The Cost of Not Prepping

The Cost of Not Prepping

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Last month I mentioned my friend who got into debt – she has now put her prepping plans on hold, which is unfortunate.  I am concerned there are lots of others out there who feel the need to prepare for emergencies but have convinced themselves to put it off for one reason or another.  Let’s think it through and see if it would really cost less to NOT prep.

The true cost of not prepping

No emergency food in the house

We know a a few families who do not keep much food in the fridge – maybe a bottle of orange juice and a few bottles of beer.  The kids feel lucky to have a few frozen food entrees, otherwise they eat out for every meal.  The next time there is an emergency, these people expect to be able to run to the corner restaurant and demand to order.  A cousin who runs a burger place says this happens all the time.  If the restaurant loses power they have to close temporarily and turn away customers.   The customers get frustrated they have to find someplace else to eat.  So they drive around town looking for a place that’s open.  Now they are wasting gas and time, not to mention risking their families driving out when streets are flooded.  And, finding that there is no food to be bought anywhere, just like what happened with Hurricane Sandy, these same people may be forced to go dumpster diving.

No way to filter water

The same people described above rely on bottled water.   But if the bottled water runs out, and tap water gets contaminated, they do not have any a way to filter water.  Right before a hurricane or some other disaster hits, they realize they don’t have any backup plans and they find themselves having to fight desperate crowds to pick up water at the last minute.

Not filling up the gas tank until it’s empty

Let’s say someone who does not want to live a prepared life just lets the tank “run on fumes”  One day that tank is just going to dry out, and the car will stall out.  I see cars like that on the road all the time, with the driver walking with a gas can on hand.  The engine could be permanently damaged and the car will need hundreds of dollars to repair.  It would have been so much easier, had the driver kept a prepared mindset and got into the habit of refilling the tank well before before it registered empty.

No First Aid Kit

If a family does not keep a first aid kit at home, they will be running to the hospital’s emergency room the minute anyone in the family has a medical need, even a minor one.  They may say, “I have health insurance, I can afford it.”  But what about the co-pay?  Let’s just look at a common plan:  An emergency visit costs $100 co-pay; if they have met the deductible, that is.  If not, they’d have to pay for the entire bill.  Many ER visits can run up to $2000 depending on what diagnostic tests are run.  Let’s hope they have an emergency fund.

No available cash for an emergency

But wait, the same non-prepper decided to put off saving for the emergency fund.  He didn’t have the money to pay the ER bill so he put it on the credit card, thinking he can pay it off later.  The visit cost $1500 and it all went to credit.  Now the bank will charge  interest on the $1500 at 18%, adding another $270 on top of the $1500.  Now the debt that was so worrisome to begin with, got even larger.  Additional debt causes sleepless nights, worry, and having to work longer hours at work.  Not being prepared can affect mental health.

Even if there is no disaster or emergency, a simple power outage or bank glitch can cause bank ATMs, credit and debit cards to stop working.  Having just a small emergency cash fund would help the family buy necessities without any issues.

These instances show the cost of not prepping is too high even for common emergencies – consider what might happen in a total grid down disaster.   Seeing the family suffer from lack of food, water and other essentials would be intolerable.

Most of us pay property insurance, car and health insurance.  I look at emergency food, water and supplies the same way:  better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.  I may be preaching to the choir here, but if just one person decides now is the time to take a few steps to be prepared instead of putting it off then I’d be happy to have helped someone.

Prepping may cost a bit of money and time up front, but NOT prepping would cost even more.  And, the peace of mind that comes with being prepared is priceless.




Free or Cheap Ways to Get Seeds

Free or Cheap Ways to Get Seeds for Your Garden

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Now that it is mid-February, spring is not that far away.  The first official day of spring is Sunday, March 20th.  It is time to start thinking about the balcony garden, and ways to get started inexpensively.

Although it is easier to grow plants from the nursery, I’d like to be able to grow plants from seed.  Many experienced gardeners say you don’t have to pay high prices for seeds, you can get them for free, or very inexpensively.

Here are some ways:

  1.  Save seeds from plants you grow yourself.  Now if you are new to gardening, you won’t have seeds from previous seasons so keep reading.  Just remember to save some for next year once you have a garden.
  2. Seed exchanges.  I listen a podcast, The Self Sufficient Homestead, run by Johnny Max and the Queen.  Their website is sshomestead.com.   They started a seed exchange website, where participants can trade heirloom seeds, which are non-hybrid, non genetically altered seeds that can propagate themselves for generations.  Not sure if they still run the site, but it is still up:  www.heirloomseedswap.com. Since I am just starting out and have no seeds to swap, I checked the site for seeds for sale and found some of the gardeners sell seeds as well.  I had ordered Stevia seeds and received them within a couple of weeks.
  3. Facebook groups  I found a seed swap group in Facebook, called Great American Seedswap https://www.facebook.com/groups/gassp/
  4. Ask a friendly gardener  Avid gardeners such as friends or neighbors, even the doctor or dentist, are happy to share seeds from their homegrown plants.  If it comes up in conversation, don’t be afraid to ask.
  5. Seed forums  You can also get free seeds from seed forums such as Gardenweb.  See http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussions/3677411/does-anyone-have-any-unwanted-seeds  for a discussion on how to go about it.

If you prefer the quick way to obtain organic seeds, check out Amazon-they have a pretty good selection as well. Now is a great time to get started, before the growing season is upon us.





How to Avoid Getting Trapped in Your Office Building

How to Avoid Getting Trapped in your Office Building

I work in a high rise building downtown.  The other day I had the terrifying experience of getting trapped in an elevator with six other people.  It was lunch time and two out of four elevators were not working.  A crowd was forming to get on the two remaining elevators.  When I finally got my turn, six other people came in with me.  I already felt closed in, being in such tight quarters.  The doors closed and the elevator proceeded to move down.  The elevator suddenly stopped and everyone started looking around uncomfortably.  People started shuffling their feet.  It was a terrible feeling – what if this lasts a long time?  The guy closest to the emergency button pressed it and a loud buzzer sounded.  It felt like an eternity, but after about three minutes the elevator started moving again.  I got off the next stop even though it was not my floor.  I had uncomfortable shoes on, but I took the stairs 10 floors down.

This happened on a regular day, and it was scary enough.  Imagine if there were an emergency, power is going on and off and everyone is trying to get off the upper floors all at once.  The elevators would be jam packed and overweight, exceeding the weight limit.  There would be more chances of a breakdown.

I realize even if you are one of the first to leave there are still lots of others trying to leave at the same time.  People may be orderly at first, but that is until someone starts to panic.  Panic spreads quickly and before your know it, chaos can ensue. 

Get in the mindset to prepare in case of emergency and you find yourself at work.

1.  Know where the stairwells are located and where they lead.

2.  Stock your desk with bottled water and non perishable food just in case.

3.  Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your desk drawer, just in case you have to run down the stairs or have to walk home.

4.  Keep a few emergency items such as a flashlight if you have to find your way out in the dark, extra jacket or blanket, Swiss Army knife umbrella or rain gear etc.

5.  Assemble a small First Aid kit for your desk.  Include personal necessities such as contact lens solution, extra pair of glasses, asthma inhaler, or other prescription medications etc. just in case you are unable to leave for a day or two.

6.  Plan a walking route in case the parking lot is inaccessible and have to walk home.

7.  Have alternate routes home, and paper maps to guide you if your GPS is not working.  Of course, you already have a car survival kit right?

8.  Be aware of what’s going on in your area – check the news on TV in the break room if you can, read the news online if you have access.

9.  If there is an impending natural disaster, or bad weather has already started early in the morning, consider staying home from work and taking the day off.  Sometimes the best precaution is just to stay away.

10.  It is a good idea to know who among your co-workers live in your area, so you can share a ride in case of emergency.

11.  Trust your gut.  Don’t hesitate to leave your office if an emergency happens and your gut tells you it is time to leave.

12.  Know all the exits out of your office, the building as well as parking garage exits.

Make a plan on how you would handle a disaster at work now before an emergency occurs.  Thinking ahead will help you avoid panic and stay calm no matter what happens.

© Apartment Prepper 2015



Monday Musings: 3/30/2014 Spam Teriyaki Review

Spam Teriyaki Review

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links about all things preparedness, as well as updates on the blog.

First the blog updates…

Can you believe March is almost over?  I’m already planning the April reviews and giveaways for the blog.

Spam Teriyaki Review  Spam is a great addition to the survival pantry, and I am quite fond of it for regular use.  I like the plain one the best, but also enjoy the other flavors as well – Bacon and Jalapeno.  I recently picked up a couple of new flavors:  Teriyaki and Chorizo.  We tried the Teriyaki one recently.  The short review…  not a fan.  It had a really dark color, which looked burnt by the time I cooked it thin sliced and crisp the way the family likes; it also had an artificial aftertaste which was a bit too much.  I still like Spam overall, just not the Teriyaki flavored ones.   I will let you know how the Chorizo one turns out.

Making my own sprays and moisturizers This week I’ll be whipping up my batches of personal care items instead of buying them:  moisturizer, deodorizing spray and may try making a scrub as well.   I have these two new bottles of peppermint and lavender from Insta Natural that I am going to try out.  As always, I will let you know how they turn out.  Having essential oils on hand gives you to freedom to make so many things that were previously store bought.

Now for the links…

The Price of Hyper-Cleanliness

37 Prepper Uses for Trash Bags

Does Cough CPR Work?

How to Plan Meals When Money is Tight

The Day and the Hour Are Unknown…But…

7 Survival Ideas You Never Thought About

12 Ways to Treat Indigestion – Naturally

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2015

How to Get Your Teen to Appreciate Prepping

I’ve talked to a few preppers who feel they are all alone in their efforts and are having a tough time getting their family involved.  We’ve focused on partners not wanting to prep, younger children; today we’ll look at the teens in your life.

Anyone who has dealt with teens know they are a tough bunch.  It is hard enough to get them to make their beds, much less get them interested in prepping so good luck with that.  But wait a second, it’s not impossible!  It just takes a little patience and understanding, plus a bit of sneakiness.. err.. persuasiveness.

The first question you need to address:  What’s in it for them?

The first step in trying to get a teen interested in anything:  figure out the aspects that would appeal to their interest, something that they care about.  Have them consider what it might be like if they were to run out of ___ (fill in what they like) during an emergency.  Of course they would be upset.   Then show how how stocking up on such supplies/ emergency items will avoid them having to go without.  For example, if your teen girl is interested in hair products, make it a point of including to include their favorite shampoo in the emergency buckets.  In no time, the teen would be making suggestions on what else they would not like to do without.

Include your teen's favorite comfort foods in your storage

Include your teen’s favorite comfort foods in your storage

Food

Food is a great teen motivator.  I don’t know of any teen who is not interested in some kind of food.

Include their favorite comfort foods such as chips, chocolates, cookies, peanut butter, etc in your emergency food storage.  Just make sure you keep rotating, but I am sure using these up will not be a problem.

Survival shows and movies

Watching a thrilling show with them such as as The Walking Dead usually will spark a discussion about a TEOTWAWKI situation and what one would do if faced with it.  If the teen is more interested in video games, then a similar video game, such as The Walking Dead video game, will have the same effect.

Fans of The Hunger Games books and movie I am sure might enjoy Creek Stewart’s book The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide.  They’ll be able to relate to the story tie-in, and learn some good survival skills as well.

Camping and Hiking

If you start camping and hiking activities while they are young, kids will continue to enjoy them as they get older.  However, if you’ve never had a chance, it’s not too late, you can still get them interested in the fitness aspect.  As an added attraction, allow a good friend or close relative to come along and they can bond on the trail.

Learn a Skill Together

Firestarting

One skill that teens find irresistible is firestarting.   We have both preteens and teens in the family and every time we have fireworks they are the first in line to try it out.  Why not do a firestarting exercise, and later have a friendly competition about it (hat tip to reader countrygirl who has tried the supervised firestarting contest with great success)

Target Shooting

Teens will also take an interest in target shooting.  First you’ll need to make sure they are thoroughly trained in gun safety and proper use.   A few hours at the range or even a simulated one would be a worthwhile activity.

Paracord bracelet

Making paracord bracelets is an engaging activity.

Paracord Bracelets

Making paracord bracelets is fun and both boys and girls would enjoy it.  Let them choose their paracord bracelet color and create one together.

Survival Themed Gifts

Of course teens would be interested in gear.  Find something they can use such as  Swiss Army knife, solar charger, sport bottle purifier and give it to them on Christmas or birthdays.

It’s not easy but trying out a combination of the above just might work.  You may not be able to accomplish this all at once, but little by little, you just might get them into a preparedness mindset as they start to see the value of being prepared in their own life.  It is worth a try.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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Water is one of the biggest needs when it comes to survival.  Whether bugging out or sheltering in place, you can never have enough clean water for survival: For your water purifier needs, please visit:

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10 Preparedness Steps for the New Year

10 Preparedness Steps for the New Year

As we look forward to 2015, we continue to improve on our preparedness skills and supplies:

Here are 10 preparedness steps to take

  1. Power outage supplies  We checked our supply of batteries, matches, flashlights, camping stove and lanterns as well as solar chargers in case the power gets interrupted.
  2. Evaluate how long you can last without going to the store.  How much water and food have you managed to store so far?  For us, due to space issues, we have about a couple week’s worth of water, and about 12 weeks worth of food, including the refrigerator and pantry.  I’d really like to increase my water storage but we did add backup filters.
  3. Financial preparedness.  We had a tight year financially, but hope to improve our money situation this year by paying off debt, adding to our stockpile and learning more DIY skills.
  4. Continue adding self-sufficiency skills.  At Apartment Prepper, so far we’ve learned how to make bread from scratch, brew coffee without electricity, sprout seeds and make home made yogurt.  I tried making starter but that didn’t work out the first time-I am going to try that again this year.  I acquired the materials for an insulated cooker, and plan to make one this coming year.  I’d also like to learn more about essential oils and natural remedies.
  5. De-clutter and make more space for supplies.  We are always trying to find space for survival supplies, so we have to keep re-evaluating our space.
  6. Examine canned food expiration dates- we always rotate our canned foods to avoid this food storage disaster.
  7. Evaluate our home security.  Being in the big city, we are always conscious of security issues.  Make your doors and windows more secure and consider other alternatives for home security.
  8. Evaluate items you carry daily and consider personal security items as well.
  9. Update our grab and go binder.  I am sure we have new documents and records from 2014 that need to be added, and old ones replaced.
  10. Revisit our health and hygiene supplies.  This past year the country had the ebola scare, which thankfully did not spread, although it is still ravaging many countries in Africa.  This showed how pandemic threats can surface and supplies quickly sell out.

The above is not a complete list, but should hopefully get you thinking about your own preparedness and survival activities.  Don’t feel bad if you had expectations you did not meet.  Just getting started places you ahead of 70% of the population.

 

 

Happy New Year to Everyone!

 

 

Discount Offer for Non GMO Seeds

Seeds of the Month ClubI’ve always recommended using non-GMO seeds for any planting that you do, whether you are starting an herb garden in your balcony, of planting seasonal vegetables.  Now’s your chance to get non-GMO seeds at a great discount from Seeds of the Month Club.  They are offering Apartment Prepper readers a 25% discount by joining through this link or our banner ad.

Seeds of the Month Club

What are non GMO seeds?

Non GMO means these seeds are NOT genetically modified seeds.  They do not modify their seeds and do not obtain seeds from suppliers that sell genetically modified seeds.  These seeds are open-pollinated, heirloom varieties.

The seeds obtained from plants grown during the season can be used in subsequent seasons.

How does Seeds of the Month Club work?

When you join Seeds of the Month Club, you pay a set amount according to the set amount of time your choose.  Each month you will receive a packet of non GMO seeds.

The first month, you get eight packets of seeds; then every month thereafter, you get four packets while you are a member.

In addition, members get free shipping and 25% off any gardening products in their online store.

These seeds would also make a nice Christmas gift for the gardener in your gift list.

Now is a great time to start your collection of non GMO seeds at a great discount.

Now go check out the Seeds of the Month Club!

 

Eight Deadly Survival Myths About Water

Eight Deadly Survival Myths About Water By “Just In Case” Jack

When things go wrong, the first item your average Joe citizen is going to stock up on is water.

It’s easy for Joe American to buy a five-gallon jug of water and assume the proverbial storm will pass within a day or two.

As preppers, we know better.

We know all too well the very real danger of complacency and, more, we know how easy it is for the water supply to become contaminated. Whether by act of God, foreign bodies, domestic terror or otherwise, the water supply is an easy target for The Worst Case Scenario.

Worse still, there are those unfortunate individuals who buy into the insidious rumors circulating around about what it means to purify your own water.

If there’s one thing worse than complacency, it’s the propagation of dangerous misinformation.

While the average Joe knows the myths, ultimately it’s the survivors who know better.

Here are eight of those dangerous urban survival myths that you would be wise to unlearn.

Myth 1: Boiled Water Is Boiled Water

One of the first things most everyone knows to do when he needs water is to boil it. After all, he reasons, boiling water will fully eradicate most, if not all, dangerous germs and microbes lurking just below that crystal-clear surface.

Not only is this categorically wrong, it could cost you and your loved ones everything.

While it’s true that boiling water is a simple and effective way to cleanse your water, it’s important to understand that the hotter the water gets the cleaner it will be. It’s all too easy to get that pot steaming and assume that the water is ready to consume.

The most important thing to remember when boiling water is that it is less about the duration of boiling and more about temperature.

Water fully boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to instantly cleanse your water of just about any common microorganisms. If bringing your water to a full boil is out of the question for whatever reason and you have a thermometer handy, you can alternatively heat it to 160 degrees for 30 minutes or 185 for three minutes.

Myth 2: All Boiled Water Is Not Always Created Equal

Another dangerous myth about water purification is that boiling is a cure all. Something you need to consider is how dirty the water actually is. While boiling will effectively cleanse standing water or rain water, it won’t do you any good to boil chemically contaminated water.

Simply put, you aren’t going to boil that pesky depleted uranium residue out of your water.

The same principal applies to dirty water.

If the water you are attempting to purify is visibly dirty or murky, you should filter the water before attempting to cleanse it. It’s all the better if you are in a situation where there are commercial filters available but, if not, you have options.

One easy way to get the muck out of your water is to filter it through a clean shirt or a towel. If a filter isn’t available, you can additionally just let the water sit until the sediment sinks to the bottom of the container and pour the clean water off of the top.

Myth 3: Eating Clean, White Snow Is Always Safe

So, say the world went to hell while you were up in the mountains surrounded by pristine, fresh snow. There’s a common misconception that fresh snow is ready for you to consume.

As an informed survivor, you know that nothing is that easy.

While it’s true that snow makes for a great source of hydration in those dire, icy scenarios, it’s as important as ever to boil your water.

While it’s always a good idea to purify the water you consume, snow presents a different set of problems for the intrepid survivor other than simple contamination.

Paradoxically, eating snow can actually lead to further dehydration and, given the climate you’ve likely found yourself in, hypothermia.

Even though the snow itself might not necessarily be dirty, the energy your body spends melting the snow while simultaneously dealing with your plummeting internal temperature is simply not worth the risk.

Your best bet is to collect the snow and melt it down as it will warm the water as well as kill any germs it may have picked up off the ground.

Myth 4: You Need To Drink 8 Glasses Of Water Daily

A classic piece of mom-advice is that we all need to drink 8 glasses of water every day. While someone in a life-or-death, survival situation will likely be aware of conservations necessity, it’s important to know that your body can operate just fine on less water.

While it’s massively important for your well-being to stay hydrated, don’t blow your stockpile because you grew up thinking you needed 8 glasses every day. Cutting back on salt, soda, sweets and many other perishable goods while upping your intake of fruits and vegetables is a great way of keeping yourself hydrated.

The other side of this myth is that it implies drinking 8 glasses is purely about intake. On the contrary, one of the most important aspects of hydration is output.

Hydration is as much about flushing toxins out of your system as it is about satiating your body’s need for liquid. Since the objective is to rid your body of toxins, diet, exercise and vitamins are just as important as gulping down your valuable stash of clean water.

Myth 5: Only Standing Water Is Dangerous

Another popular myth is that as long as your water source isn’t stagnant, it’s safe to consume. The ill-informed survivor will look at a stream gurgling through the woods and over rocks and assume that it’s naturally clean.

As with all water consumption, the name of the game is purification.

As is the case with any water, even moving water has a source and you can’t know what’s stewing around in that source. Unless you want to risk a run-in with giardia or any number of other water-born sicknesses, you need to make sure your water is safe first.

Myth 6: Drinking Small Amounts Of Salt Water Is OK

Salt water, even in minute doses will actually speed up the dehydration process.

It’s the idea of reverse osmosis that comes into play.

The salinity of the water you would drink from the sea is much greater than the natural salinity of the water in your cells. So as you drink the salt laden water, the water in your cells will move through your cell wall membrane to try and dilute the recently ingested sea water. This means your cells and body will lose water by drinking a glass of ocean.

However, it can be used to cool you down as long as you don’t swallow any.

Myth 7: All Cacti Are A Source Of Water

While it’s true that there is water in many types of Cacti, its typically not as abundant as most are lead to believe. Plus, the water tends to be acidic and bitter, which can lead to unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting (both of which accelerate the dehydrating processes).

Myth 8: You Can Always Count On Urine In A Pinch

Yes and No.

In a very extreme situation you can drink urine once, possibly twice but it’s really not a long term solution. Urine is waste for a reason, and even though it does have some amount of water in it, if you continue to recycle it more than once then it’s going to become more and more toxic.

You’ll quickly realize this is happening when the color of your urine continues to get darker and darker as you get more and more dehydrated.

In the end, drinking urine follows the laws of diminishing returns. The more you drink the harder your body has to work to process the toxins, making you even more dehydrated, which then negatively accelerates your already limited survival time.

Potential Life Savers: Your Water Survival Tools

Now that we have covered some of the most deadly survival water myths, it’s worth a quick mention about some helpful solutions.

There are two primary survival tools that I keep with me at all times. A portable water filter and a bunch of water purification tablets. While these two tools won’t make sea water drinkable or make urine pure, they will open up a much wider array of water options, when options are limited.

While a portable water filter can’t locate water for you, it will greatly increase your chances of survival. A portable survival water filter protects you from most dehydration enhancing sicknesses caused by drinking bacteria laden water.

So don’t leave home, travel, backpack, bug out or stay home without one.

-“Just In Case” Jack

About the author:
Jack’s an expert survivalist and prepper with an engineering and military background. He’s a dedicated family man and a proud American. Jack wants to help you to be prepared for anything. Trust me, when TSHTF you’ll be happy you met Jack. Sign up now to win a free Life Straw at SkilledSurvival.com




Can You Prep if You Live in a Tiny House?

Can You Prep if you live in a tiny houseThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I’ve been reading a lot about the trend to build and move into a tiny house and I am fascinated by the stories.  I’m no stranger to downsizing, having lived in a 4,200 square foot home in a different time.  Now that I rent, I haven’t lived in anything above 1,400 square feet in a few years.

But the tiny house movement is different – many of these houses are below 500 square feet, and a lot of them are built on wheels.  I can see the advantages:

  • low utility bills
  • less stuff to keep track of
  • easy to clean
  • mobility
  • low cost
  • quick to build

I can also see the disadvantages such as less personal space, very little storage space, no room to entertain indoors and having to get rid of your possessions.

Can you prep if you live in a tiny house?

On one hand, much of prepping has to do with keeping keeping supplies such as water, food and gear.  “Two is one and one is none” is a common adage.  But if you live in under 500 square feet, you may have to re-think that.  Also, you may not have room for self-sufficiency activities that require additional storage space such as canning.

On the other hand, many of the tiny homes are also built off-grid, which gives you the advantage of being self-sufficient.  As long as you have sustainable and renewable energy and water sources, that is.

With a little creativity, I believe there are ways to prep while living in a tiny home:

  • Keep some of your supplies in an accessible storage facility or shed.
  • Have an underground cache containing your supplies.
  • You can keep your go-bag in your car or truck.
  • If you are building your tiny house, you can allocate some vertical space for storage.  You just have to be very choosy about what you store.
  • Prepping is not only about storing supplies but also about learning skills.  Acquire survival skills such as hunting, fishing, first aid, that do not require any indoor space at all.
  • Start a garden in an outside window box or empty space in the yard

When you think about it, there are always opportunities to prep no matter where you are.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

SunJack Solar Charger – Product Review

SunJack1 (5)I had the opportunity to test out the SunJack portable solar charger.  

What is the SunJack?

It is a portable solar charger by GigaWatt that can charge any USB device – phones, tablets, GPS, cameras, speakers, lights, and more.

Here is how it works:

The SunJack harnesses solar energy for direct charging or it can store power in a removable UltraSlim battery for use 24/7, rain or shine. After only 5 hours of direct sunlight, the 14 watt SunJack can power either 4 iPhones, 0.7 iPads or 8-9 hours of LED light using the SunJack USB CampLight. Unlike many other chargers, the SunJack kit includes a 1-2 batteries enabling you to simultaneously power 4 to 6 USB devices at a rate equal to on-grid charge speed (2 Amp).

Here is the SunJack right out of the box.

SunJack1 (2)

It comes with the four solar panels with USB charging unit, the battery pack, two carabiners and instructions for use.

I tried it out by leaving the SunJack outside on a small coffee table exposed to direct sunlight.

SunJack1 (3)You plug the battery to the charging unit and leave it alone in direct sunlight.

I left it out there for three hours

After three hours, I checked on the charge and found it was almost fully charged:

SunJack1 (1)There was only one more light indicator not lighting up at this point.    I asked my contact at SunJack about this and here is what he told me:

The last 20% charges a little slower to protect the battery and maximize the battery life. This is characteristic of Lithium batteries charge circuitry. Most likely if the battery is left in full sun for 5-6 hours the last led would also light up. 4 hours in full sun usually gets the battery 80% charged. Note this also occurs with iPhones as they charge to 80% really fast then charge speed slows down for last 20%.

It does make sense, as my own phone does the same thing.  After the final two hours, the fifth one lit up.

After the SunJack was fully charged, I charged up my phone and was pleased that the SunJack charged as quickly as am electric wall plug.  I’ve tested other solar chargers and the charging time is much slower than this one.  Granted, it was a smaller one with only three panels, but regardless, I was impressed at the fast charge of the SunJack.  Using the fully charged battery, I was able to charge my phone four times

The SunJack would be handy while camping to power up small devices – you can harness the power of the sun since you are outside already.  I think the SunJack is a great backup power source in the event of a power outage, or other emergencies.  As of this writing, it is available on Amazon and is also carried by LPC Survival.  The SunJack is well worth it.