In cases where you are prepping for an SHTF scenario, you won't be thinking about a thousand dollars solar array for your home -- you are more likely to need handier versions to help you survive the apocalypse.
Here are some of the most practical solar items that you can pack in case you find yourself in a post-disaster scenario.
Radios is one of the most reliable devices that you can use post-disaster. They are useful for getting updates in case of power outages, bad weather, or other emergencies.
Most solar-powered radios also come with an LED flashlight attached, one that can usually be powered by hand cranking. This power system, radio and flashlight combo is particularly useful because the crank can act as a small generator that can usually produce enough electricity to power a cellphone or a walkie-talkie,
Radios can't send radio signals, but they do come equipped with an SOS feature that will blare an alarm in case of emergencies. This will broadcast your position to help others find you easily.
Having a generator is useful in case of power interruption. Meanwhile, solar-powered generators can continue to provide power even if you run out of fuel. In addition, some solar-powered generators are highly portable, so you can take them anywhere with you while you are on the move. They are easy to set up and they charge fast, as long as there's sunlight. Even the smallest ones are made to hold enough power to charge items like phones, lights, fans, and other items that you will need to survive.
A durable solar-power generator can allow you to go off the grid -- but if you have space for a larger one, such as the roof of an RV, for instance; you can capture power and sunlight for heavy-duty needs. (Related: Solar homes: Utah apartment doubles as a "virtual power plant" that harnesses solar energy.)
A portable solar shower is a large bag that is meant to hold water that can be heated by absorbing heat from the sun. It can be handy in issues when hygiene, in general, is an issue. You simply need to hang a portable solar shower from a pole or a tree branch and open a valve to release water and use it as you would an ordinary shower at home.
If a generator or solar panel array is too big or too heavy for your actual bugging-out plans, you can start with a small but practical device. LED lights can be bright without needing so much power, so solar-powered lanterns can run for a long time without having to be recharged.
Solar cookers are also good options to bring in case there are no traditional cooking devices available. These camp stoves allow you to cook your food as long as there is sunlight. If electricity or fossil fuels become scarce, cooking food with solar power helps preserves these for other devices that may need them. You can simply orient the reflective panels where they can absorb the most sunlight, and use them to cook anything that fits.
Solar-powered items are important to have when SHTF since sunlight is a very reliable source of energy. Remember to be smart about your choices when you're bugging out post-disaster. Save your electricity and fuel for other items when you have the energy of the sun to help.
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