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Winter Storm Thor & camping at home

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by actadh, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. actadh

    actadh Pathfinder

    I feel like I am winter camping in my house. We are into our third week without water from the last snowstorm. Now winter storm Thor has resulted in a power failure this morning.On the plus side, we do have natural gas, so we have heat.

    Since we have so much camping stuff, it isn't much of a hardship, though. We stocked up on drinking water and there is plenty of snow to melt, too, for bathing. All the battery bricks and other rechargeable items like flashlights and weather radios are charged up, and we have the portable generator tonight for when the temperature drops. I just received my Biolite kettle charge, so that cool little gadget will recharge anything that takes USB, and since my kitchen stove is gas, I can use the Biolite inside.

    Plenty of books and my ukulele will keep me occupied since my school canceled for the day. I live out on a rural road and there is a fantastic view out my window of the snow covered frozen river. It is perfectly quiet and the deer and birds are the only thing moving outside. It is going to be a great day.
  2. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Thanks for sharing your story of camping at home. I have made mention of my home camping, although, a bit reversed from yours. We have water and gas, and electric, however, our main sewer line is frozen solid and so we can not use the drains at all. I quickly solved the bathroom issues by renting a portable commode. That problem being the worst and now I carry many buckets of gray water and etc... outside daily.
    But on the bright side is the emergency supplies that give me endless ideas for meals and we are prepared for most any outage. I have been thinking about getting a kerosene heater in case of a power outage as I am not quite sure of using a generator on my own. In a town not far from me their main water line broke and so the whole town has no water. A friend of mine has a frozen gas line and has no heat in his house. Other folks have frozen water lines.
    I heard yesterday that this years frost level was 40 inches. For the prier 3 years the ground had not frozen at all. So now we have all this snow that is going to start melting soon and flood all the rivers and many basements and towns. Maybe we need to ship snow to California to ease their drought.

    @actadh The place in which you live sounds lovely and I hope you get your power back on soon. :)
  3. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I see someone else has been watching Vikings on the history channel :p

    I remember when I was a little kid I would be so excited when the power went off, even if it was for just a few short hours because it meant I got to run around the house with my flash lights, light candles and eat canned soup warmed up on the gas stove. Haha, I guess things haven't changed much, now I just go on camping trips.
  4. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    We still have everything working here in Alabama, but everything has been pretty much shut down due to snow. The temperature is still in the teens here (plus wind chill), and the snow is not melting at all. It is supposed to start the warm-up today, will be up to 39F; so much better, and warm enough above freezing that the snow and ice should start to go away.

    @2sweed, if you get a kerosene heater; be careful, and I don't recommend leaving them on at night. The kerosene leaves a residue, and the heater will soot up and stick shut, and will then smoke up the whole house. When I lived in Idaho and had no electricity, I used kerosene lanterns and a kerosene heater. It barely made a difference in keeping the trailer warm; but it was still better than the below zero temperatures outside.

    One night, mine sooted up during the night and almost killed me. I woke up from a heavy sleep, hering a peeping sound, and thought it must be my alarm clock, and it was time to get up and go to work. I was really groggy; but I was trying hard to wake up. As I slowly came awake, the peeping got louder and louder until is became a screeching siren instead. I realized that it was the smoke alarm, thought the house must be on fire, adrenaline kicked in, and i woke up.

    It was the kerosene heater, It had smudged itself shut, and I could not even shut it off, so I dragged it outside and left it to sit in the snowbank and smoulder itself out. I had to open all of the doors to the trailer. The temperature was below zero outside; I had already been shivering even with the heater on, and now I was about frozen for sure; but I had to get the smoke out so I could breathe and be able to get back under the covers in my bed and try to get warm again. Even so, I realized how close i was to being asphyxiated by that heater and the smoke, and I was thankful to be alive, frozen or not.

    Hopefully, we are done with the worst of these winter storms for this year, and you will not need a kerosene heater. If you do need some kind of a backup heat; I recommend one of those propane heaters and a small tank instead. You have to be careful that they do not get knocked over; but at least they do not soot up like the kerosene heater will do.
  5. actadh

    actadh Pathfinder

    Hope everyone did well through the night. I put Grabber reflective tarps over the windows to keep out the minus 4 degree chill. Dollar Tree solar lights were nice nightlights. Eton Axis weather radio kept my phone charged. All these are things that I take camping.

    Ended up not using the generator and the Biolite Kettle Charge was a failure since it would charge, but not disperse the charge via USB. My fault for not trying it out before we lost power as their FAQ page indicates that it needs to be reset, and I need power to do that.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
  6. actadh

    actadh Pathfinder

    It will be 70 degrees tomorrow. Bit of flooding in the forecast from the creeks and rivers. We got our power back on Monday night after losing it early Friday. The camping generator came in handy to run the oxygen concentrator in the house.

    Biolite customer service was very nice and they are sending me a USB cord to reset the Kettle Charge so it will be ready to go for camping season. I look on last weekend as a chance to do preventive maintenance on my camping gear.
  7. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Doesn't that also reflect out a lot of the heat from the sun though? I have seen people doing that in the summer to keep the house cooler.

    Sounds like you're well prepared (well other than the USB charger, but those things generally aren't necessities anyways). Was the camping generator powerful enough to get everything you wanted to use running?
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