Energy

In every scary situation there is one surefire way to intensify the drama ….. cut the power.  The movie industry knows it, novelists know it and preppers know it.  The world seems to get a lot smaller when the lights go out.  Every noise you hear in the dark is an ax murderer waiting to chop you up into little pieces or a monster under your bed.  In truth, darkness does not exist..  Darkness is just the absence of light.  We associate good things to light.  “I’m glad this website finally saw the light of day” or “Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light.”  Plus you don’t step on your daughter’s toy that she left in the hallway. As preppers, we should devote some of our time to being able to keep the power on.  So, what are some of the ways we can do this?

The first thing you grab when the power goes out is a flashlight. My first powerful flashlight was the TechLite Lumen Master 150. I bought the three pack at Costco for about $20. Talk about some light, this CREE LED flashlight was bright. It offered 150 lumens of light and used 3 AAA batteries instead of those fancy batteries that cost a lot and I can never find. It has a low and high setting and a strobe light that is great to dance to. They are made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which means they can be dropped a lot as I have found out. The next day I went back to Costco and bought the 200 lumen lights for $25. This is my everyday carry. This year I saw that they had the 250 lumen lights and bought a couple of packs of them. For some reason, I like my 200 lumen better so the rest are in go bags and the faraday cage.

You are going to need to keep those lights powered. On low they last for 4 hours and on high they last for only 1 hour. After listening to Steve Harris on the Survival Podcast, I knew exactly which batteries to buy for my flashlights. The Sanyo eneloop 800 mAh, 1500 cycle, Ni-MH pre-charged, rechargeable batteries. These Sanyo batteries have a low self discharge which means they will maintain 75 percent of their charge after 3 years of storage. They can be recharged up to 1,500 times and are pre-charged and ready to use right out of the package. They will work in extreme temperatures down to 14 degrees. They have no memory effect so, the batteries can be recharged when fully, or partially drained. At a cost of only 4¢ per recharge, you really cannot go wrong here.

Since you are getting rechargeable batteries, you are going to need a battery charger. I chose the Powerex MH-C800S Eight Cell Smart Charger and this thing is smart. The MH-C800S features eight independent slots that can charge one to eight AA or AAA batteries in any combination around one to two hours. The display shows the charging status of each battery. You can choose between a soft and a fast charge mode. The soft charge allows compatibility with older, lower capacity batteries. The fast charge allows eight batteries to be fully charged in as little as one to two hours. The Eight Cell charger is embedded with a high-rate battery conditioner that will charge, deep-discharge and recharge batteries automatically for maximum performance. The cycle restores the batteries to their optimal performance level minimizing the memory effect. Batteries that were previously thought ready for the recycle bin can be brought back to life.

Sometimes you need to have your hands free to do a thing. Last Father’s Day The Wife and Babygirl got me the Energizer Trail Finder. This 7-LED headlight has four light modes: area, spot, flood, and red for night vision. I like the red lights because my eyes do not have to readjust when I turn the light off. Even though you can pivot the light up to 90 degrees, I have not had to do that. With it being on my head, it always seems to know where I want to look. It will run for up to 14 hours on the three AAA batteries. It only gives off 58 lumens but, if I need more light than that, I’ll use a flashlight. This light is perfect for getting into your bag while camping or walking at night.