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Monday, February 10, 2020

peev2c14part3


PEEv2c14part3
Bare Bones List
#6
LED Lights
You need to see at night. You don't need as much light as we use today, chasing away primitive demons under searchlight intensity illumination. But you need SOME light. Myself, being a reader, judge the lumens I need by whether it is comfortable reading by that level of illumination. You might feel you just need enough light to find the bathroom with as you become drunk. But you need some kind of light. It can be as feeble as a garden stake light, or as varied as specialty tools for different tasks.
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You don't need the most expensive light, as that is usually just peacock feather boastfulness, a horny teenager imagining a cool car will get him laid. But do not buy the cheapest crap either. Dollars to donuts, a $1 flashlight is usually a hunk of crap that will not last. A $5 one is probably a lifetime tool ( future readers, your Bic Mac might cost you $100, but this was written as silver is $19 an ounce and wheat is 25cents a pound at the feed store ). Buy many and varied, but don't save TOO much money. Or spend too much. You need a reliable tool, not a substitution for a small penis.
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A headlamp is great while working, a lantern good for area light and a flashlight delivers strength or distance. JUST using a flashlight doesn't work, reading or playing cards. Just a headlamp, and the band starts chaffing and irritating after a time. Just a lantern and no light is focused on one spot. Mix and match accordingly. LED's are now so good that if I were doing my off-grid hovel over I would probably not even hook up 12v light bulbs for room illumination. AA and AAA battery lights are really good now. And a 12v marine battery dies every time you recharge it, even if you barely sipped power for a lightbulb.
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If I was doing a 12v battery over again, I would switch from marine batteries to sealed deep cycle. They cost four times as much as Wal-Mart batteries, but last four times as long. And they are nice and small so that you can easily tote them around. Why? Because 12v wiring loses power if it is too long. And because with the bastard crackheads around now, I want to bring batteries in after charging. Also, I can bring a battery to an appliance rather than creating a battery bank and wiring to everywhere. After the collapse, thieves will be more violent, less lazy and more bold than today's variety.
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And forget going to candles. They suck mightily. Way before solar panels were as cheap as today, way before I knew they offered 12v lightbulbs in LED, I had too little panels and too many days of overcast ( and energy hungry incandescent auto bulbs for my RV ) and I ended up using candles for a week straight. They were next to useless, no better than weak nightlights. You could do nothing with them except look at each other blankly and wonder how the hell you ended up here off grid. Invest heavily in mass quantities of LED lighting.
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#7
Solar Battery Charger
I don't particularly care for the solar battery charger that they sell. There is really only one design. It is about the size of a paperback book, and you install your rechargeable batteries inside ( AA, AAA, C, D and 9v ) and a very small solar panel charges them. They are flimsy and one wonders how long the plastic will hold up. But, I have two of them and a minion care packaged me a third. So that is what I stick with. You can just use a bigger solar panel, through a charge controller to an inverter and into a 110 wall plug in charger, but I believe the design is for speed and am not sure if the batteries are damaged by this.
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You can bypass the need for a charger at all, by just using garden stake solar lights, the panel and charger built in to the unit. If you don't JUST buy $1 ones, and get $3-$5 units, they will be of higher quality. Some even have glass rather than plastic, but you can always detach the head of each unit and place them in the sun, keeping the plastic out of the UV rays. Which fog up the windows and you get crap light out of that. Or, just detach the tops to bring inside, careful not to hit the LED bulb now exposed, for full light exposure. But, again, REALLY low lumens.
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I will only use lights powered by AA or AAA now. I tried D lanterns and they sucked. Not only that but a solar charger takes days to recharge D's, whereas AA and AAA are almost always ready after one day in the sun. PLUS, a D or C rechargeable battery is insanely expensive. Usually $5 compared to just a dollar for an A. Which means you can buy a lot more A's and you can go decades using LED's and can avoid candles as long as possible. Because candles blow, they are dangerous and they use fat you need to eat instead, if all the bees are dead.
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#8
Wool
You are a damn fool if you live in a winter wonderland and don't own wool. Not a fool. Not a garden variety fool. Not a damn fool. A GOTT Damn fool! You can own plenty of cotton, plenty of synthetic. They are more comfortable and in many cases warmer. But wool must be used WITH them. In conjunction with. For the longest time, I refused to wear any synthetic coat. A coat was a windbreaker, to use over wool. But synthetic is a lot warmer without the weight. Add a synthetic shell over wool and you are roasting up, even at fifteen degrees under zero ( that is non-communist Fahrenheit ). With cotton over wool, you stay warm enough but no where near as warm.
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So, synthetic has a place. But without wool underneath, it sucks. Without wool, and ONLY cotton, it is almost impossible to wear enough layers to stay warm. But just ONE wool sweater, over a cotton one ( or two ) and you are toasty warm ( not factoring in wind ). Wool socks make all the difference in the world. And some people need warm feet to have a warm body. Wool socks are also the only cheap wool, other wool garments being priced as if gold was interwoven into them. Don't get too low a percentage of wool. 10% wool is not really a wool sock, more of a gimmick.
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I can't tell you the best percentage, but I've had good luck myself as low as 30-40% wool. Higher is better, but experiment. My litmus test is wearing soccer slides with the wool socks to walk the dog. You know REAL quick if they are going to work. Wool blankets. Don't buy under three pounds. Three and a half is better. Unless they are cheap and you stack more than one. And don't buy under 70% wool. If you cannot find weight or wool percentage, most likely you are getting ripped off. And you can always find a good bargain on a wool blanket and turn it into a poncho.
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Wool gloves. If you can, go with the ragg wool mittens. The military surplus green gloves are not very good below freezing. Never clean wool ( except socks, as long as they aren't 100% wool ) in hot water, nor using harsh detergent. If you don't have Woolite you can use dish soap. Never, ever, except for socks or blankets with mixed fabric, hang up to dry. A pure wool garment, if hung, will stretch and keep that shape. Lay down flat to dry. Keep OUT of the sun. If it says Dry Clean Only, and is wool, you can clean it yourself. Just follow the instructions above.
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Like a rifle, wool is NOT inexpensive. But like a rifle, it is perfect for certain jobs, and little can substitute for it.
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Next time, the Bare Bones list continued with #9.
( .Y. )
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35 comments:

  1. Led headlights are the way to go, I used to do salvage work in factories and could get a week off a set of batteries working 10 hours a day. With even a couple solar chargers going that should be a continuous source of light.

    I like my synthetics for warmth, only problem being if you are in a fire hazard they tend to really stick with you. As in 3rd degree burns that are nasty to debride. Probably not much of an issue for most of us, but having a firefighting background myself, it is something I pay attention to. My welding background seconds that. Since I haven't been doing much of either lately, synthetics are warm, light and eady to care for. Buy sweats instead of thermals. Half the price and easier to find

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    1. I got my thermals stupid cheap at Sportsmans. Not sure if they have anything cheap anymore, but worth a shot. The fire issue is one reason I used to always insist on natural fabric only, but hot diggity, my new ( to me ) synthetic jacket makes such a huge difference in the extreme cold.

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    2. Yep in a fire-y environment it's literally time to get out the Nomex underwear. I've not shopped it, but for all we know it's obtainable online, maybe on Ebay or something. I have a gen-u-ine Nomex flight suit that I used to wear when wheed-whacking on the rural place and I still keep because why not.

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  2. Washing wool: I always use baby shampoo. Remember that wool is hair on sheep and hair is best washed with shampoo, not dish soap and never with laundry detergent.

    Dollar store baby shampoo is the stuff.

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    1. Good info-thank you. Why didn't I ever think of that?

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    2. Yeah, yeah. A geriatric blond moment. You get so fixated on "Woolite", you don't stop and think of substitutes.

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  3. Going to the thrift store you can pick up sweats that are 50/50 poly cotton for a buck or two. Better than the 17 bucks each item you find in Walmart and wears longer too. Cotton is actually warmer than wool if you can keep it dry. The poly blend works for me most of the time.

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    1. Cotton warmer than wool? How? Perhaps a very thick cotton verses a very thin wool.

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    2. Not warmer, warm and decent while wet. Cheap too

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    3. I agree sweats are pretty warm.

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  4. And while we’re on the topic of fire safety, don’t weld or sit near an open fire, with a Bic in your pocket, lest it take out your penis and testicles, in a blaze of glory, a leg, or possibly even an ass cheek. Naw, just kidding. That’s an urban legend. They tested it on MythBusters. The faggy sounding dude with the soprano voice, was the test subject, I believe :D

    Speaking of wool, I’ve read on more than one occasion, that the lanolin (The wax like substance that gives wool its hydrophobic, and water repellent properties) it mostly absent by the time the wool leaves the sheep, and ends up as a final product on the store shelf. For this reason, it’s probably best to retreat even new wool products with lanolin, and wash them as feasibly little as possible (Wear easy to wash synthetics as under garments, and wash wool outer garments at the end of the season, then retreat with lanolin).

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    1. Sound advice. Less washing is less wear and tear. Not to point of being filthy, just avoid an anal-compulsive desire to have your clothes surgery room clean.

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    2. Wash gently with baby shampoo, rinse thoroughly, hang to air dry, then hand massage lightly with waxxy like lanolin, then let air dry for a month.

      There's a lot of ol' timey stuff going on around these parts all the time. Couple years ago my wife and I spent an afternoon with a bunch of old folks that demonstrated how stuff was done back in the 16th and 18th century and one of the things that was demonstrated was the spinning of wool. She said wool spinners always had soft hands because they were exposed to lanolin all day long. Maybe having a few sheeps running around in the yard would be a good thing. I wonder what mutton tastes like? 65 years old and never tasted it, that I know of.

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    3. Mutton is a hate it or love it thing. I love the stuff.

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    4. I wonder how treating wool garments with Lexol would work? Lexol is a spray that's sold for taking care of things like leather jackets and leather car seats. It doesn't smell too bad, and is easy to apply.

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  5. I was a late convert to wool socks, but now can't imagine life without them. These are my one splurge item, where I choke on the cost but buy them anyway. I walk miles a day at work and truly believe these socks have improved my quality of life. Can't recommend GOOD wool socks highly enough.

    I learned the hard way about synthetic jackets and flammability issues. Dropped molten steel on my arm while using a cutting torch, burned through the polar fleece in a nanosecond and made a nice sticky mess on the burned skin. Let me tell you, I never made that mistake again!

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    1. I've noticed some brands have a weak wear area, deliberately. Just avoiding the replacement cost makes quality the first time cheaper in the long run.

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    2. Where were your "welder's sleeves" foo?

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    3. "Where were your "welder's sleeves" foo?"

      Long story short, it was my first time with a cutting torch. The boss said "hey kid, take this torch and cut that air tank off the frame of that truck over there". Thus concluded my entire apprenticeship training in metal working. I learned more from the burn than the boss! ;-)

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  6. Duracell batteries have a ten year shelf life.
    I probably won't live that long. lol

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    1. Not a bad plan B. Both long lasting disposables and dying before the supplies are gone :)

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  7. Woolite is basically shampoo. You can use the same stuff you use on your head.

    Let me put in a plug here for Simple Green as best camping and all-round soap ever. Get the original, which is getting harder to find. I've literally used it for everything from cleaning the grease off my motorcycle swing arm to cleaning my contact lenses back when I wore them.

    So called Smart Wool socks are good. Best bought on Amazon, I used to pick 'em up at Big-5 but those days are gone.

    The so-called synthetic "fleece" that's so popular nowadays is great stuff, so might as well use it while it's around. Also, my two prime sources for clothes are thrift stores and discount stores like Ross, Marshall's etc. Garage sales are outstanding too.

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  8. Thing with rechargable batteries like ni-cads is that they die without being charged. So ultimately don't have a very long lifespan. One should cycle and then recharge at least twice a year. Don't know how many cordless power tool batteries I've had to replace over the past by letting them sit idle too long and then they don't take a charge.

    Bottom line is , yes I do stock a fair amount of AAA,AA,C & D ni-cads . Knowing full well that just a few years after shtf, we will all be in a world without any batteries.

    So , indeed one should also stockpile old school ways of making light. One thing about candles, they don't go bad in storage from just sitting idle. Oil lanterns don't either. In fact you'll have plenty of cooking oil gone rancid to burn in them...

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    1. So, my stash of batts from fifteen years ago are not going to work? That blows mightily. I have a newer set, but still

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    2. Re-chargable battery degradation seems to be a problem with telephone batteries, too.
      I was looking for replacement batteries for our old walkie-talkie telephones, and reviewers whined about the poor cycling of new-old-stock.

      Occasionally, I pay attention to second-hand information.
      Not often.
      Just sometimes.

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    3. Listening to peoples problems to get second hand information. Nine out of ten times they are just bastard coated bastards, and unworthy of your time listening. Still, better than the lies from the liars living in liarville.

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    4. I'm quite surprised that you didn't know that about rechargable batteries Jim. Like any batteries , they die from a zero charge condition held too long.
      One might be wise to check out the stored stock and give em a charge now and again.
      In my experience it is a variable failure rate too. I've had a fair amount of success with the twice a year recharge tho. Have never put ones in storage in new never been charged condition.
      I'd like to hear how yours that have been stored turned out...maybe they can be stored if never initially charged ?? Let me know how they did !

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    5. Here was my research on rechargeables. Look up on Amazon. Read reviews. Buy. I knew a lot more about 12v's, that is where I did a lot of reading as I was planning for off-grid.

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  9. I'm way down in Texas, so have little to add to wool thoughts - it really doesn't get and STAY cold like it does up there. A Carhartt vest is plenty warm enough if you are in and out of conditioned spaces without having to remove it. A windbreaker over that like you said above - good enough.

    I'm that minion that keeps pushing out the name UV Paq Lites, lol. A decent 'get around in pitch black' when charged, never needs batteries and is light as a sheet of paper that takes up hardly any space. I keep a couple of these hung on the chain of my bedroom ceiling fan to provide most of night light. They don't mess with your night vision very much either if that is a concern (which it will be if SHTF).

    Good post - thanks for the above and below comments.

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    1. Enjoy your Left Coast Scum down there. Your turn, after they swarmed over Nevada and laid it waste.

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    2. So far, confined to Big D (Dallas), Houston, and AUSTIN (with a vengeance !!). San Antonio is pretty Blue too, but not as much as the three above.

      I really don't like Hating on Ex-Californians, but they didn't alter their voting pattern when moving here. They should have picked another place.

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    3. I LOVE hating on ex-Californians, and I am one. Reno and Vegas fell here, and that is all she wrote, game over man. Now the state is one big pulsing Smurf dingus.

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  10. Another public service announcement brought to you by a caring minion:

    Warning: The Surgeon General has determined that E-cigarettes may be hazardous to your health:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey-JwV6jFu8

    (Note the clerk’s reaction; I think it made him homesick :D Also take note of the old broad “stomping the fire out” :D )

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    1. Hilarious. I hadn't seen that in awhile. Ah, China. Manufacturing now sterilizing the running capitalist dogs. I guess they win in the end.

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