Prep "HACKs"

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helicopilot
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Prep "HACKs"

Post by helicopilot » Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:00 am

Let's start a new thread here...

Anyone has interesting life hacks that make things simpler, more efficient, or cheaper?

I'll start with one.

I was looking at getting a log bag to bring firewood into the basement from the wood stack. I was turned off by the cost and noticed that most of them had open ends which would mean that debris could slip off and make a mess in the house.

Then I saw the blue tarp IKEA bag we had in the garage from a recent trip. For ONE DOLLAR, you get a sturdy bag that carries about a day worth of firewood! The bags are surprisingly sturdy (I have one that is 1.5 season strong and still looking fine) and all the crumbs are kept in the bag; no mess in the house!!

Passing in front of IKEA (kidding, it's a detour, and the wife really "needed" something there), I picked up 5 more bags - I'm such a big spender...

Now, I have my wood stack beside the wood stove and 2 more large bag in the utility room warming up and drying up ahead of the burn.



Clarence
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Re: Prep "HACKs"

Post by Clarence » Sun Jan 05, 2020 4:33 pm

Well this should be a good one!
With recent ice, I remember using the coals and ash from outdoor wood furnace and throwing that all around the driveway and parking areas. Awesome results.

Outdoor wood furnaces are frigging awesome. Remember farmers who I didn’t know coming over to look at mine and now I see them all over the place. Stack wood beside and just feed the beast once a day. Reduced labour to schlep, no mess, no fluctuations in house temperatures, ash dust and no risk of house fire! The only thing is you need power to pump water to house!

Looking forward to everyone’s posts.

Clarence
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Re: Prep "HACKs"

Post by Clarence » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:12 pm

Expecting a possible real bad ice storm in eastern ontario this weekend.
As we have a thousand foot plus driveway and no longer an outdoor wood furnace with plenty of ash, I plan on cutting down many of the small one inch trees that bend over when laden with ice, cut up and scatter the branches on the road for extra traction. All our vehicles are 4wd but with slopes.. it can prove fun and who needs the extra grief of frigging with towing with tractor etc.

By hourly forecast, we may have 35mm of freezing rain, I think the ice storm of 98 had 75mm

Will be filling pots and bathtubs for toilet flushing when generator is turned off. Gens will be once more tested tomorrow and all the other stuff ready to rock.

Dont forget to unlock any garage man doors one may need to use to get access to main garage doors.
If anyone wants to d9 a last minute propane , battery... top off, I would recommend today or Friday at the latest. I am expecting shelves to empty pretty fast Friday night and Saturday morning. :x

To all those in the region, all the best.

Nagol
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Re: Prep "HACKs"

Post by Nagol » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:19 pm

Looks like we’re close by Clarence, let’s just hope it stays warm enough to avoid most of the damage.

Clarence
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Re: Prep "HACKs"

Post by Clarence » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:23 am

Ice storm that never was, at least in ottawa area, rain and ice pellets. Thank god, hate to spend another fifteen tears cleaning up again.

Nagol
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Re: Prep "HACKs"

Post by Nagol » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:10 pm

Yeah, anti climactic. Aside from the nuclear alert...

Clarence
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Re: Prep "HACKs"

Post by Clarence » Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:02 pm

Adding ice to freezers or even fridges.
In prep for the ice storm that never was, I gathered up a number of the water bottles I use on ATV.. and threw in the open areas of my freezers.
While I have a generator, I would not not nor would need to run it 24/7 so by topping up empty space with ice, my freezers can be without power for longer periods of time and the same can apply to regular fridge.

Another thing a person who perhaps lives in an apartment or without a generator can do, is fill up all your coolers with ice (Pre frozen bottles of water)and leave outside. You can then draw from this mini ice house and use in your fridge and smaller freezer.

If you can pack and cover the coolers in snow, even better. Cover if needed to keep sun off them. A piece of plywood, cardboard or blanket helps, throw into an unheated garage or garden shed.

To help keep the fridge cool, you want to open as little as possible. To help do this, take the things like milk, juices, cheese, sliced meats... and all the things that will go bad fast and that you will want to eat up and put them in a cooler with some ice. That way your not opening the fridge for breakfast, lunch items.

I haven’t done an experiment but I believe water bottles will stay frozen longer then a chunk of ice the same size. When I put water bottles in my sink to thaw, I have ice in my 500ml bottles for 12 hours later. This in a house at 24c!

you also still have this water for cooking, sanitation or drinking needs. Thawed water does have a taste, but it still works.

If you have an old fridge that doesn’t work or the one you keep in the garage for extra space for summer party food,, fill it up with water bottles and let them freeze up.

I just thought of laying out a space blanket between contents and freezer chest lid. Anyone try that?

So what other tricks do you use to help keep things cold in your house fridge or freezers when in a no power situation?

Nagol
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Re: Prep "HACKs"

Post by Nagol » Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:52 am

The gasket seal and insulation value would be superior in the fridge lid, adding a thermal barrier between it and the food would probably be counter productive at worst(condensation would be my first concern) and have no discernable effect at best. Ideally keep the freezer full of food or high mass items, the more thermal mass at temperature, the longer it will stay cold.
Opinion of a refrigeration tech, for what it’s worth.

Most of our outtages are during the winter and my freezer is “outside” in an unheated addition so it almost never runs in the cold. During the summer, interruptions are short, so little issue and a small genny takes care of it.

Clarence
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Re: Prep "HACKs"

Post by Clarence » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:52 pm

Nagol wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:52 am
The gasket seal and insulation value would be superior in the fridge lid, adding a thermal barrier between it and the food would probably be counter productive at worst(condensation would be my first concern) and have no discernable effect at best. Ideally keep the freezer full of food or high mass items, the more thermal mass at temperature, the longer it will stay cold.
Opinion of a refrigeration tech, for what it’s worth.

Most of our outtages are during the winter and my freezer is “outside” in an unheated addition so it almost never runs in the cold. During the summer, interruptions are short, so little issue and a small genny takes care of it.
Agree with your mass concept and outdoor, unheated freezer. We have one fridge freezer unit and one standup freezer in said unheated garage that we use for some wild game and summer party spillover use. All on generator circuits.
Appreciate the tech input on temp use of a space blanket. I thought in an emergency situation of a few days / yes a very small “emergency “/ more to help keep spoilage down, that it might help. Happy shoveling

Clarence
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Re: Prep "HACKs"

Post by Clarence » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:08 pm

ATV or 4WD hack:
Thinking of my use of water bottles for freezer use, reminded me of one for atv that I learnt about a few summers ago.

I never had an atv radiator overheat due to mud or swamp debris but while out on atv runs with people, I have seen it occur about once a year. The guys will take a water bottle and put a tiny hole in the cap with their pocket knife “awl”

Then you squeeze the bottle and aim the tiny stream of water at muddy radiator to de clog it. Seen it work and help people keep going.

Something to keep in mind for a truck if ever needing to use some real rough muddy or swamp grass trails.

Another item people carry is a mini toy water gun. Just a simple hand piston pump they can use to squirt water at the rad


Pardon me in advance but will post this under an ATV link so people can perhaps find this hack of use.

Happy hacking

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