Snugpak Ionosphere Tent Review

snugpak-ionosphere-shtf-tent

In my recent post I wrote about what to look for in a decent SHTF TENT. The Snugpak Ionosphere tent fits the bill for a tent that’s low profile yet provides enough space for you and your pack. This tent is easy to setup and break down and fits into a compact compression pack for easy stowing away inside a backpack.

Let’s take a look at the features and specifications.

Features and specs

  • Low profile
  • Single entry
  • Taped seams
  • 5000mm Polyurethane fly
  • 94.5 x 35.4 x 102.4 inches
  • 3.3 pounds
  • Single man tent
  • Aluminum poles
  • Dome shaped
  • Olive green or coyote tan colors available

Full review

snugpak-ionosphere-shtf-tent

I must say this tent impresses me in many ways having taken it out in many conditions. With the staked design it manages to resist even heavy winds. Note that this is NOT a free standing tent meaning you’ll need to use the stakes. The stakes are high quality and included along with a complete repair kit for the tent. One thing that always concerns me is how much space is inside the tent. I’m 5 foot 11 and this sometimes mean I’m forced to keep my pack outside the tent. Not so with the Snugpak Ionosphere. I was able to comfortably fit me, my sleeping bag, and my backpack all inside.

This tent even stands up to a light rain. While I’m not sure about a full blown down pour, this tent will certainly see you through 3 seasons in light to moderate conditions. Possibly even 4 with a little tarp rigging. One thing that’s nice is the bathtub floor which appears to be ultra reinforced to protect you from wet ground. One thing to note is this is a 2 layer tent. This means there’s an inner mesh layer along with an outer layer that acts as a rain fly. The mesh makes it real nice to use without the rain fly in warmer weather while the fly does a great job at protecting you from rain and wind during storm season.

The inner layer of the tent is complete mesh allowing for a nice flow of ventilation. This means no more waking up covered in a wet pool of your own condensation. This is one of the fundamental problems with a bivvy sack. In fact, the Ionosphere tent is almost like a hybrid bivvy/tent combo which I find great. It’s larger than a bivvy yet smaller than a full size tent which is important when you’re considering weight and how much space there is in your pack. The best of both worlds.

Setup and take down of this tent is drop dead simple. The tent comes with 2 aluminum poles which slide into reinforced sleeves double stitched into the inner layer meshing. The tent is so low profile you don’t have to fuss in the morning when it comes time to tear everything down. Everything fits comfortably in the storage sack which contains straps for really cinching things down. From here you can easily attach the sack to the bottom of your backpack or even shove it down to the bottom of the main compartment. It really is ultra low footprint and unobtrusive considering the ample space it provides.

Overall the pricing on this tent is very reasonable. At the time of this writing you can pick up the Snugpak for about $145 bucks. Check Amazon to get the most up to date prices.

Conclusion

The Snugpak Ionosphere is a great multi purpose tent for many occasions. Perfect for the 3 day backpacking trip, the 1 day backyard bonanza, or even an extensive trip through the PCT or Appalachian Mountains. It’s got great reviews from other people who have used it too. Lot’s of military guys seem to gravitate towards this thing and for good reasons, it’s a solid tent at a good price and will certainly stand the test of time if you take care of it. Pick one up today and test for yourself!

Thanks for reading.

 

Core Principles and Gear Inside The Preppers Kit

gray-man-concept

So you want to put together a preppers kit in case SHTF? You’ve seen the madness this world is capable of. You’ve seen first hand the man made and natural disasters of the world. When you go to the store you observe the human zoo knowing full well any one of these chimps can break down at a moments notice. An EMP blast can send us straight back to the stone age. How do you prepare for these things?

Putting together a basic preppers kit is a good start. But how does one go about putting together a kit capable of blasting through the madness and seeing yourself through to survival?

First, it helps to understand the core principles of what goes into the kit.

The blueprint of survival…

The human body needs food, water, and shelter to survive. Without these elements in place the body begins to atrophy and death quickly follows.

Water is of course an essential element in any kit. You should be stocking 5 gallon drums of water in your home. On top of this you need something in your kit to purify water should you run out of your stockpile. A water filter like the Sawyer Squeeze can purify 100,000 gallons of water. This is great for a single person. Do you have a family? A larger water filter like the Big Berkey provides clean water from any source to your entire family. Go ahead and use that pond or river water. Even if you live in the City you can find dubious sources of water easily made clean by water filtering products.

Food is the next on the list. Now, when focusing on long term food storage think about foods that keep a long shelf life. You can get long term food storage kits for fairly cheap and they last up to 25 years. Cheaper options include rice, beans, and grains. These are staple foods providing your body with the carbs and proteins required to sustain your survival. Make sure you have a good stock pile of food because chances are you’re a lousy hunter. Luckily, most SHTF scenarios will be over fairly quickly.

Shelter. Chances are you have a home. This home is your first line of defense against the chimps. You know, the apes who will take to the streets and plunder and pillage anything in sight. Even in safe times there’s the off chance of getting burgled. Learn about cheap ways to fortify your home. In a bug out situation consider packing a solid SHTF tent.

It is true that in extreme conditions a lack of shelter will kill you faster than a lack of food and water. Shelter not only protects you from the elements but protects you against the shit slinging chimps who have reverted back to their primal modes of being.

A list of goodies…

  • A good knife
  • fire kit (matches, lighters, ferrocerium rod)
  • Spices (salt, pepper, etc)
  • Water filter
  • Water containers
  • Cooking supplies (pots, pans, basic stuff)
  • Paracord
  • Bug out bag
  • IFAK (individual first aid kit)
  • Generator
  • Gasoline
  • Cigarettes, alcohol, games (Why not have a little fun?)
  • Propane powered stove top
  • Propane
  • Emergency radio
  • Essential oils
  • Hygiene kits (Shampoo, toothpaste, chapstick, sunscreen, feminine products, etc)
  • Duct tape
  • Boots
  • Proper clothing
  • Good attitude

With these basic provisions in place you now have yourself a solid preppers kit to work with. Beyond the kit itself it’s crucial to assess your skills and hone anything that needs sharpening. It’s one thing to have all of this stuff and another to know how to use everything and why. I recommend picking up books on both survival and bushcrafting. Work on your skills everyday knowing you just might have to use them one day.

8 Things To Remember When Prepping For SHTF

Turn on the news for only a second and you quickly realize the insanity of todays modern world. Well, with the recent Vegas shootings and all the other madness it makes one think about your future and how to stay safe in uncertain times. It’s easy to lose sight of the overall point of prepping for an SHTF situation when the world seems hopeless. Fear not however, in this post we will set things straight and get down to the nuts and bolts of what it takes to prep for an SHTF event.

1.) You are living in the safest of times

If you live in the first world pat yourself on the back and remind yourself that you live in the SAFEST of times. Looking back on history you should be very thankful for your present situation. If you’re 50 years and younger there’s a good chance you’ve never been to war and have always had access to clean drinking water and food. With all the madness on TV about active shooters and other things, it’s easy to lose sight of this fact. Repeat after me: “I live in the safest of times.”

2.) Focus on the basics first

If you’re starting from zero there’s no need to become overwhelmed with all the things you need to have. It’s true, having all the right SHTF gear will certainly help you but don’t think you need to acquire everything at once. Start small and work your way up. Even the dollar store has some great items you can pick up. Many people have even put together an entire individual first aid kit by shopping at the dollar store. At the bare minimum focus on having a weeks worth of food and water stocked up at any time. From there you can start to branch out and put together things like bug out bags. 

3.) You are programmed to survive

If you think about it you are here because you come from a long line of people who survived. Many generations of your ancestors were roaming the earth long before you were born. Your ancestors by nature had to be strong willed to survive. You can be sure these same genetics run through your blood as well. You were born to survive so do not fear the future or your capability to survive.

4.) Camping and hiking is a great way to prep

Outdoor activities like camping and hiking provide a fun way to learn many skills that will benefit you in an SHTF scenario. 

You will gain endurance and get in shape from hiking. You will learn to setup camp and build fire. You’ll learn how to setup a shtf tent. Not only this but you will acclimate yourself to being uncomfortable. Seasoned hikers and campers know that the environment can at times be very uncomfortable. The more you expose yourself to this kind of environment the more you can handle being in uncomfortable situations.

5.) Your fitness level plays a key role

SHTF is not the time to begin getting in shape and developing healthy habits. That time is NOW. Assess your current level of fitness and start getting daily exercise. This can be as simple as a walk around the block or a light jog. Eat less meat and more veggies and drink lots of water. Cut the processed foods. The thing is, being out of shape puts you at a serious risk of illness or worse in an SHTF situation. Start today!

6.) SHTF is a team effort

You might want to rethink about going lone wolf.

Having a supportive structure of people around will benefit you greatly and maximize your chances of survival. Everyone has a different set of skills they can bring to the table. Get to know the people in your community and don’t be afraid to start a discussion about prepping. Some people might not be into it while others will listen with an open mind.

7.) The time to begin prepping is NOW

The time to begin prepping for SHTF is now. Not tomorrow and not the next day. You don’t know when it can really hit the fan and you certainly don’t want to be unprepared for an event. Take stock of likely SHTF scenarios in your region and begin prepping accordingly. Like I mentioned earlier, start small but whatever you do…start today! You’ll be surprised at how small preps add up over time.

8.) Don’t worry

Whatever you do, don’t spend your days worrying about doomsday or otherwise ruminate on SHTF. It might never even happen despite what the doomsday fanatics say. Get your preps in order and be done with it. There is life to live and life to enjoy. Do NOT spend your whole life wasting your time thinking of negative thoughts and fearing the future. Ain’t NOBODY got time for that!

Thanks for reading.

 

How To Choose A SOLID Tent for SHTF

snugpak-ionosphere-shtf-tent

While I don’t consider a tent to be “up there” on the list of SHTF priorities, It’s certainly worth considering. I would first make sure you have a decent bug out bag first and a few provisions for long term food storage. However, in extreme climates getting proper shelter from the elements can be a matter of life or death. For the average person, a tent can provide additional shelter for extended members of the family who were forced to bug out of their homes. A lightweight tent can also be a crucial piece of gear in a bug out bag.

Choosing an SHTF tent comes down to your objectives. Are you using the tent as part of a bug out bag system? Will it be to provide additional shelter for your home? Will it need to blend in? The answers to these questions will determine the kind of tent you purchase.

While I can’t answer these questions for you let’s cover a few features I think are absolutely necessary when buying an SHTF tent.

SHTF tent features…

  • Sturdy (guy lines and sturdy poles)
  • Waterproof or at least water resistant
  • Rain fly
  • Camouflaged (optional)
  • Bathtub floor
  • Quality reinforced seams
  • Fast setup and breakdown
  • Good ventilation

With those basic features in mind you can now begin to flesh out your objectives. For example, If I was to include a tent as part of my SHTF bug out protocol I would want something lightweight in case I find myself on foot. The tent is perhaps the heaviest and bulkiest item you’ll have in your bug out pack unless you select the right one. I’ve had personal experience with this single man tent from ALPS Mountaineering. The whole thing weighs just under 4 pounds so it’s a fairly lightweight yet durable enough to withstand multiple years of continued abuse. The seams on this tent are super reinforced and the bottom is damn near waterproof. The walls are mostly mesh which allows for a good flow of air throughout. This tent can certainly withstand some light to medium rain but you’d be in trouble in a massive downpour. Adding a tarp and some paracord to your rig would certainly make this setup invincible in many weather conditions.

For the same type of bug out situation but for 2 people there’s this 2 man tent from Kelty. Roomy enough for 2 people and the 40d nylon material will keep you dry in most conditions except a brutal downpour. Once again, a good tarp and some paracord is enough to make a decent dry homestead in any environment. This tent weighs 4 lbs 8oz so a little heavier than the one man I mentioned above. The thing is, if you consider a tent a bug out priority then you better be in shape! Toting these things around will eventually wear you down if you aren’t conditioned to backpacking long distances.

snugpak-ionosphere-shtf-tent
The Snugpack Ionosphere 1 man dome tent

 

Now, if you want to go extremely low profile and lightweight but you still want all the great features of a tent, take a look at the Snugpak Ionosphere dome tent. This is a hybrid tent/bivvy that can easily blend in to a woodland or natural environment and keep you well protected from the elements. Best of all, this tent weighs in at a mere 2 pounds. This makes it the lightest SHTF tent on this list. It is NOT freestanding which means it needs to be staked out. This will add to the time it takes to setup and breakdown but overall you can get very fast at it over time with practice. This tent has great reviews and a lot of military guys love this thing. Certainly the most stealthy and lightweight tent you can buy for a single person. In fact, 2 people MIGHT be able to fit in this thing if you don’t mind spooning the whole night (giggity.) Simply throw this thing in the perfect bug out backpack and call it a day.

Final Thoughts

Choosing an SHTF tent can be difficult especially if you’ve never even been in a tent! If you go to an outdoor place like REI you can actually practice setting a few of them up and experimenting with the various designs. Remember the features I mentioned above and don’t be afraid to spend a few extra bucks on quality. I remember a good mate of mine cheaped out on a 26 dollar tent online and proceeded to be confused when the darn thing collapsed on him every night!

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I will get back to you.

 

 

 

8 Cheap DIY Home Security Tips

security-porch-light

Home security. A most crucial aspect of keeping you and your family safe. Especially now that we are living in uncertain times with more and more crazy things going on in the world. The thing about home security is it doesn’t have to be expensive. Most people think they need a gate and a giant moat with gators to keep out the bad guys but this simply isn’t true. In fact, if you take the perspective of a burglar most can be thwarted with some of these very basic tips.

1.) Get a dog

security-dog

Even if you live in the city a dog is a great deterrent for potential burglars and other baddies. Imagine a burglar who is going around the neighborhood casing places to rob. If he sees you have a large dog outisde he’s going to move on in favor of an easier target. Your dog does not even have to be trained to bark or attack. Just the mere sight of a dog is enough to send most criminals packing.

2.) Large boots by front door

security-boots

Get a pair of the biggest boots you can find and put them outside. What can the burglar deduce from this? Well, if he’s smart there’s a guy inside who is much bigger than they are. Chances are he’s not going to want to go toe to toe with someone who has a size 14 boot. This is a genious and super cheap way of ensuring your safety.

3.) Motion sensor flood lights

security-lights

Make sure they are bright as hell and light up the whole damn neighborhood. Lights make criminals cringe especially if they’re trying to sneak in at night. If it’s one thing they don’t want its a giant beam of light exposing them for who they truly are. A good set of motion sensor lights will spook even the seasoned burglar and most won’t mess around if the area is well lit. These need to be placed on every point of entry around your home.

4.) Security system sign outside

security-adt-fake

Another classic one. The best part is you don’t even need to actually have the security system installed. You can easily put the sign outside. Even the savviest burglar is too smart to attempt an illegal entry in a home with a security system in place. Unless you’re being targeted specifically a sign is plenty enough to send the baddies across the street to check out what the Jones’s have in store (and to see if they have an alarm in place as well.)

5.) Always on outdoor light

security-porch-light

Similar to the motion sensor lights except the light is always on. When a robber sees a light on this immediately triggers a red flag to them. This means someone is home or worse – somebody is up! Even if he has the balls to walk up to check things out the dog ought to start barking and when he sees those size 14 boots…well he knows it’s high time to get out of there.

6.) Reinforce your doors

security-hinges

Most doors are poorly reinforced and are screwed in with 1″ screws. Make sure you are using long screws to screw the hinges into a solid frame. They also make security hinges made with stainless steel pins designed to act as deadbolts when the door is closed. These little changes are cheap and bolster your home from someone who’s serious about getting in. They’ll have a very difficult time kicking the door indeed!

7.) Thorny rose bushes under windows

security-thorn-bush

Under each window plant a nice thorny bush. This will prove to be a big pain in the ass to anyone trying to bust in to your estate. One prick and they’ll be headed for the hills, tail stuck firmly between legs.

8.) Arm yourself

security-gun

If someone is brazen enough to break into your home be prepared. Have a tactical flashlight by your bed along with some kind of weapon. This can be as cheap as a baseball bat or you can spend a few bucks on a decent shotgun. Nobody sticks around long when they hear the signature sound of a chambering round in a shotgun. A strong tactical flashlight will blind them long enough for you to bust a few knee caps and call the cops. I heard bear spray also sucks to get blasted in the face with.

Conclusion

That concludes these DIY home security tips. I hope you found this post useful and never find yourself in a situation where tip number 8 comes into play! Thanks for reading.

 

 

Top 8 Quietest Portable Generators On The Market

pulsar-pg2000iS-portable-generator

By now you know the power and advantages of the almighty generator. The power goes out, what do you do? You rip on the pull start of your favorite generator and go back to business as usual. The thing about traditional generators is they are loud sons of beasts, best suited for construction sites and kept FAR away from house and home. Try firing up one of those bad boys at the house and count the seconds before the wife begins to complain – then kiss your back goodbye as you attempt to relocate the 10 ton monster to another location.

The solution here is quite simple. What you need is the quietest portable generator possible. Something lightweight. Something that kicks out a good amount of power without a hell fire of noise complaints lobbed from the Jones’s next door. Whether you’re out in the RV or at the house holding down the fort during a storm, you don’t want the excess noise on top of all the other crazy stuff that’s going on around you.

In this post we explore 8 of the quietest portable generators on the market today. Without further ado and in no particular order…

1.) Champion 3100 Watt Portable Generator

champion-3100-portable-generator

Ever heard of Champion? Me neither until I started digging deep into the reviews. They offer a plethora of great generators and their 3100 Watt portable generator is one of the best in the business. The thing is, this thing is light weight and nearly kicks off the same amount of power as a traditional generator. It comes 3 power ports, (2) 120 AC ports and (1) RV receptacle. It supplies enough power for a small fridge, an AC unit, and a couple lights. The best part is the almost complete silence as you listen to the inverter charge up all your electrical devices. This is thanks to inverter technology which provides clean efficient powder without sounding like you just bought a wood chipper.

2.) Westinghouse iGen2200

westinghouse-portable-generator

This generator is picked up by the portable handle and easily dragged to whatever remote corner of the house or campsite you need it at. Westinghouse has long provided some of the highest quality generators in the business and now they’re in the inverter market – making high tech portable generators that are silent but deliver the power you need at a moments notice. This gas powered portable generator is one of the quietest on the market and supplies a clean 2200 watts for all your electrical equipment. And if you don’t know your power requirements I recommend reading my post on the best generators for SHTF situations. 

3.) Generac IQ2000 Super Quiet Generator

generac-iq2000-portable-generator

This company has the balls to say their generator is even quieter than a Honda. If you don’t know, Hondas make the absolute quitest generators on the market and that goes for their traditional bulky generators as well. The Generac IQ2000 supplies a clean load of 1600 running watts and 2000 starting watts. It’s gotten some decent feedback and it’s carb complian meaning even Californians can use this bad boy. Many generators will not ship to California because of the carb laws but this generator pass all the tests. It’s also very light and easily picked up by even a string bean school boy.

4.) Briggs and Stratton P2200 Power Smart Generator

briggs-stratton-p2200-portable-generator

Time to go beefy. Time to go TOTAL VALUE. This is perhaps the most bang for the buck portable generator on this list. And it just so happens to be one of the quietest despite the attractive price tag. Briggs and Stratton have been on the power tools game for a long time and have taken their time tested commitment to quality into the generator market. 1 gallon of fuel is enough to run the unit for an entire 8 hours on a 25% load. If you want to save a couple hundred bucks but still want quality this is the generator to spring for.

5.) Pulsar PG2000iS Portable Generator

pulsar-pg2000iS-portable-generator

This bad boy is even cheaper than anything I’ve listed above and product owners are absolutely raving about it. Granted, at 1600 running watts it’s also the weakest of anything on the list so far. You have to do the math and decide how much power you need. Once again, in this post I have a handy chart about how much each of your appliances will pull from the generator. This is certainly enough to run a fridge and some lights if that’s all you need. It’s also very lightweight and quiet as a church mouse. In fact, all these portable generators I’m talking about are pretty much on par with each for being the quietest out there.

6.) Powerbuilt 2000 Watt Portable Generator

powerbuilt-s2000iS-portable-generator

Not as many features as the other generators on the list but packs a punch. Pound for pound, the Powerbuilt portable generator delivers the most bang for the buck hands down. The thing is, at 61 decibels it’s also the loudest on the list. With that said, the difference is hardly negligible and you’d need a well trained ear to even notice the fluctuation in sound. An overall great generator for the price point.

7.) WEN 56125i Portable Generator

WEN-survival-generator

Probably one of my favorite on this list for features and raw value. Lot’s of people really like this portable generator. Best of all, the noise it generates is comparable to the decibels measured in a regular conversation. That’s very quiet especially for something powerful enough to run many of your favorite appliances. This unit is perfect for tailgates, RV’s, or even good for your house for the occasional power outage. Plus it’s extremely portable so you can take it wherever power is needed with little hassle at all. It’s easy to win with WEN.

8.) Honda EU2000I Super Quiet 2000 Watt Portable Generator 

Honda-EU2000I

And last but certainly not least we have the top seller and THE hands down quietest portable generator on the market today. This is the Honda EU2000I. Honda has been the leader in generators since the dawn of the technology, providing the best most efficient power for homes, job sites, camping trips, and many other scenarios. Honda technology is the best in the business. Not only do you have the quietest unit possible but the most fuel efficient as well. It’s well known that Hondas make the best generators and while the EU2000I is expensive, it so for good reasons. Check out the reviews for yourself to see why other portable generators simply don’t compare.

Conclusion

There you have it. Some seriously quiet generators you can take a look at. Remember, it comes down to knowing your power output requirements and then choosing a portable generator that can handle the load. For the most part, many of these generators are about the same as far as sound levels go. That’s what you get with inverter style generators – good clean energy and low decibels of sound.

Any questions? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Champion 3100 Watt Inverter Generator Review

champion-3100-watt-generator

First we had the traditional generators which ran on standard gas. These beasts were heavy and cumbersome to transport especially if you own an RV or travel trailer. Standard generators also don’t produce a clean enough electrical output for use with modern electronics like your laptop, smartphone, tablets, and refrigerator.

Thankfully we now have inverter technology. The Champion 3100 watt inverter generator is the perfect unit to load into your RV, truck, or travel trailer. Perfect to take out into the boondocks and power many essential devices without having to be tapped into the precious grid.

Let’s take a look at the specs and features of this inverter generator

Specifications and Features

  • 3100 starting watts and 2800 running watts
  • 3 outlets (2 standard 120AC and 1 RV receptacle)
  • 20.1 x 20.5 x 26 inches
  • 171cc single cylinder engine
  • 1.6 gallon tank
  • 8 hours run time on 25% load
  • 80 lbs
  • Quiet
  • Gasoline powered
  • Quick touch control panel
  • Clean electricity for all electronics

Full Review

champion-3100-watt-generator

My hunt for the best inverter generator led to many expensive models mainly from Honda and Yamaha. While these are reportedely the best in the business I figured I’d give the much cheaper Champion a try. I heard good things about this model and didn’t want to blow an entire months worth of income on a Honda or Yamaha.

You see, going out into the wilderness requires some precauation. You need to power all your goodies and you don’t want to create too much noise. The nice thing I noticed about this generator is the low volume of noise when you start the unit.

The Champion 3100 watt runs on regular unleaded gasoline. I thought this meant the unit was going to be a loud beast for sure. This wasn’t the case. Of course I unboxed the unit first. I did notice the box was banged up a little during the shipping process but no visible damage to the generator itself was observed. I added both the 10w-30 oil and the gasoline to the unit and fired it up.

I was surprised the generator started on the 2nd pull. Having had my fair share of problems with pull starts I was expecting a brutal battle on this front. This was not the case and I stood back for a while just watching it hum along quite silently.

I knew if I was to truly put it to the test I needed to plugin some components. The unit was happy to run a mini fridge, a couple small lights, and a small portable AC unit with zero problems. This was in fact all I needed it to while out on my camping excursions.

Even with a full a load the generator kept to it’s low hum, maybe getting only slightly louder as I tested the full load capacity.

It’s important to note there is a break in period. When your receive the unit you want to make sure to run the unit without any load for an hour. After the first hour bring the load to 25% and run for another hour. Do the same for the consecutive hours at both 50, 75, and 100% load capacities. This ensures the unit is not placed under maximum stress right away and allows both the oil and gasoline to cycle through the machine at an even pace.

Finally, the unit comes on wheels with a convenient handle to drag it around wherever you need to be. Even a small person could manage to wheel this thing to the back of a truck and throw it straight in.

Conclusion

Inverter generators are a great piece of gear to have on hand. In fact, they even work well in the home although many people use them for camping due to efficient portability. The Champion 3100 inverter generator is indeed a champion when it comes to providing you with excellent power. The unit is inexpensive compared to most other inverter generators and the reviews are actually quite good. In fact, I would say this is even comparable to the more expensive generators from Honda but Honda is well known for having the quietest inverters around. Is it worth the extra $1000 though? I don’t think so. For the most bang for the buck you can’t go wrong with a solid Champion.

Any questions? Let me know in the comments below.

Champion 3500 Watt Generator Review

champion-3500-watt-generator

In this review we’re taking a look at Champions most popular generator. This is the Champion 3500 watt generator. Looking around at other brands I noticed the Honda And Yamaha varieties appeared to do the same thing but cost way more. I found the Champion and must say I am impressed overall. I will tell you a few snags you might hit along the way though.

First let’s take a look at the features and dimensions. Like I said, it’s very similar to other generators on the market but much more affordable. The specs are as follows:

Specifications and Features

  • 3500 watts max load capacity
  • 26.8 x 20.9 x 22.8 inches
  • 105 lbs
  • 3 outlets – 2 regular and 1 single RV receptacle
  • Gas powered
  • 12 hour run time on 50% load
  • Pull start

Full Review

champion-3500-watt-generator

The Champion 3500 watt generator surprised me in a number of ways. First, the unit came in 2 days which is very fast for something like this even with Amazon prime. The whole thing was boxed up nicely and came with extensive documentation about using and maintaining the unit. I was worried it would have a big problem starting up in cold weather but was happy when it fired right up with only 2 pulls. I hate pull starts. I was thinking about getting something with a push to start switch but these are expensive and heavy due to the extra battery.

Dare I say the Champion 3500 watt generator fired up like a true champion. Of course I first added the oil and then the gasoline. Be careful when adding the oil. It’s easy to overflow so just go slow and don’t add too much. Basically from the unboxing of the generator to starting it took no less than 5 minutes. Seems like with other generators they can get fussy and require all sorts of carb and choke adjustments just to get going. The supplied manual tells you to put the choke in “choke mode” I found it much easier to start the unit with the choke closer to run mode. You’ll probably need to adjust this depending on the temperature of where you live.

Then it came time to test the unit in a real world scenario. Of course there was not real power outage but I wanted to at least see if this bad boy could power my fridge and some other essential items. It was more than happy to power my fridge, deep freezer, a couple lights and fans, and also powered various electronics like smartphones, tablets and computers. I was impressed.

While I didn’t test the total run time, I trust the documentation where it says you have a full 12 hours of run time on a 50% load. I imagine a near 100% load would cut this time down considerably. Not a problem if you have plenty of gas on had. Could be a problem if all you have is a gallon. Gas goes bad and so not many people have stores and stores of this precious commodity.

But what about noise level? I’ve been on construction sites where the noise of the generators was enough to scare the raccoons and rodents deep back into the holler. While no gas powered generator is completely silent, the Champion 3500 watt was considerably more quiet than some of the others I’ve ran across in various places.

One feature I like is the fuel shutoff switch. This allows you to burn any excess gasoline in the carb so it’s not sitting there and gumming everything up. The unit is also very easy to maintain and light enough for 2 people (or even one if you’re strong) to carry the generator wherever you need.

Conclusion

For an affordable SHTF generator you can’t go wrong with the Champion 3500. Champion is quickly becoming a well known brand for providing top notch generators at prices that undercut huge competitors like Honda and Yamaha. While these higher end generators come with other attractive features, Champion keeps it basic and gives you raw reliability and performance at a price you can afford. Grab one today and finally be prepared for that next power outage!

 

 

The 10 Most Common SHTF Scenarios and How To Survive

doomsday-prepping

SHTF can strike at a moments notice. Wherever you are, there is a plethora of disastrous possibilities lurking around the corner. In this post we’re going to cover a few of the most common SHTF scenarios and outline a blueprint for survival. Don’t get caught with your pants down!

1.) Financial Ruin

Not the most glamorous SHTF scenario but a common one nonetheless. Most everybody will experience a time when cash is tight, or they experience an injury and must pay medical bills. Added expenses are unforeseen and can throw you into a financial crisis. Preparation for these times is a simple formula of making as much money as possible and putting any extra you have into a rainy day savings account. I know some of you work very hard for little pay but see where it’s possible to expand your skillset to make more. Everyone is capable of learning new skills and either starting a business or becoming more valuable in the workplace.

2.) Power Outages

Power outages are very common even in the first world. I usually experience them twice a year and I live in a very developed part of the country. Especially if you live out in the wilderness, having a generator and enough supplies to see you through an outage is crucial. With a generator you can keep the fridge running and power smaller appliances like a couple lights. Ensuring you have flashlights and all the essentials like food and water is also crucial.

3.) Fires

Those of you living on the west coast of the United States undoubtedly understand the dangers of local fires. Many people this year had to evacuate their homes and many lost their homes all together. If you’re a homeowner ensure you have at least a 100 foot of clearance around your house. If there is a fire in your area pay close attention to your emergency response channels using an emergency radio or a police/fire scanner. Have your valuables ready to go at a moments notice and stock your bug out vehicle with essential survival gear like bottled water, a medical kit, and all the other pieces of SHTF gear.

4.) Natural Disasters

Similar to FIRE, many SHTF scenarious take the form of natural disasters. This year we’ve seen an abundance of hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and tornados. Prepping for these natural disasters is crucial to your survival. First, take stock of the most likely event in your location. Depending on your region you could be vulnerable to a number of catastrophic natural disasters, or perhaps not. Whatever the case, have a bug out plan ready to go to get you to a secondary location and be sure to have a proper bug out bag. Remember this – food, water, and shelter are your main concerns. Cover these bases and you’re good to go. Prepping is not that difficult or complex if you simply understand what the human body needs to survive.

5.) Civil Unrest

We’ve seen civil protests turn violent all over the nation. Do you live in a progressive city where these types of protests take place? The most important thing to focus on during riots and other periods of violence is your physical safety. Look into getting some form of self defense weapon and training. If anything, a can of pepper spray in your car can protect you if you get attacked. Make sure your home/apartment is well fortified from looters and have a well thought out escape plan and a second bug out location. Typically these types of things are dealt with by local law enforcement very quickly, but they can be deadly if you’re caught in the middle of the crossfire.

6.) Economic Collapse

This is similar to a personal economic collapse except on a larger scale. Economic collapse means many business’ go under and most employees get fired from a once lucrative job. When you can’t find work, what do you do? Self sufficiency is key here. IF you have family, everybody should pull their resources together and support one another. Learn to grow your own food and brush up on the many skills our great ancestors once relied on to survive back in the days.

7.) Nuclear War

North Korea, enough said. As they develop their nuclear program we slowly inch closer and closer to nuclear war? Will it actually happen and should preppers be worried? 

My first prep would be moving away from the major cities as these spots will be first on the target list. Depending on where you are survival could be a limited option based on your proximity to the blast. Short of building a fallout shelter surviving a nuke will prove difficult on ground zero, although it’s not unheard of. 

8.) Terrorism

Terrorist attacks are typically carried out by foreign adversaries but domestic terror attacks are not unheard of, especially in the case of the Unabomber and the many shootings we see across the nation. Preparing for these  can range from carrying a concealed weapon to always being extremely vigilant of your surroundings. Be especially vigilant in high risk areas like airports and major cities.

9.) Sickness

Pandemics or simply you or a loved one falling ill. The solution? If you’re currently healthy keep yourself that way. You don’t need to follow any crazy dieting plan either. Cut the sugar,  eat more veggies, and get your exercise. Proper care of your body and mind will lead to a bolstered immune system allowing you to fight off illness and protect your loved ones.

10.) Burglary

Very common for houses to get staked out and burgled by local baddies. These guys can be deterred on the cheap. First, get big dog. Be sure your motion sensor floodlights are BRIGHT and all the potential entryways to your house are well bolstered and secured. You can install an alarm system if you have the money but sticking the sign outside your house can be just as effective. From there, keep valuables locked up in a safe and arm yourself with weapons and ammo. The cocking of a shotgun will have these guys running for the hills in no time.

 

 

Top 5 Best SHTF Generators For Power Outages

shtf-generators

Chances are you’ve experienced a power outage in your lifetime, maybe even many of them. You know what it’s like to be thrown back to the dark ages. There’s the process of asking what is happening, and then a frantic hunt for flashlights and batteries begins (unless you’re a prepper of course!) A generator can solve most of your power outage problems in the event of SHTF or in the event of a downed tree over a power line.

If this is your first generator you probably have a lot of questions. What brand to get? What features to look for? How do they work?

The 2 Types of SHTF Generators

Traditional gas powered – Let’s take a look at the types of SHTF generators you’re going to no doubt come across when you shop. The first and most common generator is the simple gas powered engine variety. You typically see these at job sites and there is one thing you’ll notice – they are very loud. They do however output a ton of power and have a fairly long run time due to the expansiveness of the gas tank. Simply fill her up and start plugging in what you need.

Inverters – Somewhat new to the market is the inverter generator. These typically run on a 4 stroke fuel mix or a 12v battery provided by your car, bot, or RV. The advantage of the inverter is the power coming out is very clean and consistent. You can plug in your electronics without worrying about damaging the components. Inverter generators are much more quiet then the traditional generators. They quietely hum along while they power many of your electrical devices. The disadvantage of the inverter is the low power output compared to the traditional generators and limited run time. Because they tend to be smaller and portable in design, the fuel tanks are not nearly as large. And if you’re running one off a battery you’re limited to the charge capacity of the battery.

How many watts?

Power output is measure in watts. The amount of power a generator can produce determines how many appliances you can plug in and run. Certain appliances draw more power from the generator and therefore require more juice. Ask yourself, if the power goes out what things do you want to keep running? Most would like to at least keep their fridge online and power a few lights. Those are the essentials.

Here’s a reference table to give you an idea of what each of your appliances power requirements are:

appliance-power-requirements-1

appliance-power-requirements-2

Top 5 Best SHTF Generators

Let’s take a look at some hardware now that you have an idea about what you need.

1.) WEN 56200i Inverter Generator

This is a 4 stroke gas powered generator outputting extremely clean power. The WEN 56200i is extremely portable weighing in at a mere 48 pounds. It can produce 2000 watts of power which means you can power your fridge, the TV, and a couple lights no problem. If you want to move it to another part of the house simply pick it up or run extension cords to where you need power. On a half load you’ll get about 3 hours of continuous power before needing to refill the 1 gallon tank. The nice thing about the inverter is how quiet it hums along as opposed to the noisy generators that sound like garbage trucks.

2.) DuroMax XP4400EH

This is a multi fuel traditional generator. You can run the generator with either standard fuel or liquid propane. This gives you a bit of flexibility and redundancy as a prepper. As far as generators for preppers go, this is a no brainer. Maximum output is 4400 watts doubling the amount of the generator listed above. The larger gas tank also means you’ll be providing consistent power for much longer. This generator is also extremely quiet as far as traditional gas generators go.

3.) Champion 3500 Watt

The Champion is a popular one among RV enthusiasts but doubles perfectly as a great survival generator as well. This will run all of your crucial appliances with 3500 watts of sustained power. The Champion also features a built in surge suppressor to protect your appliances from sudden surges. On a half load, the Champion will run all your equipment for an entire 12 hours before needing a refill. Also very easy to start in cold weather.

4.) Honda EU2000I

Honda makes some of the best and most reliable generators out there. In return, you will be shelling out more cash. The Honda EU2000I is an extremely quiet inverter generator with the best fuel efficiency on the market. 1 gallon of gas will you get a solid 8 hours worth of run time. This is unheard of for typical inverter style generators. You can also connect multiple generators in parallel for even more power. This is the perfect generator for the minimalist prepper who wants the best. Easily power your fridge, lights, and electronics with super clean power output knowing all your equipment is safe.

5.) Honda 7oooW

I’m including this one for those of you who demand the best and most. This is the Honda 7000W generator. Of course, 7000 watts of output makes this the most powerful generator on this list. However, it also boasts a number of features that the others don’t. The electric start is a nice touch. This Honda includes a battery allowing you to start the generator at the push of a button rather than a pull cord. It does have the pull cord as a backup just in case the battery dies as well. The engine is fuel injected as opposed to a standard carburetor. This makes the Honda 7000w generator extremely fuel efficient. The design is well thought out with the service compartment easily accessible and the oil drainage in a spot that’s not going to make things messy. Very smooth to roll around throw in the back of a truck with a little help, or simply wheel it up yourself.

Conclusion

When TSHTF it’s good to have a generator to run basic appliances until power is restored. Generators last a long time so they are a worthy investment – especially if you’re a prepper or just getting into preparedness in general. Remember the two types of generators available to you and you can’t go wrong by selecting a generator from this list. I as well have done my own thorough research and found these generators to be the best in the business.

Any questions? Please let me know in the comments below!