, other Government liabilities and unfunded obligations then, deep breath, each and every person drawing breath in the US owes a staggering $237,284! And they didn’t even buy you dinner first!

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OK, so I know some folks are pumped up over the coming change of power in Washington, and I do hope someone, anyone, can pull us out of this death spiral of debt; I’m just not willing to bet my life on it.

Solar Power: The Elusive Goal

Lowering your bills, living off the grid, being more self-reliant; all require the ability to use less energy while possibly producing some of your own. As part of our prepper journey and desire to escape the rat race we have been researching solar and wind energy – to a frustrating end. Hundreds of sources, kits of all sizes, from small stand alone systems to recharge your laptop to whole house systems costing 10’s of thousands of dollars – confusing at best.

Setting the goal; our primary goal is to reduce our bills by lowering our use while having some energy backup other than gas/propane generators and heaters. Here in the South we get plenty of sun and wind, but finding the right way to harness it without going into the poor house is a completely different story. We are looking for stand alone power, as opposed to grid tied, which lowers the cost and complexity a great deal. We would like to be able to run a PC, wireless router, and a couple of small LED lights on a regular basis, while having the option of running a small heater in a power outage. If any of you are on this journey, your input would be greatly appreciated.

This video depicts what is probably the most basic low cost system (around $150), but its benefits are very limited. Note: this system also comes without a battery or inverter.

Here is another video installing this same unit: better use, but the installation seems a little sloppy.

 

We are currently debating between a couple of starter systems based on their reviews and cost. Every system we’ve looked at has something else you will need to purchase in addition to the system and of course the batteries.

Here’s another helpful video we found:

To be perfectly honest, the more I read and watch the more confused I become.

Home Depot offers several starter kits ranging from $235 to about $1300; Amazon offers several similar systems. At this point we’re leaning towards a Grape Solar 200 watt starter kit from Home Depot for $577. Amazon offers the same system for $461, but without the inverter. Batteries will obviously increase the initial cost depending on what you buy. We will update this post when the system is up and running. We will also be exploring some wind energy options in the future so stay tuned!

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

If any of you have useful links or advice we are certainly open to suggestions.

Baby its cold outside!

The country is caught in a vicious cold snap which requires we all exercise a bit more caution when venturing out. Icy winds can freeze skin in mere minutes while icy roads could send you reeling off into the woods or worse. Getting stranded in your car during a time of freezing temperatures could lead to serious injury or death if you are not prepared to survive.

Now many of us have an EDC or Everyday Day Carry bag, but extreme weather (in my opinion) calls for some additional preparations. Note: I’m currently revamping my EDC based on a great article by The Armed Christian which I recommend you read here. The author covers pretty much everything you would need to get you out of a bind. The only thing I have changed is that I carry 2 additional magazines for my carry pistol.

That being said, I add an additional bag for days like today; snowy, icy roads and below zero wind chills.  Fortunately, there are about a half dozen hotels within a 2 mile radius of where I work, so if conditions are bad enough I will simply grab a hotel for the night. That being the case the additional bag has everything I might need for an overnight stay including clothes for work the next day or even the following. I also add extra candles, lighters, hand warmers, a real blanket, hat, gloves, scarf, extra bottled water and extra energy bars.

Finally, some good rules to follow would be to ALWAYS keep the gas tank at least half full, keep the cell phone charged and have an additional charger. Slow down, watch the other guy, and be prepared for anything; or better yet stay home if you can!

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

Snow Storm and the Unprepared

Here in the South the threat of snow brings panic to many; the stores are jammed with people buying bread and milk as they prepare for what, 2 or 3 days at home? The bread aisle in Wal-Mart yesterday looked more like Venezuela than small town Tennessee; sad really.  I understand that snow in these rural areas can make travel virtually impossible, but the realization that so many people are this unprepared is a bit unsettling to me. To have less than 2-3 days of supplies at home is unimaginable to me, but apparently most Americans live this way. Can you imagine if a real emergency arose?

Prepping pays off. As I watch others panicking about what might happen, how much snow we might get, how long they might be stuck at home, I’m able to relax and take it all in stride. I fortunately have the day off, so no travel worries, the cupboards are stuffed full of goodies, back up power and heat are at the ready if needed – all is well. The wife and I can relax and watch the snow pile up.  This is one of the reasons we became preppers; it’s like having insurance, you hope you never need it, but you’re covered if you do.

If you’re not prepared for these small events that can and do happen then make a change, start your own prepper journey.  Make the decision to become better prepared; don’t put yourself and your family at risk.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Happy prepping!

 

If you’re just getting started you might find our article Where to Start helpful.