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Jun 042013
 
Strategies to Reduce Your Need to Store Electricity

This is the final part of a four-part article series about how to store electricity (better thought of as storing energy rather than electricity per se).  If you arrived directly here from a link or search engine, you might wish to start from the first part of the series here, then read on sequentially through the balance of the series. A Different Sort of Energy Storage – Time-shifting Electricity Demand Storing electricity is usually both […]

Mar 042013
 
An Essential Tool if You Have Indoor Fires

So there you are, all hunkered down in your retreat.  The temperature is below freezing outside, but you’re happy and warm inside, both because your dwelling is ultra-insulated and also because you’ve a nice low-tech fire burning in the fireplace, providing a warm cheery ambiance and keeping you all nice and toasty. That’s a nice mental image, isn’t it.  And if you have an open fire in an open fireplace, you’re probably okay, but many people – […]

Jan 032013
 
Wind Power - Maybe Not as Good as Hoped?

One of the essential requirements of any retreat has to be some type of renewable energy source. As we’ve stated elsewhere on the site, the ultimate and paramount issue in any post-WTSHTF scenario is availability of energy.  Almost everything else in your life is or will be energy dependent – certainly shelter, definitely food, and maybe even water too.  Whether the energy comes from yourself (worst case scenario), from hoarded supplies of energy sources such […]

Dec 262012
 
The Complicated Cost of Energy in a Level 2/3 Situation

The ‘comfort’ level – some might say, the degree of advancement – of a civilization or life style can be closely approximated to its energy usage. There’s a reason that we in the US are among the world’s largest consumers of energy, and it’s not that we’re wasteful.  It is because we enjoy a lifestyle that is generally better than most other nations around the world.  Just about anything and everything you do involves consuming […]

Dec 262012
 
GravityLight - A Fascinating New Type of Light and Power Source

Here’s a very interesting new concept currently in its development stage, with first trial units slated to ship in March 2013. Expressed simply, just like how old clocks were powered by weights that you’d lift up and then slowly sink down as they drove the clock’s mechanism, here is a light that uses a similar weight system for power.  The user pulls the 20lb weight at the end of the cord to the top and […]

Nov 032012
 
A Letter - and Lessons - from a Sandy Survivor

This letter from reader John has an essential lesson in it for us all – it is not sufficient merely to buy in and stock up on emergency resources, such as a generator.  It is necessary to then test them thoroughly in a simulated emergency situation so as to be sure they will work reliably when called upon to do so. Oh yes – and read the manuals of all such devices, too.  Sometimes some […]

Jul 022012
 
Designing and Building a Retreat - The Bigger, the Better

In considering a retreat structure – a place to live securely, comfortably and sustainably, a place to store and protect yourselves and your resources, we encourage you to think beyond the obvious. The obvious is to build a single family dwelling, perhaps slightly altered in design and construction to make it more resilient, but, nonetheless, a single family dwelling all the same. You doubtless already realize and accept that your dwelling structure will be one […]

Jun 262012
 
Wood - the Wonder Material of any Level 3 Scenario

A level 3 situation is a long-term scenario stretching beyond anything we could live through on the basis of stockpiled resources.  We’ll run out of whatever energy we have stored, we’ll run out of whatever food we have stored, and we need to become self-sustaining. To be sure, we’ll enter a level 3 scenario with hopefully some advantages.  We’ll have a year or more of time to live on our reserves, and to transition to […]

May 102012
 
Liquid Fuels - Which Ones to Store, How to Maximize their Storage Life

Some preppers have truly impressive fuel dumps, with literally thousands of gallons of gasoline stored at their retreat, representing a multi-year supply, assuming they are using it regularly. Ooops – that may be an incorrect assumption to make.  If they’re not living in their retreat full-time, their stored fuel is probably just sitting there from one month and year to the next. What’s more, if they do occasionally take some fuel out for general consumption, […]

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