Recharging and Refilling: Tech for Emergency Preparation or Camping

Reader Contribution by John D. Ivanko and Inn Serendipity
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Roving Blue GO3 Water Bottle Pod, Photo courtesy Roving Blue

We keep expecting the unexpected, my wife Lisa Kivirist and I, on our small homestead. We hope for the best, but continue to prepare for the worst. After all, the heatwaves, floods and wildfires keep breaking records. Many people are beginning to realize that we are not returning “to normal” with the covid-19 pandemic spiking and mutating around the world. And the impacts of climate change keep showing up on headlines and feeds.

Over the past year, we’ve found several other products that help build our resilience, could come in handy during a crisis, reduce our ecological impacts, or just make getting into outdoors on a camping trip more enjoyable. After learning about some of these products at the digital Techfluence and Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we decided to try them out.

Like many Mother Earth News homesteaders, we’ve doubled down on food production and preservation and have taken more time to exercise in and enjoy the outdoors. We’ve assessed our homestead from the perspective of how to make it even more resilient and adaptable to change.

Using Ozone to Clean with the Roving Blue GO3 and Roving Blue Ozo-Pod 10

From increasingly regular power outages to catastrophic disasters, access to safe drinking water is mission critical. Ozone, or O3, kills harmful microbes quickly and reverts to water. Roving Blue offers both a GO3 Water Bottle cap pod as well as the Ozo-Pod 10 which can be used to sanitize not only drinking water, but bathroom and kitchen surfaces, traffic hotspots for disease transfer, and even meats, fruits and vegetables. We love using it to clean our wooden cutting boards as we up our safety protocols.

The electric or battery-powered ozone generators infuse water with ozone, a more powerful disinfectant than chlorine bleach. We easily recognized the clean smell of ozone, the smell often noticed in the air after a thunderstorm, and can see the cloud of bubbles when operating. The units produce ozone via electrolysis, the process of directing an electric current through the water to produce ozone.

Since we’re constantly on the move outside in our organic growing fields or perhaps at a Mother Earth News Fair, sometimes our water bottle sits longer than it should in the sun or the back seat of our Toyota Prius Prime. With the Roving Blue GO3 Water Bottle Pod, we can keep it clean without any chemicals. It’s been tested and proven effective against E-coli at a 99.9999% kill rate.

If you have your own Nalgene 1 Liter or 32 oz wide mouth water bottle, the Roving Blue GO3 Water Bottle pod just replaces your cap. Just fill the bottle, attach the pod and turn it upside down and turn on the ozone generator in the cap to treat the water for about three minutes. It makes the clear water safer to drink while improving taste and eliminating any smell. It’s not, however, designed to filter water from streams, rivers or lakes in extreme or backwoods camping excursions. The integrated, rechargeable lithium ion battery will last for as many as fifty uses before needing to recharge via USB.

The fast-acting Roving Blue Ozo-Pod 10 safely kills germs, too, but can be used for many other applications. We set the Ozo-Pod 10 in a wide-mouth pot, filled the pot with clear water, completely submerged the pod in the water then turned it on. We’ve used it to wash our peppers, tomatoes, summer squash and other garden abundance before freezing, since we’ve doubled our food storage capacity as another practical prepper action.

According to Roving Blue, “the Ozo-Pod 10 will quickly bring five gallons of water up to 1PPM ozone concentration within minutes. That is a lethal level to almost any microbe that can make you sick. Most of the ozone stays in the water as a cloud as opposed to bubbling through. This will limit your exposure because ozone in higher concentrations is not good to breathe.”

In keeping with our organic approach to farming, the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) identifies aqueous ozone (ozone dissolved in water) as a substance that is allowed for use in organic crop and livestock production.

 

Fenix Headlamp, photo courtesy Fenix

Lighting our Path with the Fenix HM65R Headlamp

When there’s an emergency, or if we just need to get to the outhouse in the middle of the night when camping, we need a trustworthy and powerful light. The Fenix HM65R Headlamp provides powerful 1400 Lumens light output while keep our hands free for whatever the task.

The comfortable, lightweight, dual switch headlamp provides both spotlight and floodlight output, varying by lumens, duration and the distance reached by the light. On the lowest settings, this headlamp can last a long time before needing to be recharged. The spotlight, on low, outputs at 50 Lumens for 97 hours, covering about 121 feet. The floodlight, on low, outputs at 8 Lumens for 300 hours, covering about 20 feet.

Increasingly, we’ve tried to move away from disposable, single use batteries and have explored as many options as possible for recharging with USB Type-C charging. The Fenix HM65R Headlamp comes with a rechargeable 18650 Lithium Ion (Li-ion) battery and is dustproof, waterproof, and offers 2-meter impact resistance — in other words: disaster situation ready.

 

BlendJet 2 Portable Blender, photo courtesy Blendjet

Blending and Processing On-The-Go with the BlendJet 2 Portable Blender

We make a lot of smoothies at Inn Serendipity with our organic strawberries and raspberries. We’ve been known to whip up a batch of margaritas for around a campfire, too. With the BlendJet 2 Portable Blender, we can now do it anytime, anywhere — no electrical wall plug needed. The compact, 16-ounce BlendJet 2 can also be used to prepare your own baby food, mix protein shakes or frozen slushies at the beach.

Portable blending for on-the-go is made possible by recharging with a water-resistant USB-C charge port. We got about fifteen blends from an hour-long charge. To clean, just add a little soap, water and blend. For farmstead chefs, there’s even measurement markings on the side of the durable, BPA-free plastic jar if, for example, you need to measure out crushed almonds to put on the top of your freshly caught fish on a fishing trip. Its compact size of 9-inches by 3-inches and light 1.34-pound weight makes it easy to pack along.

We also enjoyed the food processor feature with a simple double press of the power button. We made pesto, salsa and guacamole with it. The BlendJet 2 comes in a rainbow of colors: white, sky blue, hot pink, red, purple, seafoam, blush, ocean, coral, lime, orange, or lemon. Not military colors: black, green or camouflage.

 

Photo courtesy of Noice Dental Gel

Closing the Toothpaste Loop with Noice Dental Gel

Little things can make a big difference. That’s why we’re always exploring ways to make something we do every day more sustainable or organic. Noice Dental Gel is an alternative to traditional toothpastes, offering a new anise and licorice-flavored taste to the gel, without the waste of the toothpaste tubes. The recyclable pump and glass bottle containing the dental gel provide a zero-waste option to common toothpaste.

With organic active ingredients and dentist-approved results, Noice Dental Gel is an option for those who might want a vegan, fluoride-free, sodium lauryl sulfate-free option that contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors or preservatives. Dispensed by a pump, the gel combines anti-bacterial properties of essential oils with the strong stain removing power of charcoal. The gel includes organic citrus, sage, chamomila recucita and mentha piperita oils. While the gel itself is black, it cleaned our teeth and turned them white while refreshing our breath.

We believe in clean food, so why not also for dental gel or toothpaste? For fun, we compared the ingredients label of a traditional toothpaste brand to the ingredients used in Noice: peppermint, menthol, bamboo charcoal powder, eucalyptus, anise seed, citrus peel, sage extract, chamomile, tea tree, soy lecithin, glycerin (derived from karanja seeds), cellulose gum and stevia.

Currently, Noice operates under a subscription model, with replacement dental gel delivered by mail, with the pump being reused. Eventually, the newly-launched Noice Dental Gel may offer a way to simply replace the gel jar at a shop partner, exchanging the used glass jar for a new full one.

John D. Ivanko, with his wife Lisa Kivirist, have co-authoredRural Renaissance, Homemade for Sale, the award-winningECOpreneuringandFarmstead Chefalong with operatingInn Serendipity B&Band Farm, completely powered by the sun. Both have been speakers at the Mother Earth News Fairs. As a writer andphotographer, Ivanko contributes to Mother Earth News, most recently, Living with Renewable Energy Systems: Wind and Solarand9 Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living. They live on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin with their son Liam, a 10.8 kW solar power station and millions of ladybugs.


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