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Snowed in!


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#1 Coopdog

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:17 PM

I know in other parts of the country that snow like this is the norm, but not here in the hilly pacific NW it is not. Last night I ditched going to work because it appeared the so called "snow event" was taking off hard and earlier than predicted here. I am SO GLAD I did! By the time I would have been coming up the road there would have been a foot of snow and there is no way my all wheel drive SUV would have made it up the hill at the end of the road. 

 

At any rate there is 14-15 inches out there now, and I am not going anywhere. We lost power last night for a few hours, and a HUGE shout out of thanks to the crews that worked in that mess to get us back up and running. Last time this happened we were without power for 13 days! It's not even close to being over yet though. 

 

I wanted to bring a good survival item up to share with you all. Anyone ever use a terra cotta pot heater? We have used one a few times and it works amazingly well. I simply went and got 4 cans of food from the pantry and put 5 tealight candles under it and we stayed snug as can be, and maybe a bit warmer than we were with the electric heat on. You can buy tealight candles very cheap online or at the local dollar store, we buy them by the hundred in case of extended power outages in times like these. I figured I would share the information because this is the first time it was ever truly cold when we used it and I was surprised at the amount of heat radiating off of those pots. 

 

I use two pots and some nuts and bolts to separate them a bit for airflow, with a longer center bolt to help radiate that head out through the pots too. Works amazingly well. Now I sure hope this snow starts to dissipate some before the commute next week. This is getting scary deep indeed and I am glad the freezer is stocked and we have lots of water and beer and stuff. Now I am gonna go out and take some pics and tromp around in the snow some! 

 

Anyone else in Western WA dealing with this right now? 

 

EDIT: I don't suggest using the muffin pans because then the candles would simply liquify and the wick would fall over and go out I think, I leave them get as much air as I can to avoid that. 

 

[Direct Link]


Edited by Coopdog, 09 February 2019 - 05:20 PM.

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#2 Seeker2be

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:50 PM

Thanks for that tip.  14 inches of snow on the Olympic Peninsula where I live.  No one needs to drive and their aren't many plows in this area that rarely gets this kind of snowfall.


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#3 Juthro

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 07:34 PM

14" of snow is no joke, that amount of snow would leave me stuck in my driveway without my snowblower.  I'm too old and to warn out to shovel the driveway by hand, lol. 

 

It'll be over  soon enough where you guys are at.  Stay home and enjoy the beauty if you can, and stay safe y'all.

 

Best wishes.


Edited by Juthro, 09 February 2019 - 07:34 PM.

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#4 MeadMaker

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 09:35 PM

One word of warning about using any open flame heating device indoors. Make sure you have proper ventilation of fumes. Carbon monoxide poisoning is real, and there have been too many cases of people trying to keep warm with methods like this and end up killing themselves and family in the process. There are of course other safety concerns but you ought to already know how to not burn down your house so I won't elaborate. Where I live, carbon monoxide alarms are now required just like smoke detectors.
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#5 Seeker2be

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 10:00 PM

Good advice Mead.  I have plenty of wood and making use of my time making grapefruit marmalade and working on mushroom cultivation in jars and totes.


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#6 Coopdog

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 10:11 PM

That little heater only uses 5 tea light candles, pretty sure that is not gonna kill us, but the wind blows right through this house so no worries about ventilation here. If I was burning 30-40 candles in one closed room, that might be a problem, but as long as the cats are not around this is pretty safe. No cats allowed in my room so all is well. We use battery powered candles for lighting when the power goes out. Amazing how long the batteries last in those little LED lights. Thanks for bringing up the safety concerns though as they are very valid in some cases for sure


Edited by Coopdog, 09 February 2019 - 10:13 PM.

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#7 Juthro

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 11:09 PM

Here we have several candle lanterns that hang from strategically placed hooks in the celening in various rooms.  This keeps them fire safe, and far out of reach of our cats. They say they put out up to 450 BTU, and have around a 4hr burn time. 

 

This is the style that I use.  https://www.amazon.c... candle lantern

 

And tea candles are cheap and easy to find just about anywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#8 Coopdog

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 12:11 AM

That's pretty cool.



#9 Juthro

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 01:44 AM

Another cool device that can be used indoors to cook, or boil is a small spirit burner.   You need to make sure you have some fresh air ventilation, but they burn very clean and odorless.  They are also almost completely  silent, unlike propane, or white gas stoves.

 

They run on methanol (yellow bottles of HEAT brand fuel dryer), or denatured alcohol (paint section of big box store).   You can also run it on isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) but it burns very dirty with this and will coat your pans with nasty black soot.  These things are under $20,  and just about bullet proof.  I have a couple and they work really well, and fit in almost any bug out bag/emergency type kit. 

 

I couple mine with a cheap (<$10) folding stove that works as a wind screen for the burner and has a sturdy grate to hold your pan while your cooking with it.  But a couple of bricks work in a pinch.

 

 

[Direct Link]

 


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#10 pharmer

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 11:31 AM

does it run on ethanol?



#11 Juthro

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 12:53 PM

does it run on ethanol?

 

It actually runs really well on ethanol, but drinking quality booze has a lot of taxes and regulations on it.  I have found it is a lot cheaper to buy those yellow (don't use the red ones, its not the same contents) bottles of HEET, or a big can of denatured alcohol from the paint section of home deport.  Those are the two cheapest fuels I've found, and they both burn very clean.  Little to no soot, or oder.   The red HEET, and iso will work in a pinch, but they will blacken the shit out of all your cookware and stove, very dirty.

 

To date I've made mine run on ethanol, methanol, denatured alcohol, and isopropanol.   You just don't want to use any petroleum based fuels.  No kerosene, liquid paraffin, lamp oil, white gas, or gasoline.

 

Trangia makes stoves and mess kits for the Swedish military, and these are their civilian version.  They also sell the burner in a really nice cooking kit combo that acts as windscreen, and pot holder, that nests with a couple of small bowls, a frying pan, and a kettle for boiling water.  The whole thing nests together and is quite small and light.   They are around $100 for the kit, + or - $30  depending on what options and size you want.   I got mine off of from amazon, but this is their company website.

 

https://trangia.se/en/


Edited by Juthro, 10 February 2019 - 12:54 PM.


#12 pharmer

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 01:12 PM

I'm surprised you're not burning ethanol you've distilled

 

I'll probably buy the still before winter is over. First order of business will be to bank a couple gallons of ethanol of varying purity.

 

But I'm off topic


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#13 Juthro

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 01:34 PM

It's also worth noting that the Trangia will produce around 3000 BTU's (roughly 1 kw) of heat, if you needed to press them into duty as an emergency heater.  On ethel, methel, or denatured alcohol it will produce very little to no CO, but it still uses O2 and makes CO2, so make sure your ventilation is adequate.

 

And if you can have a CO detector, use it.  Better safe than dead.


Edited by Juthro, 10 February 2019 - 01:38 PM.

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#14 Juthro

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 01:59 PM

This is the cheap (walmart @ around $10) folding stove that I like to I use with my Trangia,  as this vid shows, it also can be used as a wood burning stove as well.  Though you probably don't want to use it indoors like that.

 

I like that it is sturdy enough to put full sized pots or pans on it.  So much of the backpack orientated gear is so small and ultra light you have to be really careful to use full sized pan to keep from spilling and making a mess.  This stove easily holds my 8in cast iron skillet, and the burner provides more than enough heat to fry bacon and eggs in it.  What more do you need, lol.

 

Its worth noting that the trangia  doesn't quite sit properly inside of this stove without some help.  I've found that a used wide mouth ball lid fits in the stove very well, it almost locks into place and makes a very sturdy base for the spirit burner to sit on.  Super easy, and I just keep a lid in the bag I store the stove when folded up.

 

[Direct Link]


Edited by Juthro, 10 February 2019 - 02:00 PM.

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#15 Coopdog

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 02:38 PM

Our smoke detectors are also carbon monoxide detectors. Never heard a peep out of them. I am so pleased with the terra cotta pot thing that I will probably just use that and possibly make one for each of our rooms. Some good ideas there though. 

 

I have to try and get out of here today though. The wife and daughter need their prescription meds filled, and that is one thing we forgot. Need to ask the doc for an extra prescription to keep at home for emergencies like this. 

 

Still got 10-14 inches depending on where you measure out there, 14 is of course in my driveway lol. Supposed to get more significant snowfall in the next couple of days so got to try and get the meds and grab what supplies we are still gonna need. Wish me luck lol


Edited by Coopdog, 10 February 2019 - 02:41 PM.

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#16 Coopdog

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 03:45 AM

We made it out surprisingly well, the Rogue crawled right up and out of here including a drift 16 inches deep at the top of the driveway. Tonight is a mixture of freezing rain and snow supposed to accumulate a lot of both. Looks like the car deals with snow ok, but Ice is a whole other issue. Wish me luck tomorrow as I am supposed to go to work and thinking that is probably kind of a stupid thing to do at this point in the weather system. We could get up to 12 inches more in the next two days on top of this ice raining down tonight. What a mess...



#17 pharmer

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:15 AM

Welcome to a fairly normal Great Lakes Winter

 

Maybe you're getting more snow than a normal dump here but that freezing rain mix is as normal as teens and hormones


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#18 Juthro

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 02:51 PM

I'm with you Coop, fresh snow is usually pretty easy to drive in, up until it gets deep enough to high center, then your pretty much stopped.

 

But once its been drove on, and been slightly melted by the sunshine, and then refrozen at night....   That stuff can be quite treacherous. 

 

Stay safe brother, good vibes your way :)



#19 Alder Logs

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 05:56 PM

Raining here now and the snow is very slushy.  I would drive out, except if I did, I would not get the car back into the yard, and would have to walk a ways to it.  I don't have to go anywhere until Friday, so I'm hunkering down.  I haven't had to go out and knock and drag snow off my many fabric roofs, which is way more of an aerobic exercise than I want to have to do.  I hope the water stays on so I don't have to go up the canyon to deal with the pipes coming apart, as it's hard enough most of the time.  The transfer case in my '96 Toyota has been busted for four years.  It's about time I get that fixed.  Maybe this summer.  It never seems as important in June as it does December to March. 


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#20 Alder Logs

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:09 AM

The snow and rain finally took out the power and internet. Even though I have a generator, the monopoly ISP won't put in a battery backup on their switch box three miles down the road. So, if the power is out below that, I still have the $1200+ per year phone line, but no DSL service. Good old CenturyStink.

 

Now I have reset the clocks.  Does that jinx the power staying on?


Edited by Alder Logs, 12 February 2019 - 12:16 AM.

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