When it comes to creating electricity off the grid, there are many solutions available for your home or your bug out location. However, if you are mobile and you need to find a solution for your bug out bag, you don’t have many options and you have to rely on the classic batteries or rechargeable batteries. There are some solutions available out there that are unknown to preppers and we will discuss them in the following article.
For all the solutions researched we had two things in mind: mobility and portability. If you can’t carry it with you in your BOB, then it is of no use and you might want to look for something else.
Most preppers will need a power generator or charging device in order to power up their portable devices (phones, tables, flashlights, UV Water filters, etc.).
The Biolite Camp Stove
This innovative device that has been launched in 2012 and besides being a camping stove, it’s also a power generator able to create electricity for charging led lights, mobile phones or any other device that you may carry with you. You can cook meals and boil water, while charging your phone at the same time. It uses as fuel any biomass you can find, from sticks to pinecones. It is portable and compact, having a design that allows it to nest inside itself, saving space in your BOB. The technology behind it is pretty simple and effective, the device uses the heat from the fire and converts it into electricity via a thermoelectric generator. Output: 2W, 5 V continuous, 4W, 5V at peak. The biolite camp stove can be acquired from Amazon.
The PowerPot is a thermoelectric generator that uses heat to generate electricity, similar to the biolite camp stove. The device has no moving parts or batteries, is light (14 oz), and since the thermoelectric technology is built into the bottom of the pot it can produce electricity from a wide variety of heat sources. All you need to do is add water and place the PowerPot on a fire and it will start generating electricity within seconds. Just plug in the high temperature cable to the back of the pot to charge your USB devices while cooking or boiling water. This device has a built in regulator which insures that you safely charge your USB devices. The larger the temperature difference between the water in the pot and the bottom of the pot, the more electricity the PowerPot will produce. For example, melting snow is a great way to generate electricity, because snow is so much colder than a flame. Output: 5W, 5V. This too can be acquired from Amazon.
The SolarMonkey Adventurer Solar Charger
This is a portable, lightweight (0.9 oz) solar panel designed to charge smartphones, GPS, LED lamps and other devices. Based on product specifications, it can charge an iPhone 6 in 3-4 hours and a GPS system in 2-3 hours. The solar panels are housed in an aluminium case that acts as a heat-sync, making the panel both efficient and hard-wearing and it can charge devices even in low light conditions thanks to the MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker) technology included. The non-reflective, photovoltaic solar panels are tough enough to take the general knocks and spills. The solar panel can open to a 225 degree angle which enables it to fit around your bug out bag or along the roof of your tent. Output: 5W, 5 V. The SolarMonkey charger can be found on Amazon.
The Rawlemon Beta.ey S Solar Charger
Rawlemon is a company that designed and holds the patent for a solar charger that is able to track the movement of the sun and the moon to produce electricity using a better type of solar cells. I’ve written about their main household generator here. This company also produces portable chargers that feature the same technology for full environmental integration. The charger presented here, Beta.ey, combines three products – a revolutionary concentrator photovoltaic module, a full transparent ball lens acting as an atmospheric lamp during the night, and a breakthrough, micro dual-axis tracking unit assembled with Multi-Junction high efficiency solar cells – into one photovoltaic module. The device can charge all smartphones, tables and led based lighting devices you can think of. Output: 1,6 W, 5V. I must say that this small device looks really cool, just like his big brother. It can be acquired only from the manufacturer’s web page.
The Pedal Power Box Generator
This generator has two functions: it produces electricity and it keeps you in shape. The Power Box is a pedal generator that can be used with your legs or arms. It generates electricity as you pedal, like on a stationary bicycle. Charge the batteries of a full range of portable electronics. Or, charge external batteries to power laptops and all kinds of appliances — either directly from the batteries or through an inverter. The Power Box has a universal outlet. It allows you to plug in chargers from anywhere in the world to charge your portable electronics. It is a powerful and versatile generator that can produce up to 20 watts and is a great addition to emergency and survival kits. The best thing about this device is that it can charge more than two devices at the same time and it doesn’t rely on sunlight. For some, the downside of this generator might be its weight, since adding 4 pounds to your bug out bag can significantly increase its overall weight. Output: 20W, 120V. You can check it out as well on Amazon.
The Pocket Socket Manual Crank Generator
This is another one of those electricity generators that will leave you tired, with arms feeling numb. It is a hand powered generator that has the same style electrical socket found in every American home. With it, you can generate up to 10 watts of electricity for any rechargeable devices such as mobile phones, led lanterns, ham radios, walkie-talkies, radios, UV water purifiers and GPS. It features a large, sturdy crank arm with an easy-to-grip knob that can be used left or right-handed and cranked clockwise or counterclockwise. It is lightweight (15 oz) and portable, it doesn’t require sunlight to work and it can be a good addition for your bug out bag. The Pocket Socket generator is available on Amazon.
Besides these power generators there are also some based on fuel cells, but I’ve chosen not to list them here as most of them require additional costs (fuel cells require charging and/or changing). And there are some hydro portable generators prototypes that are currently under development, but unfortunately, for those we still have to wait.
In the end, we have to keep in mind that a good generator has to be durable, lightweight and it has to function under any circumstances and regardless the weather conditions. And last but not least, it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money.
Stay safe and God Bless!
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