Category Archives: solar

Small DIY Solar Systems are Easy to Make

 

small solar systemA small solar system designed to power lights and possibly your refrigerator for an emergency is easy to build.  It is something that you can do yourself without a lot of training.

If you have read this post, you know how to figure out how many panels and batteries you need. You can use either new or used solar panels.

To build your small solar system you will need

  • Solar panels — make sure they are matching panels, same size same manufacturer. You can mix some panels but it takes a bit of expertise to get this right.
  • Controller — make sure the controller you get will handle the voltage put out by your panels and it needs to protect your batteries by keeping them from being overcharged.
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Solar Cooking Oven Reviews & Tips

We have been practicing solar cooking for a while now and  have a few tips to share with you. I’ve used four different types of solar ovens, and each one has its own characteristics.  The four different types are the All American Sun Oven, the Gosun Solar Cooker, the Solavore, and a homemade parabolic reflector. I’d like to give the pros and cons of each oven and then share tips I’ve learned from using this method of cooking over the years.

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.…

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The Annual Solar Cook-Off

The Annual Solar Cook-OffEvery year about this time, a group of us get togeather for a solar cook-off. We all bring our solar ovens to someplace like a local park, along with any other means of alternate cooking we feel like. Most of the day is then spent cooking and experimenting with various ideas. At the end of the day we have a big meal and get to evaluate how each oven performed.

solar cook off

The stoves that show up include both commercial and homemade ones. Two that have been successful for my family are the Solavore (read the review here) and the well-known Sun Oven.…

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The Importance of Multiple Fuels in Your SHTF Cooking Plans

Fuel SHTF Cooking Heating Plans (1)In our household, we have a Sun Oven and a Solavore, SilverFire and StoveTec rocket stoves, and a dual-fuel Coleman stove, which uses both unleaded gasoline and Coleman fuel. I have the supplies for putting together an improvised cement block rocket stove, and a backyard full of trees, pinecones, and leaves. We purposely chose a gas stove for our home in order to have the ability to cook in a power outage.

In the emergency cooking department, we have numerous bases covered. Looking at these different types of stoves, it’s not enough to just have alternative cooking methods. You also need to make sure each one uses different types of fuels.…

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A Review of the Solavore Sport Solar Oven

This is a review prepared by one of my sons on the Solarvore Sport Solar Oven.  This will be the last post that I put up for a few days , but you will hear from me in the future.

Howard

When my life depends on something it had better work, and had better work for a long time. So when I look for survival gear I look for quality, durability and effectiveness. Unfortunately most items sold as survival tools are built very cheaply and lack any quality or durability and are not something I would trust in a survival situation.…

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Summer has Arrived and it is Time to Start Solar Cooking

Summer is here and the sun in shining.  It is time to start solar cooking.  It is fun, keeps the heat out of your house and prepares you for cooking in an emergency.  Now there are many advantages to solar cooking in an emergency.  One it saves fuel, you don’t have to waste time looking for wood or burning other precious fuels.  You can use a solar cooker in the winter as long as the sun is shining and you insulate the cooker from the cold ground.  A friend of mine has used his sitting on top of 4 feet of snow and been able to cook a meal.…

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Baking Wheat Bread Without Modern Stoves

Baking Bread Without StovesMost people have been exposed to baking wheat bread at some point in their lives. Normally it is baked with the use of a modern cook stove or a bread maker. The bread probably came out great, and of course, the more practice you get baking homemade bread, the more likely it is that you’ll end up with a perfect loaf. This cookbook is one that teaches bread-baking, step by step, and is handy for anyone either learning for the first time or an expert wanting to try new recipes.

But what happens when the modern conveniences of ovens, stoves, mixers, and breadmakers are no longer available?…

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Solar Powered Flashlights, How Good are They?

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. At that time, I had owned several of the flashlights for a couple of years.  …

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My Latest Thoughts on Solar Cookers

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.  All three have different cooking characteristics, but together they give you the capability to cook just about anything as long as the sun is out.…

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The Solar Wise Lantern Project

solar wise lanternUPDATE: This article was originally written in 2015, and the family selling this lantern doesn’t seem to be in business anymore. However, this same lantern is sold as the Luci Lantern by our friends at Survival Frog. Here is the original article and product information.

Yesterday 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.…

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