Welcome Full Moon Survival (Another Neat Website to Buy Emergency Preps)

full-moon-adI keep finding cool websites to buy products and the best part is that they end up reThinkSurvival sponsors! Today, we welcome Full Moon Survival.

According to their About page, “Full Moon Survival is one of the largest suppliers of Emergency Survival Kits, Emergency Supplies, Emergency Food, Food Storage, Water Storage, Water Filtration and information on surviving natural and man-made disasters.”

A few other points to note:

  • Family owned and operated
  • Free shipping on all orders over $100
  • New products added weekly
  • One of the largest selections of emergency products on the internet

I can’t remember what I was searching for at the time but when I found Full Moon Survival I immediately wound up looking at their huge selection of food storage, especially #10 cans. In fact, they sell a wide range of Harvest Farms (a company I hadn’t tried yet) and Mountain House products as well as others.

They also sell garden seeds, water storage and purification products, emergency kits, first aid supplies, books, and plenty more. Take a few moments and see what they have to offer for you!

Review of PRI-G Fuel Stabilizer (Hands-Down the Best Available)

I had an opportunity this week to get my hands on a bottle of PRI-G fuel stabilizer, something I had been meaning to do for quite some time. For many, many years I’ve always used Stabil as my fuel stabilizer because it’s what’s been available locally. Sadly, PRI-G is difficult to find at times but you can certainly buy it online (such as on Amazon).

For a long time I’ve heard nothing but good things about PRI-G (or PRI-D for diesel fuel). From various reviews to expert opinions, I had to try it! Honestly, the only way I know to review it is to compare PRI-G to what I currently use, that being Stabil. The *best* way to review them would be to treat fuel and wait for years on end but I didn’t want to wait THAT long so following is the next best thing…

Let’s start with cost. An 16-ounce bottle of Stabil on Amazon costs a little over $6, while a 16-ounce bottle of PRI-G on Amazon costs about $32. A little math says that a bottle of PRI-G is over 5x as costly as a bottle of Stabil… so why in the world should I buy it?

Well, a single 16-ounce bottle of Stabil can treat 40 gallons of gasoline whereas a similar bottle of PRI-G can treat 256 gallons of gasoline, over 6x as much gasoline! For the cost conscious among us, that’s a good reason why.

Of course, PRI-G makes a variety of claims that I cannot vouch for but have no reason not to believe, including:

  • ideal for e-10 gasoline
  • provides greater power
  • improves fuel efficiency
  • prevents damaging deposits
  • contains no alcohol

As for me, they had me at “treats almost 6x as much gasoline” as compared to Stabil. I’ve also heard (I believe) from Steven Harris of Solar1234.com that PRI-G can be used to restore gasoline that has “gone bad” though I haven’t tried to verify that claim either.

I can say that I’m ready to give it a shot. In fact, I’ve decided to use my current gasoline storage up over the next week or two and treat it exclusively with PRI-G instead from now on… and suggest you do as well.

Your Respones to My Poll Request

First, thank you to those who took the time to answer my poll request. By and large, you don’t want me to change anything, so I won’t! A few things to note:

  1. Daily YouTube, Quick Reference, and the 99 Capacities posts will not be changed because you would prefer I did not.
  2. You would prefer I include answers to the “quiz of the week” on the actual post rather than my Facebook page, so I will do so from now on.
  3. You rather enjoy the “How To” Knowledge Base so I will try to include links a bit more often but it really depends on other blogs linking interesting and new posts.
  4. Other pages (e.g., Survival Blog Best Posts, The Survival Podcast Favorites, Top 50 Survival Sites RSS Feeds, etc) will continue to be updated as I can.
  5. I’m still considering doing my own “top 50” or something similar because I don’t necessarily agree with the the referenced site’s recommendations as some sites listed are not blogs, not updated regularly, or simply negative. Give me a bit of encouragement and I may just do it!

Did I miss anything? Let me know.

My Egg Storage With Mineral Oil Saga Starts This Week!

eggs-mineral-oil-1I finally found a bottle of mineral oil at my local Walmart. I had been looking for the better part of month at Walmart and Target without any luck. I was beginning to wonder if everyone else had the same idea in mind, though, that’s probably not the case. 😉

Anyway, if you’re unaware, the idea is to coat eggs with mineral oil to act as a replacement for the bloom that normally protects eggs from bacteria when they’re laid. In so doing, you can then store eggs at room temperature, you know… not in the fridge. Store-bought eggs are washed before packaged and, therefore, do not have the bloom.

Fortunately, the process is quite simple. Here’s what I did:

1. I put on some latex gloves and poured about half the bottle of mineral oil in a bowl (I didn’t end up using that much so next time maybe 1/3 of the bottle). Then one-by-one I coated each egg from one 18-egg carton.

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2. I let the eggs drip off any excess oil for several seconds so that they were less likely to puddle in the carton. I have no idea if this was necessary or not but it seemed like a good idea to me. When finished dripping I replaced each egg to the carton.

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3. Here’s what the eggs coated with mineral oil look like. There’s an obvious sheen to them if the picture isn’t that clear.

eggs-mineral-oil-4

4. I then marked one egg container with the words “mineral oil” and the other as “control”–I’m feeling a bit nerdy right now–so that I would know which was which. And finally I placed the cartons in an old plastic drawer to contain them for whenever they went bad and spoiled.

eggs-mineral-oil-5

The plan is to check an egg from each carton each week (probably on the weekends) to see if they’ve gone bad yet. If they last that long this will be a 4.5 month experiment because each carton contains 18 eggs.

As for how to check them, I think I will start by placing an egg from each carton in a bowl of water to see if they float or not–floating is bad–and maybe, just maybe I’ll eat it if the mineral oil eggs don’t float. My wife has already emphatically stated that she would NOT be consuming these eggs! Where’s her spirit of adventure. 😉

You know, it is a bit weird to not place these eggs in the refrigerator. I kind of feel like I just put my shoes on backwards or maybe forgot my pants. We’ll see how it goes… wish me luck!

Another Small Example of Being Prepared: No Grocery Shopping This Week

I thought I would mention another good reason why being prepared is obviously useful and that is the simple fact that we didn’t have to go to the grocery store this week. Typically, however, we do go grocery shopping for a few things each week.

Anyway, my wife was asking me yesterday morning what we needed (because I usually know better than she does what we have around) and I said nothing. She wanted to be sure so she asked me the usual…

Wife: “Do we have fruit for smoothies?”
Me: “Yes, plenty.”

Wife: “Do we have vegetables (for dinner) and lunches?”
Me: “Yup.”

Wife: “Do the boys have snacks for their lunches?”
Me: “They have pretzels, cookies, chips (all the bad stuff, of course) but may need some yogurts, if they want it.”

Wife: “Did you get orange juice from Sams Club?”
Me: “Got a 6 pack.”

Wife: “Looks like we only need two things from the store.”
Me: “We need two things from the store?”

I knew we had beer, so that couldn’t be it. 😉 Turns out we needed stuff for our morning smoothies: some greens (usually baby spinach) and some kiefer (a watered-down yogurt concoction). I would say we could get by without either of those.

So, how about you? Could you get by for a few weeks without getting into your longer term food storage?

Welcome CampingSurvival.com! (Cool Site With Good Deals)

camping-survival-adI should have welcomed Camping Survival a few days ago so I apologize to them–and more importantly to you–for that. The good news is that it’s a great place for an assortment of survival gear.

In fact, I just picked up a 1000 foot roll of camo green 550-mil spec paracord from them for about $45 SHIPPED! I tried to find a better deal online and couldn’t do it! Amazon, eBay, Google… nothing better.

They sell a ton of other camping and survival as well, from tents to radios, flashlights, MREs, backpacks, you name it. I’m going to have to spend some time perusing this weekend to see what else I spend my hard-earned money on. 🙂

Using IBC Totes as Thermal Heat Storage


I recently wondered about how to store heat, yes, heat. Granted, typical wall insulation is fairly good at slowing down the transfer of heat (usually from your home to the outside air) but I wanted something more “passively active” if that makes any sense. Apparently, it’s a well-known concpet among interested folks that you can store heat gain in water with the express purpose of allowing that retained heat to be released when the surrounding air is colder than the water in the tank. This idea is often utilized in greenhouses to help regulate temperature when the air temperature drops drastically at night. As I had no clue how to do this, I did some research.

Though I have no plans to try it–in large part because it would be really weird to put a huge IBC tote or two in the basement and I would probably end up divorced–I wondered how effective one or two of the 275 gallon IBC totes would be at regulating the temperature of our basement. Of course, I actually have to BUY a tote to even attempt it! Anyway, I’m not about to do the math either but let’s say the basement is roughly 700 square feet or so of living space. A typical IBC tote is about a four foot cube and would fit quite nice in the middle of the basement, if you ask me.

Now, a large part of how this would work is because of relative temperatures, that is, how cold is the outside-the-house air, how warm is the basement air, how warm can the tote water get when being actively heated (by a fireplace, for example), how fast does heat transfer from the house to the outside air, and probably a few other factors I didn’t even consider. The point is that there are a whole bunch of factors at work and if I had paid more attention in Engineering school I could probably do the math but, these days, that sounds like entirely too much effort and planning. 😉

Is Water The Best Storage Medium?

The first thing I had wondered about was whether water is the best medium to use, maybe rocks or bricks would be better? Turns out water is the best option for DIY home use. Someone else posed a similar question here and following are a few excerpts of answers:

“…If you look up the “specific heat” value for those materials (a quick Internet search will find it), you will see that water has a remarkably high specific heat, much higher than nearly anything. This means it can store more heat for a given volume and would be your best choice. Another factor to consider is that convection currents in water allow heat to move around more quickly than in a solid, which is another vote for water…”

“…To compare rock and water for heat storage, you need to know the heat capacity and the density of the two materials. Comparing water to stone, it takes a little over 4kJ of energy to raise 1kg of water by 1deg C. In contrast, granite takes a little less than 1 kJ to raise 1 kg by 1 deg c. Granite is about 3 times more dense than water, so for a given volume, it still stores less than 75% of the energy of water…”

“…But there is something else to consider…. gravel weighs more than the same volume of water. A container when filled with gravel will weigh about 2.5 times more than if the same container were filled with water. So when a container that holds 1 kg of water were allowed to cool 1°C, it will release about 4000 Joules of heat (as explained above). But if you fill the same container with gravel it will weigh about 2.5 kg, so it will store (800J/kg x 2.5kg =) 2000 Joules of heat energy. This is still only about half the heat energy that the same volume of water will store…”

And if you want more numbers to verify that water is the best medium for most of us, here’s the specific heat capacity of water (and other substances) as well as the specific heat capacity of common building materials. So, the short answer is it’s water or bust for me!

How to Heat the Water?

Originally, my thought was to just set the totes in the middle of the basement and let the heat from the fireplace radiate into the water and gradually heat it that way. Apparently, there are products designed to accept passive heat, but not from the fireplace… from sunlight, such as these Sun-Lite Thermal Storage Tubes:

solar-components.com
solar-components.com

The problem is that they need access to sunlight to make them useful so that constraint makes their placement a concern (that is, south-facing windows only). But, seeing as though most homes are more window glass than not, you could probably make it work if you really wanted to.

Is There a Better Way?

I wanted a more active solution and happened upon two sites that explained the concept of using solar gain for heat, including to heat water. As it turns out, I would have been better off using 10 or more 55-gallon drums as heat collectors rather than one or two large IBC totes. This article on Multi Tank Heat Storage provides quite a bit of information regarding what I wanted to do and even considers how to use the system for hot, pressurized water too. It’s a long read so plan ahead.

I also found this article on DIY Solar Heat Storage Systems t0 be an interesting read. While less about thermal heat storage (the end of the article does discuss it some) there are some interesting ideas on building design and even utilizing an attached greenhouse for passive heat.

Sadly, this wasn’t quite what I was looking for. Then I remembered this video by Engineer775:

Yeah, that’s more like it! Granted, the purpose was to make hot water for bathing and the like, but why not utilize the idea for heating water that can be used as a thermal heat storage? I’d bet that over the course of the day you could get the temperature of the water inside a typical IBC tote quite hot with constant heating from a fireplace, but I’m really just speculating here.

And just to show this concept isn’t new, here’s an article from 1978 Mother Earth News titled Make Your Fireplace Work For You that’s more along the lines of what I was thinking about.

Is Water the ONLY Thermal Mass to Rely On?

The short answer is that to be most effective your entire home should utilize the thermal mass concept (in the form of other substances like concrete, brick, tile, earth, etc) to store, release, and regulate temperature changes not only at night but throughout the day. In fact, large thermal masses can be quite effective at helping to cool the surrounding area by allowing heat transfer from the air to the thermal mass (and thus cool) as well as for heat, which is what I wanted in the first place.

What Did I Learn?

I learned that I could do what I wanted–to use IBC totes to store heat–but there are far more efficient options such as using many smaller barrels (e.g., 55 gallon drums) instead and that I can either passively heat the water using sunlight if necessary as well as to actively heat the water using a heat source such as a fireplace with a little creativity mixed in.

What do you think? Useful, plausible, cost-effective? Am I missing something completely and, more importantly, has anyone tried it? I would love to hear about success stores.

FYI – Patriot Dawn Novel by Max Velocity Available (with discount code)

For those who are Max Velocity fans–I reviewed a book of his titled Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival that I generally enjoyed–he now has a novel out titled Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises. I haven’t read the book but if you’re interested he’s offering a 15% off dicsount code: N9AXEJJQ (taken directly from his website) for a limited time–not sure how long–on Amazon purchases.