Readers Stories – Winter Prepping

For winter there are several things I’ve saved and purchased to
prepare.

A few 1litre thermos flasks but I also purchased a couple of 5Litre
Airpots.

You know those things they use in churches and work conferences etc to
put hot water in for tea and coffee and you just press down the button
on top and the hot water dispenses.

Those are only around £25 to £35 on Amazon.co.uk [1].  (3Litre
versions available too.)

I figured during rolling powercuts that I could boil some kettles early
morning and fill up the airpots and have roasting hot water available
instantly all day.  Or also at night for refilling all my rubber hot
water bottles.

I tested my 5L airpots and they stayed close to just boiled temp for 14
hours !!

I use my 1litre thermos flasks just now as a way of saving on
electricity, boil a kettle and make a cuppa and then pour the rest into
the flask for the next few cups means less switching the kettle on.

I also bought 2 cheap kettles as backup spares if we do have power and
kettle breaks.

(Just coz I’m a total tea jenny lol)

I also bought a wood burning camping stove as a backup for my campingaz
one.

So that if the power goes off completely I can save my campingaz gas for
cooking indoors (with plenty ventilation and carbon monoxide detector
for safety) and just use my wood burning one out in the garden to heat
water to fill up the airpots.

The wood burning stove works with wood, twigs, dry leaves, paper,
cardboard etc

Those are also available on amazon uk for around £25. well worth it to
have a way of cooking where the fuel is free and laying all around.

If the power goes out for any length of time too then there is a risk to
tap water not being processed and pumped and also sewage systems may
fail.

For the water situation I bought a british berkefeld 8.5L (basically
it’s the british version of the Big Berkey)  But because it’s
identical in size it also fits the berkey black filters inside
perfectly. (berkey blacks are better than the ones that come with the
berkefeld, although those are still good too) The berkefeld with its own
filters included are around £164.99 on amazon.   The berkey black set
of 2 filters are currently £165.00  but will last for around 10 years
so they are cost effective in the long run.

I am looking at sorting out a rain water catchment system next.

I also bought a festival camping toilet for £25 and plenty bags for it
just incase sewage system fails.

For pets to keep warm I got them “Snugglesafe” heaters that can
either be microwaved or boiled in water and they come with a fleece
cover. They give off a nice gentle heat for around 10 hours.  My dog and
guinea pig love theirs to snuggle up with in winter. Those are around
£15 on amazon.

Being an owner of a coldwater aquarium that requires constant air
bubbles and filtration, I have always been worried about powercuts. So a
while ago I purchased a 374w small solar generator and 120w folding
solar panel so that I can power the aquarium for around 2 days and also
recharge it.  When the generator is charging in daytime I have battery
backup air pumps and rechargeable batteries for those and can do small
water changes to keep the water good.

Some people may roll their eyes and say they are only fish….  But they
are still pets.

  I have had them since they were tiny and raised them and cared for them
for years (and I’d rather watch them swimming about than a
brainwashing box in the corner)

I will always do my best to do what I can for them.

And if it wasn’t for them I probably wouldn’t have a generator and
solar panel right now so I’m in a better position having those thanks
to my fish J.

An electric blanket can run off it and charge my phone, powerbanks and
can even booster jump my car from it etc.,,, very handy to have!

I also purchased some usb rechargeable light that also double up as
extra prowerbanks.

And during the amazon prime days special offers I treated myself to a
heated bodywarmer/gillet which runs off usb powerbanks.  Got it for a
bargain of £28

And it really makes a difference. Like wearing a wee personal electric
blanket.

Also as a wee side note it is worthwhile to make up inventory sheets to
keep a stocktake of food supplies by year and date of expiry so you can
see at a glance what needs rotated and what you are low on instantly.

Don’t add or remove anything to your preps without marking it off and
you will always know exactly what you have.

Takes a bit of time initially, but you only do that once then it’s just
minor quick updates.

Hope you find those tips useful and I hope channel members do to.

I’ll attach photos of the Airpots, Wood camping stove, berkefeld,
snugglesafe’s  and the usb lights for you.

Best wishes Karen and take care.

5 thoughts on “Readers Stories – Winter Prepping

  • August 2, 2022 at 5:43 pm
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    WOW! You have really done a lot!!!! Well done you! 🙂

    I have lots of food and water stored.
    Have a good supply of warm clothes (including a down filled parka good to Minus 48F) and blankets.
    .Have candles, flashlights, extra batteries and packs of “hot pockets”

    .This month’s Amazon order (on the way) includes a battery powered fan for the heat, and a 10 pack of Mylar blankets (space blankets) for Winter emergencies. It also includes some risers for my bed so that I can start to store bins underneath and a set of battery powered candles.

    .Next month’s Amazon order will include a really good butane stove – the kind that you see people using on Youtube for demos inside – especially in Asian kitchens where the electric or gas burners may only number two and these are used for additional work. I will buy the cannisters of butane separately as I cannot get these through mail/delivery. I will store the cannisters in my small basement storage room as the temperature is cooler and I think safer. I have also put more flashlights into the cart and hot water bottles (although the price of these has almost doubled so I will check my local drugstores where I usually buy them and check out the price there first – I sometimes find Amazon to be quite a bit more expensive).

    I have a few small thermos bottles for liquids and one for food but would like to get one or two of the large, more heavy duty, old fashioned ones. A carafe to keep water or tea/coffee hot for hours is also under consideration – the pennies only stretch so far…

    Heat is included in my rent – normal here – and even if you can’t pay your bill the law here is that it cannot be turned off during the Winter months – just too dangerous – and landlords must provide a certain degree of heat as well and it must be switched on by a certain date. The city also opens up “warming centres” during Cold Weather Alerts for the homeless or anyone who can’t manage in their homes. If a fire should break out somewhere or there is an emergency where people have to be evacuated special buses are sent to ensure that they are kept warm.

    I think my family are mostly well stocked – a few of them live in more rural locations and have generators and fireplaces etc. as power cuts and weather issues are common but I think that I am doing the best that I can given that I live in a small apt. in a city of 3 million. I talk to friends about this but not as much as I used to – you can only encourage others to do so much. My friend who lives downstairs likes to talk a good game – but I know she’d rather buy yet another t-shirt or her umpteenth pair of shoes than add a few more cans of food. I have absolutely no doubt that there will be a knock on my door when she realizes that her one flashlight has died and she has no way of heating food or water – and yes, I will take her in if it comes to it.

    Reply
  • August 3, 2022 at 2:13 pm
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    A thought came to me a few days ago that I should prep “things to do” if power goes off. So, rather than stare at the walls, I am buying fiction books, jigsaw puzzles, crossword books and sorting out any bits of wool for crochet and knitting to keep me occupied. I wonder if anyone else is doing the same and if there are any suggestions for something I have not thought of, any ideas would be very welcome.

    Reply
    • August 3, 2022 at 8:03 pm
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      I have plenty of books and some new jigsaw puzzles that I haven’t opened as yet. I would also recommend a deck of cards – even solitaire can keep you occupied. If you think any other craft would be interesting then perhaps invest in a kit or basic supplies? Might also be a chance for us to do all those little jobs that we intend to get too – sorting paperwork or family photos – organizing our favourite recipes into a binder, organizing all those birthday & anniversary dates and updating our address book – hard copy or online. I often find that I can get a lot of small jobs done even when I don’t have the time or energy for a major project.

      Reply
      • August 3, 2022 at 8:44 pm
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        Some great ideas. I especially liked the sorting out of family photos, I have boxes full. I will get some albums ready for this task.

        Reply
  • August 3, 2022 at 8:15 pm
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    Just saw your post on the electricity prices! I read the British news online every day – everything from the Daily Mail to the Guardian to get both sides – and I cannot believe the profits that the various energy companies are posting – it is outrageous! I lay the blame for this squarely at the feet of all governments – there is no way that this sort of gouging, (or the appalling dividend payouts) should be allowed at this moment in time! Executive salaries should be frozen and dividend payments should be capped. I won’t say frozen or cancelled as some small investors do count on these funds as part of their income.

    As I understand it = even if you cut back on usage as much as you plan – the standing fees have continued to increase so they still come out ahead. Also – I would strongly recommend a fire extinguisher or two just in case. I know that this item is also on my “to be purchased” list.

    If you batch cook a couple of meals one day a week & then portion things up – then you save by using a full oven for many things at once – and then you can just do a quick microwave to reheat.

    Have you ever visited “Frugal Queen in France’s” youtube channel or website? She is English but has moved to France – she has lots of great ideas for saving, especially on energy and food.

    Reply

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