more dehydration

as it happens I’m Gluten Intolerant and have been working on eliminating gluten from my diet since 2009.  Its especially difficult when we travel, as almost all fiber sources you find on the road has wheat.  This is a take off from an absolutely horrid gluten free mixed grain hot granola I had at the LAX Hilton.   Of coarse, if you are not GF, it can be made anyway, as it turns out to be a nice “instant” hot breakfast mix.   Starting with 1C of steel cut oats, plus 1/4C each millet, amaranth, buckwheat (groats) and sorghum, cooked in 8C of water with sugar and salt “to taste”.  Then spread out on drier sheets (or plastic wrap) and dried.

Since I’d spread it too thick, it took a long time to dry, requiring me to turn it and break it up.

Original intention was to break it down to small particles for rehydrating, but when tasting it, realized it can be left in chunks for snacking or use as a cold cereal also.

IMG_0831 (1024x768) Total weight was 345grams, divide by 8 (8C water equals 8 servings) is a hair over 43g/serving.  The crumbled version yielded 1/2C servings and obviously takes up less room.  The chunky version is 4/5C per serving.

IMG_0834 (1024x768) rehydrated serving and eaten with strawberries this morning.

Fruit can be added when cooking, as can other grains or honey or dried milk.  Chopped up dried fruit can also be added after.  Can be packaged in bulk, or in serving size portions.  Will likely be mixing up some with fruit and yogurt and maybe even nuts to be vacuum sealed and put into my Go Bag in the car.  This is an all around nutritious meal, that can be made more calorie dense easily.

socks

For all the socks that I’ve knitted over the years, yesterday bought 8 pairs of socks.  Not my fingers (nor my patience) can deal with fine sock yarns and the dozens of stitches it takes just to make one row, much less enough rows to make a pair of socks.  So my socks are good looking, fit fine, but when it comes to hiking, they can irritate the h*** out of my feet, with their big stitches.

If you don’t know the brand, Thorlo.  Right now, having a buy 3 and get one pair free sale, plus free shipping when you buy more than 3 pair.  Buying 8 pair on their web site was less than buying 8 pair on Amazon Prime.  They are expensive, they will also last a VERY long time.  Their suggestion is to wash them using liquid fabric softener.  Does not happen here, so they only last 8-10 years.

And if I’m going to hike again, want my feet to be comfortable.

Buy socks – THORLO!  I get no credit, no rebate, no discount.  Have worn their socks for 20 years. great product and made in America.

know your equipment

Have been working with my new Goal Zero Yeti 400.  The designation means the battery holds a 400W charge, how much you draw on that will depend on how long it lasts.  The gauge is in 20% increments and it is recommended to never drain the battery, best not to go below 20%.

This morning, from a fully charged battery, ran an electric pump rated at 150w.  Start up drew close to 200W, then settled down to +/- 150.  After 34 minutes, charge was down to 60%.  Took about 2 hours on a 100w solar panel in full sun to charge the battery.  The panel was not directly aligned with the sun, but the angle was not seriously off.

Also used a 10W solar panel to charge my cell phone.  Would have been much quicker off the GZ while on the panel without seriously effecting the charging time.  think it was over 4 hours to charge the phone!

Now is the time to know how well these devices work!

power alternative

Sort of new on the market, another portable power pac, this with Li battery, not a lot of power, but smaller and lighter than the Goal Zero 150 with more power.  Price isn’t bad for the folding solar panel, they are definitely a premium over the one piece units for obvious reasons.   Still, 220W output isn’t going to do much more than you CPAP machine, but some many people are using those things these days that they wouldn’t be able to sleep without them!

http://www.amazon.com/SUAOKI-Portable-Sunpower-Mono-Crystalline-Electronic/dp/B018TY8ZYQ/ref=pd_bxgy_107_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1WV852BQ05FV7MH7A9SH

solar generators

There is no such thing, but there is “portable” power.  These are power pac units that have battery, power input, and various power output ports, all nicely packaged, ready to pick up and go.  I’ve chosen Goal Zero although they are on the expensive side, have had experience with them, and in general am pleased with their package and their service.

Just upgraded from a Yeti 150 to a Yeti 400.  What I know now, that I didn’t know then,  is the number refers to the max watts the battery stores, not what the output it can handle would be.  The 150 only handled 80W output which made it pretty damn useless!  The 400 has two 120v outlets, pure sine wave, and can take a max of 300W output.

The unit comes in reading fully charged, but as soon as I put it on my water pump it dropped down to 40%, so now it is charging off the 100W solar panel.

IMG_0763 (768x1024) yes, it is sitting in the shade in this photo.

The Goal Zero panels are ridiculously expensive, the 90W running about $500, while this flexible 100W was under $200, and a Rexology 100W panel is about $129.  If using other than Goal zero, you need an adapter to their 8mm input port, and Goal Zero sells it for about $20 bucks plus ship and tax. BUT, the Goal Zero folding and portable panels are well made and have the power output ports attached for multi use.

As I’ve researched these things, realize how inefficient solar to electric is.  Wind seems a little better, but you need reliable wind of more than breeze strength.  A combination seems to be the best alternative for the real world, and will probably be my next investment.  Again, having looked at how to make these things, having a nice neat package can make my brain happy, and leaves me room to be doing other things.

We rarely have power outages here.  And my personal view of EOTWAWKI is more of a general decline in civilization, with on going threats to food and water supply.  And that’s why I’ve gone for such a small unit rather than one of the big ones that will take care of our household.  ALTHOUGH, as the technology improves on these things and the prices come down, may reconsider a unit that will handle our day to day, just to be sure, as everything I’m seeing is questioning the long term ability of our power supply structure to handle the demands being placed upon it.

SHTF is another matter, but that means FIRE here, and will I have the time to grab all the different things to load in the car, even if I’m paying attention.

Truly, the only way to really be ready, is to be living a day to day existence, off grid, fully self-reliant, away from any fire, weather, or other threat, with everything prepped to withstand any level EMP.  And that ain’t happening, especially for me.  So just doing the best I can.

reading

What do you read?  I’m sure you have reference BOOKS for when the SHTF. Books that will help you with skills you might need.  Books you have gone through, if not read, to be sure that you have appropriate tools on hand.

But what else do you read? fiction? history? biography? What magazines? Guns and Ammo? Backwoods Home? Mother Earth News? Recoil? Organic Gardening? Home and Garden? Vogue?

Have recently discovered American Survival Guide.  Understand there was, once upon a time, another magazine of the same title.  This is not the same magazine.  Have seen this magazine slammed by critics, and have seen others rave about it.  I’m somewhere in between.

I like that it reviews what’s new on the market in technological tools.  Thinking of Night Vision of some sort? do you want IR? or do you want just low light?  Prices are coming down, and these people will keep reviewing so you can eventually make an informed decision.  Found some recipes for trail mix and a quick and easy jerky. How to make Candle Wicks.  Info on communications, as well as the usual on armament, lighting, etc.

But how it is most useful to me is it helps keep my awareness up.  Its so easy to get caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle, that my home preps sometimes get forgotten.  Each time I read a (decent) apocalyptic novel or read a magazine like this, I remember my preps.  Maybe I’ll can some more Chicken.  Or make up a crock pot full of some meal and dry it into portions. I may just add some extra TP or canned goods onto the shopping list. Or start researching walkie talkies.

and that enthusiasm may wane in a week as the demands of the shop or something else takes my attention. But at least I’ve done one more thing.  and three weeks later another issue will come in and I’ll do a little bit more.

Will never get it all done, but always a little bit more and a little bit more.