I love finding new supplies and gear for our prepping and this month I hit a jackpot! I discovered two LifeStraw products I didn’t know about, tried USB-charged batteries for the first time, and then gave myself a full-body cleansing with an Epic Wipe!
Here are the details of these innovative products for your emergency kit.
I’ve owned LifeStraws ever since they were first introduced. It’s a handy filter but has its drawbacks. You have to plunge the entire filter into water and drink directly from the filter. Designed to be used in outdoor, wilderness scenarios, the LifeStraw is a good addition to your bug out bag or emergency kit. However, I’m liking the LifeStraw Flex a whole lot better, and here’s why.
First, it has the same level of effectiveness as the original LifeStraw but now the filter is much smaller and designed to act not only as a drinking straw-type filter but can also be used with a water bladder, like a Camelbak, with a water bottle, a gravity filter, and with the soft bottle that comes with the filter. It purifies water in 2 steps. The first filter removes E.coli and protozoa and is effective for 500 gallons. A second charcoal filter works to reduce lead, chlorine, and provide better tasting water. The filter itself is about 5″ long, which makes it the perfect size to slip into a backpack pocket. I really liked the soft bottle and the versatility of the whole package. (The LifeStraw Flex is part of a giveaway. Scroll down to enter.)
When it comes to prepping, there’s no such thing as “one size fits all.” In fact, that thinking will leave you either woefully unprepared for your specific needs or weighted down with useless, expensive supplies. This version combines the same LifeStraw Flex filter I’ve described above gives you the option of filtering water for a number of people. It comes with a large 1-gallon bag and a tube, allowing you to have a gravity-fed water filter literally anywhere.
Again, the small LifeStraw Flex filter can be used on its own like a straw, with a water bladder, and with a plastic water bottle, so that gives you a lot of versatility. However, with the gravity bag, you can filter a large amount of water for your whole family. Refill the bag as needed and you’ll have a continual supply of safe drinking water. The bag folds flat, weighs just a few ounces, and the tiny LifeStraw Flex filter can be stored just about anywhere. Together, you could easily pack them in a glove box, any emergency kit, a vehicle kit, a drawer, shoebox — anywhere! (Look for this as a prize in a giveaway at the bottom of this review!)
“You can never have too many batteries!”
That’s familiar advice found on most prepper and survival websites. The only problem is that batteries can and do go bad and rechargeable batteries rely on electricity. Survival Frog sent me a set of their Easypower Batteries, which are charged by connecting them to any USB port. Now, I know USB relies on electricity, but there are many solar devices on the market with USB ports. Most vehicles also have USB chargers. With the Easypower Batteries, you can charge them with electricity, off your car battery, and with solar power.
Your set of Easypower Batteries comes with 4 AA batteries and a small charger. It’s a simple matter of slipping off the green cap and plugging each one in to charge. Two or three sets of these would provide you with enough batteries for numerous devices and allow you to keep a set in your emergency kit. As you’ll see on this information page, Survival Frog also sells a QuadraPro Solar Bank with USB ports that would give you not only the solar charging power for your batteries but a small, portable solar panel for other uses.
In a list of innovative preps, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this handy piece of gear, the Tesla lighter. This past Christmas I took this as my White Elephant gift, and it turned out to be the hit of the evening, and who could blame that crowd of middle-aged party-goers?
This lighter is the ideal fire starter because it doesn’t use a flame and can be recharged via a USB port again and again and again. It’s the lighter that never runs out of energy if you have a handy solar charger as mentioned above. Wind and rain are no problem when you use this lighter. The tiny arc of energy instantly ignites kindling, or a cigarette, for that matter, allowing you to quickly build a fire. This is a product that doesn’t disappoint in its quality or performance.
Love at first sight. I’ve always been a fan of external power packs but this Portable Power Outlet takes the pack to a whole new level for me. Not only is it portable, about 5 inches by 5 inches and weighs 1.5 pounds, but it has both USB ports AND an AC power outlet, which means I can plug in electrical devices like my laptop. Its maximum output is 65 watts and it has the power to run a smaller television, a fan, and similar items.
I’ve taken it with me on road trips and around town and really like having that much stored power for our smartphones and the option to use it for things that need to be plugged into an electrical outlet.
Now, let me step back for a minute and address a comment I hear from a lot of preppers. “When the EMP happens, why would you care about having electronics, like a cell phone?”
The inevitability of an EMP that takes out our power grid is popular in fiction, but I hope you aren’t living every day, expecting that imminent explosion. It’s not good for your mindset and believing that modern-day devices will soon be obsolete so what’s the use of using or protecting them is enormously short-sighted. Those devices can store and provide massive amounts of information that would be a huge advantage to your survival.
Read this for more reasons why preppers should definitely include electronic devices in their survival plans.
So, with that said, you do need an external power pack if you use a cell phone, GPS, or other devices, and this particular one is heavy duty, charges quickly with its own wall charger, and has an easy-to-read LED screen showing the charging level of the battery. You can pick it up at a Best Buy or online at the myCharge website.
Who could resist a product named “Epic Wipe“? I fell in love with the name and then fell in love with the wipes after just one use. These wet wipes are enormous, plenty big to give your entire body a thorough cleansing. They are just glorious and yes, you do need them.
You need them in your bug out bag, your emergency kits, your diaper bag, your glove compartment, your fishing gear, your camping gear, your vehicle emergency kit — you need this!
Not only do they smell amazingly fresh but one of these Epic Wipes is large enough for two average-size people — just cut the wipe in half. If you have little ones, one wipe could clean 2 or 3 or them, maybe 4 if Junior is still a toddler! In fact, if you work out at the gym before heading to the office, one of these would give you the clean feeling you love from a shower in a fraction of the time. There’s no residue and the wipe itself is biodegradable.
Personal story. When we were camping in Iceland 2 years ago, showers were sometimes hard to come by. There were times when I didn’t change clothes for 2 or 3 days — fleece-lined tights, my silk longjohns, long pants, a wool shirt and then another shirt on top of that. Yeah, even my sweet husband commented a couple of times that maybe I needed a shower! An Epic Wipe would have been so much easier and believe me, on our next camping trip, I’ll be packing 2 or 3 of these per person. Epic Wipes. They’re awesome. (They’re also part of my giveaway! Scroll down…)
Have you ever been in an area, even in a city, where your cell phone signal suddenly dropped off? I’ve had this happen many times and sometimes at the very worst possible moment. When my 2 kids and I drove from Phoenix to Lake Tahoe a few years back, I stupidly neglected to bring along a paper map. I only had my cellphone GPS to guide me on a trip hundreds of miles long, and sure enough, just west of Reno, my signal suddenly disappeared. I didn’t have a clue about where I should go. I only knew that Lake Tahoe lay somewhere to the west — but how to get there??
I wish I had had a cell phone booster, and not just for that one occasion but for many similar events over the years. The weBoost Drive Sleek 4G booster is compatible with all mobile phones and wireless carriers in the U.S. and in Canada.
A 3-inch exterior antenna attaches to the outside roof of the car and is connected to a thin cable. When you attach the cable to the booster and connect it to the vehicle’s 12V power port, not only will you receive a higher quality signal but fewer dead zones and faster uploads and downloads. The Drive Sleek amplifies weak signals but doesn’t create signals if there truly isn’t anything in the area. If you ever travel alone or with your kids, this might provide an extra layer of security, knowing you’ll be better able to reach out for help, find the nearest gas station, call home, make a hotel reservation, or use GPS.
This final find is maybe the most innovative of all.
Imagine working in the yard, changing the oil in your car, painting a room, or working on a craft project, getting your hands filthy dirty and then being able to wipe off the paint, oil, grease, glue, compost, or just about anything else with just a damp cloth.
No scrubbing or using a harsh cleaner, no need for Goo Gone — just wipe and it’s gone.
Well, that’s exactly how you’ll clean your hands when you use Workman’s Friend. This is a hand lotion that is formulated to protectively coat your hands with an invisible protective layer. It goes on like hand lotion, feels like hand lotion, but darn, if it doesn’t make cleaning your hands of grime and dirt super easy! I tested this by getting my hands covered with gunk from under the hood of our truck. I even brought my husband along to see this miracle worker for himself. Sure enough, I wiped my hands clean with a damp kitchen towel and the car engine grime was off in seconds. I couldn’t believe it.
A coating of Workman’s Friend lasts 4 hours. It helps your skin retain its moisture and can actually be used as an everyday hand lotion. The invisible layer also protects your hands from plant irritants, including poison ivy.
Keep a tube of this in your garage on the workbench, in your glove box, with your fishing/camping/hunting gear, and the emergency kit. It’s a simple way to make sure your hands are easy to clean anywhere you happen to be. Click here to order a free sample or a couple of tubes. (I’m giving away 3 tubes of Workman’s Friend to 3 lucky winners! Scroll down to enter.)
Now enter the giveaway!
Prizes include the LifeStraw Flex, the LifeStraw Flex with gravity bag, a case of Epic Wipes, and 3 tubes of Workman’s Friend. One prize per winner and the prize will be randomly assigned.
Giveaway ends on Saturday, October 6, 12 a.m. and winners will be contacted via email within 24 hours. Good luck!