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TWO WEEKS OFF GRID – DAY 2

Day 2.  The thing that has hit me the most is the realization of how much time, even simple tasks, now take to do.  No more automated coffee maker where you can “set it and forget it”.  To get coffee, I have to fire up a stove to use a percolator coffee maker that needs to be tended for 15-20 minute.

The other realization is how much we depend on electric lighting, even during the day.  There are a lot of dark places in the house like bathrooms, basement hallways and rooms and the garage.  I have taken to wearing my Yalumi headlamp anytime I am doing a project because sooner or later I will need go to a dark area for supplies or tools and will need some light.

The sun has been cooperative and has kept the battery banks full.  We expect a couple rainy days soon so today I fired up the generators.  We have 2 Tri-Fuel generators and 1 propane generator.  During the stormy days, I’ll try running them on natural gas first, which is what I’d do in a real emergency, and then switch to propane.  I prefer propane over gasoline because it is easier to store.

When the storm hits, we expect 2 nights when the temperature will dip into the 30’s  so keeping the house warm will become an issue.  I gave our furnace a test run today with a generator running the blower fan.  Everything worked well.

Food and cooking food is still going well.  We switched to a Century Matchless single burner propane stove for today.  Lots of BTUs for a quick boil.  Cost is about $28.  It uses one pound propane canisters that cost $2 to $3 each.

One realization on cooking more food than you can eat in one meal, without refrigeration you can’t store the food.  This means that you eat leftovers every meal until the excess food is gone.  Don’t cook more than you can eat.

We are learning some tricks for kitchen cleanup.  We try to use no more than one-half gallon of water per day for washing.  The best trick we have come up with so far is to wipe out pots, pans and cooking utensils immediately after use with a paper towel.  Do a final rinse with clean water then wipe dry with a cloth dish towel wish you can hang to dry.

 

Sanitation has been a little surprising.  We have flushed a toilet 9 times in the first two days.  True it’s only pool water but I have been surprised at how many times we flush even while we are trying to be conservative.

Hygiene is on track.  We had our first full showers today.   We used two empty gallon milk jugs that were spray painted black.  Water filled jugs were put in the sun, one in a sealed turkey roasting bag.  After 4 hours in a 70 degree sun the water in the plain jug was 110 degrees.  The water in the jug sealed in the turkey roasting bag was 127 degrees, on the verge of being too hot for a shower.  Hot water sure felt goooooood!  I punctured small holes in one of the caps, when the jug is turned upside down it acts like a shower nozzle.  We used the left over soapy grey water to flush a toilet.

I think that’s it for today.  So far so good.

 

Ed Rogers
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