Bushcraft Survival Prepper Group

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  • I'm a total newbie on this topic so please bear with me. I contacted a guy who specialises in taking people off-grid and I told him what I thought of getting and he was quite disparaging of my lack of knowledge. Hey! That's why he gets work from people like me - it's because we know next to nothing about going off grid.

    I understand that the reason people have back-up generators is because the batteries get damaged if they are completely run down. Am I right here?
    And also it keeps the lights going when the stored energy in the batteries is used up and your fridge (or gasp! even freezer) keeps going.

    How about if I can get batteries which are not damaged should I run them down completely?

    I was told to get nickel iron batteries. Apparently there are still some in use 70 years later. It seems they are very robust but they fell out of favour because they do not need to be replaced. When I told this installer about NiFe batteries, he was almost puking up and suggested that I was insulting his knowledge and experience. Well, maybe he did not say I'm insulting him but the emotion and thoughts were thus conveyed to me.

    The problem with generators is, as hagrid point out, that they are only good so long as you have the fuel. LPG and diesel will run out if you are unable to get new supplies.

    One question please - if I were to choose between LPG or diesel for a generator, which is better? What factors should I have to consider when deciding which to get?

    There is another possibility that my off grid buddy and I are including in our planning. I know this is totally way out and not on anyone's radar here. Will such generators still work after an EMP attack? I know you'll think this is utterly crazy and total nonsense. However there have been some very strange power cuts recently in some cities in the USA and I think even Australia, and some are suggesting that the authorities are practising for an EMP attack. And there has been another indication that an EMP attack is on the cards though it's even far more woo woo, that i shall not waste your time and attention over that

  • As for wind turbines, can people here please recommend any particular make? I'm looking for something reliable which does not need a lot of attention. And is it reasonable to have 2?

    And if this is an appropriate thread to discuss solar panels, may I put forward someething which vexes me. Mostly they are made of glass. Strong reinforced glass but still glass. I asked that off grid installer guy about how I can protect them from projectile damage and he said I'm more likely to have my slate roof damaged than the solar panels. It was not something he had any interest in discussing.

    When the SHTF, nothing can be replaced unless I have spares. I will keep spare solar panels but I can only take so much damage before I have none left. Yes, I am exceedingly paranoid. I would like to have some way of protecting the panels from things dropping out of the sky. It won't just be massive hailstones though you can see the hailstones hitting Brisbane at the start of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u23rX-vS-1w

    Can anyone suggest any ideas? I have been unable to find any commercial product like hurricane shutters which are available for windows

  • the trouble with solar panels is, although the panels can and do work for up to 3 decades, the inverter, batteries and electronics you plug it into probably wont. anything that relies on batteries-even rechargeable ones-wont work once the battery chemicals wear out and there are no more to be had.
    unless you have a warehouse full of spare parts post SHTF these things will be worthless in the long term.

  • Yes hagrid, i was told to be prepared to be reduced to living in the Stone Age which is why I bought a couple of Solo stoves. These only need twigs, pine cones and whatever biomass is to hand. Also, it seems that the Ikea solar lamps are also good to have around. Ahh, TEOTWAWKI and the allegely Chinese curse of living interesting times.....
    Damn it! I'm an urban softie who's addicted to hot and cold running water and loo paper

  • You've got me going now, hagrid.
    I've done a search for wood powered generators and found this
    The L.E.A.F. Generator biomass gasifier is a professionally manufactured *ISO Certified 9001:2000* wood gasifier capable of powering up to a 10KW generator on nothing but dry wood or other biomass material. Gasification technology creates a Low Emission Alternative Fuel (L.E.A.F.) also known as syngas or woodgas, using decades old technology. Our L.E.A.F. Generator gasifier is solid steel construction with a durable powder coat finish, made in the USA. Solid yet portable design allows simple placement of the gasifier wherever it is needed. A complete ready to run wood gasification system (you provide the generator) is $4,500. Delivery to you in 4-6 weeks.

    Sustainable or what?


    The research and development that went into the design of our L.E.A.F. Generator gasifier was motivated by the increasingly alarming disaster trends we have seen across the globe in recent years. Tornados, ice storms, power outages, hurricanes and earthquakes all seem to be increasing at an unprecedented pace. Usually with the occurrence of one of these disasters, gasoline is one of the first necessities to run out – rendering a generator useless. Our hope is that with planning and preparedness, this device will help to restore power for those in their desperate time of need. Decades old gasification technology is a proven alternative to gasoline. Woodgas replaces the need for gasoline in your emergency generator, period.

    The L.E.A.F. Generator gasifier is manufactured and sold by Foutch Manufacturing in Smithville, Tennessee located about 60 miles from Nashville. We have been in business since 1999 and produce the L.E.A.F. Generator in one of our Smithville, TN manufacturing facilities. Each L.E.A.F. Generator is fabricated by hand with all American made materials by our own team of craftsmen and fabricators.

    Our team hand builds each wood gasifier unit to order. Your L.E.A.F. Generator begins as a stack of solid steel plates, and ends up a fully functional syngas generator capable of producing enough woodgas to power your emergency generator indefinitely using readily available biomass materials.

  • And here's another

    All Power Labs is the global leader in small-scale gasification. We make biomass gasifier generators that are ready for everyday work, to serve real world distributed energy needs.

    Our Power Pallet and Powertainer are a new category of energy device. They combine the best usability features of diesel generators, with the clean running of typical renewables, with the potential for a carbon negative impact.

    Our project started in 2008 with the open source Gasifier Experimenter’s Kit (GEK), supporting research, education and DIY hacking in biomass thermal conversion. Seven years later the GEK has evolved into the Power Pallet, a full solution for commercial power generation via biomass. Today you can find our systems at work in dozens of countries around the world, and supporting research in over 50 universities.

    With APL products, you can generate on-demand power for 1/4 the operating cost of diesel, at 1/2 the capital cost of solar.

  • Protecting solar panels from projectiles would be easier if they were mounted on the ground but I think the wind would be a more regular foe, maybe mount them on a trailer and when something awful is forecast/happening tow it inside?.

    Hey's that's a good idea. I never thought of that. Thank you. I could have a low lying canopy nearby where I can rush out to pull the panels under cover. And yes, I agree that the panels will have to be on the ground rather than on the roof

    My friend suggested having doors with a metal core and having some way of placing these over the panels but to leave about 4 to 6 inches clearance. I remember when I was living in London when there was that massive bomb in the City of London some 25 years ago or so. I had double glazed patio doors and we saw the glass bulge in slightly. We just knew there had been a massive bombing incident. The ka-boom kinda gave it away

    This was all I could find on protecting solar panels but the guy was only wanting to cover the panels from excessive sunlight

    The other issue I have is that there will be a delay between spotting there's stuff dropping out of the sky and being able to rush out to protect the panels.

    One idea I had (and I know it will not be cheap) is to put the panels under a clear canopy of very strong reinforced glass.
    This way, the panels are protected 24/7
    I have no idea how much this will cost - probably the earth.
    And I wonder if such a canopy (even of clear glass) may negatively impact the efficiency of the solar panels
    I'll need to ask to find out the costs and if this is feasible but there are domestic glass manufacturers who make these things.
    Think of the reinforced glass panels which separate you from the cashier at the bank

    I suppose rather than commissioning some sheets of impact resistant glass, I could house the panels in a canopy of glass bricks - the type you walk over which are embedded in the pavement. Again those are not going to be cheap and they will certainly impact the efficiency of the solar panels

    Money will be worthless in the scenario I am contemplating. All that will matter is to have a sustainable lifestyle with a modicum of creature comforts. I just hope that those who survive whatever great disaster is coming will be reasonable people who don't come round to kill me to get my stuff. The Americans with whom I chat all carry guns with them. They'll have no qualms killing anyone who threaten them

    I wish I can find an architect who is sympathetic to what I want. I found an off-grid consultant but he would not reply so I guess that's another one who thinks I'm insulting his knowledge and experience. I know what I am planning for is totally out of the mainstream and even the fringe but the one advising me to prepare in this manner is very well informed. And I do advise everyone here to take heed of their elevation.

  • There are biomass generators in the UK

    Looking for a low-carbon way of generating heat and electricity in your home or business premises? A biomass generator could be the best answer for you.

    Biomass boilers work like gas boilers – the only real difference is the fuel. They can be used to heat your whole home and provide you with hot water.

    Depending on your energy needs and the fuel available, we'll recommend the best boiler for you. They range from 25kW home boilers to an incredible 1mW – enough to power a small farm. The 1mW boiler also runs for 12 hours on a single load, meaning you won’t be constantly refilling it either.

    Naturally, biomass boilers are cheapest if you have access to a ready and free supply of plant material. Even if you don’t, you’ll save whenever you use these fantastic machines.

    Wood pellets and woodchip, which can be bought from garden centres or timber merchants, are really cheap. You'll make dramatic savings compared to the gas and mains electricity you've been relying on so far.

  • From Germany but it sure ain't cheap. However, they exist

    Biomass Gasification + Power Generation = Flux-i.com

    Small Biomass Combined Heat & Power Generator 15.000 Watt Carbon Negative Power

    USED TO MAKE ELECTRICITY FROM Wood by Gasification

    Biomass Power Generator for Offgrid & Grid tie usage. Woodgas CHP Heat and Power 1,4 kg Wood equals 1 kWh Electricity. With LAVA-Reaktor(H2B3)TM temperatures nearly 1.300°C is used for tarfree producergas.

  • Were you talking about Ikea Sunnan solar lights? They were great, but Ikea no longer do them.

    Dunno about that one. I'm thinking of asking hubby to pick up one of each of these when he's next at his mum's as there's an Ikea there

    I saw a good review of their solar lamps somewhere. Seems they can pick up enuff light indoors to work when it's dark

  • Was that a torch with 18650 batteries?
    I haven't bought one yet but was told to get those torches as the batteries are very bright and last a long time

    I didn't catch the make/model of the touch but the programme was on Dave and I would guess it was expensive, the one in your post looks like good value :thumbup:.

  • The new LED torches are becoming extremely powerful. Anything over 800 lumins could start a fire. And there's LED torches for sale claiming to be over a 1000lumins. I've heard of a 38,000 lumins light at 400watts power. It's not the lumins alone. It's the energy (watts) and therefore the battery/ies behind it.

    Some of these new torches are being sold as self defence toys, by Temporarily blinding a person. Now they are becoming dangerous and it maybe only a matter of time before they are restricted or banned.

    Imagine leaving your torch on in your vehicle, home or rucksack and it started a fire.

  • I have 3 'cree' led torches , one is brilliant, other 2 not so solid/sturdy , pay 15 - 20 quid for a good focusable one and you will love it , downsides are the 18650 batterys, although expensive some of the cheaper ones can be best described as dodgy and they all proclaim to be genuine , expect to pay a couple of quid each .

    My illuminater IR torch for the rifle came with one that is absolute shit so I swap and change with regular torch batterys (I can charge them all via 12v), by the way they tend not to dim but just die .

    I keep my main one above where I sit /sleep , it can be used on lowest setting focused half wide to skin up or read by , fully xoomed its good to light up to a few hundred metres with a small spot or blind if close .

  • How do they start a fire, do they put out a lot of heat?

    Is it the battery that is a risk to catching fire? If so what's a better one to use, I presume duracell don't do anything as powerful.

    That little USB charger looks great, I have several things I could plug that in to including a stove.

  • I'm having a change of thought. All this planning to survive. Prepping for the what if's. At the back of my mind I know I'm unsettled and the long forecast for my retiring years isn't confirmed. So Im thinking of setting myself a challenge, to learn and practice free gardening, foraging from nature. Compiling knowledge of plant and nutrient harvesting on the move. There's plenty of resources available to practice this during the good times. (Peaceful times) plenty of active groups to share the experience with. Combining medicinal uses, alongside food preparation, in a nutshell, bush crafting. It maybe time to leave the hippies behind and invest my time with another forum I've been a member of.