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May 152014
 
How Much Power Does Your (eg) 250 watt Solar Panel Actually Produce?

So there you are, thinking about buying some solar panels.  You’ve noticed they come in a range of semi-standard shapes and sizes, and maybe you’ve even noticed that the slightly unusual dimensions (such as 39.4″) actually make sense if converted to metrics (ie 39.4″ = 1 meter). You also notice all sorts of acronyms floating around in the specifications and warranties, and you sort of wonder if, when comparing the power output of Brand X’s […]

May 142014
 
What is the Most Efficient Form of Cooking?

We recommended either buying or making your own ‘Wonderbag’ type product and using it for an energy-efficient type of slow-cooking yesterday.  But what about cooking items when a slow-cook approach is not practical or possible?  For example, what is the best way of boiling water? If you want to boil water, you probably have various choices – you can boil a kettle (or a pot) on a stove top element, you might have an electric […]

May 132014
 
An Energy Saving Approach to Cooking

You can never save too much energy when planning for life after TEOTWAWKI. But there is more to saving energy than shivering in the cold, in the dark, in your retreat.  We need to rethink the underlying assumptions that are embodied in many of the everyday things in our lives – things that have been designed for maximum convenience and in the belief that energy will remain freely abundant and wonderfully inexpensive. Trust us – […]

May 122014
 
Free Solar Energy Spreadsheet/Calculator

One of the most important things for you to get right is balancing your retreat’s energy requirements with its energy production and storage. These three variables – how much energy you use, how much you produce, and how much you store – are all dependent on each other, in a complex series of interlinked relationships, and all you really know for sure is that you never want to run out! But trying to match together […]

May 102014
 
Another Way the Government Can Take Anything From You Without Due Process

This is the third part of a three-part article series on how everything we’ve saved and stored could be – lawfully – taken from us in an emergency. If you arrived on this page from a search engine or website link, you might wish to first read the first part of the article, which talks about how our society has evolved to the point where the majority already feel no shame in taking property from people who have it […]

May 102014
 
Designing Your Roof for Best Solar Panel Use

This is a further part of our series on solar energy.  Please also visit our sections on energy in general and solar energy in particular for more related articles. What makes a roof better or less suited for having solar panels mounted on it?  How should you design a new retreat structure, and/or, if looking at buying an existing dwelling, how do you know if it is optimized for solar? Answering these questions is reasonably […]

May 082014
 
Radio Repeaters - Good for Short Range as well as Long Range Communications

We’ve written before about how wonderful radio repeaters are for extending the range you can communicate with your two-way radios.  No matter what you do to your portable and in-vehicle radio transmitters and receivers, sooner or later you will probably have to consider using a repeater to extend your communications to reliably cover the region you need to be able to keep in contact with. But maybe you are very fortunate, and your terrain/topography is […]

May 082014
 
Are the Feds Secretly Preppers?

Although there are plenty of people who are concerned that the Feds are indeed secretly preparing for future problems (ie, not in the way we might wish and hope for), maybe we should also be pleased to learn of such things.  Is it possible the Feds have both a bug-out plan and also a distant safe retreat for us all?  Or, at least, for some lucky souls among us? Here’s an interesting article which, on […]

May 062014
 
Why You Should Welcome Strangers Wishing to Settle On Your Retreat Land

If you are fortunate, you have managed to secure a reasonably large lot for your retreat, and if you are very fortunate, the chances are your lot will be larger than what you could work yourself in terms of cultivating crops, grazing livestock, and so on, particularly in a future scenario where mechanical productivity aids like tractors are no longer available to help you in your work. There are plenty of good reasons why you […]

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