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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heck, I can barely keep gas for a month ... a gallon of milk seems to outlast it :)

So, as I peruse the old threads, chainsaws, etc., for fuel storage related issues and operation of the things that need gas, I'm coming to the conclusion that off-grid solar is about the only way ... that is, solar, driving battery-operated chainsaws, electric cars/4-wheelers/mopeds, & any other all-electric thingy in the home or outside (except where propane & firewood are available for a function). Inside, solar off-grid drives some or all; outside, RYOBI-like batteries drives some or all of the device lineup (and lineup keeps growing).

I keep propane on hand, and can stretch that to months or (a few) years, and wood would keep on forever (albeit the amount would reduce down as my gathering efficiency is reduced), but for practical everyday use, I can't think of anything better than battery-operated devices. Think a string of RYOBI devices, all running from the battery size of your choice.

I'd need enough solar capacity to run enough battery chargers to supply those devices, and enough batteries from RYOBI or others on-hand to drive the things that I can run long after the gas gives out. I don't know how much mileage you get out of your rechargeables, but mine seem to last years, and I've actually rebuilt one (pried it open, replaced the batteries, charged it up again, and didn't die in the process :)

Thus, the only flaws might be: a.) how long can we keep such batteries in storage, to replenish our needs as the current crop dies out, and b.) what devices can you get in the RYOBI-like line of devices (chainsaws, tillers, etc.)

Just need to think thru the acquisition & storage of the requisite pieces ...

Thoughts? Other flaws that my captain obvious split-personality didn't catch?
 

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Isn't this Homesteading Today ? you get rid of all those new fangled devices and get a team of horses.
a few implements and a buck saw and a good ax.
a few hand tools.

seriously, for the items you have to mix oil and gas for, and don't use them for long periods. empty the gas mixture and put it into your truck or tractor. the oil will not harm them.. keep rotating your gas supply.. use non ethanol gas for storage, it lasts longer.. might cost two bits per can more..
I understand your post was "tongue in cheek"
at least I hope so..
//////jiminwisc/////
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sure, it's HST, but a.) I'm in the SEP forum, and 2.) I want multiple layers ...

I understand the strategy of replacing each modern item w/ the equivalent old-way item, like a gas tiller w/ a draft horse, or a chainsaw w/ handtools. That's a layer (the last layer?) ... with it's own set of issues.

While I'm not opposed to the old-way strategy *very* long-term (especially as modern stuff dies out and I can't repair it), it's definitely cheaper & easier to stick a battery into storage, vs a draft horse. Given the increase in new-fangled-ness capabilities, a RYOBI-like battery scheme lets me extend the tech period, at much more convenience (for awhile), than anything gas-based, and w/o the extensive infrastructure requirements of the horse layer. These things (strategies? layers?) just weren't available in the old days ... they at least need some consideration.

I'm thinking more in terms of my back, I guess ... make it last as long as possible before I turn LHotP. I don't trust how easy the Ingalls family made it look ... I'm pushing that layer to the last.

If fallback items are the strategy, or layers of fallback, then perhaps it is: 0.) gas lasts about a month or so, and runs out ... all gas devices fall over 1.) battery-operated devices (I'm already off-grid, and can support battery charging) lasts me 1 or more years (and I'm thinking 2 - 5 yrs, if I store things correctly), 2.) hand-tools next, if the technology goes quicker than I thought, and 3.) the old ways, if I can keep a horse from dying under my care/feeding, or from being shot/eaten by the hordes ...

To be honest, I don't know what the scenario/hordes will allow, I'm just layering on the layers (sorry) in hopes that the best/easiest layer is there when I need it ...
 

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the pre mixed fuel in a can has a 2 year shelf life

pump gas if you add a stabilizer will last much longer than the month your getting, how much longer has a lot to do with how it is stored.

I keep hearing good things about https://www.amazon.com/Briggs-Strat...&keywords=briggs+and+stratton+fuel+stabilizer

but I bought a bunch of seafoam on sale and haven't tried the briggs product yet.

I also rotate and use 91 octane ethanol free so I don't use the seafoam even that often.

I label my cans with painters tape on the spout with the date purchased.

although I was thinking the other day , what good would would my great chainsaws and fresh mixed gas be in a a state of anarchy I would draw attention for miles.

so I just figure I am prepping for the next storm to rip through and close every road , I am just finishing burning the wood from the last storm that blocked all the roads in every direction.

having stores of gas in cans in handy , I end up using most of it in rotation when she who will not be named leaves her van on E and we have somewhere we need to be. dump a can or two in and go.

I like the EZ-pour spouts I pick up cans on sale and old cans and fix them with the spout kit

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CYNDNM...d_r=96080fb3-12fc-11e9-bb11-db82b665058b&th=1

or for storage just caps

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NB3UUD...s Tank Cap (Coarse Thread)&sb-ci-a=B00NB3UUDK

even my bar oil is in a can with an ez-pour I just knocked the screen out on those spouts
 

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Hubby puts Sta-Bil in gas when he buys it. We've had some last a few years. Seems like the higher octanes last longer.

His brother put leftover oil and gas mix for the off road motorcycles into our car once. Messed it up good, it never did run right after. He put almost 5 gallons in the car when the tank was nearly empty. This was a '79 4 cyl, don't know how it would affect newer cars but I do know I would be very upset if someone put an oil-gas mix in my vehicles.

But that wasn't your question was it? The problem with the batteries and solar chargers would be the eventual deterioration of both the panel and batteries. And even then, eventually the tools wear out. But there are a bunch of tools you can buy that are battery operated. Just about everything from mowers to pole chain saws. I think as time goes on there will be a larger choice of battery operated devices. I know Stihl has a nice line of heavier equipment. The big problem is the huge assortment, both of brands and battery capacities. There is not currently a single line that carries every possible tool or a compatible battery range. Flashlights and drills don't need as heavy a battery where mowers, chainsaws and vacuums need heavier batteries. And some areas simply don't have the capacity for solar charging that other areas do. You would need a larger array in low light areas and seasons.
 

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Some fuels that will run some engines will keep much better such as alcohol and kerosene also i have it on good authority that aviation gas while more expensive was developed to stay good for many years its also has higher octane rating.Apparently the AVGAS was developed not just because of greater reliability being needed for aircraft but as part of our cold war era homeland security needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've been running RYOBI tools for longer than I can remember, because of Home Depot.

Electric chainsaw, flashlights/lanterns, power tools, etc. ... all run off of std (ryobi) 18v rechargeable batteries. The batteries have gotten bigger/better thru the years, w/ 40+ volt batteries . I'm impressed about what ryobi (and all the competitors) are doing with battery-driven tools.

My thoughts were to keep this system of battery devices running long after the grid (& corded) devices were done, with the off-grid solar stuff keeping things charged; this saves my back a little longer.

The battery-powered power tools scheme still seems workable, given the right storage of pieces of the system; about the only flaw I've thought of is long-term storage of the batteries (how long?), trickle-charging them to keep them alive, etc. I think the newer lithium batteries save me there ...

As a bonus, there are NO GUN RESTRICTIONS on the nail guns :) Buy as many of the guns as you want, and as much nail ammo as you need ... open carry (tool belt), etc., and the ryobi green color is too cool ... none of my other guns come close (to this color). Haven't tested on the local flora & fauna yet, as I can't sneak up close enough to "nail them" ... sorry ... there's an off-switch somewhere ...
 

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Nothing lasts forever, eventually it will be back to the hand tools.


Moonshine is a great alternative fuel and is easily made, especially if you do not intend to drink it as that version is much easier to make.

Much of the new equipment is already highly moonshine compatable….a quick youtube search will yield all the information you need to know, because in the end, information is king .


Small solar systems are great for lights, charging some tool batteries etc or even offsetting some of your current power usage in case of short term emergencies, especially if you do a system that is not only tied to batteries, some systems need no batteries and still work when the sun is shining...batteries will eventually fail.


The key to anything is matching it to your needs/skills...…….at some point the body is no longer to operate manual machines, at some point all things fail and at some point you will no longer care about the 2 previous failings.


Self sustinence is a hard road, the biggest thing you can do is reduce....reduce the need for lights, reduce the need for machines, reduce ,reduce, reduce,...…….food/water/shelter...….minimal output for the biggest gains in those 3, will eliminate many needs.


Water supply to me is number one, we can eat almost anything and anyone...……..and shelter can be a glorified brush pile..…….....electric and gas is optional , reduce reliance as much as possible, reduce creature comforts......we heat in cool in weather that is not needed in most cases...…...fire is the easiest and at the point you can not make fire and freeze to death, you die.


Which is the greatest inescapable fact there is, at some point you can`t or will not want to continue...…


Redundancy...…...some decent hand tools, a electric chainsaw as batteries last 10 years or so now with small solar charger, a gas saw that will run on moonshine, stock piling wood now, do you want to cut wood under fire or when bandits are about....you can stock pile quite a bit of wood with minimal steps to keep it good for 10 or more years.


Water is heavy and the most critical and if you have a mile walk to get it, it will be one of the first things the body can not do....water is heavy stuff to move any distance.

Design things now, so it becomes easier when the times are tuff...….second story bedroom is a bad idea, stairs get thousands per year, heating a huge area is waste and keeping the area 80 degrees is a waste...….super insulate now, to save now and make life cheaper and easier later....reduce reduce reduce.


I live very comfortable in about 400 square feet.....plenty of room, not cramped...…...probably could reduce down to 200 square feet before everything was about space constraints, at 400, I never really give space a thought.


The more you can reduce daily tasks and make them easier the better...….consolidate, minimize and make them as easy as possible. Reduce maintenance and care items to a minimal,....does it require yearly or every 5 years to keep from breaking or leaking or failing, lowes will not be open if you are in a survival situation.


Construct a daily lifestyle right now to make it easier when we get old/lazy/hurt or a event happens...…...redundancy and reduction...…...certain garden items are high yield low input, some are super high input, low yield. Some animals are the same, you want low input, high yield.

Storage of food is huge...…..the bigger the better,...….you can not plan for everything, but you can be ready for most things. If all your food storage is canned goods, good luck ever moving more than 6 months of that if a situation arose where you had to leave your primary residence...canned good are extremely heavy and fragile, diversify, reduce, minimize.

Adopting a lifestyle now and minimizing is the best prep you can do...…..if you are already living it, then adaptation will take no time at all when some event happens.


It is simple to see what you need right now, go out and flip the main breaker off, then leave it off for a week,...…...you will know pretty quick where your preps are short.

You would be shocked at what a cheap 500 buck solar system will do after the power has been down for a week...….12 volt led lights, charge cordless tools...….even run small things from a cheap 100 watt inverter meant for the car......laptops etc will still charge. A small solar panel, a car sized battery and a small inverter are cheap...…...a couple led lights in the house that are 12v can run for weeks on just a single small rechargeable battery, a large battery will power these lights for months and months...……


If you live up north where it gets crazy cold and deep snow and you think in the next 5 to 10 years you might not be able to fell a tree and tote and chop it by hand, you might want to move now....cold deep winters off the grid require much physical endurance...…...same thing if you live where it gets 110 all the time and it requires A/C all the time...…


Its not logical to prep at 65 in the Alaskan bush or in the Sonora desert unless you accept the fact that preps will be limited and you might not make it, of course, one can accept the fact they might not make it anywhere and at that point, you can accept not prepping either.


Location location location, minimize minimize minimize......reduce reduce reduce...….I have lived in places it is soo easy to survive you could easily do it and some places it was fight to barely exist. No reason to make it a up hill fight when not forced.


Do what you can, do what you need/use and make peace with the chips falling where they may as you will never cover all contingencies or possibilities...….make the comfort zone and cushion you can....because you might fall over in 10 minutes or live to be 100 and long enough to wear a axe and saw down to keychain bobbles...….nothing lasts forever including us, prepare accordingly and make peace with that.


I prep for a depression type event or a mother nature type event, but do not worry much about a madmax style event where it has went to heck and is never returning, that's no life and no place to raise a family......if it has all feel apart for 5 to 10 years, all preps and plans are probably void at that time anyway.
 

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For long term there is not a great solution. You will run out of gas or propane. You will get too feeble to cut wood by hand or carry water. Growing enough food to keep the reaper at bay is a lot of work.

Solar may be the longest term solution. The panels have 25 year warranties and probably will last lots longer than that. Charge controllers may last a long time or die tomorrow, keep a spare or 2. Batteries last about 5 years. Batteries that come dry with a bag of acid keep indefinitely so keep spares. You should get 25 years past the EMP crash of the grid. After that I'll be dead and won't care.
 

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When the grid crashes it will make very little difference how well you have prepped. The trick at that point will be hanging on to whatever you might have long enough to use any of it. Mad max will look like paradise. Like it or not mankind has grown totally dependent on the grid for its survival. In the words of a great president.... "It's too big to fail". Yeah, he was talking about the banks, but it the same principle. For those unfortunate enough to survive the first wave of mass hysteria and the mayhem and slaughter produced by the lack of food, water, and basic nessecities, there will follow massive spread of disease brought on by the rotting corpses littering the ground, polluting the water and air. Best for everyone to keep the grid up and running.
 

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people and all these doomsday scenarios....its just bull tucky. I swear these people just sit around and invent things in their heads.
No I doubt it will ever be that bad frankly...and there simple is absolutely no reason for it to be so, or any real indication it would be so. What is everyone suddenly going to forget how physics work and science in general? no...we will not....ergo., everything that we have done already, we will know how to do again, so 'if' anything happens to magically wipe everything out, we would simply rebuild it. People are people...we are not going to immediately start roaming the countryside trying to kill everyone and take their stuff, anymore than we already are now. Our guns will still work perfectly fine, a EMP isn't going to zap them all out of commission...and guess what? if it does...we will still make more.
If the so called 'grid' goes out, and magically gets 'zapped by a ray gun of grid zapping' guess what? we will repair it or ad-hoc it back together again, it is that simple. EMP's do not destroy everything, even if there was to be one that was powerful enough to stop it from working, 99% of whatever is zapped is still going to work...this isn;t the movies...a emp doesn't make things blow up with huge explosions that look cool. it just creates a electromotive force that causes electronic migration and shorts out a 'possible' weak connection within the device. sort of like when a light bulb burns out, it does'nt actually destroy the filament inside completely it just disconnects part of it and you can see the rest hanging inside the light bulb...if you reconnected that filament, guess what? the light bulb would work again.
would gas pumps stop working because maybe the electricity to them would stop working? well, yes perhaps. but trust me, we'd make manual pumps to get that gas out of those tanks fine, or just fix the electricity, or use a type of solar pump, or a hand made generator or, or , or,or...we'd be on it like white on rice though, you can count on it. you can invent all sorts of stupid situations and problems in your head all you want, but the truth is each and every one of them we would find the solution to, and fix it...because that is what we do as humans.
Stop being fools, seriously....we have enough problems to actually worry about without inventing things...and hey...looks like we made it past Y2k too....amaaaaazing.....not.
 

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You must not have talked with your parents about the depression era...…..things can get bad and did over night...…….people are very different now than then...……..forgetting a order of fries gets a 911 call now.


It would be the watts riots on a nation wide scale if hit depression era conditions now...…..maybe you are very far away from the massive impact the housing collapse had in 2008, but where we are, the homeless epidemic it caused is still daily and real....many of those people are living a mad max life right now under our noses.

We have mobile shanty towns of RV`s and vans packed with people living in them.....plus a huge population in the local river bottoms, who deal with rape/theft, murder and OD on a daily basis......nothing out of the ordinary to run across a dead one, theft is accepted like the delivery of the newspaper, it is expected daily...….


Solar flares are a very real danger, if we get another one like we had 100 years ago in this country, experts pretty much agree we are looking at 5-10 years to get back to normal......if rule of law holds up...…..we had the fire burn a few lines in our area last year and power was down for a week, ice storms that happen each year take down power up to a couple weeks in some areas...…….we are not recovering from a mild solar flare in 6 weeks, more like 6 years.....


It is foolish, well I will not even call it that, it is not something I would do is a better designation, I would not prep for a alien invasion, but there are far worse things going on, so I do not judge...some people spend their entire life making things look just so from car to house, which I believe is a wasted life...but it is theirs to waste.


What is foolish is to sit around thinking nothing can happen, what a person chooses to do about that is up to them...……...I understand if a person wants to do whatever they wants to do......even though I do not live in a bunker ready for doomsday, I fully get that there is a good chance that can happen.....having been in a few record setting disasters on the ground living it, I can see where things can degrade quite rapidly....

Both disasters were worlds apart and both had some horrific unpublished things that went on that were levels of rule of law being lost...…...it can slip out of control very quickly...…..I was not personally at ground zero for Katrina, but know people who were and it was madmax there for a while...….things that never made the news....


I do not want to scare you, I have friends that are private contractors that have been to many countries and we are no different here, things escalate out of control very rapidly as it would here.....even in recent natural disasters they have been to, there is a very very very small group that restores power and order and roads......if that group does not take action, people will fall into chaos pretty quick or at best, stay in the dark without roads.

There are do`ers and waiters.....by a huge margin most people are waiters, waiting around for things to get fixed and even if they wanted to help, have no idea how to restore high voltage service to thousands or how to run a D9 dozer to open a road, so they also wait for the do`ers...….. The few keep things going for the many, when the truckers stop running, it is 48 hours until chaos, unless a do`er steps in......most people are 9 meals away from anarchy......it just feels good to pretend they are not going to bludgeon the people next door for food after a few days with no food and it is comforting to think the people next door will not bludgeon you and eat you, so we all feel good pretending it can not or will not happen....


Just ask them soccer players in the crashed plane what they thought the next week was going to look like before the plane crash and if they ever envisioned what they would be living 24 hours later...….it only took one do`er to cook up some meat and take the first bite, then the waiters we on board and full steam ahead...….its not good to plan tomorrow around it and it is not good to ignore the possibilities...…..

I actually sleep a little easier knowing there are people who live in bunkers, the human race has a chance to keep on without me living in a bunker.....and even though I do not live in a bunker, I know there is a good chance they might need that bunker at some point...…..it is sheer luck and chance we have not nuked each other or another solar flare has not fired off directly at us.......satellite reception gets diminished all the time from near misses...…


Live your life like there is no tomorrow or not,...its peoples own life, do what you will...…...make the choices that make you happy. But out of all the things I see people do, preparing for tomorrow is one of the better choices I see made....whatever your vision of tomorrow is.
 

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Back when I was a petroleum storage specialist in the US of A army we used to send 55 gallon drums of Aviation Fuel to the combat areas. We expected that gas to be good for at least five years if left sealed. I do not remember ever putting any jet fuel in barrels.

Here in the boonies I buy nothing but non-ethanol gasoline for my small engines, some of them being very old. For small two-cycle engines I keep on hand some of the expensive pre-mix, I find that it will start and run engines that are slow to start on a service-station gas and oil mix. Once the engines are warm and free I cut them off and finish filling the tank with high-octane non-ethanol and oil mix. My four stroke engines all get a straight dose of 87-octane non ethanol, but I run the carbs dry before I put the engines away.

I do not expect to ever see the disaster that will drive us back to the stone age. People just will not put up with that. Recovery would be a matter of only a few months. Even if it took years the tough would still thrive at a lower level of expectations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, I've successfully stirred the pot ... running away now ...

I have to agree with elements of both the con- and pro-SHTF versions above. I like "hope for the best, plan for the worst", as I can't pick a winner at the horse races to save my life.
 

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Well I just discovered an alkaline battery fail. Had a package of AAA Duracell quantums in the toolbox in the basement. It's still a few years before their "expiration" date but the batteries are no good. Won't even work in a flashlight. Duracell is replacing them but that was our reserve stash.
 

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You might be able to work something out using hydrogen. Use sunlight and solar panels to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Then use a fuel cell when you need it to recombine the O and H, generating electricity and H2O. This may last a long time. Solar panels are warranted for 25 years and probably will go well beyond that, splitting water uses platinum as a catalyst so none is consumed, and you are not going to wear out the water.
 

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Solar is great for limited electrical power. Unless you but a forklift battery, however, the lifespan is at most about 10 years even with ones designed for solar (I have a 1260 watt array). There is no reliable data on whether solar panels would actually survive an EMP attack, which makes me uneasy. I have looked at Devilwatt's 100 watt thermoelectric modules that can be attached to the sides of a wood stove. Expensive, but usable even in the depths of winter when solar doesn't. There is a guy on YouTube (Mr Teslonian) who has a wood gasifier able to make usable oil and gasoline in limited amounts.
 
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