Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Green Alternative for Your Bug Out Bag!

What's in your bug out bag?
Do you keep an emergency preparedness bag ready to grab if something causes you to evacuate your home on short notice?  What do you keep on hand for times like these?

I've added a new item to my emergency preparedness list...solar lights!
Now I don't mean those expensive newfangled flashlights although I'm sure they are very handy.  I'm talking about outdoor sidewalk lights.  I picked up a dozen, 99 cent solar lights at Walmart while I was getting a few things before the last storm hit.
When we got home, I pulled out all the tabs to activate the lights and was surprised to find that they already had a small charge and began to glow.  I put all the lights in a small bucket that would hold the lights upright and set the bucket on the porch.  Since the storm was already on her way, the skies were overcast and threatening heavy rain soon.  That evening it was dark earlier than usual and I noticed a bright glow coming from the porch.  All the lights in the bucket were brightly lit!
We had a test run even though the power never went out.  I placed a light on every other step so we could see to come down at night if the power was off.  They were still lit in the morning and spreading plenty of light over the steps and the hall...like night lights!
We have an iron chandelier that holds 4 taper candles.  I removed the posts from the solar lights and with a little padding they stood up very well in the holders.  This idea is so versatile!  You can use them in place of candles during an outage without fear of fire!  I'm going to keep my eyes open for deals on solar lights to add to my survival kit.

Other ways to use these little renewable energy wonders:

You could strap one or two on the outside of your backpack while hiking to provide light while you set up camp.

You can make your own solar lantern from a canning jar by removing the post and clear cover from the light. Then, mount the solar panel with the actual light to the top of the jar.

If you pack a survival kit for your family in case of emergency, be sure to include a small solar yard light in each one.  Although they can't completely replace the directional light of a flashlight, they could provide adequate light for those in between times allowing conservation of flashlight batteries.  If your family or group should be separated, it may help relocate each other in the dark.

Include the small post, too because it could be used, in a pinch, for a number of things besides providing a handle for the light, like diverting water into a filter bottle, as a digging tool, etc. The inside of the post could store a bit of rope or other survival needs.

Also, the little pointed stake that goes in the ground could be used as an anchor for a tent/shelter rope, as a digging tool, maybe even as a spear type point for fishing/hunting.

Yes, solar lights use the power of the sun to gather energy but once you start thinking about it, the ideas for bringing them indoors, especially during a power outage or even just to conserve power, are phenominal!

This post has been shared with Wildcrafting Wednesday #151

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1 comment:

  1. Great Blog! You can use your solar lights as a charger for other batteries for lights or radios that you carry to the field.Thanks, Scott

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