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looking for Portable Power devices to survive Martial Law

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posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 06:57 AM
I have been making plans to bug out if Martial Law comes for a while now. Some of the things Ive done...

I have 3 emergency packs, one in the house and one hidden outside along a path I will be taking to get out of town.

The 3rd pack is hidden at a make-shift shelter Ive built in the mountains. The pack has nitrogen packed food which will last 25 years along with many other necessities (see my post titles complete guide to surviving martial law)

The shelter itself is built from local trees and some lumber I managed to get up there with my atv. Its partly built into a hill for concealment. Ive even started preparations to bring water from a stream via piping to the shelter.

I could survive just fine on my own in the shelter as it is but I have children and a wife to bring as well. Im thinking I want some electricity to power some devices such as...

electric heater
electric fan
portable dvd /tv player
HAM Radio

I dont want to be weighed down nor rely on batteries for power. I also definitely dont want a gas generator, I have one and theyre extremely noisy and rely on gasoline.

Im looking for a portable power device. Ive run across a few sites that have a portable solar device that seems decent. Winter is a consideration though as we get overcast skies from snowstorms. I would prefer a portable wind power device.

Keep in mind, I know nothing about electricity and wiring so Im not looking to build something. Im looking for a complete device where I simply just plug into it. And the device should have a battery to store power when Im not using it (i noticed several devices are just plug and use immediately with no means to save power for later use)

The one item Ive found so far...

The other ones Ive found are way to large to get into the moutains. And like I said, wind would be preferable. I ve even wondered about using hydro power (the stream really moves) but it would mean a device in the water that might be seen and I havent found anything anyway.

There doesnt seem to me much out there to choose from. The camping / survival sites Ive looked only have the small items that would recharge a cell phone or laptop. Nothing to allow a heater to run for hours though.

Please post any devices or websites you've come across if you can. Thanks


posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 07:12 AM
how much time do you have ? i would recom. solar panels . Also , if you put electricity into the water you can split H2O into 2H2 and O2 - hydrogen and Oxigen . This can be collected and used to produce electricity - using a so called "pile" or heating by burning the hydrogen. The only trouble is the storage of hydrogen , but i guess it is a good ideea for night-heating that would not require petrol. However, i suspect that solar panels are quite visible .
Another solution - invented in the 50s by russians - is to paint the solar pannels with a think layer of atomic waste - or anything that can produce atomic radiation - the atomic radiation would have the same effect as light- producing electricity.. Then you can pack them in sandwiches , and they would act exactly like a battery with life expectation of 10 years. You can put this underground - faar from your shelter, then wire it to your shelter.
If you have enough time, you can do some research into magnet perpetual engines, there are a very vew working models - so you can create motion that can be converted to electricity or heat .. for more info you can search for an Yahoo group called "minatowheel" . I never tested the models, but you can give it a try if you have the necessary hardware

more info here:

[edit on 9-1-2008 by sty]

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 07:17 AM

Originally posted by admriker444
Nothing to allow a heater to run for hours though.

There is no such portable power source, that could run a heater efficiently for hours, from electricity.

Even if you use a gas powered generator, you would be better off, to use that gas in a furnace directly, by burning it. And it would be completely quiet. You wouldn't believe, how much power you'd waste, if you'd use gas to power a generator, and the generator to power an electric heater.

For heating, it would be best, to buy a petroleum heater, and burry some tanks of the fuel along with it. It's the most efficient way. It's the only way, actually.

Solar cells have a very low efficiency. So if the sun isn't providing enough heat, a solar cell powered electrical heater wouldn't even provide 1% of that.

Besides, if you have enough temperature insulation (sleeping bags, clothes...) food is your best heater.


posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 07:25 AM
reply to post by deezee

You are right, the sleeping place could save lots of petrol needed for heating. Maybe your sleeping bed should be underground ( do not forget the air thou) , as @ 10 meters under you can have constant temperature across the year. You can create a mini-room - well insulated and protected and no larger than a few cubic meters ( like 3x2x2 meters would make it , just as lage as a super-king size bed)

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 07:30 AM
reply to post by sty

I kinda doubt he, or anyone else for that matter, will be able to build a working perpetuum mobile before the martial law.

The atomic waste / solar cell sandwich idea is interesting, but useless in practice. Have you seen the prices on atomic waste lately?
Besides, the efficiency would make it pointless for anything usefull.

It might work for powering a tiny computer in a satellite for years, but for heating there are no more efficient solutions than burning stuff.

Eating comes close..


posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 07:37 AM
reply to post by deezee
I was wondering if you got any data on the efficiency of the atomic-waste+solar pannels ideea. I only got a book from the 50s where they claimed efficiency of a full sunny day !

about perpetual motion idea - well.. this is why I asked about how much time he got haha.. it could take a while to develope one, but with some research you could find one person that created such a device.

on heating - agree , petrol is the best tech we have now , but there are alternatives for sure. I suggest this website as a start landmark:

it is not a traditional crazy website with untested ideeas as you can have real technology explained (beside untested ones)

I also remember one time an article about a farm that produced the heating from the animal waste.. (methane).. this can be quite self-sustainable

[edit on 9-1-2008 by sty]

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 07:37 AM
reply to post by sty

Yeah, the only long term solution is insulation.

A deep enough hole will maintain a constant temperature.

I've seen it done in Germany. A man lives in a hole with his family. But they go to bed in winter clothes.

- Hole
- warm clothes, sleeping bags (insulation, insulation, insulation)
- a lot of food and water.

There is no real long term heating solution, except for a camp fire.

Even a petroleum heater with a lot of fuel won't last too long. Especially due to bad insulation of the hole (lack of any real door...)

The only real use of electricity in such a situation would be for powering a radio. That can be done with a car battery and solar panels.

[edit on 9-1-2008 by deezee]


posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 07:42 AM
i got a wind-up camp torch . It can be powered by several minutes of rotating a little whell.
The lamp got a led-light system (3-9 LEDs), radio , flash red LEDs , USB recharger (must wind all the time for this one) , battery recharger , compass etc.. i paid 15 £ for this one. It works about 2-3 hours then you have to wind-up again. You can get battery-systems or capacitor ones..

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 07:55 AM

Originally posted by sty
I was wondering if you got any data on the efficiency of the atomic-waste+solar pannels ideea. I only got a book from the 50s where they claimed efficiency of a full sunny day !

If atomic waste can give solar cells as much energy as sun in summer, the efficiency is limited only by the solar cells themselves.

This would be around 15% with the best solar cells available to NASA.

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 08:29 AM

You said there is a river nearby.

Make your own hydro-electric generator.

I might try this in the future myself.


posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 08:39 AM
First you need to eliminate as much electrical load as possible. Forget the heater. Fire is free. Will you really need the laptop? There won't be any Internet. If it's for book storage then OK. For games... just take a deck of cards. The lamp can also be replaced by fire. Get some hot women to fan you with palms. Use a radio instead of TV, but if you must watch DVDs get one of those small folding portable players. The ham radio I can understand, but weigh it heavily.

Once you have the bare minimum of things you want to run off electricity, figure out your total wattage. Then design your power supply around your actual need +20% or so. Solar needs batteries unless you only plan on using power during the day. Battery selection should also be based on your actual needs. A single 105Ah deep cycle (about twice the size of and twice as heavy as a typical car battery) with a 500 watt draw will give you less than two hours of power before you start to dramatically shorten the battery's life. Do you see why electric heaters are a bad idea?

If you're not inclined to do a lot of electrical work or engineering, solar is probably out. You don't want off-the-shelf systems.

Hydro is fine if you have safe and secure access to a fast running water source and you can get your loads down far enough. A small hydro system will not provide much power.

I'd go propane generator with plenty of tanks and hope you don't run out of fuel before access to supplies is restored. But for longer term just get used to the idea of not having electricity. You don't need it anyway.

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 08:44 AM
here's an excellent source of tried and tested designs and guides on building wind/hydro DC generators

in particular, have a look at these two designs:

scrap-tech hydro-turbine

wooden low-rpm dc alternator

The wooden alternator could be hooked up to a driveshaft from an under/overshot water wheel powered by the stream, or even driven by pushbike-power

There is also a very good collection of low-pressure steam turbine/solar thermal/hydro/wind power design articles published by the Phoenix Turbine Builders Club which lean more toward steam powered DC generators, but very very thourough and informative!

[edit on 9-1-2008 by citizen smith]

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 08:48 AM
I wouldn't heat with electric heat regardless of what other "Modern" amenities you bring into your bug out shelter..

as far as a ham radio what did you have in mind there I am a ham Operator
and I have a Ten Tec Scout 555 which is from the factory 50 watts but I have done some mods to allow for 5 watt operation with a small rechargeable battery like from emergency lighting or an alarm system will run at 5 watts for an hour at least of course size is applicable to the amount of run time, I also have two folding 10 watt solar panels that fold down to about 8 X 10 and only 3/8 of an inch thick, this setup will run for days without good sun at least that has been my experience with my particular setup, another nice thing is that if I get in a spot where I have more power available I can undo the mod by just plugging in a couple of cables and off I go at 50 watts..

I guess my point is don't think that you are gonna run a 100 watt radio for hours and hours it just isn't gonna happen, if you have a radio great test the power usage and go from there but if you don't I would look at something like the Yaesu FT817ND it is a good little rig that will run on AA batteries for about 2 hours and longer with external power..

as far as heating what is wrong with wood?

Also you probably won't have time for fun and games the whole play station / TV thing will just take up space and waste power as well as take up time you will no longer have to waste, it takes a lot of energy and time to gather wood for cooking heating bathing, not to mention the amount of time you will spend on hunting and fishing for food, and gathering edible local plants yep looks like no more free time..

My two cents


posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 09:51 AM
reply to post by geocom

I wont be spending that much time gathering food. Ive got enough food stockpiled to last several months. Ive got seeds for potatos which grow really well in the area. Ive got a stream to fish although I havent had much luck yet. And there is plenty of game around to hunt.

I figure we could easily last a year with some luck. Thats my goal anyway. I figure worst case it will take a year before things are back to normal and we can just go home (hopefully).

My family and I have camped the area and worked on the shelter about 5-6 times a year going on 3 years now. We're pretty much aware of what we want and need on extended time in the mountains.

And I wasnt referring to a television. We have a small 9' portable dvd player. A year is a long time without any entertainment so its a must. I figure the solar power device ive found so far would cover that item at least.

The heating device is one of those small one-room heaters. It doesnt use that much electricity really. A campfire is bad for two reasons...1. easy to spot and 2. cant make a fire inside a wood shelter, too smokey and dangerous.

Storing gasoline isnt feasible Im thinking. Doesnt gas break down or something once its stored too long ?

I was considering a small portable heater that runs on those small propane canisters. I suppose I could store enough of those to use the heater when it really gets cold.

Nuclear waste, and the other suggestions were a little crazy and not realistic (no offense). I no nothing about electrical stuff. I need something I can use right out of the box.

I think I might go with the solar device I found. Its portable, small enough to carry and would provide enough power to let the family watch a movie or two every night and possibly power a few other small electrical devices.


posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 10:04 AM
Those little no-vent propane heaters are nice. You still want to ventilate to keep the air fresh. Just stay away from electric heaters. You're talking 600-1500 watts with the majority at the high end. Electric heat is inefficient and power hungry. 250lbs of batteries and about 30sqft of typical solar panel to recharge on a sunny day just to run a 1000watt heater for six hours.

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 10:20 AM

Originally posted by admriker444
The heating device is one of those small one-room heaters. It doesnt use that much electricity really.

A small bathroom heater can range from 500W to 1000W. A slightly larger room heater would be 2000W or more. Besides, even this wouldn't do much good in a drafty hole in the ground.

There is NO way of powering this somewhere in the woods. Seriously! Other than forcing a fast stream through a quite large generator, you'd have no way of powering it.

Solar cells have an efficiency of around 10%, maybe less. If there isn't enough light to warm you by itself, imagine how little 10% of that will do. Less than 10% actually, since efficiency is always less than 100%. Much less actually. You might end up with

posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 05:40 AM
A very simple solution to the heat issue is a small woodburning stove.

[edit on 10-1-2008 by craig732]

posted on Jan, 10 2008 @ 11:19 PM
reply to post by admriker444

If you have a stream close by, why not go the hydro turbine route. Its going to generate far more electricity than solar and is more reliable than wind. Hydro turbine power will be DC voltage just like the other two. If your electrical appliances are AC (like you would plug into a wall at your house) you'll need a power inverter. Inverters have a nominal DC to AC power loss of 20%. Add up all the watts of the appliances you want to use in a crisis, add 20%, and this is how much power you need to generate. Watts / Volts = Amps. You may find this formula helpful in your calculations. I think you'll find that the electric heater is going to be difficult due to power consumption.

posted on Jan, 11 2008 @ 09:27 AM
Without sounding too pessimistic I think you really need to reevaluate the situation. The reality of martial law versus hiding out in the wilderness is manifold. It would be much better to learn how to operate underneath the radar of toe government. Hiding in the wilderness will only get you caught. From your post I don't believe that you really are ready mentally for what you are planning. How much time have you actually spent in your campsite? Why isn't it vented so that you could burn wood? How exactly are you trying to catch your fish and hunt game? From my experience in this type of situation I just can't see that you really are ready for such an endeavor. Certainly it is hard to survive without the niceties of civilization but is is very possible. Yes I too have children and my favorite time to go camping is Nov.-Mar. Yes I take my kids and no we don't use electricity. Knowledge is the key not gadgets. You my friend sound way to dependent on things and not yourself. I'm not ragging on you but trying to help and maybe keep you and yours alive.



posted on Jan, 11 2008 @ 02:56 PM
reply to post by admriker444

have you looked into vegetables as a power source? (yeah yeah, youck it up, but it's true) there's a video on YouTube where a guy was able to power an iPod for 20 mins. with an onion.

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