Top Items for Your Essential Bug Out Bag List

bug out bag list and Survival tools and kit

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Over the last few years, there’s been lots of talk about bugging out, putting together a bug out bag list, bug out gear, and the best bug out bags. But what is bugging out?

The idea has become popular in the light of natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, wildfires, and earthquakes.

When these catastrophes hit, many people decide it’s time to head for safer ground.

We also face a potential series of long-term disasters that could make a bug out a longer-term situation.

Some of these include economic collapse, war, pandemics, and agricultural disasters. So it’s best to be prepared ahead of time.

A bug out bag is an emergency bag that you have already packed and have ready to go.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how to put together your bug out bag list.

If the time should ever come that you need it, it could be lifesaving.

Disaster Survival Kit
Disaster Survival Kit

Should I Bug Out or Hunker Down?

First, understand that bugging out should be your very last option when left with no other choice. 

A bug out bag is only a temporary plan for survival to be used as a backup when you see no other solution.

If you’re forced to leave home and “head for the hills,” you’ve basically made yourself a refugee.

That’s not necessarily a good thing when times get hard.

Think about it this way: A bug out kit will only keep you alive for a short time. Maybe a few days or weeks. Then what are you going to do? No matter how comprehensive your bug out bag list, you’re going to need a plan after you’ve exhausted its gear.

A Retreat in the Hills

Now of course, if you’ve got a heavily stocked retreat somewhere in the hills, that changes the game.

You may just need to use the bug out bag en route to your destination. Just load up your car and head to your retreat.

Still, having a bag of essentials (life-saving gear in a kit that’s ready to grab-and-go) could be helpful. You never know if you’ll need to abandon your vehicle at some point and continue on foot. It’s best to be prepared with a disaster survival kit.

Getting there

Remember, even if you already have a huge stockpile of medications, food, and gear waiting for you, you might have a challenge getting to your retreat in the hills.

There could be checkpoints, roadblocks, or even car jackers you’ll meet along the way.

Even if you do make it through these hazards and challenges and make it to your stocked retreat, you could be met by another family or group that’s already moved in.

What are you going to do in that scenario? You could be outnumbered, or they may be better armed. Are you going to walk away or stay and fight for what’s yours?

To avoid these situations, head to your retreat or safe area before disaster hits. Learn how to grow and preserve food, raise livestock and develop relationships with your neighbors.

Some advanced planning before you need it can make all the difference.

Why Make a Bug Out Bag

With all that said, let’s get back to bugging out and learning how to make a bug out bag.

Many survivalists look at this type of kit as a sort of escape and evasion plan. For most people, however, this idea is flawed.

Some people may be able to live outside of civilization, rounding up food and finding shelter in a forest, desert, or mountains. If conditions are right, you can do this for a significant amount of time.

However, the constant struggle to maintain life would be much more than the average person could endure. Most people wouldn’t make it very long at all.

But here’s the thing, if you have no other options left besides staying and dying or bugging out to the hills for a chance, it’s still worth a shot.

Having a bug out bag ready to go will give you a better shot at surviving.

In the Case of a Natural Disaster

Typically when a natural disaster strikes, help will soon be on the way. Hopefully.

However, you may still need to leave temporarily for immediate safety, like when a hurricane is heading directly toward you.

Do you have a friend or family member that would take you in for a few nights? Try to find one in another area that would be safe from the natural disaster. Preferably someone within a few hours’ drive from you.

Make plans with them before anything ever happens so that when it does, you know exactly where to go. You’ll then be able to wait out the disaster in relative comfort before heading back home.

For me personally, I’d say “no thanks” to a government shelter or FEMA operations.

Do you really want to depend on the government for your survival? I don’t. Personally, I’d rather trust my own skills and instincts than hope the government will take care of me during and after a disaster.

Essential Bug Out Bag List

Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about the reasons you want to put together a bug out bag. But what should you include in it?

There will be a lot that is personal and personalized to you. Consider things like your location and where you plan to head. Consider your skills, health and climate.

Top items to include in a bug out bag

Looking at the multitude of lists I’ve seen, here are some ideas on the bare bones of what to include in your survival bag.

These are all things you can pack in advance so they are ready when it’s time to head out:

You will also want to remember to grab medications.

Preparation is Key

When it’s time to go, you want to be as prepared as possible. With a bug out bag, you’ll give yourself a better chance at survival.

Grocery stores and hardware stores are likely to be closed. There may be long lines at gas stations. Roads may be a standstill with everyone trying to leave. You just never know what will happen.

You will need to think about your bug out bag as a way to help you and your family to survive for several days.

Know that even if you don’t need to leave your residence, a bug out bag is helpful for less threatening situations. For example, if your power is out for an extended time, your emergency radio, flashlights, and extra batteries will be assets.

Use this essential list for planning for and putting together a bug out bag. It will help ensure you have everything ready to go or access, all in one place.

Please share this article on social media to help your friends and family be prepared in the case of disaster. Their survival may depend on it!

How To Effectively Remove Unwanted Clutter From Your Home

Effectively Remove Unwanted Clutter From Your Home

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Clutter From Your Home – It is no secret that most of us have allowed clutter to fill and take control of our homes. Somehow, the more space we have, the more clutter we keep.

This is often true with clutter we keep in our garages, basements, and backyard sheds. These places become storage areas for holiday decorations, memorabilia,  lawn maintainence and gardening tools, miscellaneous hardware, and more.

And it all keeps piling up. 

Add to that many types of specialty equipment you may need for different projects around your home.

Whether you are repairing a fence, getting started in hydroponics, raising chickens, or building garden beds, all of these pursuits require materials as well. 

All of this takes up room.

Keeping track of everything in your home and on your property is not easy, even when everything is in its proper place or labeled and stored neatly in boxes.

No matter how many items you have, it is not difficult to declutter.

How to get rid of clutter on your homestead

You don’t have to rush to make your home presentable only when you have visitors coming over.

It is imperative to get ahead of the mess and come up with a working system that will keep your home organized and clutter-free.

Below are some easy ways to declutter your home.

Ensure everything has a home

It’s easy to accumulate clutter when you don’t have anywhere to store your things. Make sure your possessions have a proper place. 

Do you need to leave that bag of rice and your toaster on your counter? Can you find room in a cabinet for them?

Put things back

Once the possessions you use regularly have a home, it makes it easy to put them back after you use them.

When you take a rake out of the garage to work in your yard, put it back in the garage when you are finished with it.

In this way, you will have less clutter around, and you will be able to find it the next time you need it.

Keep up each day

Another tip is to keep up with clutter each day. Don’t let it pile up.

Keeping up with it a few minutes a day will help keep your space tidier.

Go through your mail right away when you get it. Recycle what you don’t need to respond to. 

Tidy up the kitchen each night so you will wake up to an empty kitchen sink, not a pile of dishes.

Don’t let paperwork pile up on the table. Act on it, whether that’s shredding it or filing it.

Don’t allow piles to accumulate

Once you allow piles to litter your floors, dressers, tables, and countertops, it’s easy to come to accept them. 

Don’t start one.

Benefits of a Clean and Hygienic Workspace

Define clutter

Another way to help get rid of excess items requires you to have a clear definition of clutter.

Once you can define it, it will be easy to filter the items you need and those that you can do away with.

Some of the items that you can get rid of include: old clothes, outdated decorations, abandoned projects in the garage, old batteries and some sentimental items.

Get rid of the excess

It is quite clear that most homes are full of items, many of which are not important.

It’s a lot easier to keep a clutter-free environment when you don’t have as many belongings to deal with.

Owning too much stuff is a recipe for clutter to pile up. Having fewer items in your home will help keep clutter at a minimum.

You can get in touch with a removal agency such as Paul’s Rubbish Removal Sydney to remove unwanted items and make your home clutter free again.

Reduce the accumulation of possessions

Managing clutter in your home should be much easier if you slow down or stop purchasing unnecessary items.

Sometimes it’s difficult to restrain yourself from buying items, especially when something is on sale.

However, you have to evaluate if each item is worth the cost.

Know that everything has a cost — even if it’s the cost of taking up space in your home.

You have to ask yourself if you really need it and whether you are purchasing it for the right reasons.

In addition, you have to ensure you have enough space to store the items you are about to buy.

It is good to accept that some purchases will take more from us than they offer.

One tip is when you buy something new, to get rid of something similar. As an example, if you buy a pair of shoes or a new shirt, get rid of one.

Donate or Freecycle

Sometimes it is extremely difficult to get rid of items you own especially if you spent money on them.

Instead of dumping them, you can donate them to local charities who benefit underserved communities.

It’s a lot easier to donate something knowing someone can truly benefit from it.  

If you can’t find a charity to donate to, then try posting what you want to get rid of to freecycle.org.

You will be surprised that your clutter can be another person’s treasure.

Upcycle

Do you find yourself collecting glass jars, plastic bottle caps, craft supplies, and other treasures?

Contact a local children’s museum, library, school, or community center to see if they can use them for crafting activities for children.

This is a great way to reuse objects that seem too useful to throw away.

Recycle

Recycling is another viable way to get rid of clutter.

Many towns offer recycling services for plastics, glass, and aluminum. If not, you can take them to the closest recycling drop off location.

You may be able to use paper cartons, cardboard boxes, and other paper for your compost

Gather up your old electronics and bring them to EcoATM recycling kiosks and get paid.

Many libraries and cities have collection opportunities as well.

Living clutter-free on your homestead

Living clutter-free is way better than having too much unwanted stuff in your home.

Follow the tips provided above. You will see how easy it is to have an organized and spacious home, no matter what the size.

There are steps you can take to manage your possessions before they overtake your home. In the process, you will be able to enjoy a more organized and stress free living space.

Best Multitool of 2020: Complete Reviews with Comparisons

best multitool

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Best Multitool – It seems that whenever there’s an issue, you just never have the right tool for it.

Well, that, in itself, can be a problem for an outdoor person bound to encounter difficulties during their outdoor adventures.

One thing’s for sure, though, you should take a look at multitools.

These handy contraptions hold even tinier contraptions within them that you’ll need daily.

Multitools come in several varieties that suit different lifestyles.

You’ll find that some options will suit your needs better than others.

In your search for the best multitool, feel free to explore our list of some of the top-performing multitools.

Best Multitool Reviews

Wallet Ninja Multitool

Wallet Ninja Multitool has Tools

The fact that the Wallet Ninja is a worldwide bestseller speaks for itself.

The wallet Ninja multitool is perfect for outfitting your wallet with a total of 18 useful everyday tools.

A completely flat product housing four screwdrivers, six wrenches, a cellphone stand, a can opener, a box cutter, a letter opener, a fruit peeler, a bottle opener, and two rulers.

Imagine having all these in a piece of square metal the size of a credit card.

If this doesn’t give you peace of mind, then we don’t know what will.

Quality and Usability:

The Wallet Ninja is TSA-approved and guaranteed to never dull, bend, or rust.

It’s perfect for carpenters, repair professionals, mechanics, boat owners, hobbyists, and other enthusiasts who just love living it up in the outdoors.

Construction:

Wallet Ninja’s material is four times heat-treated steel, and it’s just a little bit thicker than two credit cards placed on top of each other.

This guarantees that it’ll hold a spot in any wallet.

Wallet Ninja Multitool Pro and Con

The Wallet Ninja Multitool is flat, compact, and extremely convenient.

With 18 tools that are great for everyday use, you’ll find the Wallet Ninja helpful in any situation, be it outdoors or indoors.

It’s made from quality steel that’s been heat-treated, so you’re granted high durability, too.

Anytime you need to pick, open, or measure something, all you have to do is take this multitool out of your wallet and choose which of its 18 useful tricks you want it to perform.

Or maybe you need a phone stand so that you can take a group picture with you included?

That’s easy; just use the stand feature!

We wouldn’t say that this is an awful thing, but for those who want to customize their Wallet Ninja, you’re out of luck because that’s just not happening.

We also wouldn’t advise that you carry this in any other place other than your wallet.

It could get tangled in some of the loose threads on your clothes and ruin them even more.
Wallet Ninja

Wallet Ninja Multitool Pros:

  • Thin, compact, and lightweight
  • Contains 18 useful, everyday tools
  • Completely flat and easily fits in your wallet

Wallet Ninja Multitool Cons:

  • No customization option
  • Not for carrying outside of the wallet

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON.COM
Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier

Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier

This is a compact, affordable tool that holds just the right features for your everyday outdoor needs.

It is comprehensive and addresses a lot of problems you may have daily.

One of its standout qualities is its durability.

You never have to worry about this contraption giving up on you even when it comes to the toughest tasks.

Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier Features

The things you’d expect from the Gerber Suspension Multitool include:

  • Safety, Quality, and Functionality: This is one successful tool given the level of competition it has in this category. This multitool is so refined and delivers on function, construction quality, and ergonomics. It has 12 integrated components and a locking system to help guarantee safety.
  • Portability: The Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier has an open frame handle made of incredibly lightweight stainless steel. This means it scores pretty high in terms of portability, too.
  • Weather Protection: If you’re worried about the elements, then the product’s ballistic nylon sheath should ease your mind. This accessory protects your prized possession from the weather and keeps it working well for a long time.
  • Material Used: With the Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier, you get the entire package; you get the strength and sturdiness of stainless steel and the precision engineering of Portland-the place known for constructing iron bridges that have stood the test of time. You can’t ask for more.
  • Knives: When it comes to what this multitool can deliver, you’re going to be amazed. You have two choices for knives, a straight blade and a serrated one.
  • Other Tools: For screwdrivers, you have a Phillips, as well as medium and large flatheads. It also has a dedicated wire stripper in case the situation calls for one. For pliers, you have the needle nose, which is the focal point of this tool and is designed to get you out of the toughest spots.

Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier Pro and Con

Anyone who loves going on adventures will find the Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier a godsend.

It’s heavy-duty and compact, as well can fit right in the pocket of your jeans.

It even has a sheath to protect it from the elements, which we expect it’s going to be exposed to during the many times you take it out into the wilderness.

The Suspension is ideal for the jungle.

If you love experiencing the wild, bringing as little from the civilized world as possible, then the clothes on your back and this exceptional contraption will do.

Your clothes can keep you warm while your multitool protects you from everything else the wild dishes out.

If multitools that are a bit on the heavy side bother you, then the Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier is probably going to bother you, as well.

It’s certainly not the heaviest of its category, but it could still feel heavy and bulky in your jean pocket.
Gerber Multitool

Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Comprehensive
  • Protective sheath
  • Made of high-quality steel

Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier Con:

  • Heavy and bulky

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Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool

Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool

Let us first point out how we love the fact that this one comes in a variety of colorways that include black, green, purple, red, red with gray, purple with gray, and green with gray.

Even more impressive than that is its smart stainless steel design.

This is just the companion you’re looking for on your trip to the outdoors.

Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool Features

Gerber Dime Mini has a lot of features to offer, including:

  • Construction: The state-of-the-art stainless steel construction is definitely a standout feature of the Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool. Coupled with its lightweight and compact size, then you have a product in the running for the best multitool of 2020. It’s accessible and can easily fit inside anyone’s pocket.
  • Tools: The tool packs a file, tweezers, a crosshead driver, a bottle opener, scissors, a medium flat driver, a package opener, needle nose pliers, a fine-edge blade, and a wire cutter. Those are 10 tools to make most of your everyday worries go away.
  • Usability: The concept behind the Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool is simple: always be prepared. You never know what’s going to happen, but it doesn’t really matter when you have this tool. You’re going to be ready, regardless.

Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool Good and Bad

For people who want to be ready all the time, the Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool has got your back.

The best thing about this product is that while it seems like a heavy and bulky tool, it’s actually the opposite.

It’s compact and lightweight with heavy-duty functions.

This combination not only makes the dime mini distinct, but it’s also the reason it stands out in what has been an excellent year for multitools.

The only bad thing about this multitool would probably be its lack of features.

While all ten tools function at an optimal level, we can’t deny that some people just love having plenty more options to choose from.
Gerber Mini Multi-Tool

Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easily accessible
  • Sturdy stainless steel design

Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Tool Con:

  • 10 tools may not be enough for some people

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LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool

LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool

Conquer life daily and be ready for anything with the help of this exceptional tool.

Anytime you need to do projects around the house, at the campsite, or work, this multitool can help you do things right.

LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool Features

The key features of the Leatherman Wingman are:

  • Functionality: This multitool scores high on the functionality aspect with 14 optimally functioning tools for everyday scenarios. You have a wire stripper, wire cutters, a knife, screwdrivers, pliers, a ruler, a file, a package opener, and can and bottle openers.
  • Ease of Use: Sometimes, when you’re in the thick of things, it can be challenging to get both your hands available. The best-case scenario is that you have one hand to reach into your pocket to grab this tool for whatever purpose you have for it. That’s great because you’re only going to need just one hand to operate it, too!
  • Safety: Its blade also locks in place so you won’t have to worry about accidentally cutting yourself or another person.
  • Ease of Access: Accessibility is key with the LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool. One of the reasons this multitool is among the top performers is because of how easy it is to access. All you need to do is reach within your pocket.
  • Pocket Clip: Plus, you also have the removable pocket clip to ensure the tool doesn’t move around too much or falls off as you’re running or hiking.

LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool Good and Bad

This is just an overall great tool to have whether or not you love being in the outdoors.

You’ll find a host of things the LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool would be ideal for that can simply be done in your home.

If you’re fond of doing projects and even helping your kids out with theirs, then you could definitely find a liking for this multitool.

The design for the LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool is such that you’re barely able to use the ruler.

It makes you question why it’s even there in the first place.

As for the screwdrivers, they’re good quality for sure and also function very well, but what we’d like to see is the locking mechanism integrated into these parts.
LEATHERMAN Multitool

LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool Pros:

  • Scissors are the best feature
  • Incredibly useful package opener
  • Top-notch spring-loaded pliers
  • Functional and practical
  • Accessible

LEATHERMAN Wingman Multitool Con:

  • You’re not actually able to use all the tools

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ProMaster Multitool Knife

ProMaster Multitool Knife

Whether you’re a regular homeowner navigating through life’s everyday struggles or a hardcore explorer trying to make their way through the jungle, you’re going to find this tool beneficial.

ProMaster Multitool Knife Features

The ProMaster boasts a lot of great features, such as:

  • Functionality: If you’re looking to up your level of disaster preparedness, then the ProMaster Multitool Knife is the tool for you. From the minor disasters that make up our daily lives to the major ones that need to be handled with care and expertise, this multitool has got your back. All of its fifteen features will show you that life, both in the wilderness and at home, is never too hard when you have the right equipment.
  • Knife Set: This tool’s main feature is the sturdy pocket knife. You get an entire set along with a sheath holder to ensure that everything is protected. This product was designed with the toughest outdoor person in mind, so there is no way it’s ever going to give up on you.
  • Other Tools: Included in this 15-in-1 tool is a fish scaler, a ruler, Phillips screwdrivers, small and big screwdrivers, a bottle opener, a sharp knife, a folding saw, a can opener, a double-sided nail file, a hook remover, regular pliers, a wire cutter, and needle-nose pliers.

ProMaster Multitool Knife Good and Bad

You will love how the ProMaster Multitool Knife meets all of your needs for such a low price.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure or just trying to do a home project, you can always rely on this tool to make things easier.

It fits conveniently inside your pocket and doesn’t feel heavy or bulky at all.

The quality of the main tools is up there, for sure, but sadly this doesn’t apply to the sub tools, which are really just substandard.

After a few uses, the driver tips just get worn out easily.

Plus, locking can be an issue.
ProMaster Multitool

ProMaster Multitool Knife Pros:

  • 15 useful everyday tools
  • Exceptional knife set
  • Protective sheath

ProMaster Multitool Con:

  • Secondary tools are substandard
CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON.COM

Best Multitools Buyer’s Guide

You’re probably itching to buy your very own multitool now that you’ve gone through our roundup of this year’s best.

However, it’s important to note that as with purchasing any other product that’s new to you, further research is needed.

You’ll want to know about certain considerations that must be made before buying a multitool; all of which can be found on this guide.

Knife Blade Quality

The main feature in our multitools today is the knife.

Generally, that’s almost always the case. As such, you need to make sure the knife or knives in your product cut cleanly and precisely.

It’s highly likely that the knife will be the most used tool in your multitool regardless of whether you use it indoors or outdoors.

There are just countless more situations where a pocket knife could be more useful than a screwdriver, for instance.

Number of Tools

They say the more tools, the better, but this isn’t always the case.

The number of tools a product has would hardly matter if most of those tools were low-quality or didn’t function well.

You’ll also want to choose a multitool that packs tools you’re actually going to need daily.

The product can have great tools that justify its high price, but if you won’t use them all, you wouldn’t be getting good value for your money.

Quality of Tools

Quality over quantity, always. More than the number of tools your product offers, you should be focusing on the quality of its tools.

Make sure they are made from quality material and actually help you perform a task more efficiently.

Durability is also something you need to look for in your tools. You want your multitool to remain useful for many years.

Best Multitool Price

Generally, the more optimally functioning tools a multitool has, the more expensive it is.

In your case, you have to figure out if the price of a multitool is worth having access to the number of quality tools it has.

Are all the tools functioning at an optimal level?

Is there a cheaper version that’s just as good?

You may want to ask yourself these questions before making a decision.

Best Multitool FAQs

What Is in a Multitool?

A multitool can pack a variety of tools to meet different lifestyles, situations, and purposes.

It’s a tool that can be used by people going about their days at home or office, or in search of adventure in the wilderness.

Even teenagers going to summer camp will find multitools incredibly useful for treks and challenges.

Whether on land or in the water, this product never lets you down.

A multitool’s main feature is the knife.

Some of the modern ones now have different types of pliers and screwdrivers to make them more functional.

Manufacturers have since added the package opener feature to the delight of homeowners everywhere.

Based on our list, some of the best quality products can hold anywhere from 10 to 18 tools, all optimally functioning and designed to meet everyday needs in the best possible way.

Who Invented the Multitool?

The man behind the multitool is none other than the founder of the LEATHERMAN brand, Tim Leatherman.

It was actually he and Steve Berliner who formed the Leatherman Tool Group in the 1980s.

Tim earned his degree in mechanical engineering in the year 1970.

Five years after and after traveling across Europe and the Middle East with his wife while carrying only a simple pocket knife that they had to use to repair their vehicle along with the hotel plumbing repeatedly, he designed what was known as the boy scout’s knife with pliers.

In the year 1980, Tim was finally able to patent “Mr. Crunch”.

His product later took on the name “Pocket Survival Tool” before it was sold in 1983.

A year after this breakthrough, in 1984, his company hit the goldmine by successfully selling close to 30,000 units.

Can You Bring a Multitool on a Plane?

As much as we want our travels through airports to be as smooth as possible, that rarely ever seems to be the case.

Don’t expect multitools to improve the situation for you, though, as most of them will probably still end up being confiscated by security.

But still, multitools remain as some of the most highly versatile tools you can carry with you, and being without them just makes you feel unequipped.

The best way to navigate this situation is to choose a multitool that is TSA-friendly, like the Wallet Ninja.

This way, you can fly without needing to tuck away your favorite item in your luggage.

What Can I Do with a Multitool?

One of the reasons it’s called a multitool is that you can use it for a multitude of things.

We’re not even exaggerating when we say there are a ton of problems that can be solved using a multitool.

You can open cans, cut wires, open a package, tighten a loose screw, unscrew a screw, file your nails, unscrew nuts and bolts, and so much more.

There is no limit to the possibilities of how a multitool can help you on an everyday basis, and even when you’re out trying to survive the wilderness.

That’s how remarkable this product is.

Best Multitools Review

All of the multitools we reviewed did very well in most departments.

Most of them had excellent knife quality, packed high-quality tools, and came at relatively affordable prices.

All of them, for sure, had enough tools to be functional for both indoor and outdoor purposes.

Quite surprisingly, it wasn’t “high numbers” that claimed the prize of the best multitool-it only had ten tools, which was the least among the products on our list.

The Gerber Dime Mini Multi-Toolwon because everything about it was high-quality.

It had a smart and compact steel design, was super lightweight that it made it easy for anyone to carry it in their pockets, came in a variety of colorways, and had ten tools made of sturdy, high-quality material.

More than that, every single one of its tools functioned at an optimal level.

It is also guaranteed to do so for many years without rust or corrosion.

There is never any doubt that this is the winner.

Grizzly Tarps Are The Best Heavy Duty Tarps

wildlife camping with tent

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Grizzly Tarps camping – Camping has always been a favorite pastime.

In fact, some of my earliest memories are of being with my family on a rainy weekend, all of us crowded into one leaky tent.

Eventually, we got better gear. My time as a Boy Scout improved my knowledge and abilities in the outdoors.

Over time, I’ve come to appreciate the difference that the right camping gear can make.

The right gear means the difference between being comfortable and being miserable.

More importantly, it means the difference between getting home safely versus going home sick or ending up in the emergency room.  

When I think of my most important pieces of camping gear, things like my pocket knife and all-weather matches spring to mind.

However, one of the more critical components in my kit is a heavy duty tarp.

Fast forward and I now have two sons who are both accomplished Boy Scouts in an active Boy Scout Troop in Arizona.

They plan camping weekends at least monthly and usually more frequently.

Grizzly Tarps

Our Boy Scout Troop uses Grizzly Tarps almost exclusively now because frankly they are the best.

We have both the Blue Grizzly Tarp and the Silver Grizzly Tarp.

In our Troop we prefer the Heavy Duty Silver Grizzly Tarps.

Heavy duty tarps made with attention to detail quality

We’ve used Grizzly Tarps to make a shelter for a group of boys who’s tent got damage during transportation, create an adult cooking canopy, cover equipment and cover equipment on a trailer during a 700 mile camping and backpacking trip.

I recently used one of the Troop’s Grizzly Tent to cover my tent during a cold Arizona Mountain campout.

This picture was taken at about 5,000 ft where the night time temperature dipped below freezing every night.

Grizzly Tarps – Best Heavy Duty Tarps

I’ll usually pack a tarp of two when I’m venturing into the wilderness.

Our Boy Scout Troop takes 3 to 4 Heavy Duty Grizzly Tarps.

They are that useful and versatile.

A Tarp Is Just a Tarp, Right?

I know what you’re thinking. “I’ve got a tarp. It’s nothing to write home about.”

That might be because you haven’t tried Grizzly Tarps.

I was once like you.

I’d head to the hardware store, or Harbor Freight, to get a tarp.

Usually, I’d just buy the cheapest one in the size that seemed appropriate.

I’d take it camping or use it for one of the other purposes that you might need a tarp for, but the result was always the same.

The first good gust of wind would rip it, and it never quite seemed to be up to the task at hand.

Before I knew it, I was back at the hardware store getting another tarp.

Grizzly Tarps outlast the others

Not anymore. Our Grizzly Tarps have outlasted — by far — any other tarp we have ever had. Even more, they are still in brand new shape.

These Grizzly heavy duty tarps still look brand new; they look hardly used.

Both our family and Boy Scout Troop use the heavy duty Silver Grizzly Tarps exclusively.

The upshot is that those inexpensive tarps weren’t really inexpensive.

Nothing that you have to repeatedly buy is affordable, especially when that something is an item that you should be durable.

I expect to buy groceries every week. Food is perishable, and it also gets consumed.

But tarps?

NO MORE CHEAP TARPS!

Grizzly Tarp covering building supplies for Boy Scout Eagle Project

Tarps should be built to last.

Grizzly Tarps are Different

Getting acquainted with a Grizzly was a revelation for me.

At first, the price took me by surprise, but when I started to study the product, I realized that this was no ordinary tarp.

Heavy duty tarp

No, this was a genuine, heavy duty tarp.

Piping on borders

One of the first things that I noticed was the piping on the borders.

It was immediately clear to me that this was a tarp I could use even in high-wind situations.

It hardly matters how tight I strap it down or what kind of stress I put on it.

The Grizzly wasn’t going to tear.

Grommets

Another feature that I find is invaluable is the grommets.

They are placed at 34-inch intervals.

This means that no matter how I’m using this tarp, it can be securely tied down.

No more flapping in the breeze when the tarp is covering a load in the back of my truck.

Trap Weave

The weave on my first Grizzly tarp also set it apart from the competition.

It was an eight by eight weave, impressively tight and designed for competitive durability.

The laminated polyethylene material was built to last, and that was something that I tested repeatedly.

The manufacturer highlighted many features:  waterproof, mildew-proof and washable.

Once again, I found that my expectations were exceeded.

This heavy duty tarp was just what I needed to take my outdoor adventures to the next level.

Then, I Discovered Silver Grizzly Tarps

The first Grizzly Tarp I encountered was a standard blue-color tarp.

Of course, I could see that the color was the only respect in which the Grizzly resembled other tarps.

Then, I discovered that Grizzly makes a tarp that’s meant for even more stressful applications.

Heavy Duty Silver Grizzly Tarp Covering Wood
Heavy Duty Silver Grizzly Tarp Covering Wood

These silver tarps are remarkable, and once I discovered them, there was no going back.

Highly Recommend the Silver Heavy Duty Grizzly Tarp

Grizzly constructs these tarps out of an incredibly tight 14 by 14 polyethylene weave.

That means that these tarps are even more durable than the blue version.

Plus, the silver tarp has grommets placed at every 18 inches and a thickness of 10 mils.

The result is a heavy duty tarp that’s pretty much the best in the business.

If you need a robust tarp that can stand up to just about anything, then the silver Grizzly is for you.

One of the other aspects of the silver tarps that I appreciate is that they are UV proof.

UV rays are damaging to pretty much anything, so this extra layer of protection can be really important.

That’s especially true if you’re like me and you use your tarps constantly.

And living in Arizona at a higher altitude, you have to watch out for sun damage during the summer months.

Right Size for Every Application

The blue tarps from Grizzly are available in a range of sizes.

They are as small as five by seven feet and as large as 30 feet by 40 feet.

I haven’t had occasion to buy the largest size yet, but I don’t rule it out.

Silver Grizzlies are available in four sizes that include:

  • 8 x 10
  • 12 x16
  • 12 x 20
  • 20 x 30

This diversity of sizes makes these tarps right for any application.

You Can Use Tarps Anywhere

This is especially true when they’re manufactured by Grizzly.

In fact, Grizzly sells its products to consumers and for industrial purposes.

In my job, I don’t have any need to use tarps, but if I did, I’d insist upon a Grizzly.

These products have proven themselves to me time and again.

Here are a few of the ways that I’ve used a Grizzly Tarps:

I’m sure that there have been others as well.

The upshot is that these tarps are up to the task no matter what.

I love the number of grommets in these tarps because it means that they are never flapping in the wind.

That translates to fewer chances of a tear.

Plus, I have to say that I really appreciate the rope that’s sewn into the hem.

This piping makes for an all-but indestructible tarp.

If you’re going with a really heavy-duty application, then don’t hesitate to get the silver one.

I swear that it could just about stand up to hurricane-force winds.

Tarps from Grizzly are the Perfect Camping Accessory

I’ve used these tarps a lot, but by far my most frequent use is in connection with camping.

The family and I love to get away for a weekend or even a week.

Also, since I became a Scout Leader for my sons’ Boy Scout troop, I’ve had even more uses for my Grizzlies.

The Boy Scout organization puts a great deal of emphasis on camping and how to live in the outdoors.

There is no end to the books and instructional videos with the hope of helping scouts to be better prepared for camping.

(not our Boy Scout Troop)

Tarps Save a Rainy Camping Expedition

While my son and I are fairly experienced campers, the same can’t be said for other troop members.

Before our first camping expedition with the Boy Scouts, many of the members had never spent a night in the wilderness.

This meant that our first outing was accompanied by a lot of excitement and not a small amount of apprehension.

Some of the boys were pretty uncomfortable with the thought of being technology-free for a couple of nights, but I was determined to prove to them how fun camping could be.

It was the middle of summer, and we’d been dealing with hot, dry conditions for weeks.

It was a good chance to combine lessons about the outdoors with overall fire safety.

What I didn’t expect was the rain.

The day before we left, the forecast suddenly changed.

I got calls from alarmed parents.

It might rain over the weekend.

Were we still planning to go camping?

Now, a little rain never slowed us down, so as far as I was concerned, we were good to go.

The trip was still on.

Luckily, the dry weather held for most of the weekend.

When the rain finally came on the second evening, we were prepared.

Each tent was covered with a Silver Grizzly Tarp.

And each tent was using a Blue Grizzly Tarp for their respective ground cover under the tents

No one was going to be sleeping wet on this trip.

I know there’s a bit of debate about using tarps as ground cover versus inside the tent.

I come down squarely in favor of using your tarp as a ground cover, the tent as many people don’t properly size and place their ground cover.

Your Grizzly won’t let you down either way if you use it right.

We even got to sit around the campfire that night because I rigged up another Grizzly over our heads.

No one got wet, and everyone was happy.

Tarps are an essential part of any camping gear kit.

When you choose one that’s manufactured by Grizzly, you’ll be certain to get years of successful use out of it.

Orca Backpack Cooler and Orca Chaser Travel Mug

Orca brand backpack cooler

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Orca Backpack Cooler – Whether you are camping in the Rocky Mountains, hiking the Grand Canyon rim,visiting Canada or bringing beverages for a sporting event, you will love having your Orca backpack cooler with you.

Outdoor enthusiasts know Orca for its exceptional line of coolers and drinkware.

We own the Orca Pod backpack cooler.

Living in hot, dry Tucson, AZ, it’s been a lifesaver for us.

Orca Backpack Coolers

Orca offers a variety of coolers.

They make their backpack coolers in two sizes.

We’ve never owned or even seen a backpack cooler until getting the Orca Pod.

We weren’t sure how it would work, what we would be able to fit, and how easy it would be to carry.

Realtree Max 5 Pod Backpack Cooler

The Pod holds 7.13 gallons (28.5 quarts).

This is the larger of Orca’s two backpack coolers.

We have the camo print, called the Realtree Max 5.

My husband plans on taking it Elk hunting this fall.

To give an idea of it’s size, you can put 15 pounds of ice in it along with 24 cans.

While carrying all of this for a long time might pose a challenge for some, what’s great about this cooler is you have the option to carry it many different ways.

With traditional coolers you can only carry them by the handle, oftentimes with the cooler hitting you in the leg as you carry it.

With the Pod, you can easily carry it on your back, using your body to manage the weight of whatever you put in the cooler.

While many people wouldn’t hike for miles with the max load of 59.5 pounds on their backs, it’s great the cooler can bear this weight, as drinks and ice are heavy.

Also, you can definitely comfortably carry it from your car to your campsite or picnic when it’s filled.

The straps are padded.

They are also adjustable, so whoever carries the cooler can get a good, stable fit.

It keeps food and drinks very cold, so even if you want to use it for hiking, you can manage it.

You may just not want to use as much ice, so it will be lighter.

Orca Pod cooler review

We’ve used this cooler so far for camping with Boy Scouts, local sightseeing, on road trips, putting groceries in it while driving home, and for our kids’ sports.

Orca Pod backpack cooler
top-notch insulation

Our favorite use has been taking it along with us when we sat through our kids’ brutally hot May and June weekend sports games and tournaments. 

Again, we live in Tucson, Arizona.

Sometimes we would be there all day — up to eight or nine hours — and having this cooler was an absolute blessing.

In the mornings we would load it with ice, lots of water, sandwiches, lots of snacks, and even four cool towels.

Sometimes my husband would carry it, and other times we put it in our portable, collapsible wagon with our chairs.

Even in the 100+ degree heat, we enjoyed cold drinks and intact food.

My kids liked that their granola bars and sandwiches were as they would have been at home — cool and not melting.

We’ve also taken our Pod backpack cooler on road trips and local sightseeing.

We have family that lives two hours away, and we often bring snacks for our kids as well as food for dinner for everyone.

In the summer months, we’ve put food in it — ice cream novelties, etc. — so it would keep on our 30 minute commute home from Costco.

We didn’t even put ice in it always; it was just to keep it out of the sun.

It fits easily in our car, isn’t cumbersome, and is a great size for food, ice and drinks.

Orca Coolers Pod Backpack
Orca Pod backpack cooler

While we occasionally wipe it out, we always air it out to be sure it’s dry before we close it.

More features of the Orca Backpack

The interior is anti-microbial. It’s BPA-free and made with FDA-approved, food-grade materials.

The cooler walls are sturdy and reinforced.

You can stack things on top of the cooler without worrying about it caving in.

Your drinks will stay cold in this cooler, for hours longer than you need them to.

Just for fun, I put ice cubes in the cooler — filled about a quarter of the way — with nothing else.

I put it outside on the sun-exposed hot brick on a 110 degree June day.

I put it out in the morning by 8am (already in the nineties) and there was still ice in it by 7pm.

Some had melted, but the vast majority was remaining which is incredible.

You can just tell it’s very well made.

There is a heavy-duty zipper that’s very sturdy and seals completely.

We really enjoy using our Orca Pod backpack cooler.

It’s been our go-to cooler now, no matter what we are doing or where we are going.

We like that it’s fairly light when it’s empty — 6.6 pounds (3 kg) — and that it doesn’t take up a lot of space in our trunk.

It measures: 18″ length x 11″ width x 18″ height.

Podster Backpack Cooler

The Podster, the smaller of the two, holds 3.5 gallons (14.25 quarts). 

Orca describes it as a day pack.

We own the larger one, the Pod, and haven’t used this cooler, the Podster.

However, while we don’t own it, I wanted to discuss how practical this cooler would be due to its smaller size.

The Podster would be a great cooler to take hiking, short trips, really anywhere.

I could see our family using the Podster often.

Being we live in a hot and dry climate, we carry water bottles with us everywhere we go, all year.

From April through November, when we set out across town, or sometimes even jaunts that are just 30 minutes, we usually pack extra water, just in case.

Also, with kids, I’m forever packing snacks.

During the hot summer months, you can’t leave anything in the car with the heat, especially food.

It would be perfect to put everything in this Podster, eliminating the need for multiple bags, etc.

I would easily just put my ice or ice packs in it along with water and snacks.

This seems like it would be convenient to take to the zoo, sporting events, and trips to the park.

You would be able to carry it hiking or pretty much anything you wanted to do.

It comes in Fuschia, Seafoam/Grey, Coral/Grey, and Realtree Max 5 Camo.

It’s a bit smaller than the Pod, measuring 15″ length x 9″ width x 15″ height.

Empty, it weighs 3.6 pounds (1.6 kg).

Even though it’s small, it can hold up to 28.5 pounds.

Best backpack cooler

These are such high-quality coolers, and depending on your situation, both sizes are convenient.

They are made to withstand weather and elements, keeping your food and drinks cold.

If you packed it with ice and put frozen foods inside, like steak, fish, etc., they would stay frozen for a long time safely.

The Pod would be great to take if you are wanting to vacation off-the-grid for awhile or going to a rural or remote location.

Orca Backpack Cooler
The Pod (shown) is larger than the Podster.

Orca backpack coolers are portable, lightweight, and roomy.

Orca Backpack Coolers

There are many other great things about their backpack coolers.

They are handy for hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, road trips and even for airplane traveling.

The compact sizes allow them to fit well in the overhead storage compartments of planes and trains, making them useful for almost any type of travel that your creative mind can dream up!

And while they are soft-sided, they are very sturdy and aren’t collapsible; they would withstand the demands of traveling.

Other features include padded straps with the addition of a T-strap across the chest to help distribute the weight when it is full.

The Pod and the Podster are manufactured with vacuum-sealed inner and outer walls.

While the Pod holds up to 24 cans with 15 pounds of ice, the Podster can accommodate 12, 12-ounce cans with 7.5 pounds of ice.

You can open and close either cooler and after days, most of the ice will still be intact.

What characteristics do the Orca Coolers have in common?

Both the Podster and the Pod include a tough inner shell made of foam and reinforced inner and outer walls that keep the cooler’s shape and prevent crushing and scratching.

Both models have doubly sealed waterproof zippers that prevent air and melted ice from leaking from the flip top.

The material surrounding the zipper is equally as tough and is designed to prevent rips, cuts, and is BPA-free and antimicrobial.

Orca has built them to keep your food not only cool and but safe, too.

Besides being covered with a tough vinyl, the Pod and the Podster include several sets of canvas straps.

These straps allow you to add a variety of accessories, such as a wine bottler opener or maybe your eating utensils.

Inside these backpack coolers is a shell made of a closed cell foam that prevents leakage and maintains stability, keeping your food and beverages at the correct temperature.

The well-padded shoulder straps of the Pod and Podster help distribute weight and keep the person carrying the cooler comfortable.

The Podster also has a third strap, called a T-strap, for use across the chest to help balance the cooler when it is full. (Remember, this one holds 59.5 pounds!)

Orca backpack cooler is built for functionality

These coolers are built for functionality.

No oddly shaped pockets adorn them, only the canvas straps useful for accessories and tools.

With the lifetime warranty offered by Orca, the Pod and Podster backpack coolers will serve you for years.

Once you realize all the ways these coolers can be useful, you’ll find yourself using them for more than just hiking and camping.

Orca Chaser Travel Mug

We love our backpack cooler, and we were equally surprised at how much we enjoy the Orca Chaser.

Orca tumbler with snap on lid
Orca Realtree Max 5 Chaser

This tumbler holds 27 ounces.

We have the Realtree Max 5 Chaser which is one of over 10 of their camo patterns.

The Realtree Max 5 matches our Pod cooler.

Orca Chaser

We own a lot of travel mugs, travel cups, hot/cold cups, etc.

“It’s just another travel mug,” is what I thought when I saw it.

However, it has quickly become my husband’s ABSOLUTE FAVORITE to use.

He uses his Orca Chaser on a daily basis, at home and while commuting.

He uses it all the time, so much so, that I haven’t ever used it.

However, on a long car ride, I asked him what made it his favorite — and he has a lot of tumblers, travel mugs, etc.

“What makes the Orca so much better?” I asked him.

He really couldn’t say enough about it.

He likes that it fits well in his hand and in the cup holder in both of our vehicles.

And yes, it keeps his coffee hot and his ice and drinks cold.

Orca chaser tumbler

But what he loves is the most is the tight seal and the lid.

He loves the lid.

It doesn’t snap on; there’s a piece that fits into the mouth opening and holds it closed.

He said, “The lid makes the cup.”

It’s what sets it apart from all the others.

Orca Chaser holds 27 oz

They are made with 18/8 stainless steel and have a vacuum-sealed body to keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot.

The lid is Tritan polymer.

It has a sip hole that can be used as is or with a straw.

Orca Chaser colors

There are dozens of color varieties and patterns available for the Orca Chaser.

Unlike the stainless steel option, all of the other colors and patterns come with a transparent polymer lid in colors that compliment the travel mugs.

They have a stunning array of pastels, including floral patterns, including desert cacti, palm leaves, and flamingos.

There are also high gloss finishes in solid colors.

You can even get an Orca tumbler with one of the state flags, NCAA teams, NHL teams, and more.

What else makes Orca travel mugs the best?

All of the travel mugs include self-sealing lids, easy-to-clean exteriors and interiors, and the double-wall vacuum-sealed technology found in Orca’s popular hard- and soft-sided coolers.

The Orca travel mug easy fits most cup holders.

It holds 27 ounces and measures 7″ in height.

What is the Orca company?

Orca, the Outdoor Recreation Company of America, is based out of Nashville, Tennessee.

They have been in the business of planning and producing useful equipment for campers, hikers, and hunters since 2012.

Orca quickly gained a name for itself for its hard-sided coolers but it is the soft-sided backpack coolers that are becoming the company’s most popular products.

It’s a company that gives back locally and nationwide.

Orca products for outdoor recreation

People who love the outdoors founded Orca.

They regularly test their products in real situations, under the same types of conditions that their customers would use the coolers and travel accessories.

Among its product line, Orca offers travel mugs and drinkware, camping coolers ranging in size from 20 quarts to 120 quarts, and its very popular line of smaller backpack coolers.

Again, being we live in the southwest, in the desert, it gets really hot.

We wanted a backpack cooler to get us through our kids’ outdoor sports.

We asked Orca for the Pod backpack cooler so we could try it out.

Our kids play their sports year round.

Our usual chest coolers weren’t enough. 

Little did we know it would become our favorite cooler.

We use it often.

The Pod backpack cooler is portable, holds a lot, and the perfect size for our family and adventures.

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10 Things Hunters Don’t Know About Whitetail Deer

Whitetail deer on woods

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Things Hunters Don’t Know About Whitetail Deer – The thrill of hunting whitetail deer is something that can’t properly be put in words.

These often elusive creatures can be tricky to hunt.

Things Hunters Don’t Know About Whitetail Deer

Most hunters will look to gain an advantage on these deer any way they can.

The proper knowledge can gain the hunter a measurable advantage over the whitetail.

Large Antlers are the Result of Three Factors

Large antlers on a whitetail deer are the result of proper diet, genes, and age.

This combination determines how large deer antlers will grow.

Deer Have Good Night Vision

Hunting whitetail deer in the morning is ideal because they are able to see better at night than in the day.

Deer are able to spot shapes at night accurately they may not be able to identify in the daylight easily.

Michigan is Perfect for Whitetail Hunting

Michigan is a hunter’s paradise.

This holds true for the whitetail deer hunter in particular.

Whitetail hunting is so popular there that there is hunting property for sale in Michigan.

Deer Change their Coat during the Season

Deer are able to brave some severe weather conditions.

The thickness and color tend to change with the seasons.

A deer may have a reddish-brown coat during the summertime and have a grayish coat during the winter.

Deer Don’t See Bright Colors Well

Deer perceive many bright colors as shades of gray.

At night time these colors are easier to spot in the nighttime by the deer than in the daylight.

This means that the deer may not be able to see the bright orange colored hunting clothes in the daytime if you are stealthy.

Deer have a Diverse Diet

Deer are not the pickiest of eaters.

In fact, other than the apparent wild grass that deer consume, deer will also eat leaves, nuts, and acorns.

Adult Deer Have the Same Number of Teeth as Humans

Deer share one fantastic similarity with humans.

Just as adult humans have 32 teeth, mature deer also have 32 teeth.

Deer Feed Predominantly During the Daytime

On similarity that humans and deer do not share in the late dinner time.

Deer are most inclined to consume their meals during the daytime.

Deer Use Their Tails to Send Signals

The tail of the whitetail deer is obviously the reason for its namesake.

However, the tail of the whitetail deer is used to signal to other deer in their surroundings.

Twitching is a common sign that there is no danger to other deer.

Whitetail Deer Live a Long Time in the Wild

Many hunters are curious about the lifespan of deer in the wild.

Deer are able to live a surprising 15 to 25 in the wild.

Doe are actually able to live a bit longer; 20 to 25 years.

Hunting Whitetail Passion

Hunting whitetails is a passion and a labor of love.

Hopefully, these ten tips will offer you the hunter’s advantage.

No matter what type of deer you hunt or where you are, the edge will now belong to you, the hunter.

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Portable Air Conditioner – 5 Reasons You will Want

large porable aircon

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Portable Air Conditioner – Most days, we don’t think about our air conditioner.

Sure, we might relish that first moment of cool air when we step into the house on a hot day.

But most of the time, it hums in the background, keeping us comfortable without us thinking about it.

But when the AC breaks?

Or when you get your electric bill in the mail after a heatwave?

You’ll definitely be giving your unit a second glance.

Most of us rely on either a full-house central air system or a few small window units.

We’re entirely unaware that there is another option… portable A.C.

Best Portable Air Con units

Here are 5 reasons you’re going to want to get a portable air con unit today.

Best Portable Air Conditioner Units: Our Favorites

  • Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier & Fan (Buy it here)
  • hOmeLabs 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner (Buy it here)
  • LG Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control (Buy it here)
  • Black + Decker Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control (Buy it here)

Click here for portable air conditioner unitsprices

What is a portable air conditioner?

Indoor air conditioners are also known as portable air conditioner, portable aircon, portable a.c, portable air con,portable air conditioner units, portable a c units, portable air conditioning unit, portable air conditioning units or portable air conditioner unit.

They are small, standalone AC units.

Most often, a mobile air conditioner will be a little bigger than a space heater, and will operate in much the same way.

Good quality portable air conditioners are usually between 8,000 BTU and 10,000 BTU.

They are often used to cool a single room, so they aren’t a good option for someone trying to replace a central cooling unit.

They can be used almost anywhere, provided they have a place to exhaust warm air.

A portable unit is less expensive than a central unit and more versatile than a window unit, which makes it a great option for anyone looking for a little more comfort in their home.

Related Content: Air Conditioning Maintenance, save money on HVAC cost!

Portable AirCon Cost Effective Cooling

When you flip on your home’s central air conditioner, it cools down the entire house.

Unfortunately, that includes rooms that aren’t being used at that moment.

This can be a huge waste.

Especially if your house has rooms that get warmer than the rest of the home.

If you have an upstairs bedroom with a lot of windows, your air conditioner is going to work hard to get that warm room down to the right temperature.

Even if you’re watching a movie in the basement.

With a portable  aircon, you can set the central unit to a higher temperature and bring the mobile unit to the room you’re in.

The mobile unit will cool your room to a comfortable temperature without worrying about the rest of the home.

Meanwhile, your central unit will be using far less energy, helping the environment as well as your electric bill.

Bypass Residential HVAC Building Codes with Portable A.C

If you live in an apartment or a neighborhood with home regulations, a window unit might not be an option.

Some landlords see them as a liability, and some homeowners associations see them as garish and ugly.

You might think that spending thousands of dollars on a central unit is your only option.

But if you’re in an apartment, that’s not even in the realm of possibility.

In this case, a mobile air conditioner is a great option.

You can cool your home without hanging a unit outside the window, so your neighbors and landlords won’t bother you about it.

Portable A C Units to Cool Down Old Homes

If you live in an old home, there’s a good chance your home was not built with central air conditioning in mind.

You might not even have a ventilation system compatible with a central air system, which makes installation even pricier.

And chances are, your old house might be a little bit drafty.

Your home might not be insulated well enough to cool the whole house efficiently.

Old homes often oddly sized windows as well.

You might not even be able to fit a window air conditioner anywhere in your home.

Enter the portable A C units(See examples here).

As long as you have a window large enough for the exhaust house, you can use portable A C in any room.

And you’re not stuck with one room, either.

Move it into the dining room to keep dinner guests cool.

If you have an attic bedroom that’s constantly sweltering, move it upstairs on a hot day to cool it down before bed.

Many mobile air conditioners also work as dehumidifiers, so if your house gets really damp, a portable A C unit can help immensely.

Portable Air Conditioning Units for Natural Disasters

As we always say, it’s best to be prepared for a crisis before it comes.

And with Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma wreaking havoc on Texas and Florida this year, we’re seeing what can happen if you ignore preparations.

While you probably already have a generator in case of power outages, it’s important to have a backup for your cooling system.

In warm climates like Texas and Florida, heat stroke is a very real possibility.

Power outages pose a more serious threat than losing the food in your freezer: you can lose your life.

Having a portable air conditioning units in conjunction with your generator won’t just keep comfortable in a disaster.

It might just save your life.

If you need to evacuate before a storm, bringing a portable air conditioning units can also make sure that you have reliable cooling wherever you take shelter from the storm.

Best Vacation Portable Air Conditioner Unit.

Whoever said your air conditioner has to stay at home?

If you spend a fair amount of time on the open road in your RV, you might be painfully aware that most RVs don’t have very good cooling units.

Whether you are in a tent, RV or mobile home to make camping a comfortable, luxurious experience you need the best portable air conditioner unit.

You could even put it in a large tent!

Just because you’re “roughing it,” that doesn’t mean you can’t be comfortable.

Thing to consider Before Buy Portable Air Conditioner

What are your power usage/needs?

How/where it will vent?

How many BTUs?

Best portable AirCon

Whether you’re looking for a backup in case of emergency, a serious camper with a taste for luxury, or just trying to cool your home more effectively, a portable aircon is the right choice.

Top 5 Weather Emergency Radios – Prepare for the Worst

Red Emergency Weather Radio

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Emergency Radios are important Emergency preparedness is on the top of our minds lately, especially in the aftermath of the latest Hurricanes, wildfires and mudslides.

When a natural disaster strikes, emergency radios can offer multi-use solutions during power outages.

Top Weather Emergency Radios

We’ve reviewed the best emergency radios to ensure you will be prepared during severe weather or another catastrophic event.

I own and recommend Midland ER310 Emergency Weather Radio with Hand Crank

This is the weather radio I personally own.

The Midland ER310 (check price) is equipped with a high capacity lithium-ion battery.

The battery will hold a charge for up to 32 hours.

Ways to power Emergency Weather Radio

Emergency Weather Radio Hand crank

Emergency Weather Radio Solar

During a natural disaster, you may find yourself without power for an extended period of time.

To power up the ER310, all you need is one hour of bright sunlight.

The solar panel will allow you to operate the radio for up to 45 minutes on that solar charge.

Another power option is AA batteries.

The ER310 requires six, which are not included.

Emergency Weather Radio USB port???

You can also charge it in a USB port.

The antenna works well, picking up the majority of AM, FM, and NOAA signals.

Midland emergency radios offer an exceptionally bright 130 Lumen Cree LED flashlight.

The high setting provides maximum brightness, but you can switch to low to conserve battery life.

The flashlight also acts as a beacon.

When activated, you can use it to flash an SOS distress signal using Morse code.

If you find yourself in an area that is difficult to get to, the ultrasonic dog whistle can alert search and rescue teams to your location.

This is an incredible feature we hope you’ll never need, but you’ll be glad it’s available if you do.

Midland Weather Radio Best Features

Sustainable power options, including a dynamo hand crank and solar panel

Flashlight beacon

Ultrasonic dog whistle

The Midland ER310 (Buy it here) and Midland ER200 (Buy it here) are available and rank high on Amazon.

RunningSnail Solar Crank Emergency Weather Radio

The RunningSnail emergency radio (Buy it here) is an Amazon #1 best seller for good reason.

The sturdy construction assures a long-lasting product that will even survive a few tumbles.

The 2.1 x 6.2 x 2.9 in radio is worry-free in matters of maintaining a charge and recharging.

With multi-source power capabilities, you’ll always have power, even during power outages.

While power is still available, charge your radio with the external USB.

When the power goes out, recharge with a built-in solar panel or the hand crank.

About one minute of hand cranking provides up to 15 minutes of radio time or 25 minutes of light use.

Have batteries on hand?

Great!

The RunningSnail takes three AAA batteries.

Light up dark spaces with the 1W LED flashlight or focus a strong beam with the zoom function.

RunningSnail weather radio Best Features

Adjustable zoom LED flashlight

IPX3 waterproof level

Flashlight adjusts to a 4 LED reading lamp

The RunningSnail weather radio has a great ratings on Amazon.

Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered Emergency Radio

That’s right.

The Kaito KA500 (check price) powers in five ways. It:

Accepts AA batteries

Includes a hand crank to charge the internal battery

Features photocells that convert sunlight to power the radio and recharge the internal battery

Has a built-in NiMH battery source*

Charges using an AC power adapter (sold separately)

*Nickel-metal hydride batteries are rechargeable, making this not only a convenient but cost-effective charging method.

The solar panels are designed to tilt to follow the sun’s position in the sky.

This allows the photocells to receive maximum absorption of the sun’s rays.

The AM/FM/NOAA knob is designed with a PLL crystal control circuit.

This allows for superior fine-tuning to receive stable reception from emergency channels.

The flashlight has a super-bright LED light that can switch to a red flashing emergency signal.

This particular Kaito model is available in five different colors: black, blue, green, red, or yellow.

Kaito KA500 5-Way Powered Emergency Radio Best Features

Five ways to power up

Tilting solar panel

USB cable is 24″ long

The Kaito KA500 has the highest Amazon rating for portable emergency radios.

American Red Cross Weather Radio FRX3

The American Red Cross encourages families to always “Be Red Cross Ready,” and they’re helping you out with this handy portable emergency radio.

weather emergency radios
weather emergency radios

The American Red Cross FRX3 (Buy it here) offers four power sources.

So regardless of the emergency, this device will constantly have power.

The radio operates with solar power from the built-in panel located in the handle.

The hand turbine powers the radio and the rechargeable batteries, which are included.

It runs on three AAA batteries.

If power is still available, it will receive charge from an electrical outlet via the included USB charger cord.

Similar to other emergency radios, the FRX3 signals emergencies such as hurricanes and other severe weather, when the alert function is engaged.

The device offers a dump-charge feature that enables a quick, healthy charge to smart devices.

An AUX-output allows you to listen to alerts through headphones, or if you need to relax, your own tunes.

American Red Cross Weather Radio Best Features

Multiple sustainable power sources

Dump charging capability

Display has an alarm clock function

The American Red Cross FRX3 great Amazon ratings.

Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 Weather Radio

The Kaito Voyager (check price) is another emergency weather radio that offers many power source opportunities.

The built-in battery pack features three NiMH rechargeable batteries.

The NiMH batteries can be recharged using the dynamo hand crank and the AC adapter, which is included.

Solar panels are another option for recharging.

The solar panel is a patented design.

The flip-up panel adjusts 180-degrees and powers the radio without needing a battery inserted.

The back-lit digital display not only provides the date and time but temperature and humidity too.

It also has a very convenient station memory program.

There is also a two-alarm clock feature complete with snooze.

A built-in key lock feature disables the radio keys.

This is excellent for preventing battery drain due to accidentally turning on radio features.

The top of the LCD screen shows a key symbol when the key lock is engaged.

Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 Weather Radio Best Features

Includes an AC adapter

180-degree adjustable solar panel

Programmable memory for station locations

Customer reviews give the Kaito Voyager high marks on Amazon.

Put Emergency Radios at the Top of Your List

An emergency radio should be on the top of anyone’s list who is at risk of a power outage due to severe weather.

When a radio is your family’s only means of connecting with the outside world, you want a quality one that will do the job it was intended to perform.

Don’t wait for an emergency to realize how important it is to have a reliable source of communication, best generator for hurricaneemergency lighting and a rocket stove.

To stay up-to-date on surviving weather threats, as well as helpful tips and advice on rural living, subscribe to our mailing list.

And if you’ve ever considered an off-grid lifestyle, check out our DIY solar generator.

It’s surprisingly simple and cost-effective!

Essential Hurricane Supplies to Prepare to Be Ready

Emergency disaster kit

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If the recent string of damaging hurricanes has taught us anything, it’s how important it is to be prepared with hurricane supplies.

Hurricanes can cause flooding, power outages, and damage from high winds.

You need to protect yourself, secure your home, and prepare to stay put for days or weeks without the convenience of electricity.

Must-have hurricane supplies

Being prepared for a natural disaster will give you something priceless: peace of mind.

Start now with these hurricane supplies and products.

You will be ready no matter when a hurricane occurs.

Go bag

When it comes to natural disasters like hurricanes, you must heed the warnings of government officials.

If they say you must evacuate, it could truly be a matter of survival, so be sure to follow evacuation orders and instructions so you can get to safety.

That will be faster and easier to do if you have a “go bag” ready for each member of your household.

The bag itself should be a sturdy, waterproof backpack.

Backpacks should include a flashlight, clean water and/or an emergency water purifier, a first aid kit, food bars, batteries or a portable device charger, and a change of clothes.

It’s also a good idea to include copies of important legal documents such as identification.

If you or your family require medication, put a supply in your go-bag.

Also, make sure to fill your gas tank when you learn about an approaching storm.

That way, you will be prepared to leave town should there be an evacuation.

Surviving in your home without power

In addition to your go bag, you should have some hurricane supplies stocked up to survive waiting out the storm at home during a blackout.

You should keep the following survival items on hand:

First aid kit

Flashlight and emergency lighting

Portable charger for your smart phone: Once a luxury, these are now almost essential.

Battery-operated or hand crank radio Many models are solar too.

Manual can opener

Lighter or matches

best portable generator for hurricane season: This is a great-to-have option.

When you buy a portable generator, you can use it at home or take it with you should you need to evacuate.

Plan for a five-day supply for each member of the family for these emergency supplies:

Non-perishable food

Water

Personal hygiene items

Wet wipes

Batteries

Best Splitting Mauls

And, if they apply to you:

Baby supplies (i.e. diapers, formula)

Pet food

Additionally, books, a deck of cards, or other non-electronic recreational items will help you stay sane and avoid cabin fever.

This will be especially important if you have children.

hurricane supplies disaster kit
hurricane supplies

How to prepare for an emergency

There are several things you should do when you learn about an upcoming power outage:

A power outage could mean that you may not have running water in addition to power.

For this reason, fill up the bathtub and other containers with water while you still have it running.

This can be used for washing and flushing and can make a big difference in the comfort of your survival.

Cook your perishable food and while you still have power and freeze it.

That way, you’ll have the option of eating it as it thaws if the freezer goes out.

You can also repurpose some common appliances during a power outage:

Washing Machine

Since it already has a built-in drain, you can use your washing machine as a cooler by filling it with ice or frozen water bottles.

Dishwasher

Store things you need to keep dry, such as important documents, photographs, or a stack of extra cash, in the dishwasher.

It is sealed off extremely well and will stand up to the pressure of external water.

For extra measure, it’s a good idea to seal off whatever you put in the dishwasher in a freezer bag.

Securing your home

Of course, at the first mention of an approaching hurricane, you should start securing your home.

Bring in all outdoor furniture, garbage cans, and decor that could be picked up by wind gusts and cause serious damage.

If you have a pool, drain it by only one to two feet and leave it uncovered.

Wind gusts could get so high that they collapse the pool or lift it from the foundation if it is not properly weighted down by water.

The cover will stand no chance against flying tree branches and high winds, and it could easily fly away and cause damage itself.

Doors and windows

The high winds that come with hurricanes can blow out windows, inviting dangerous wind and rain into your home, so it is important to secure them as much as possible.

The best defense against a hurricane comes from storm shutters which are installed permanently and can be easily rolled down to protect all vulnerable doors and windows.

To properly secure a window without storm shutters, you’ll need to gather plywood that is at least 5/8 inches thick and 8 inches larger than the window or door frame on each side.

Anchor the plywood with heavy-duty screws to the walls of the home, not to the window frame or door frame.

High winds could compromise the frame itself, not just the glass.

This option is effective and inexpensive.

If you have the supplies on hand before the hardware store sells out during a storm, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress.

You can also get hurricane film, which protects glass from shattering.

While this won’t help from the entire window being blown out, it will protect you from shattered glass, so it’s a good additional precaution.

Garage door

You’ll also need to reinforce your garage door, which can be particularly vulnerable during a hurricane.

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you should definitely make sure that your garage door is at least 14-gauge weight and is securely mounted.

Additionally, you can strengthen your garage door with both vertical and horizontal 2 by 4 boards.

Anchor these to the walls surrounding the garage door with heavy duty screws.

Preparing for a hurricane is much easier to do when you don’t have the pressure of an imminent threat.

Keeping hurricane supplies like these around can be a game changer in both your comfort and your survival should a tropical storm head your way.

Want more preparation tips?

Check out our article on preparing for a food crisis next.

It’s a good idea to always have a well-stocked hurricane supplies stash so that you’ll be ready to weather the storm.

Read on to find out what is recommended to keep on hand.

Are We Safer in the City or the Country?

I am looking out my farm office window and watching it snow.

It is peaceful and I feel secure.

Throughout this winter,  I have continued our planning for the spring and summer.

I’m pretty jazzed about all that will be coming our way.

Another thing I do, though, is follow the global economic markets.

I no longer accept the media bias or the bogus economic statistics that say we are all fed every day.

Everything is NOT OK and there are things that are just not right happening all around us.

I am now more than a little concerned about the state of affairs affecting our nation.

Our family is working hard at developing our farm, yet there is now a new urgency in doing so.

While no one—especially economists–knows that will be happening in the coming months and years, one thing is clear in my mind.

Our country is now heading down a path which will lead to a very difficult time for us.

Those of you who have even remotely considered that things aren’t all they seem to be:

Let me encourage you to think about your own situation.

Should you, like many of us, prepare yourselves for some hard times ahead?

There are many resources with ideas how to do this.

But it is a very personal process that must be done in light of what you think might be happening in the future and how it will affect you.

I personally think that the economic system is in a time of transformation, and that things ultimately will be getting violent.

I believe life will be most difficult for those in the city.

But for many, the writing on the wall will go unheeded.

When I ask myself why many refuse to look deeper into what is really going on, I remember a condition that is commonly called the “normalcy bias.”

If you Google this, you’ll see that there is a vast store of information about it.

Essentially the normalcy bias is a mental state people have when facing or evaluating a potential disaster or pending danger.

It causes a vast underestimation of the likelihood of a catastrophe actually happening and the potential consequences of such an event.

It is the deer in the headlights refusing to move.

normalcy bias dark storm clouds
normalcy bias dark storm clouds

Normalcy Bias

The normalcy bias explains why the Jews refused to leave Germany even in light of evidence of the holocaust already occurring and major signs of pending danger.

It explains why many people on the Titanic, even while it was sinking, refused to believe that it could ever sink.

Passengers were slow to enter life boats, as that itself would be an acknowledgement that indeed the Titanic was going to sink.

It explains why so many in New Orleans stayed in their homes even with the notification that Hurricane Katrina was on its way and urges to evacuate.

They couldn’t believe it would be that bad.

It also explains why so many today choose to put their heads in the sand, believing that economic catastrophe could never happen in America.

This even as Europe is on the brink and there is no question the U.S. is truly connected at the hip to Europe economically and socially.

I hope I am wrong, but I believe that a total upheaval of our global economic system will be happening.

As I talk to folks who have concerns about the future, the conversation inevitably leads to the question of whether they should move to a rural setting in preparation.

My consistent answer is YES, but I also believe that it isn’t for everyone.

No place is perfect, and there are challenges everywhere.
garden veggies asst
So each person or family should make their decisions based on their own set of circumstances, beliefs, and information research.

In this regard I highly recommend that you do consider it.

Granted, it does take time and energy to read and evaluate information.

There are many resources for this on the internet.

Some are very skewed one way or another, but one that I have found to be pretty balanced and full of information is Preparing Your Family.

It’s a site that is helpful regardless of where you live–and it’s very practical.

After living almost our entire lives in the city and suburbs, we can say that our ranch is now our real home.

For some of you the city may remain home for various reasons.

But I would encourage you all to investigate the reality of the benefits a more independent and self-sufficient rural lifestyle will offer in the coming years.

We consider ourselves blessed.

Best Emergency Lighting for a Power Outage: What to Buy

Yellow light lamp

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Emergency Lighting – You’re more likely to encounter a power outage now than ever before.

With the increase and severity of natural disasters, it’s time to be prepared.

Emergency lighting is essential along with a Weather Emergency Radio.

Emergency lighting is affordable.

And technology is making smaller and more efficient lighting options which don’t rely on costly disposable batteries to operate.

The new emergency lights on the market are easy to store and practical to use.

After reading hundreds of Amazon reviews, these are the best emergency lights.

Best small solar light
Longest lasting
Best solar lantern
Overall best rechargable
Favorite headlamp
Best flashlight

Luci Inflatable Solar Light

The Luci Inflatable Solar Light is one of the best options when it comes to emergency lighting.

It’s an extremely durable solar LED lantern that only requires sun to operate.

With seven hours in the sun, the Luci will stay lit for twelve hours on a single charge.

The Luci is collapsible, lightweight (4.4 ounces), and entirely waterproof with an IP67 rating.

It’s an extremely versatile light that can help you get through hours of darkness.

It can also serve as a camping, patio, or barbeque light.

It comes with 10 powerful white LEDs that shine in three different settings: bright, super bright, and flash mode.

You’ll always know exactly how much charge is left in the light with the charge indicator so you know exactly when you’ll need a recharge.

It comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

This light offers everything you want in a lighting source.

It provides up to 200 hours of light from one charge.

This is practically unheard of and essential in an emergency.

This is the light to have to prepare for hurricanes and tornadoes.

There are low, medium and high light settings.

Other features which make it great for emergencies are the SOS beacon light and the red hazard flashing features.

Another awesome bonus is you can charge your cell phone with it.

It charges with a rechargeable lithium ion battery (included).

You can also charge it with a USB.

What’s great is you won’t waste money on costly disposable batteries.

Amazon reviewers loved bringing this light camping and hiking.

It’s light and portable at just 1.3 pounds.

It’s also water resistant.

It has a two year warranty.

You will want to use this light for a lot more than just emergencies.

Bigfoot Outdoor Compact Solar Camping Lantern

Be prepared!

This compact solar camping lantern and flashlight isn’t only great for camping, hiking, and trekking, it’s great for use as an emergency light.

It’s also an incredibly affordable option.

The light has three lighting modes: high, low, and SOS.

Let anyone know you’re in trouble with the SOS option as it will send out a lighting pattern that rescuers will recognize.

You can charge the light with solar power or with the USB.

One charge provides 10 hours of light.

This light is compact.

You can put multiple lights in your basement and one in your car for roadside emergencies too.

Something special about this camping lantern is you can charge your phone in the USB port.

This is a great feature to have as an emergency, when camping, etc.

You wouldn’t want to rely on it to charge your phone from 0%, but it’s nice to keep it from dying out.

We just love the solar feature of this light.

You can leave it out during the day so you can use it each night.

GRDE Zoomable 3 Modes Headlamp

This headlamp comes with rechargeable batteries, a car charger, wall charger, and a USB cable.

That makes for a plethora of recharge options when it comes to emergency lighting.

Best emergency lights

With a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours, this headlamp will get you through multiple emergency situations.

It has brightness capabilities of up to 1800 lumens.

With a 3-in-1 multi-function capability, you can use this headlamp in a variety of ways.

Depending on the situation, you can use the lamp on your head, around your waist, or set it on down to light a room.

It’s zoomable, adjustable, and extremely durable.

The lamp also has three different modes: low, mid, and strobe.

This is a highly portable light source that you will likely find many uses for even outside of emergencies.

It’s great to take camping, running, hiking and more.

Eastshien Professional Tactical Flashlight

This compact flashlight will provide great lighting in an emergency.

It is 1,000 lumens.

You can use the rechargable batteries or charge it with the USB.

According to Amazon reviews, this is the flashlight of choice for military and law enforcement professionals.

It will be great to take with you on camping trips.

You can charge it up in your car.

You will be surprised at how robust this flashlight is, and how light too… just 4.8 ounces.

Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern

If the sun isn’t going to be coming around for some time to recharge your solar operated emergency lighting, then kick it old school with a propane lantern.

This reliable option is a lamp that sits on top of a small propane tank.

No power outage can take your propane away.

This leaves you with a solid option for light.

The Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern is a great choice.

It will generate light for long periods of time, has adjustable brightness levels (up to 1543 lumens), and is easy to use.

You will find multiple uses for this, not just for emergency preparedness.

It’s sturdy, easy-to-use and practical to take camping.

This Coleman propane lantern comes with a case which keeps it together, protected and organized.

Note: Propane lanterns do require very specific sizes based on brand, so pre-purchase a supply of propane that will last you for weeks.

These lamps can also come in handy during a winter power outage or summer storm.

Serenga 2 for emergency lighting

These emergency lighting lamps can be placed in your ceiling at heights of up to twelve meters.

They have a futuristic design that offers a high degree of operational reliability and can distribute light throughout large rooms and corridors.

The lights can light up stairwells and will guide you to safety.

The minute the power goes out, these lights are designed to immediately switch to the battery powered built-in support system.

You don’t have to forgo design in your business or home just to have emergency lighting options with the Serenga 2.

It’s important to consider a backup power generator for outages as well.

Parrotuncle emergency light

This light can serve as both an emergency light and a handy, powerful lantern for camping trips.

It’s a portable LED lantern that requires batteries for use.

A single bulb in the lantern provides up to 100,000 hours of light.

The Parrotuncle is also adjustable for various lighting levels during your emergency.

Konig Rechargeable LED

The Konig rechargeable light has 13 LED emitters and a built-in rechargeable lithium battery.

Make sure the battery is always charged in case of an emergency, and this light can be an effective and efficient source of light during an outage.

It provides 5 hours of continuous light.

Best emergency lighting

Power outages are inevitable, so have these go-to lights the next time you are without power.

With high percentages of power outages happening, it’s important to be prepared with the best portable generators.

There are certain things you can do to prepare for a power outage.

Buy several, and keep them in an easy-to-access cabinet or your emergency preparedness box so you will have them when you need them.

The last thing you want to do is to have to rummage around for them in the dark.

Prepare for a power outage with emergency lighting

Emergency preparedness is a necessity.

A healthy supply of food storage, as well as emergency lighting, is important for optimal preparedness.

It’s very important to be prepared for a power outage.

Having proper lighting will calm your animals during an emergency situation too.

Having lighting is one of the most basic and easiest things to do.

Unfortunately, natural disasters and epidemics are on the rise.