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I might be the only one here to admit that I really enjoy "modern" conveniences. Most are taken for granted until they don't work. Like a refrigerator and even lights.
It might help others on here to post ideas and opinions of products you have tried etc..
Propane refrigerator / freezer.
Multi-fuel Lantern... Welcome to the BriteLyt Web Store These are awesome! And equal the light quality of bright electric lights. Screw the typical kerosene lamp or candles.
12VDC appliances w/ solar panels & batteries.
Gas stove & oven. Typical range, but gas.
Gravity feed water system w/ Gas water heater.
Propane powered generator.
Note that propane & kerosene doesn't get stale like gasoline.
 

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Oh, I think most of us appreciate modern conveniences and appliances, but speaking for myself, I sure do.

As far as appliances, I learned that natural gas appliances are nice to have when you lose power. You can still cook on the stove or in the oven. It can be an emergency source of heat.

I also have a natural gas fireplace with ceramic logs. It is a backup heat source, and it makes having a fire easy.

I also splurged and bought a Noritz tankless natural gas water heater. You get an endless supply of hot water. My wife has a soaking jetted tub which used to empty a 50 gallon water heater. Now she can relax in a hot bath and I can shower at the same time. And because you aren't heating water when you aren't using it, it cut our gas bill in half.

Haven't tried to use it during power outages though. Probably just run an extension cord to it so it could fire, and run it off the generator....

Anyway, natural gas stove/oven and fireplace can keep you warm when an ice storm takes out the power lines.
 

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I'm installing a solar system in May, I have 2x 20cf chest freezers mostly full and would rather keep those going if I can. Once I can empty 1 freezer I'm turning it into a refrigerator:

EXTERNAL THERMOSTAT

External thermostat turns a 120v AC freezer into a refrigerator. No modification needed. Energy consumed as a refrigerator is roughly 1/3rd less then that consumed by the freezer. Your freezer's plug simply plugs into this thermostat's corded outlet and the thermostat's corded plug inserts into your 120v AC wall outlet. Temperature range: -30 to 100 degrees F.

The 12 volt appliances seem expensive for the size, I'm putting that money into extra solar panels.
 

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I often wonder what it would be like to actually "camp" once again.
I find that as i get older, the more stuff i bring with me camping.
It went from a tent, stove and lantern to an oven (it sits on stove), heater, tables chairs, coffee pot, etc.
The bed of my truck is loaded for a 3 day trip (with son)!
 

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We're all a little addicted to electricity I'm sure. I keep buying tools and equipment from pre REA times and the low voltage equipment that was prevalent when wind chargers were more in use. Refrigeration is the most difficult/expensive to "continue". My PV and wind generator plans are coming along (just found a old Jacobs in VG condition) and have two gas generators that I hope to replace with a larger diesel one. The issue I keep running into is that without a renewable fuel source, (battery storage would need to be quite extensive to maintain electrical refrigerator/ freezer) I would not expect any fuel stores to last through a long emergency. Any body got a tanker truck they want to dispose of? LOL
One of the few options for renewable fuel would be a methane digester or a wood-gas generator, something to continue running a generator.
 

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I've been looking for a throw away treadmill, not sure if everyone knows but the motor on a treadmill can be used as a DC generator for wind, hydro or bike powered.
 

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I've been looking for a throw away treadmill, not sure if everyone knows but the motor on a treadmill can be used as a DC generator for wind, hydro or bike powered.
Please at least look at this plan: http://www.scoraigwind.com/pirate oldies/Hugh Piggott Axial-flow PMG wind turbine May 2003.pdf

About 5 years ago I was looking at building a DC generator using a 30 VDC Ametek motor. My plan was something similar to what I think you are building with the treadmill motor. After doing the math, I found it far more cost efficient to build an AC generator, similar to the one described in the PDF linked above and converting it to DC at the battery pack. Please note, I have NOT built this generator yet, so I do not have any testing data. But the math for this plan does come in far better than a straight DC generator.

Please at least review it and let me know your thoughts as I am still exploring options.
 

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I recently replaced the rented 250 gal propane tank with a purchased 500 gal tank. The LP/ Gas 7000w generator will arrived later this week. A couple of months ago, I installed a 300watt solar system with a 1500 watt inverter on my 5th wheel which will allow us to dry camp limited only by the water supply. We have a 2500 gallon water tank to provide storage and fire protection and I can, if necessary, gravity feed to the house and 5th wheel. The generator has enough power to operate the deep well pump to refill the tank.

Those were the big ticket items necessary to keep us going in case of a major catastrophe. Stocking the cellar is an on going proposition...
 

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From what I have read wind power is very unreliable for a majority of areas, there are some exceptions but you will need a minimum of 7mph consistent wind for it to be reasonable reliable. Most people are better off adding extra solar panels rather than the expense for a wind generator.

I have a low flow year round creek and am looking at tapping into that, hydro power is the BEST type of power generation as you get 24/7 generation.
 

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Having lived in hurricane central for many, many years we are prepared here at the homestead for weeks without power. Our kitchen stove runs on 20 pound propane tanks (BBQ grill size) and we have enough on hand to last months. Also have a stock pile of charcoal we can use in our grill/smoker.
We have kerosene lamps. We could do without a refrigerator. We also have small hurricane lamps that run on flashlight batteries, with a small solar charger.
As long as the phone lines are still up after a disaster we have communication via an old fashioned non-electric phone plus we still pay $10.95 a month for dial-up internet even though we do not currently use it. As people have recently discovered thanks to Sandy cell phones will not always work when you need them too. Besides, most cell phones won't get a signal out here anyway, got to drive at least three miles toward town to get a signal unless you have Verizon.
Our utilities are self provided by well and septic system. That is our one weak point - the electric well pump. I need to get a solar set-up. The well is too deep for a hand pump. Right now I could run it off the generator, but even at just a few minutes a day to kep the 200 gallon holding tank full gas will run out sooner or later.
I am a simple man and do not need much to be comfortable.
 

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Just recently, we splurged on an Amish well bucket, (the Bison pump was a tad to pricey right now) Grover rocket stove and Vortex water distiller (all made in the USA). My static water level is at 38 feet, which is reachable and I live between 2 large rivers and 3 miles from a decent lake. The Amish bucket should work, if not, we can walk to the river from our land, 1000 ft. We have wood heat via a Heritage Hearthstone stove. (fantastic stove) We have several cords of wood, and we accumulate wood as we can. This is our weakest area. We bought a Wetterling axe, that I intend to pass down as an heirloom. Behind our land is a small but wooded state park, and we could get some wood from there if things get really bad. I am also planting fast growing trees for crap firewood.

We have been living the old fashioned way for a long time, and we have a lot of non fossil fuel farming tools (because we couldn't afford all the fancy stuff), and camping and survival gear (on which I did not skimp, we have Lowe Alpine bags for every one and Sierra Design tents. We have good quality bicycles with a bugger which could be used to tot what we need, and we have a great trail system nearby, which gets us to the river and the lake, and into our small town if need be.

I did buy a pricey grain mill for my dent corn crops, (and any grains I may raise), reusable canning lids, and a few kick butt knives. Normally when I can, I use 2 large pressure canners, so I have those and hundreds of canning jars. I have oil lamps and a supply of lamp oil. I need to invest in solar lamps. I have a propane tank that is full, and we keep it pretty full, but that will run out at some point. Our stove and water heater are gas, (so is our dryer, but it also needs electric). I would be line drying the little wash I plan on doing any way. I assume the water heater thermostat is electric, so I plan on heating water on a stove, either the wood stove or the rocket stove. I make my own soap, but tallow will be hard to come by, and making lye from wood ash isn't something I have done yet. I use electricity making soap, so making it the old fashioned way would be very labor intensive.

Living here would be basically like camping in a house, if the grid goes down. We are easily prepared for a temporary downing of services. Then there is the permanent scenario, for which I am preparing too. We are situated to hunt, fish and even trap. I even repaired my spinning wheel and I am buying flax seeds in case things ever got so bad that we need fiber. (Heaven help us if it gets that bad. It takes forever to spin enough wool for even a scarf or socks) It would be great to have a sheep and a goat but hubs isn't in the mood for more animals, but I keep chipping away on him. ;) He is still griping about my chickens. I have yet to have a hen go broody. I am hoping it happens this year. A farmer near us raises sheep.

I have a one acre garden, 12 producing, but young, dwarf fruit trees, a huge raspberry patch, 30 by 30 strawberry patch, asparagus patch and 15 rhubarb plants. I wish I could grow wheat, but it is very hard to grow any grains other than corn. I am going to experiment with a small flax patch. Flax can be used for either fiber or food, but not both from the same patch. Harvest occurs at different times depending on what you want, food or fiber. I tried buckwheat and it worked, but it is extremely labor intensive. I have buckwheat seed, but, I am not planting it unless I have help to harvest it. It's a huge pain. I am planting a lot of sunflowers and heirloom corn this next year, also many beans and peas for soup. We have some food stored, but, I try to focus on regenerating food, versus storing a set amount. We have enough land to garden almost 2 acres if needed, and we are surrounded by thousands of acres of farmland, that if the SHTF, won't be planted, since they won't be able to run tractors. (Bad for the world's food supply) I could access that land via some deals with my neighbors. Speaking of neighbors, I don't doubt that we would band together to protect our rural 'neighborhood'. I would likely make a deal with my neighbor to get a cow or two, in exchange for my medical services or chickens, eggs or veggies, or we would help him milk. Being stuck with several hundred cows and no electric would not be a picnic for him either.

And lastly, pandemic prep has always been a big thing for me. We have a fair amount of medical stuff, and a few things that are not easily available which require a more advanced skill level to use, which I have.

Yep, I will miss a hot bath and the internet and TV. I will miss bright electric lights, the ability to run a heat lamp for my chickens in winter. I will miss my sewing machine, but I can't spring for a treadle sewing machine at this point. I will miss my Kitchenaid mixer. :( But maybe someday I can get up a solar and/or wind unit just enough to power an appliance here and there. I will miss fire protection. I will miss garbage collection. I will miss flushing a toilet. (Not to happy that we have to haul buckets of sewage out to our septic tank.) I will miss having a hospital or doctor to see if things go south badly.

Winters would be very long, but with my children and my grandchildren here, we would find ways to entertain ourselves. It would be a hard life, but, not the worst life. I imagine it would be a lot like life was in 1850.

After reading my own post, I realize why I hurt all over and am exhausted all the time. ;) It's back breaking work and we still HAVE electricity and services.

Check out Lehman's catalog. They have a lot of non-electric tools.
 

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From what I have read wind power is very unreliable for a majority of areas, there are some exceptions but you will need a minimum of 7mph consistent wind for it to be reasonable reliable. Most people are better off adding extra solar panels rather than the expense for a wind generator.

I have a low flow year round creek and am looking at tapping into that, hydro power is the BEST type of power generation as you get 24/7 generation.
Check out this FREE Kindle book (get a FREE Kindle app for your computer or smart phone). An early 1900s look at generating hydro electric power on the farm. Great resource!

Electricity for the farm Light, heat and power by inexpensive methods from the water wheel or farm engine: Frederick Irving Anderson: Amazon.com: Kindle Store

My wife and I live in a scenario much like IngaLisa posted above. Very small, very rural villiage, tucked into the crease of a valley just far enough away from Lake Michigan to not suffer too much lake effect, yet, one COULD make an outing to the lake to harvest the great salmon and lake trout there (often 36" plus and easily smoked!).

TONS of natural resources, from orchards to farmland where crops would self-seed volunteer style for years, plus cattle that outnumber people by about 1000:1. Mill pond with a dam in place that once did generate power, and with a turbine could again, and no other reason to live there, except that people have survived in that little village since the 1850s with great success! I've got neighbors who are in their mid-90s who still shovel their driveways by hand. That means a rather healthy place to live!
 

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Try to keep in mind that you won't want to stand out in a SHTF senario. If you have lights on after dark, or windmills that folks can see or even solar panels you will be a target of choice. even smoke from a chimney can tell people that someone is home and might be worth investigating.

The best way to survive is to "not be there". The second best way to do it is to be "unavailable" - in a fortified place with a clear view for 400+ yards in all directions. That gives you just 40 seconds to arm yourself, decide whether it is a friend or foe and act. In that case you will need a tunnel to get to and from your stronghold or you can be killed exiting or entering your compound.

You don't want anyone to know you have something of value. Not water, food, ammo, drugs, and especially not power.
The reality is that those nice neighbors down the road may need what they think you have and may need it bad enough to kill you for it.
 

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I agree with you, Paul. We are lucky to have a clear view in all directions. Our new cords of wood are having to be stocked behind our home now, because to show off that we have more than is out in front at this point, wouldn't look too good. We won't have any real power, we have only oil lamps. We also live in a modest home, so, we don't think we will be the first ones raided. I do feel, knowing the people around here, that we would have some kind of 'milita' if things got that bad. Altho my nearest neighbors just bought a huge camper and a truck to pull it. I am wondering what they have in mind with that thing. I hope it is sightseeing, because gassing all that up won't be easy. Getting gas out of pumps that are down due to no electrical would be a bummer. :/ Which is why I don't plan on driving anywhere. I can't hide my garden. Any one who goes by, sees that we have a huge garden and chickens. If they want it, they have to get past our defenses. Several of the people who will be at my home, are recent combat vets. I am not saying I am not merciful, I am, but they best move on along and try their luck in town. Hubby just got back from Walmart and said the shelves are almost empty in some aisles. Hmm, I guess people are stocking up for something? North Korea, or H7N9 or what?
 

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Just recently, we splurged on an Amish well bucket, (the Bison pump was a tad to pricey right now) Grover rocket stove and Vortex water distiller (all made in the USA). My static water level is at 38 feet, which is reachable and I live between 2 large rivers and 3 miles from a decent lake. The Amish bucket should work, if not, we can walk to the river from our land, 1000 ft. We have wood heat via a Heritage Hearthstone stove. (fantastic stove) We have several cords of wood, and we accumulate wood as we can. This is our weakest area. We bought a Wetterling axe, that I intend to pass down as an heirloom. Behind our land is a small but wooded state park, and we could get some wood from there if things get really bad. I am also planting fast growing trees for crap firewood.

We have been living the old fashioned way for a long time, and we have a lot of non fossil fuel farming tools (because we couldn't afford all the fancy stuff), and camping and survival gear (on which I did not skimp, we have Lowe Alpine bags for every one and Sierra Design tents. We have good quality bicycles with a bugger which could be used to tot what we need, and we have a great trail system nearby, which gets us to the river and the lake, and into our small town if need be.

I did buy a pricey grain mill for my dent corn crops, (and any grains I may raise), reusable canning lids, and a few kick butt knives. Normally when I can, I use 2 large pressure canners, so I have those and hundreds of canning jars. I have oil lamps and a supply of lamp oil. I need to invest in solar lamps. I have a propane tank that is full, and we keep it pretty full, but that will run out at some point. Our stove and water heater are gas, (so is our dryer, but it also needs electric). I would be line drying the little wash I plan on doing any way. I assume the water heater thermostat is electric, so I plan on heating water on a stove, either the wood stove or the rocket stove. I make my own soap, but tallow will be hard to come by, and making lye from wood ash isn't something I have done yet. I use electricity making soap, so making it the old fashioned way would be very labor intensive.

Living here would be basically like camping in a house, if the grid goes down. We are easily prepared for a temporary downing of services. Then there is the permanent scenario, for which I am preparing too. We are situated to hunt, fish and even trap. I even repaired my spinning wheel and I am buying flax seeds in case things ever got so bad that we need fiber. (Heaven help us if it gets that bad. It takes forever to spin enough wool for even a scarf or socks) It would be great to have a sheep and a goat but hubs isn't in the mood for more animals, but I keep chipping away on him. ;) He is still griping about my chickens. I have yet to have a hen go broody. I am hoping it happens this year. A farmer near us raises sheep.

I have a one acre garden, 12 producing, but young, dwarf fruit trees, a huge raspberry patch, 30 by 30 strawberry patch, asparagus patch and 15 rhubarb plants. I wish I could grow wheat, but it is very hard to grow any grains other than corn. I am going to experiment with a small flax patch. Flax can be used for either fiber or food, but not both from the same patch. Harvest occurs at different times depending on what you want, food or fiber. I tried buckwheat and it worked, but it is extremely labor intensive. I have buckwheat seed, but, I am not planting it unless I have help to harvest it. It's a huge pain. I am planting a lot of sunflowers and heirloom corn this next year, also many beans and peas for soup. We have some food stored, but, I try to focus on regenerating food, versus storing a set amount. We have enough land to garden almost 2 acres if needed, and we are surrounded by thousands of acres of farmland, that if the SHTF, won't be planted, since they won't be able to run tractors. (Bad for the world's food supply) I could access that land via some deals with my neighbors. Speaking of neighbors, I don't doubt that we would band together to protect our rural 'neighborhood'. I would likely make a deal with my neighbor to get a cow or two, in exchange for my medical services or chickens, eggs or veggies, or we would help him milk. Being stuck with several hundred cows and no electric would not be a picnic for him either.

And lastly, pandemic prep has always been a big thing for me. We have a fair amount of medical stuff, and a few things that are not easily available which require a more advanced skill level to use, which I have.

Yep, I will miss a hot bath and the internet and TV. I will miss bright electric lights, the ability to run a heat lamp for my chickens in winter. I will miss my sewing machine, but I can't spring for a treadle sewing machine at this point. I will miss my Kitchenaid mixer. :( But maybe someday I can get up a solar and/or wind unit just enough to power an appliance here and there. I will miss fire protection. I will miss garbage collection. I will miss flushing a toilet. (Not to happy that we have to haul buckets of sewage out to our septic tank.) I will miss having a hospital or doctor to see if things go south badly.

Winters would be very long, but with my children and my grandchildren here, we would find ways to entertain ourselves. It would be a hard life, but, not the worst life. I imagine it would be a lot like life was in 1850.

After reading my own post, I realize why I hurt all over and am exhausted all the time. ;) It's back breaking work and we still HAVE electricity and services.

Check out Lehman's catalog. They have a lot of non-electric tools.
Haha sorry for the long quote, but here is my only criticism

There are many people like you that are way ahead of the game and MAYBE someone here got some inspiration from your extended post of what prepping life looks like.

My critique would be to HELP others journey with practicle advice on all the smaller steps to prepping rather than dissuade them with laundry list of how much better off you are than them.

So I would suggest offering suggestions for where people want to go rather than show the where they should be' I know it isn't as much fun but it is a lot more productive,
 

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Where they should 'go' is going to depend on where they are now and where they want to be. Any one who endeavors to live sustainably off the land, probably knows everything I listed or darn close. It's not any where near a complete laundry list. It's a partial list of skills and tools one needs to acquire to succeed somewhat at this endeavor if the SHTF. Not the pretend stuff like we do now, but if it really hits the fan. I won't ever own a bunker,(claustrophobia) or several tons of food, for a number of reasons, but many feel that is their way to prep, and that is fine. Others prefer to remain in and do urban prepping, others still plan on a solitary life on the move. They are aware of what is the right way for them.

I DO TEACH 're-skilling' classes for a sustainability group, for free, by the way and I teach a lot of folks who come out to buy eggs or produce from me. There are basic skills like canning, caring for chickens, butchering them, organic gardening, heirloom seed saving, etc. We are fortunate to have a community that is very active in this kind of lifestyle. We don't call it prepping, we call it sustainable living. I have been helping people 're-skill' locally for many years now and they have helped me. Part of this movement is building a network of people with many skills, so we can help each other if the SHTF, for whatever reason, maybe even climate change. In the mean time, we feel we leave the planet in better shape, if we consume fewer resources by living a simpler life. I learned a lot of skills over a lifetime, none of which I am master of, but most of which I can do well enough. I have been living this semi sustainable lifestyle for 40 years.

Lest any one think this is easy, I have herniated 2 discs, torn both rotator cuffs, severed the top of my finger (it was sewn back on) broken an arm, and a leg and gotten Lyme Disease (and that doesn't count the major injuries). At least I haven't shot myself, yet, nor have I ever shot a moose in my state, because, it's illegal.
 

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We just used to call it "farming." :mrgreen:

If we didn't grow it, we didn't eat it, can it, or sell it. Never had "prepping" in mind, just a way of life for many rural folk.
Every year we would butcher a hog or two and a steer. Freeze or can the meat, make sausage and smoke it and the hams in the smokehouse out back. Two of the farms I grew up on had outdoor plumbing and a pitcher pump for the kitchen. We were amazed when we moved and were able to turn on the water so easily. Otherwise, we never really thought much about it.

One also learns to eat with the rythms of the land. When the peas come in early spring, one eats peas. Corn, potatoes, carrots, leaf crops, the same. Milk came from the corws, and there was always a pan of soured milk that produced curds. When the fish are running, one eats a lot of fish. When it is butchering time, meat is featured. High times and holidays are times to celebrate and that is when one broke out a smoked ham, shot a goose or pheasant. Every day was what we could get and we didn't really think too much about it.
 
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