Category Archives: solar

Baking Wheat Bread Without Modern Stoves

baking wheat breadMost people have been exposed to baking wheat bread at some point in their lives.  Normally it is done with the use of a modern cook stove or a bread maker.  The bread probably came out great.  But what happens when those modern conveniences are no longer available.

Suppose you want a nice soft, warm, loaf of good wheat homemade bread and you have the ingredients.  You don’t want bannock, hardtack, Johnnycake, cornbread or any of the other breads our ancestors ate. So how do you go about baking wheat bread without a stove?

There are several methods that you can use and most of them are fairly easy. …

Posted in cooking, solar | Tagged | 1 Comment

Preparedness Suppliers that I can Personally Recommend

preparedness suppliers

Don’t get caught like this

Today I decided to write a bit of a different blog.  Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to deal with a number of different preparedness suppliers.  Some of these have been good experiences, some bad.  So today, I decided to write about some companies that I feel that I can recommend without any reservations.

Freeze Dry Guy  A supplier of Mountain House Freeze Dried Foods and other miscellaneous items.  I have dealt with him for at least 30 plus years and have had no problems.

Disaster Stuff    This is a small company ran out of the Rocky Mountains. …

Posted in food storage, medical, solar | Tagged | 2 Comments

Solar Cooking Tips

solar cooking

The All American Sun Oven

We have been practicing solar cooking for a while now and  have a few tips to share with you.  We have used three different types of solar ovens, and each one has its own characteristics.  The three different types are the All American Sun Oven, the Gosun Solar Cooker, see link on the right side of this page, and a homemade parabolic reflector.

The first one I will talk about is the All American Sun Oven, this is the more traditional box oven and it works very similar to the oven in your kitchen range. …

Posted in solar | Tagged | Leave a comment

Solar Powered Flashlights, How Good are They?

solar powered flashlights

Here is the original model.

I like flashlights; we have a ridiculous number of them.  If there is a good buy on a flashlight I have to have it.  They are kind of an obsession with me.  In my collection, I have several different types of solar powered flashlights and I have spent time testing them all.  Like everything, they have advantages and disadvantages.  But over all I think the advantages of solar powered flashlights outweigh the disadvantages.

The first solar powered flashlights that I encountered were the Hybrid Solar Flashlight that I published a review on in 2011, Hybrid solar flashlight review.

Posted in lighting, solar, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My Latest Thoughts on Solar Cookers

solar cookers

The parabolic solar cooker

The sun is shining beautifully and the temperature is in the low to mid 50s.  The weather is perfect for winter solar cooking.  This is a good time of the year to get out and practice.  After having played with solar cookers of many different types over the years I have finally decided which I like the best.  First let me start by saying that most solar cookers work and will produce a decent meal.  However, some are much better than others.

Now it may surprise you to know that I have decided on three different types of solar cookers.  …

Posted in solar | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Solar Wise Lantern Project

solar wise lanternYesterday I received this post from a family in Wyoming whose children are working on raising money for a family reunion.  In today’s world it is nice to see children trying to accomplish things and work with their parents.  so I decided to support this effort and put up a post on it today.  I have not seen this exact lantern but have one like it and have found them to be useful. So here is the story of the kids and the Solar Wise Lantern.

Hello!  My name is Lori and I wanted to tell you about a project my kids are doing, and wondered if it might be of interest for you to blog about? …

Posted in solar | Tagged | 1 Comment

Gosun Sport Solar Cooker a Review


The Gosun Sport in use

Today I am posting a review of the Gosun Sport Solar cooker; this is an cooker that I have been working with for the last couple of weeks.  It is a very different design and is about the fastest cooking solar oven I have encountered.  The cooking is done in a metal tray that slides inside of a borosilicate evacuated glass tube.  This tube is heated by the sun being reflected from two parabolic reflectors.  The whole thing folds up like a clamshell for easy storage.

Now over the years, I have used many different types of solar cookers and they all have their limitations. …

Posted in cooking, solar | Tagged | 4 Comments

Some Useful Books for Off Grid Solar Systems

Here are a couple of books that can be very useful if you are designing or installing off grid solar systems. 

Ugly’s Electrical References, 2014 Edition is a book that is used by most electricians  as a off grid solar systemsreference manual.  While it is designed to be used as an on-the-job reference, it is very useful for anyone who is designing a backup generator or off grid solar system.

Ugly’s has all the formulas to help you understand things like Ohm’s Law, how to find amps, horsepower rating watts, kilowatts and many other things.   With it you can determine how many watts a motor will draw.  …

Posted in solar | Tagged | Leave a comment

Calculate the Size of Your Solar System from Kill A Watt Data

solar systemYesterday I put up a blog on using a Kill A Watt to determine your power usage. Kill A Watt can determine the Size of a Generator/Solar System  Now I know that many of you want to use this information to figure out how big a solar system or generator you need to run your necessary appliances.

A while back I ran a post on How Many Solar Panels and Batteries, For Your Off Power Grid System.  This morning I received a comment asking how to calculate the size solar system you need from the information gathered by the Kill A Watt.…

Posted in solar | Tagged | 5 Comments

Charging and Maintaining Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

sealed lead acid batteries

Battery boxes being charged

In my preps I have some sealed lead acid batteries, both 100 amp gel cells and some 7.5 amp batteries made into 12-volt battery packs.  See my old post A Simple 12 Volt Battery Pack., each pack contains two 7.5 amp 12 volt batteries.  These can be charged from the electric system in your home, vechicle or by solar panels.  See A Simple Way to Charge Your Homemade 12 Volt Battery Packs.

Several times a year I get the batteries out and check everything and make sure they are fully charged.  Sealed lead acid batteries are a good choice for many uses; they are rugged, will not leak, easily rechargeable, and offers a good amount of energy in a convenient form. …

Posted in electronics, lighting, solar | Tagged | 3 Comments