Author Topic: Cold Weather Preps  (Read 15374 times)

0degreesK

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Cold Weather Preps
« on: October 13, 2008, 02:44:32 PM »
I live in Akron, Ohio, which is about 30 minutes south of Cleveland.  The winters here can get pretty bad.  I started getting into this stuff in the summer, but now I'm faced with winter and I'm kind of nervous.  I have a gas furnace and electric oven/stove.  The way I'm looking at it, if the electricity goes-out for an extended period, I could be in trouble.

I thought about this a couple of weeks ago and started looking at kerosene heaters.  I figured in a pinch, I could put the heater in a bedroom and keep the door close, essentially concentrating on keeping that room tolerable.  But, that would require quite a bit of kerosene.

I don't have a fireplace.

I guess I'm also thinking survival vs. comfort here.

SueDonim

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 03:03:10 PM »
I don't want to be too obvious here, but please be careful about carbon monoxide poisoning.  I don't know lots about cold weather (being in NC) but I know every time there is a power outage, several people die from carbon monoxide poisoning from running portable heaters (I think they were kerosene) in closed spaces.

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than I am can add more here.

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 04:42:46 PM »
I don't want to be too obvious here, but please be careful about carbon monoxide poisoning.  I don't know lots about cold weather (being in NC) but I know every time there is a power outage, several people die from carbon monoxide poisoning from running portable heaters (I think they were kerosene) in closed spaces.

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than I am can add more here.

BIG +1  Suedonim

Odegreesk be very careful using one of these if you never have before. read the directions and leave a window cracked open for fresh air to enter

0degreesK

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 05:56:17 PM »
Thanks for the warning... I had no plan of asphyxiating myself.  heheh...

Offline Beetle

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 06:12:33 PM »
  You can check out the buddy heaters http://www.mrheater.com/ they have a low oxygen shut off sensor and run about 8-10 hrs on a 1lb propane tank. Nice that they are propane, it takes dealing with Kerosene out of the question.
I've seen them for under $90.  Since the 1lb tanks are a little on the expensive side you can get a kit to refill them from a larger tank.
The only downfall is it might heat a room if it is well insulated, they are not the most powerful of heaters.
On the plus side they are compact and very easy to use.

Offline 19kilo

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2008, 04:21:19 AM »
In another thread Tactical badger ( who lives in our region) had a great idea of putting a tent up in a large room in the house.    That is now part of my planning with a propane heates and a CO detecter.

0degreesK

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2008, 07:02:37 AM »
In another thread Tactical badger ( who lives in our region) had a great idea of putting a tent up in a large room in the house.    That is now part of my planning with a propane heates and a CO detecter.
That's an interesting idea!  Can you track that thread down, by any chance?

millerized1

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2008, 07:58:50 AM »
Thanks for the warning... I had no plan of asphyxiating myself.  heheh...
Not a lot of folks plan for it. 

0degreesK

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2008, 08:06:47 AM »
Thanks for the warning... I had no plan of asphyxiating myself.  heheh...
Not a lot of folks plan for it. 
Survival of the fittest?!?  Sorry... I couldn't resist. ;)

dragonart

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2008, 02:59:34 PM »
I live in Akron, Ohio, which is about 30 minutes south of Cleveland.  The winters here can get pretty bad.  I started getting into this stuff in the summer, but now I'm faced with winter and I'm kind of nervous.  I have a gas furnace and electric oven/stove.  The way I'm looking at it, if the electricity goes-out for an extended period, I could be in trouble.

I thought about this a couple of weeks ago and started looking at kerosene heaters.  I figured in a pinch, I could put the heater in a bedroom and keep the door close, essentially concentrating on keeping that room tolerable.  But, that would require quite a bit of kerosene.

I don't have a fireplace.

I guess I'm also thinking survival vs. comfort here.

A wood or coal burning stove is awesome, and you can do what we did.  We bought ours on eBay.  It's in excellent condition and it only cost $120.  All we need is to find someone to hook it up to our existing fireplace w/liner, which we may have found someone who can do it.  If you live in coal country, look into getting a stove that can burn either wood or coal.  The great thing about a cast iron stove is there is no electrical needed and it does provide a substantial amount of heat.

GroundPounder

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2008, 03:14:05 PM »
I bought a 23,000 BTU kerosene heater at Lowes a few years ago at the end of winter.  They put everything at 1/2 price at the end of the season so its a great time to buy.  It uses about 1 gal every 6 hours.  Of course that depends on how cold it is and how high you turn it.  A couple of 5 gal cans could probably get you through a weekend.  It is a pretty stable fuel so I personally dont have an issue storing a few cans in the garage.  As mentioned, its a good idea to open the window a crack to let some fresh air in.

I also have a few Mr. Buddy's.  They burn through a lot of canisters and just dont seem to work all that well IMO.  Last winter I shut off the heat and fired one up in my bedroom - it had a hard time keeping up.  Great for the deer stand though. 

Something else to consider is how you house is insulated.  Adding more insulation would not only decrease your heating bills, but would hold the heat in longer if you used an alternate source.  It would also decrease fuel consumption on your heat source.

Also look at the clothing you have.  Do you and your family have plenty of warm clothes if you had to bundle up for a while?  You will save a considerable amount of fuel layering up that trying to keep your house at 72 degrees during the blizzard. If your family does not know how to layer teach them. 

As with anything when prepping always have a least 2 options.  I can tell you from experience that you primary option will always break if you only have one. 

Offline wingrider

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2008, 08:50:45 PM »
I live in Minnesota where our winters can get cold and snowy. I put a natural gas fireplace in my home 2 years ago. I specifically looked for one that is home heater rated. It has a 110 volt fan and remote control, but will run in a radiant heat mode if the power goes out.
It won't keep the whole house cozy without a fan and ducting, but it will keep the pipes from freezing and that is peace of mind.
And I do have several battery CO detectors throughout the house. CO detectors are now mandated by law in this state.   

dreadstalker

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2008, 09:16:35 PM »
In another thread Tactical badger ( who lives in our region) had a great idea of putting a tent up in a large room in the house.    That is now part of my planning with a propane heates and a CO detecter.
That's an interesting idea!  Can you track that thread down, by any chance?

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php/topic,140.0.html

Offline Puukko56

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2008, 06:31:54 PM »
I'm in North Dakota, I just got done getting my car winter survival kit ready. It's going into the pickup tonight and won't be out until May.

Lucretius

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2008, 11:42:17 AM »
Lots of wool blankets.... wrap them around yourself or cover the windows with them. Keeps you warm and comfy!  ;)

doctorzero

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2008, 07:04:17 PM »
7700 foot elevation, western slope Colorado Rockies here. Battery operated CO monitor and winter clothing will be primary method here. Big Buddy propane heater for back up. I LOVE snow camping so being indoors even if it is below freezing will be pretty luxurious. LOL

ink

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2008, 09:15:51 PM »
40 degrees last night, and 34 tonight where I live.  I've always added an oil-filled electric heater in winter.  This year maybe I'll go without it for kicks & SHTF practice. 

I added an unzipped sleeping bag to the bed's blankets.  Tonight we'll see how that goes. 

Started keeping a fleece hoodie and fleece pants near the bed.  Leaving the warm bed for the cold room... this will help.  The fleece pants will fit over other pants... which is actually really warm.  Need to do something about feet now. 

Kinda fun.  I was raised to believe turning on the heat was a sign of weakness, so ditching that electric heater makes me feel good.    ;D

ottowolf

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2008, 05:02:30 PM »
I have a small battery bank and inverter to keep the furnace running. plus I also have kerosene, propane and colemen fuel heaters as backup.  along with a generator.

Offline creuzerm

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2008, 07:51:33 PM »
I just helped my folks switch out the propane fireplace with a wood fireplace in the house they bought a few months ago. It took 1000 gallons of LP to heat the house last winter according to the old owners. We have ALWAYS heated with wood at the old house, so we have 2 years of it in a leanto off of the old barn. It's now 3 miles away from the stove, but that's a cheap, if time consuming fix.

The LP forced air furnace will be set pretty low, like maybe 60 degrees. The idea is to see if they can heat with wood for the most part at the new house. I guess we will know in a few months.

This spring I picked up some of those window insulating kits on clearance at the local chinamart. I got half a dozen kits as they where THAT cheap. Both inside and outside application. The next warm day here, I am planning on installing the outside set. I can then install the inside set when I get bored or cold. :)

I had read about the tent idea as well. My current tent is a MASSIVE family tent. I don't think I can even set it up fully in my bedroom. I was thinking of getting a much smaller tent, a backpacking single person's tent when I find one on clearance. As many of these tents are free standing, I don't have to nail them to the floor, so I could even set up the little tent in the bigger tent in the bedroom. That oughta be enough for a candle or an oil lamp to keep warm. Especially if I am all bundled up.

My fish tanks would freeze up if the power was out for an extended period of time. The heaters are small enough that I suppose I could run them off of a power inverter and a deep cycle battery. Not sure where I would charge the battery though.  It would probably be cheaper to replace the fish in the spring, but I would feel so bad about letting them die.
Hrmm, just looking at the tank, it's on an outside wall. I should probably make up a quilted blanket to go between the wall and the tank to keep it a tad warmer over the winter.

The warm clothes. Keep them folded up under your pillow. This should keep much of the chill off of them. I hate putting cold things on in the morning. It just seems to ruin my whole day.

Offline Pangie

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2008, 10:12:31 PM »
I'm in North Dakota, I just got done getting my car winter survival kit ready. It's going into the pickup tonight and won't be out until May.

Hey, that makes you just the person I'm looking for!

I'm in ND, too, and I'm building my winter car kit right now, too.  We haven't had a ton of snow in past years, so I thought it might not be a bad idea to keep some water in the car, too, in case I get stranded somewhere without any snow to melt.  The problem with this is, I'm thinking if I just put a jug of water in the car, it'll freeze and burst.  One thing I thought of is wrapping my blanket around the water and putting it in my container to insulate it, but then if it does  burst, my blanket will be all wet and useless to me.  I know I can get those little water pouches, but I really don't have the spare cash to do that right now and I'd rather do this with an 85 cent jug of water instead.

Also, what all did you put in your kit?  I always feel like I either have way too little or not nearly enough.  I need some help finding my happy medium. :)

Offline creuzerm

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2008, 10:47:16 PM »

I'm in ND, too, and I'm building my winter car kit right now, too.  We haven't had a ton of snow in past years, so I thought it might not be a bad idea to keep some water in the car, too, in case I get stranded somewhere without any snow to melt.  The problem with this is, I'm thinking if I just put a jug of water in the car, it'll freeze and burst.  One thing I thought of is wrapping my blanket around the water and putting it in my container to insulate it, but then if it does  burst, my blanket will be all wet and useless to me.  I know I can get those little water pouches, but I really don't have the spare cash to do that right now and I'd rather do this with an 85 cent jug of water instead.

Also, what all did you put in your kit?  I always feel like I either have way too little or not nearly enough.  I need some help finding my happy medium. :)

Cold is cold. Wrapping it in a blanket will slow the water down from getting cold, but it will eventually chill to the 'average' temperature of the car. If it's ten below out, it's going to be ten below inside the car way quicker then you or I want. The blanket will only slow this a little bit.

i have a couple of small bottles of water in my vehicle, probably half a dozen small bottles of water. I get ones that have a good sized air bubble on the top - so the water has some room to expand to. I also get the ones with the heavier bottles, because that air will compress as the ice moves in on it's space. Try putting the bottle into a dish and pop them in your freezer. See if it bursts open. I haven't had any of trouble with the water bottles I freeze to keep the coolers cold. If a small water bottle bursts, you only have a little mess in the car till spring, if a big water jug bursts, you have a big mess until spring.

What you keep in your car is really dependent on where you drive. If you drive from home on one side of Fargo to work on the other side of town, you won't need near the stuff you would need if you live in a small town and need to drive 50 miles to the 'city'.

What's the worst that can happen? Slide off the road and get stuck driving home some night from the city getting supplies for the blizzard that is blowing in?
You would need things to keep you warm. Keep a set of mittens, hats, heavy socks, and blankets for everybody in the family in each car. They can be old shabby ones. Kids are cold enough, the won't care if they aren't stylin'. If your alone, four blankets is a lot warmer then one.

You would need things to get the car unstuck if possible. A tip, a tow-truck or a local's tractor is GREAT for getting a vehicle out of the ditch. If you drive through areas with no cell phone reception, a CB radio may be in order. If they build the ditches in the Dakota's like the do in Wisconsin a shovel and non-clumping cat litter or a tube of sand may not help all that much.

If you feel you need to walk out - unless you can see a place or know exactly where a place is, don't. A car is a lot easier to find then a body. A plow truck will know when it found a car buried under the snow - it may not notice a body under the snow.
Have that map and compass of the area you are walking through. I haven't been through the Dakotas in the winter, but I remember a portion of it being mighty the same in the summer.

Offline Stein

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2008, 11:31:07 AM »
I have a small battery bank and inverter to keep the furnace running.

Great idea, care to share any calculations you did for the lazy amongst us?

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2008, 01:05:03 PM »
I just picked this up today, and I think it should be in every BOB and BOV. They are inexpensive and I think would come in very handy in an emergency. They are called 'HotHands' and they are about the average size of a palm, but they do make ones bigger for putting inside clothing and cost the same. They were 1.97 at Wal-Mart for six packs. They claim to reach temperatures of 126-144 F for 10 hours. Now that is handy (slight pun intended). I could see putting these in gloves, pockets, jackets, whatever you could. I live in NC where it never gets too cold. However, I picked them up just in case. I could see using these in an emergency where the risk of hypothermia or frost bite are likely.

Offline archer

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2008, 01:10:17 PM »
My wife uses those when we camp. She puts them in her sleeping bag on the colder nights. They work great, I keep a small stack in her car in the emergency kit.

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2008, 02:41:29 PM »
I have a small battery bank and inverter to keep the furnace running. plus I also have kerosene, propane and colemen fuel heaters as backup.  along with a generator.

Have you tested the battery pack out to make sure it will run the motor? Is it wired properly? I've seen several people that have tried to do this and got it wrong. For safety reasons I'd get an electrician to wire a bypass panel in.

Offline CTF250

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2008, 02:56:30 PM »
Time to look at what you packed away in your BOB also.  Perhaps the addition of longjohns, wool socks, mittens or gloves, heavy sweatshirt and a pair of sweat pants.

Vehicle prep has been covered a bit in other posts in here.  Time to think about adding the usual winter service,   jumper cables, coffe can with candle etc.



ottowolf

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2008, 06:33:44 PM »
in regards to my inverter set up. 1 vector 750 watt, 2 6 volt batteries wire in series for 12volts. I also added an outlet ant plug to my furnce. I havent  tested it for a longterm. Mine main idea for it is to use it night.

Offline CTF250

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2008, 06:44:34 PM »
OTTO
Do you have any pics of that inverter setup on your furnace?

Would love to see how you did that

ottowolf

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2008, 07:01:42 PM »
Don,t have any pic but will try to post some. when i figure out how to.

SueDonim

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Re: Cold Weather Preps
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2008, 11:58:41 AM »
Coldhaven.  I agree on the Hothands.  My wife gets very cold (painfully cold) hands when it is cold enough to snow.  Beyond the frostbite question, warm hands do a lot for her morale.