Day 14.  Last Day.  I’m cleaning up the equipment today and putting it away.  It hasn’t been bad but it’s time to get back to modern life.

I can’t say enough about doing whatever it takes to figure out what would make you feel “Normal” during an emergency.  Then go buy it or trade for it or make it and put it away.  But don’t put it away for good.  Get your equipment out at least once a year and make sure it’s in good working condition.  You don’t need to do a 2-week preparedness test like we have done.  A one or two day test will tell you a lot.  Going camping or cooking breakfast out in the backyard will tell you a lot about your equipment’s readiness and your supplies.

Two final cooking methods to test today.  The first is a camp grill.  It is 24” x 16 “, and has 8” folding legs, about $30. I used it in the fireplace and created a low slow burning fire under it.  I cooked some great French Toast in a skillet that I placed on the grill.  The only trick, as you campers know, is to control the intensity of the fire.

The final method was the RoadPro Portable 12 volt Stove, about $28.  Looks like a lunch box but plugs into a 12 volt cigarette lighter to heat food up to 300 degrees.  A favorite of Truckers who use it to heat their food on the go.  Uses very little power.  We cooked freeze-dried chili over dehydrated potatoes in it.  Use a disposable aluminum bread pan for easy cleanup.  It worked very well.

Our final meal of the day will be a “cheat” meal.  It is a beautiful day here.  Mid 70’s, no wind, a perfect day to grill some steaks.  As our reward we’re going to grill a couple tenderloins, sweet onions, and mushrooms, and bake some potatoes.  We had the steaks in the freezer before the test started so I really don’t feel bad about bringing them out for a celebratory meal.

I’ll probably will take a day off tomorrow but I want to do some blogs on canning meat, including canning bacon.  Thanks for following us during this 2-week test.

Day 14, just a good sleep and a wakeup from completing the 2-week emergency preparedness test.


Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Day 13.  Today was wash day.  We have enough clothes to make it until Day 14 but I wanted the full emergency preparedness experience.  What I learned was that doing laundry in an extended emergency is going to be a real chore unless you have a few essential items.

First, I would keep 14 days of clean clothing on hand, at least socks and underwear.  Doing laundry in an emergency is such a big hassle that if a 2-week emergency turned into a 30-day emergency, I’d just wear everything twice rather than do laundry.    In winter, without a warm sun to dry your clothes, doing laundry would really be bad.

Here are the minimum supplies you’ll need.  Two or Three 5-gallon plastic buckets, detergent, an agitator of some kind, Six – Eight gallons of water (I used rain water), a wringing device, cotton or plastic coated clothes line and clothes pins.

If you use two buckets, one is for washing, one is for rinsing.  If you use three buckets, one is for washing, one is for the first rinse and one is for the final rinse.  Put 2 gallons of water in each bucket.  You should be able to wash 1 – 2 t-shirts, 2 – 3 boxers and 2 – 3 pairs of socks at the same time.

Go easy on the detergent, this is a small load of laundry.  Agitate the clothing for 5 minutes.  Here are two different agitators.  The first is Home Made by taking a $3 toilet plunger from Walmart and drilling six 5/8” holes around the plunger.  The second is a commercial model available for about $15.  Both worked well.  The commercial model seemed to move the water around a little more than the DIY model but both created some very dirty laundry water. (I washed 2 batches of laundry, 1 batch for each agitator).  If splashing becomes a problem, you can drill a 1” hole in the center of a bucket lid and put the handle up through the hole in the lid as you agitate.

Wring as much of the wash water out of the clothing as you can before placing them in the rinse water.  There are several ways to wring the clothes.  The first is the old twist it up as tight as you can by hand method.  While somewhat effective, this method will stretch your clothing, leaving it misshaped and sometimes leave your clothing with broken thread and torn material.

Second is to make a pressure wringer from two 5-gallon buckets.  Here is a picture of the one I made.  I drilled 5/8” holes all over the bucket bottom and 6” up the side.  Place the clothing in the bucket, place another bucket on top and put pressure on the wet clothing by pushing or sitting on the inside bucket.  I saw this on the internet and decided to try it.  It is only marginally effective.  The clothing on top seem to have the water squeezed out of them but the clothes on the bottom seem to have more water than normal.

Third is to buy a commercial wringer.  Here is a small wringer I found that fits on a bucket.  Because of its size, it will only handle socks, undies, dish towels, and clothing of that size.  It definitely wouldn’t be able to handle a pair of pants, shorts, man’s t-shirt, dress or skirt.  I might be okay for a woman’s cami or t-shirt.

The most frustrating thing about my laundry experience was not being able to properly wring out the clothing.  I’m going to buy a full-size wringer and metal wash tub for my storage.

Once in the rinse water, agitate for 3-5 minutes and wring the clothes out again.  If you are going to do a final rinse, then place the clothes in the third bucket and agitate and wring out the clothing for a final time (my first rinse water as so dirty that I had to do a second rinse).

I chose a sunny day, so even with the clothes be wetter than I wanted, they still dried okay.  You can put up a clothes line anywhere it’s sunny and where you have a couple of posts or trees that are close together.  Be sure to use a cotton or plastic coated clothes line, or at least some rope that is color fast or you may have the rope color bleed onto your clothing.  Keep a good supply of clothes pins in your storage.  They are available at the Dollar Store.

Day 13 and wearing clean clothes.


Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Day 12.  The question for today is, “What do you need to feel “Normal” in an emergency and how much does “Normal” cost”?

We all have different capacities of how much shortage and or suffering we can deal with.  I’m going to give you my basic list of what my wife and I need to feel normal in an extended 2-week emergency and how much each item costs.  Keep in mind that this is not what we could survived on (we could survive with quite a bit less).  This is what made us feel “Normal”.


We are on day 12 of our preparedness test.  So far we have used 30 gallons of water for drinking and food preparation, 8 gallons of water for kitchen duty, 8 gallons of water for showers and birdy baths, and 45 gallons of water to flush toilets.  In total, it looks like we’ll use 54 gallons of clean water and 53 gallons of gray (swimming pool) water by the time the 2 weeks are done.

My biggest storage concern is the 54 gallons of clean water.  If you have a 60 gallon water heater and know how to harvest the water from it, you are set.  You can store 54 gallons of clean water for free by using empty 2-liter soda bottles.  They are great for water storage and fit under beds and is small corners.  You could also buy 5-gallon jugs or even a 55-gallon water barrel and fill them with water for storage.

Having a drip filter and some chlorine opens the possibility of using rain water and other “dirty” water sources to making clean drinking water.  I’ve talked about this in other blogs.

Hot or warm water is a special but very important sub-category.  I don’t think anyone likes to take cold showers.  The most low-tech way to get hot water is to put some jugs of water out in the sun.  Four hours in a 70 degree sun and you’ll have hot water.  You can also just heat the water on your stove.


The shoestring diet I outline in my books worked well (check my past blogs to download your free copy).  At $.60 to $.70 cents a day per person, it doesn’t cost much to eat.  I would add some commercial or home canned meat to the storage items if you really want to feel normal.

I tried out a lot of cooking equipment during the preparedness test.  Two inexpensive stoves, the Gasone Butane Stove, under $20 (you’ll need 5-6 canisters of butane), and the Century Single Burner Propane Stove, under $30 (you’ll need 2-3 canisters of propane), both worked great.


After your belly is filled, the biggest thing you need to feel normal in an emergency is some power.  How much power you need to feel normal will differ for everyone.  For us, the electrical things we needed to feel normal during these past 2- weeks were cell phones, AA/AAA battery charger, I-pod, laptop, 32” TV, rice cooker, lights, and oh yes, on the days it dipped below freezing, a working furnace.

Everything but the furnace could be handled with two 12 volt, 125 amp-hour marine batteries ($80 each) and a 750 watt inverter ($49), powered by 200 watts of solar panels ($300 including charge controller and wiring).  If you exchange the 32” TV for a small portable TV, a single battery with 100 watts of solar power would do the job.  If you have enough gasoline, you could hook an inverter to your car battery, then you wouldn’t need the solar panels or extra battery.  My “normal” was at least 200 watts of solar power.

To run the furnace blower motor, we needed a generator (about $500 for a 3000 watt tri-fuel).  We ran the tri-fuel generator off of propane and natural gas.

One last note on power.  Have a lot of good 12ga and 14ga grounded extension cords available with some 3-way splitters.  Harbor Freight has the least expensive ones that I have found.

Flashlights and Headlamps

You’ll need a good flashlight ($5 to $50) and headlamp ($15 to $30) that run off of rechargeable AA or AAA batteries ($30 for 10 Eneloop batteries and charger) to get around at night and to see where you are going in the dark areas of your house.  Check out my books and blogs for my favorite flashlights.

Everyday Supplies

You’ll need a supply of clean clothing.  Unless you want to do laundry by hand, try to keep a 2-week supply of socks and undies on hand.  You’ll also need a 2-week supply of everything you use on a daily basis.  Deodorant, soap, toothpaste, contact solution, medications, etc., etc.


That’s it for today.  Still in introspective mode and doing well.


Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Day 11.  A few posts ago, I told you I was going to try and setup a 200 watt solar panel system in my office windows.  Well I did, but it hasn’t worked so well.  The sun is currently a summer sun and very high in the sky.  So high, that the eves of my house block the sun from coming in the windows.  I’ll give it another try from September to March when the sun in lower in the southern sky.

Now that the 2-week test is winding down, my big question is what am I going to take away from this little experiment?  I believe the answer is how little it actually takes to live a “normal” life.  There is one big given, and that is a dry place to live and some way to heat it if it is cold outside.  I usually consider myself to be frugal, but this test has made me realize that I over-consume and in many ways waste resources.

Between my wife and I, we have 7 years of living in Europe.  Resources are not as plentiful there and basics like food, water, electricity, and gasoline are very expensive when compared to the US.  What I used to consider as austere living when I lived in Europe, I look at now as normal, sustainable, frugal living.  What I used to consider as normal living in the US, I now look at as excessive over-consumption.

Resources in the US are relatively inexpensive.  Leaving a light on in an empty room costs very little, so we don’t worry much about it.  Food is less expensive in the US than anywhere in the world.  Would it surprise you to know that one-third of the food Americans buy ends up being thrown away?  We also have become one of the fattest nations on earth because of our over-consumption of food, myself included.

I plan to make this test a jump-start in making me a more responsible consumer.  I was surprised about how little electricity we could get by on.  Having to check the power level of the battery banks before we turned something on, helped me question if using the power was really necessary.

One use of electricity that I really think we got a big bang for our buck was in lighting.  Besides flashlights with rechargeable batteries, we used lamps with either 17 watt compact florescent bulbs or 7.5 watt LED bulbs.  The CF bulbs were $.50 each the LED bulbs were $3 each.  Both provided plenty of light for a room.  At 7.5 watts, the LED light hardly caused any drain on our battery bank.  In fact, the power used by a 7.5 watt bulb being on for 1 hour was produced by our solar panels in less than 1 minute on a sunny day.

We bought our lamps for $8 each from IKEA.  They are actually floor lamps that can also be desk lamps by just leaving out 3 of the post sections.  They are really well built.  I honestly can’t believe how they manufacture, ship and sell them for $8.  You can hardly buy the wiring at other stores for $8.

Just a few pennies of light can make you feel quite normal in an emergency.


Day 11 and counting.


Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Day 10.  At this point we are just grinding out the remaining 4 days of our preparedness test.  For the most part, we have water, food, power, cooking, and other major tasks down to what I call the “efficient essentials”.

In the last 4 blogs, while the test is still going on, I wanted to start noting the things we’ve learned.  Some big and important and some small but still important.

If you use a drip filter to filter your water, clean the filter often with a scotch pad.  It helps the efficiency of the filter.  We filtered just 15 gallons of rain water and here is a picture of the filter.  Half has been cleaned, half has not been cleaned.  The grime is just from rain water.  Think how fast a filter could get dirty with pond water or stream water.

We have not used paper cups to drink.  We normally use refillable plastic bottles for drinking water and that worked well during the preparedness test.  We just filled the drinking bottles directly from the filter spigot.  We did use a few paper cups but we used them when we brushed our teeth.

We have used almost as many paper bowls as paper plates.  We’re definitely going to store more bowls.

Don’t trash any opened cans.  Small cans can be used for measuring.  An 8 oz. tomato sauce can be used as a 1 cup measure).  I also used that same 8 oz. tomato sauce can as a biscuit cutter.  Medium sized cans can be used to measure liquid and if you check for sharp edges, they can be used as drinking cups.  Larger cans can be used to storage things or as a cooking pot on an open fire (be sure to use a pair of pliers or a hot pad to remove a can from a fire).

Use a little extra water and do a deep cleaning of your kitchen and bathroom once a week.  The tendency when you are trying to conserve water is to let a little dirt go.  It also doesn’t help that you are working in dim light during some hours.  It would not be good to get sick during an emergency because you let up on cleanliness.

Without gasoline, during an emergency you may not leave your property.  During the last 3 days with a lot of rain, we hardly left the house.  Cabin fever and boredom are definitely possible.  Have some entertainment available.  If you have power, the TV is great.  Books, games, audiobooks, etc. can help keep you sane.

So what have we missed most?  Meat and animal fat without a doubt.  We decided to use a shoestring diet that didn’t include meat.  By the time a week had rolled around, our bodies were screaming for meat.  We have friends who are vegan, I don’t know how they do it.  During WWII, the one commodity that was most valuable was meat and fat. Even more valuable than sugar and sweets.

I know canned meat is expensive to buy.  I’ve done some blogs about canning your own meat.  After the preparedness test, I’m going to do another blog or two on canning meat.  Having meat in your storage will go a long way to meet your body’s cravings in an emergency.


Enough for today.  Day 10 and counting.


Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Day 9.  I wanted to cover Rain Water collection and usage, since that has been the main preparedness event over the past 24 – 48 hours

I first have to admit I was wrong.  In my post on Day 7, I said I might get 10 gallons of water from my little 9’ x 7’ tarp rain collector, based on getting a .25 inch of rain.   Well, we ended up getting almost an inch of rain.  The tarp rain collector added almost 40 gallons to our water supply.  Because a lot of the rain came down over night and the 5 gallon collection bucket filled up quickly, a lot of the rain was lost.  I don’t know how much more water we could have collected if I had been awake to empty the collection bucket.

At one point during the day, the collector was collecting more than 1 gallon of water every 5 minutes.  I hope the pictures are good enough to show the water flow (Click the photo to enlarge).


One thing that was a little surprising was how dirty the first bucket of water was.  I guess if you think about it, the rain cleanses the air.  We had pretty strong south winds prior to the storm, so there was a lot of dust in the air when the rain started.  Here is a picture of the first bucket of rain water we collected.

We chlorinated the rain water (just in case a bird flew over the tarp and left something while we were collecting water) and then put it through a drip filter.  Here is what the finished result looks like.  It is crystal clear and has a great taste.  We are going to treat 15 gallons of rain water to use for drinking and cooking.  That should be enough water to last us to the end of our 2-Week test.

We are going to use 5 gallons of water to do laundry as soon as we get a sunny day.  The other 20 gallons we’ll use to flush toilets, take showers, refill wash stations and whatever else we need.

How much water could you harvest from rain water?  If I had used one of my 16’ x 12’ tarps we could have collected over 100 gallons of water from the same storm.

How much water could I collect in a year with only a 16’ x 12’ tarp?  I live in a high mountain desert where we only get 13 inches of precipitation a year, so let’s use 13 inches as annual rainfall.  Using a Rain Water Calculator, you’ll see that even if you only collect 70% of the water, you could collect over 1,000 gallons of water a year from a 16’ by 12’ tarp even in a desert.

How much water could an average household collect in a year?   Let’s assume you have an average 2400 square foot house with 1600 square feet of roof and you have a small 12’ x 8’ yard shed.  Using a Rain Water Calculator, you’ll see that even if you only collect 70% of the water, you could collect over 10,000 gallons of water a year from the roof of an average house and storage shed.  Again, that is in a desert with only 13 inches of annual rainfall.  A lot to think about.

A single .25 inch rain storm could give you 175 gallons of water.  With 175 gallons of water to store, your problem would be what to store the water in.  You’d need four 55-gallon barrels, a 275 gallon IBC container, or water cistern.

Still doing Great.  Nine Days and counting.


Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Day 8.  Just a real short blog today.  Very cloudy skies and lots of showers.  More on that tomorrow.  Even with the cloudy skies, the solar panels are providing 50 watts of power, enough for a quick post.

I wanted to tell you about a wonderful piece of equipment that I tried a couple of days ago.  It is a tortilla press.  Bread is a staple and without an oven, finding styles of bread that can be cooked in a pan is important.  Tortillas and Griddle Bread both work great for non-oven cooking.  I have especially enjoyed having tortillas.

The most time consuming part of making tortillas is rolling them out to a thin circle of dough.  A tortilla press makes that job easy.  I was so pleasantly surprised.  A good cast iron press is around $20 shipped.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Makes six 8” Tortillas


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


1. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl.
2. Mix in the oil until the flour resembles cornmeal.
3. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together.
4. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
5. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, roll each piece into a ball.
6. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
7. Place a plastic sheet on each side of a tortilla press.
8. Press the dough ball several times, rotating a quarter turn after each press until the dough is a thin round tortilla.
9. Peel the plastic sheet from the tortilla and place into the hot skillet.
10. Cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side.
11. Place the cooked tortilla in a tortilla warmer; continue rolling and cooking the remaining dough.

Optional – Top with sugar and cinnamon for a great treat or desert.

That’s it for today.  One week and counting.


Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Day 7.  We are only a good night’s sleep and a wake-up from being on the off-grid emergency preparedness test for 1 week.  Honestly the first week has gone by pretty fast.  Food, water and even power have not been a problem.  Power has been something we have to watch.  We are running everything off of 720 watts of solar panels.  I have to make a confession, if I used my laptop more and not my Desktop computer with a 690 watt power supply, the power would go even further.  Plus, confession #2, we watch our 46” flat screen for 3 or 4 hours a night for entertainment.  If we watched less or used a smaller TV our power would go even further.

This week I’m setting up a 200 watt Renlogy solar panel system in the windows of my office.  It will consist of two 100 watt panels, each 47” x 21”.  One panel will be in a south facing window and one in a west facing window.  I’ll hook them up to two 125 amp hour batteries with a 1500 watt inverter.  At 60% efficiency, the system should give me a 1000 watts of power each day.  I’m going to try to run everything in my office off the new system.

I’ve used several stoves and grills for cooking the past few days.  Here is a run down.

Coleman 413F 2-burner stove. I inherited this stove when my parents died.  My family used to go up the canyon on Saturday morning and my dad would cook breakfast on this stove.  This model stove was made between 1961 and 1964.  In a past post I mentioned that a stove was not working so I had to go to a backup.  Well, this was that stove.  Luckily all it needed was some cleaning and some maintenance.  It is working fine now on both gas and propane.


Eco Zoom Rocket Stove.  When all the propane is gone, this is the stove to have.  You can use a small 6” bundle of sticks that are 12” long and no bigger round than my thumb to cook a complete meal.  Boiled 2 cups of water in 6 minutes.  If you are interested in them, check out some of the YouTube videos people have posted.  The Deluxe model (shown) can use wood or coal.  Stove Tec makes the same type of stove.  Both brands are good but at this point in time Eco Zoom stoves are build a little better and have a few more features.


Volcano Stove.  I really haven’t used this stove very much.  All I did today was boil some water.  It took 8 minutes to boil 2 cups of water using the propane attachment.  I’m going to use this stove one more time before the test is over to cook a complete meal.  I’ll let you know how it goes.


Road Trip Grill.  For $150 to $200 price tag, this was disappointing.  I’m glad I picked mine up at a Thrift Store.  It’s heavy, a little complicated to set up (if you use the stand), and for such a big beast, each burner has no more BTU’s than a $28 single burner stove.  For the same money you can get a Coleman 2-Burner camp stove and an Eco Zoom Rocket Stove.

As I said, we are supposed to get a couple of day of rain starting tonight. In preparation, I’ve jimmy-rigged a simple rain catchment system on my balcony.  The tarp is 9’ x 7’ and slopes down to one corner where the water will drain into a 5 gallon bucket.  Just one-quarter inch of rain could give me 10 gallons of water, just from this little tarp.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

If the weather is as bad as they say over the next two day, I might not write a blog tomorrow.  I’ll blog again when the sun comes back out and recharges the battery banks.



I think that’s it for today.  One week and counting.


Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Day 5.  Short post today because of low battery banks.  We have plenty of electricity for lights and essentials but with a 2 or 3 day storm coming in tomorrow and mostly cloudy skies today, I’d like to preserve as much power as I can.

We ran the furnace again this morning to take the morning chill off the house.

Had trouble running a new propane stove this morning so had to swap out to a backup.  Can’t say enough about testing your equipment at least yearly and having backups in case equipment goes down. We are almost done with testing the propane stoves and will probably start on the wood burning Rocket Stoves tomorrow.

Thought I’d give you our menu for today.  Everything is made from scratch ingredients.

Breakfast – Coffee.  Steel Cut Oats.

Lunch – Bean Burritos with fresh made tortillas and Spanish Rice.  Finished with a warm tortilla sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon for dessert.

Dinner – Homemade Rice-a-Roni with a Beef Patty (made from TVP, it is actually really good) and griddle bread.

I think that’s it for today.  Still doing well.


Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2014. All Rights Reserved.


Day 5.  Thought I would catch you up on how much water we’ve used so far and how the propane and other fuels are doing.  Also how the food supply is doing.

First a report on our first extended test of running our furnace off of a generator.  In most emergencies natural gas will still be flowing (the big exception is earthquakes).  If you can power your furnace blower fan then you can heat your house.  The temperatures dipped into the 30’s last night but the house temperature only hit a low of 63 degrees.  Normally I’d just put on a light sweater in the morning and wait for the sun to warm up the house but I wanted to give my generator and furnace a good test.

I fired up my Tri-Fuel Honda EU 2000i on propane and plugged in the furnace.  The furnace motor start-up drew 1400 watts and then settled in at about 800 watts, well within the 2000 watt peak and 1600 watt continuous rating for the generator.  Ran the furnace for about 30 minutes and had the house temperature at 69 degrees, which is our normal winter temperature.

Since I was firing up generators, I fired up the Tri-Fuel Wren 3500 on natural gas.  I used it to run the automatic coffee maker.  The coffee maker drew 1200 watts for 10 minutes.   One thing I should have done while the generators were running was to run a battery charger on my battery bank.  The main bank was still at 12.8 volts so I didn’t but it is a good habit to charge your battery bank any time you have a generator running.

We are using a Colman 425E 2-burner stove today.  That model was made from the late 60’s to the early 70’s.  It is the last stove that was rescued from the Thrift Store and now uses a propane adapter to run on one-pound propane canisters.  This model is smaller than most Colman Stoves but it was still big enough to put a 12” fry pan and an 8” round pot on the stove at the same time.

Food is still plentiful.  We have used all of the food we had in the refrigerator by the middle of Day 4.  Some roasted chicken went bad because we didn’t use it soon enough.  If there is a next time, we’ll use the food in the refrigerator sooner and not try to ration it.

Now for water usage.  By far our number 1 water usage is for toilet flushing, about 5 gallons per day.  In a real extended emergency, we’d need to go waterless and use disposable bags or a composting toilet.  One thing we did learn, it is better to fill the toilet tank with water and flush normally rather than pour the water directly into the bowl to flush.

Both methods flush the yucky stuff down the sewer but pouring water directly into the bowl doesn’t leave any water in the toilet bowl but filling the tank and flushing normally leaves water in the bowl.  Well, if there is water left in the bowl, the next time you make a potty contribution, it all goes down when you flush.  Without that water in the bowl, the potty leaves behind a little mess on the sides of the bowl that requires cleaning.

Second biggest water usage is for showers.  One thing we didn’t plan on, was getting so dirty.  We’ve been doing spring yard work and coming in dirty and sweaty.  I guess not so different then if the emergency was caused by a storm where there is a lot of heavy clean up to do.  Well when you are really dirty and sweaty, a birdy bath will not do.  We heat the water in solar jugs and use about one gallon for a complete head to toe shower.  So far we’ve used 4 gallons on showers.

Other water usage:

  • Coffee – 1 quart per day.
  • Food Preparation – 1 quart per day.
  • Dish rinsing and cleanup – ½ gallon per day.
  • Drinking Water – 1 gallon per day total for two of us.


20 gallons Pool Water for Flushing Toilets

8 gallons Clean Water

We are getting some double usage from some of the water.  We use the dish water to flush toilets after we are finished with it for dishes.  I guess the water for flushing toilets is only 18 gallons since we’ve used 2 gallons from dish water.

Propane and other fuels are going great.  We are still on the first one-pound propane canister for the stoves.  It is a little harder to check the propane used for the generator.  The Honda uses about one-tenth of a gallon of gasoline for each hour of use, running at half power.  Propane has less octane than gasoline and we’ve only run the generator for ½ hour.  So I think we’ve used less than ½ of a pound of propane.


I think that’s it for today.  A lot of details.  Still doing well.


Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2014. All Rights Reserved.