Generac GP 6500 Portable Generator, by Thomas Christianson

When high winds sweep through our area, it is not unusual for electrical service to be interrupted, sometimes for days at a time. For more than eight years now, a Generac GP 6500 gas-powered portable generator has provided my family with a reliable and effective way of dealing with the challenges of occasional, short-term power outages. The Backstory Nine years ago, my wife and I fled suburbia for a log home in the woods. There we provide most of our own utilities. We provide our own water with a well, our own sewage treatment with a septic tank, and our …




Solar-Battery Home Power – Part 2, by Jeff M.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) POWERING UP & MORE TO LEARN Don’t expect step-by-step instructions. I found all the needed information but chronological steps for start-up or shut-down are not readily available. However, there is plenty of online info where people figured out the best steps. I powered up my inverter with battery power first, then went through the entire menu. Go slow, though it’s pretty easy. A couple of battery voltage settings from the battery manufacturer were the only deviations. Then I turned the solar panel input on and waited for the screen to recognize battery …




Solar-Battery Home Power – Part 1, by Jeff M.

So to begin with I must say that my move to a solar/battery system was rather supernatural. I had been pondering for a long time as to installing a generator for our home, or use the large portable I already own and can connect manually, or do nothing. I was constantly worrying about two things:  1. Where will I get fuel in a long term, serious societal event? 2. All generators make noise, most of them a lot, including mine. I was trapped in a vicious circle of worry, especially with events of the past six years. I truly believe …




Kerosene Lanterns, by Pat Cascio

It is no easy task, to find products to write about. I know a lot of our readers, would like me to simply cover firearms, some knives, and other survival gear. While I really enjoy writing about new firearms, to be honest, there’s not a lot of actual “new” firearms to write about – the gun makers do their best to come out with a new firearm, that no one else has out there on the market. Many new firearms are just cosmetically slightly different than another similar gun. When it comes to knives, it is extremely difficult to find …




Shake Light 40B, by The Novice

The EcoCentricNow Shake Light 40B is a human-powered flashlight. It is fairly reasonably priced, reasonably water resistant, reasonably shock resistant, and reasonably heat resistant. It is charged by a powerful magnet that presents a danger to sensitive equipment, so I do not recommend it for field use or as a children’s toy. I think it could be useful for applications like tornado preparedness kits or as a nightstand flashlight. The Back Story I recently submitted an article to SurvivalBlog that included a review of the IKEA Ljusa hand crank flashlight. The beauty of the Ljusa is that the hand crank …




Mosquito Protection and a Headlamp, by The Novice

It is said that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. In this second installment of the Blind Squirrel series, I would like to pass along some nutty discoveries for your amusement and edification. Mosquito Protection The area where I live is quite swampy. At certain times of the year, being outside without some sort of protection is almost unbearable. Whenever possible, I like to avoid the use of insect repellent. It feels sticky, smells stinky, and I don’t like the idea of absorbing chemicals through my skin. Fortunately, there are some other tools available that …




Lessons Learned from the Texas Deep Freeze, by B.B.

Texans had two weeks warning about the artic cold set to hit the state last month. Yet most Texans were not prepared. It is estimated that 80 people died from the cold and lack of power. Some froze to death from lack of heat while others died from carbon monoxide poisoning trying to stay warm in foolish ways. It started Sunday night with rolling blackouts in my area, but complete power outages in some areas. For my family, rolling blackouts continued through Wednesday night, ending in the early hours of Thursday morning. During this time, many lost water service, either …




Gear Review: Coast FL19 Headlamp, by The Novice

Headlamps were first developed primarily for mining. Most other occupations could depend on natural light for at least part of each day, but deep pit mining was always carried out far from the friendly light of the sun. For millennia, miners had carried a source of artificial light like a torch, candle or lamp into the mines. They would fasten their light-source somehow to the wall of the shaft and set to work. About 1850 or so, someone in Scotland got the brilliant idea of attaching a small oil wick lamp above the brim of a cap, and the headlamp …




Gear Review: Morisk Waterproof Flashlight/Plasma Lighter, by The Novice

According to the ancient Greeks, Prometheus lay the foundation of civilization by stealing fire from the gods and giving it to mankind. The mythology of the ancient Greeks does not accurately represent the one true God, His holy character, or His plan of redemption. But the Greeks were remarkably perceptive regarding the role of fire as the foundation of civilization. Heat, light, protection from wild animals, food preparation, the forging of metal tools, and a host of other possibilities all lay hidden within the glow of a tiny flame. Effective fire starting is so foundational to survival, that I try …




Low-Tech Off-Grid Living, by Ani

I’m writing this article early in the morning during a power failure. I’ve only lived in this house for six months but this is not the first power failure I’ve experienced here. Previously I house-sat in this town and experienced a long duration power failure complete with four days or so of no cell service either. I got on my phone and looked up the outage map and realized that my town and a couple of adjacent towns have a significant outage, definitely due to the high winds of last night. The electric utility will begin mobilizing the line crews …




An Old Boy Scout’s Journey – Part 2, by Rocket J. Squirrel

(Continued from Part 1.) There is a DeWalt 6 kW generator with a Honda gasoline engine that was purchased used. The local Stihl dealer gave it a tune up. Spare spark plugs are kept in the tool box. I have very limited gasoline storage but do have a tri-fuel kit. The tri-fuel kit from www.uscarb.com enables the generator to use gasoline, propane, or natural gas for fuel. Make certain you buy the kit which matches your specific engine model. I need to get the kit installed as well as the natural gas fittings for our current home. Natural gas may …




An Old Boy Scout’s Journey – Part 1, by Rocket J. Squirrel

What prompted me to begin preparing? I am not certain if there was one specific trigger. I’d like to share my journey to becoming “more” prepared? If you have recently realized that you need to be prepared to take care of your family, your community and your country in the event that really bad things happen, then hopefully my journey will encourage you. Maybe not, since it has taken me so long. I am still on the journey, still learning, still implementing new things about which I learn. My perspective continues to change. My beautiful bride and I are not …




Budget Retreat Security, by Pat Cascio

If you’ve been a reader of SurvivalBlog.com for any length of time, you’ve surely seen the term Operational Security and the acronym OPSEC. And just as often, you’ve seen the term retreat security. These two go hand-in-hand. Together, they can make your surroundings as safe and secure as possible. Sometimes, depending on your location, this might be simple. But other times, it takes a lot more work to make your surroundings as safe and secure as you possibly can. Every once in a while, I have to remind myself to maintain both OPSEC as well as retreat security. More than …




The Coast HX4 Light, by The Novice

Last summer, I went to a garage sale. There, I found a brand new clip light for sale for two dollars. That was too good a deal to pass up, so I bought the light and put it on a shelf in my workshop. It sat there for several months. Then, one autumn evening, I needed to move some firewood after darkness fell. I looked at the various headlamps on my shelf, and decided to give the new one a try. I was very impressed. The little light cast a bright white flood of light wherever I turned my head. …




Making Light, by M.E.

Artificial light is useful for extending working time beyond sunset, for providing comfort in the long dark hours of winter, and for finding one’s way in the night. Without electricity or batteries, solar cells or wind up flashlights, lamps and candles can be made just as they have been for thousands of years. The cave paintings of the Upper Paleolithic were done by the light of lamps that used a lump of animal fat as fuel and lichen, moss, or juniper twigs as wicks. The light of these crude lamps was sufficient to produce some of the earliest known works …