Survival Diary June 28: Propane Possibilities

Our all-electric house may be getting its first propane-powered appliance. That could be the foot in the door.

Propane tank

As I have mentioned before, our house is all electric, with no propane or natural gas. Apparently, the former owner, who built the house, did not “believe” in propane and didn’t want it in his house. This makes powering the house by solar power difficult, or at least prohibitively expensive, because running the stove and oven require so much electrical power.

Finding ourselves in need of a new cooktop, we are considering propane. Not because we want to make the house easier to power via sola—that’s an added bonus—but because we both like cooking on gas. We would place a tank outside the house and plumb a gas line into the garage and run it up through the floor of the kitchen under the stove.

The immediate benefit is that we could then cook on the stovetop if there was no electricity. Yes, I know gas appliances today require electricity, but that is easy to provide via battery power, solar power, or a so-called “solar generator.” While we can cook on the wood stove, the Coleman stove, our outdoor grill, or an actual open fire, the ability to cook on a traditional stove top during an extensive power outage would be awesome.

We have made no decision yet. We are at the exploring and getting quotes phase.

Backup Generation

Another benefit of having propane on site is that we could have a generator powered by propane, or a multi-fuel generator. The advantages of propane over gasoline are that it is safer to store and does not deteriorate over time.

I’ve asked three people who live locally if I should consider a permanent standby generator. Two said yes. Of course, they both have standby generators.

In my opinion, we not need a Generac or similar permanently-installed generator. . I could see buying a second, more powerful portable generator and wiring up maybe six circuits to a transfer switch.

Wonderful Weather

It’s hard to think about power outages when our weather has been so excellent. We are experiencing sunny days with temperatures in the high 70s and nights with lows in the high 50s. Two or three times a week we get rain in the afternoon or evening and maybe once we get heavy rain that lasts all night, all day, or maybe both. Anything green is growing robustly. Our peppers have already bloomed, and I noticed the tomatoes have just started.

Contrast that to the Western states where temps have exceeded 100 or even 110 some days. We decided not to move to Montana because it was too cold for too long. Now I see temperatures in Billings hit 100 degrees. The hot weather is heading east this week, with temps predicted to reach close to 100 from Washington to Boston. Not here. Our mountainous location will keep us cool. Elevation makes a difference.

I have taken advantage of the nice weather to mow and weed whack, do some work around the house, and to install half-inch hardware cloth around the entire chicken run. This extends about 26 to 28 inchs up the existing fence and 20 to 22 inches on the ground, making it impossible for small predators to dig their way under the fence. The hardware cloth is wire-tied to the welded wire fence, stapled to the posts, and I used six-inch landscaping staples to attach it to the ground. Now all we have to do is spray a little roundup on the weeds and cover the horizontal fencing with dirt or maybe mulch.

I have not yet decided if we will instal a net over the top of the chicken run to prevent predation from hawks and other birds of prey.

Prepper News Update

Grasshopper Plague Hits U.S.

Speaking of hot weather out west, did you see how the mega drought is causing an outbreak of grasshoppers? The kind that eat what little crops survive the lack of water. Yet another blow to food production in the U.S.

Microchips Expected to See Price Increase

After two days of writing about inflation, I was planning to avoid the “I word” today, but then I saw this article. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which we discussed just last week is the leading supplier of microchips, has said they will rise prices 20 percent next year. That’s going to cause the price of consumer electronics and many other devices to increase. More inflation is coming. If you want a new iPhone, better buy it before 2022.

COVID-19 Cases in Early 2020 Under-Reported by 17 Million

Scientists at the national Institutes of health have determined that incidences of COVID-19 were drastically under-reported during the early stages of the pandemic, which rose to prominence in the U.S. in March of 2020. They reportedly detected only one in six cases because of a lack of tests. As a result, approximately 17 million cases went undetected. The study also showed that the highest concentration of undetected cases was in urban areas in the Northeast. If the undiagnosed infections give immunity, as is often the case, then that’s 16 percent of the population that have immunity. Combined with those that were accurately diagnosed and those that were vaccinated, this could bring the country closer to herd immunity.

India and China Build Up Troops, Weapons along Mutual Border

Not content with the status quo, China continues to threaten smaller countries in the region, claiming Pacific islands that are not considered their territory. The U.S., Australia, Japan and India are known as the Quad and are working together to push back against China’s growing military presence in Asia and their aggressive actions in the Pacific. India recently reinforced its forces along their border by 50,000.

Author: The Pickled Prepper

Pete the Pickled Prepper lives on an isolated homestead on the side of a mountain deep in in rural America. He has been preparing for the end of the world for more than 25 years.