Follow by Email

StatCounter

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bare minimal alternative energy system



For years I used to go to my dad's hunting camp. It was a 16 X 16 rustic cabin. There was a woodshed and an outhouse out back. Water came from a brook 100 yards away. It had wood heat. There was no electricity of any kind. Dad had installed a propane tank to run two lights and an old stove.

My biggest problem with the comforts of the camp? The lighting. We really take good electric lighting for granted. Propane lights are fine for doing chores around the camp and bright enough to avoid tripping over the furniture. They are not very good reading lights.

Other than the poor lighting the camp was a marvelous place to read: no phone, isolated and extremely quiet. I resorted to having good flashlights and a pile of batteries for my stay.

These days it's easy to set up good reading lights. Even the tiniest of solar electric systems, combined with LED lights, provides good reading conditions. In fact, there are a number of flashlights with their own solar chargers built in. Even cheap and simple garden lights can do the job.

Reading is the thing I really like good lighting for, but there are many tasks you don't want to do in the dark: suturing, dentistry, removing a speck from someone's eye, machine repair -and just about any craft or hobby one can imagine.

In a grid down, wideness, or bugout situation. good long lasting lighting hugely improves the quality of life.

Here's a little exercise. If the grid when down right now, how's your alternative lighting situation? Flashlights? Batteries? Alternative energy methods for charging batteries? Do you even have a back up? Is is one of those things you've been meaning to do yet haven't yet?

-Sixbears

9 comments:

  1. hmm, my alternatives are candels, kerosene lanterns, 12 volt flouresent and LED lights, chemical glowlights,
    solar and gas generaters for rechargable batteries, , inverter power for 120 volt lightd

    even got a lever crank power russian flashlite with LED's

    and can also make "rambo torches"

    alternatives; learn to read in braile in the dark

    Wildflower

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A plus, go to the head of the class.

      You've given this some thought.

      Delete
  2. but after every storm have encountered people without flashlights or even candels

    ans seen same folks surprised that their stoves and can openors won't work without power

    or worse no "cell phone service" have you ever seen teenagers go into meltdown before?

    fortunatly still got old phones and landlines to call on

    Wildflower

    or what you be like after six weeks and no internet?

    heh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Six weeks without Internet? I've a really really large home library. Maybe I'd finally get some other writing done besides this blog.

      I'm surprised that people don't even have flashlight apps on their cell phone. (Check Snopes about the cell phone apps and you'll see they are no more dangerous than regular apps)

      Delete
  3. Shoot this is Floriduh son, we be redundant six ways from Sunday lol.
    Amazes me tho how many I know here that don't even have a functional flash light....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Shoot this is Floriduh son, we be redundant six ways from Sunday lol.
    Amazes me tho how many I know here that don't even have a functional flash light....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, it's sunny Florida. Not even supposed to get dark. :)

      Delete
  5. At our camp, when I was a kid living in Pennsylvania, we had kerosene lamps and one of them was an Aladdin Lamp that had a mantle and was as bright as an electric light bulb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Aladdins are great lamps with great light to read by. I'd forgotten about those. They aren't cheap and burn K1, but really do the job.

      Delete