3.15.2016

Anker Compact Car Jump Starter and Portable Charger Power Bank with 400A Peak Current, Advanced Safety Protection and Built-In LED Flashlight

When I received the product, I was surprised to see how small and light it was. It's hard to believe that such a small piece of device can help me to prevent calling Roadside Assistance from AAA or such, make calls to request service, wait for them to arrive, watch them use their heavy looking batteries and finally get my car started.
The closest analogy for the size of the beautifully designed, chic looking, bag is that of 3 softballs lined up next to each other. The closest analogy for the weight is also close to that of 3 softballs. However, once you open the container, the actual battery is quite small, slim, and light, almost like a square shaped flashlight. You can say almost half of the weight is from the accessories.

IMPRESSION- The material, although plastic seems to be a good quality. Again, a surprise when comparing with a car battery. What I like most is that the instruction card is simple enough to get started quickly. If I was stressed and stuck out in the cold, the last thing I need is lengthy documentation. This illustrated quick start card was great but my favorite part of all was how simple and fail safe the whole process was to jump start a car. The jump starter will even flash red and green to show you that it's ready to do it's work. In a nutshell, you connect the 2 clamps to their proper places on the car battery, you start your car within 30 seconds, then remove the clamps.

I've never jump started a car and am not an expert, but with this simplicity, I would be comfortable to do so.

I also tested its ability to charge USB devices. I tried to charge 2 devices at once, since it has 2 ports and it seemed to work just fine. My cel phone was charging at a fast enough rate- about 1% for every minute or 2.

I'm so happy to be an owner of one this device. It even has an LED looking flashlight so whether I get stranded in the wilderness, in a rainy day, or in the darkness of an evening, I would feel safe using it.

I will not post a photo of how it looks like when charging 2 items.

I also want to add that I was at 1st skeptical that it would be compatible with my mid size car that's a V6 engine. I have a 2002 Camry V-6 with a 3L gas capacity. The Jump Starter works on 3L gas or 2.5L diesel vehicle engines so it should work just fine when the occasion arises.

I was supplied a sample for test and evaluation, and I promised that my review is fair and honest.

Anker's Biggest Portable Charger Giveaway

Anker and Ingress have joined forces to keep agents on the go.
300 Astro E4 13000mAh Ingress style portable chargers up for grabs.

 
Rules:
US Only.
Giveaway ends March 20th 24:00 PDT.
Winners will be emailed directly.
Anker reserves the right of final explanation to the giveaway.

Solo Stove

I really like products that are multi-purpose and versatile.

I bough the Solo Stove because it uses bio fuel- like twigs and tree branches to burn. You simply gather some dry materials and you would be able to create fire using your favorite fire starters or matches, or lighter.

Another plus, is that the Solo Stove is light and compact. It can be disassembled to become even more compact to fit about your back pack.

What's extremely cool is that it is compatible with another separate product from another manufacturer called the Trangia. Not only is it compatible, the Trangia will literally fit into the Solo Stove and adds another depth of versatility to your cooking equipment.  It's essentially a tiny stove that burns alcohol of all sorts.

Below is a video I made to demonstrate how to start a fire using the Solo Stove and heat up a pack of MRE (meals ready to eat). You might see me battling to start the fire, but that's because I lacked practice. When you get the hang of it, it will be easy.

And if you are interested in expanding your skills in starting a fire, check out the "top down burn" method.

Enjoy...

How to heat up an MRE pack with a Solo Stove 




Flood Preparedeness Giveaway Raffle

Let's cook without fire! Enter the contest from beprepared_com to win a HydroHeat with Mountain House meals here:


Receive Earthquake + Tsunami Text Alerts Free on your Cel Phone

If you would like to receive free real time update on tsunami and earthquakes, there is a way to receive text messages. It will 1st tell you where and the magnitude of an earthquake. Then another text message to tell you if there will be a tsunami.

Warning: It's great information but just know that they will text you even in odd hours like 3 am.

To receive tsunami alerts on phone send a text to 40404 and type follow nws_ntwc

A Huge Thank You to the National Weather Service, National Tsunami Warning Center.

Best 2 Free Informative + Entertaining Movies about Resiliency

A free movie from History Channel about Resiliency to watch during your day offs.

I love both of these. So entertaining: suspenseful enough to depicts a sense of reality yet, tasteful to show hope, perseverance, and a light at the end of the tunnel. And yes, very informative.

1) After Armageddonn - A SHTF scenario -History Channel
This movie is beautiful because it has a complete timeline. It starts from when the problem begins (an economic meltdown), what happens to the people in the city and the main family, the difficult journey to civilization, and how things look when things settle down.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8rYaPfFLgo (1hour 27min)

 2) American Blackout 2013 - National Geographic
This movie feels like a reality show movie. A major blackout occurs in a major city and people start taking videos of their own experiences through their cel phones. These selfie videos feel so real, you wonder if it really happened. You will see a range of people from the prepared to those who never expected such an event could occur.
http://youtu.be/FYoXxVnTePA (1 hour 27min)

Feel free to comment below which one you liked, your thoughts, and your suggestions.

3.14.2016

Portable Charger External Battery Pack Power Bank

RAVPower 10400mAh 3.5A Portable Charger External Battery Pack Power Bank with iSmart Technology (Wireless Phone Accessory)

I bought the black colored charger. My initial impression is that the build is strong and solid metal with some smooth plastic finish. I feel confident that it would last a long time. I like the fact that there are 2 ports to charge with. I also like that there is an indicator of the remaining power level. When I charge it, I am able to tell when the device is still charging and when the charging is over- which was helpful.

I have tried charging various devices ranging from my Samsung Galaxy S4, my iPod Touch 4th gen, my family's iPhone, and in all cases, it performed very well. It would almost charge 1% per minute.

I am very please with the product. My only caveat, which is no big deal is that the left port has a different amp power from the right side. I emailed CS and although they answered me, the answer wasn't the easiest to understand. Perhaps labeling the ports would solve the problem.

I highly recommend it.

In terms of Resiliency, this would not only help your cel phones to be charged but if you also have LED lights that are USB powered, such as the S2 or the S20, you will see the value of the product.

ps. this product was sold to me with a discount for an honest review.

Harvesting your Produce without Canning

Most Home Vegetable Gardeners either consume or store their produce.

For Resiliency, it's a good idea to store your food for the long term. But most of us don't know how to can food or don't have the proper equipment for canning. In such a case, why not freeze your food?




These photos are produce that I harvested from my 2015 veggies. They are Swiss Chard leaves that bolted but still had some edible leaves and flowers. By storing them in freezer safe zip lock bags, they are more manageable and can easily be stored. Once in the freezer, I can thaw them out when I'm ready to enjoy them. No need to can or freeze dry.






LifeStraw GO Water Filter & Bottle Raffle

Get a well designed and convenient water filter from this Raffle

Mountain House Raffle

Raffle: This giveaway is for a Mountain House Just In Case 4 Day Emergency Food Kit.  It includes 12 pouches totaling 28 servings calculated at 1,650 calories per day. (link)

3.08.2016

Two Equals One and One Equals None

Have you ever gotten yourself into a challenging situation where you needed a tool and tried to use it? If the tool preformed well, that's great but oftentimes, we find that due to lack of testing or practice, the tool was either missing a part, needed an additional part, or wasn't working properly. 
Among the Pepper's community, we have the concept of Two Equals One and One Equals None. This is to ensure that in the absolute, worst case scenario when you absolutely needed something to bail you out, that object's integrity is guaranteed and would not fail you.

A good example is a water purifier. Many years ago, I purchased the Steripen a cool device that uses batteries and UV light to sterilize water. Out of curiosity, I tested it on tap water and tried drinking it. I then gagged and had an Allergic reaction. Sometimes, I would trust all the stellar reviews and not have a chance to test a product out. This time, I'm glad I did. If a challenging event occurred, and that was the only means I had to clean water, it would have been a great disaster. How about having multiple ways of obtaining clean water? There's chlorine, water pump's, gravity filter, and of course, boiling water. Having multiple methods of producing clean water would guarantee that we will have some means to have clean water. 

Another item to consider is heating food. There are many ways you can heat food and it would be a good idea to have all sorts of reliable tool on hand.