Great to Have All That Camping Equipment
Things have been interesting here in New England the last week since I just finished shoveling us out from the second major Winter Storm in 6 days. Winter Storm “Skylar” dropped 18 inches of new snow on us. And that was on top of the 13 inches from last week's Winter Storm “Quinn”. Luckily we only lost power for 1 hour this time. During Quinn we lost power for 48 hours and had a huge trunk one of our Red maple trees (3 feet in diameter at the base and 30 feet tall) of break from the weight of the snow at 3:30 AM one night and land within 8 feet of the house.
Now that the power is back on, and enough of the snow has been shoveled that things are returning to normal, I thought that I would post a few photos of the snow and comment on how having all that camping equipment paid off.
As you all know, the biggest immediate issue that you have to deal with during a winter power outage is heat. Although our normal heating system would not work without electricity, luckily for us we have a self-enclosed natural gas fireplace that has a capacitor that stores a charge when there is no power so we could ignite it after the power failed. It wasn’t enough heat to keep the entire house warm but it did keep the main room at ~66 degrees and the rest of the house in the 50’s so we didn’t have to worry about frozen pipes.
With the heat situation under control the next problem was light. Luckily we have a wide variety of Black Diamond lanterns and headlamps to include: two Apollo Lanterns, two Orbit Lantern/Flashlights, three ReVolt Headlamps and two NiteCore Upgraded MH1A Multitask Hybrid Rechargeable Flashlights. Using this combination we were able to get area lighting from the lanterns and task lighting from the headlamps and flashlights. With the sun going down at ~5:30 having these was essential to being able to do anything during the evening.
Of course, using the lanterns (and our cell phones since the WiFi and telephone land-lines went down) takes power. Since we need power to recharge our devices in the outback we have two Anker 2nd Gen Astro2 9600mAh 2-Port 3A External Battery Power Banks. They are great for recharging anything that has a USB adapter. We also keep a supply of AA and AAA batteries in the house which we used as necessary on devices that can’t be recharged.
With heat and light taken care of the next issue was food and water. Although we didn’t have to break out the camp stove, the freeze dried food or the water filtration system because our power outage was only 2 days, we keep them in the house since there have been power and water outages that have lasted 1 to 4 weeks here in New England in the past. If needed we have a Snow Peak GigaPower Auto Stove, ample freeze-dried food in the Mountain House Classic bucket and the Breakfast bucket, a Platypus 2L GravityWorks Filter and a Reliance Fold-A-Carrier Collapsible Water Container (in addition to water stored in the garage). Our biggest food issue during this power outage was keeping the items in the freezer and refrigerator cold enough. Luckily we had lots of snow on the ground so we just packed some of it into containers and put them in the refrigerator/freezer.
Although it was not a normal week, due to the 31” of snow and the prolonged power outages, we survived nicely since we were prepared with all our camping gear. In fact, the biggest problem for my daughter was the fact that the WiFi was down and the Cellular network was spotty for the days we were without power - so she had to find other things (like reading and playing cards) to keep her occupied.
You can see more detail about the specific gear that we relied on during the winter power outages on the following pages of our website:
Lanterns – http://www.hikingcampingandshooting.com/light.html
Power - http://www.hikingcampingandshooting.com/electronics.html
Food - http://www.hikingcampingandshooting.com/cooking.html
Water - http://www.hikingcampingandshooting.com/hydration.html
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