5 Items For When The Lights Go Out

5 Items For When The Lights Go Out
5 Items For When The Lights Go Out
5 Items For When The Lights Go Out
5 Items For When The Lights Go Out

Like many parts of the country, my hometown has been slammed with snow lately. In the past week alone, we’ve had about three feet and it’s still snowing as I write this.

Thankfully, we’ve only lost power for a short period of time and haven’t had to go days without power yet as we have in the past when an ice storm caused a huge tree to fall on a power line.

But, since winter may be here for a few more weeks (and I’m pretty sure it’s coming next year too) I thought I’d share with you a very short and simple list of items to help you stay safe and comfortable during a short-term power outage.

  1. Sleeping Bags – Every member of my family has a quality sleeping bag so we can stay warm in the house. These are sleeping bags that are rated for 0 degrees and are not the cheap $30 sleeping bags you get at Wal-Mart that are rated for 40 degrees. Since I enjoy camping we get a lot of use out of these bags so for my family they’re not just for power outages. An example of one of the bags we own is the Mountain Equipment Helium 400.
    Sleeping Bag
  1. Flashlights – I own enough tactical flashlights to equip a small army. But for a power outage you don’t need a flashlight that’s so bright it can be seen from the moon. The inexpensive Eveready Lights (the big yellow ones) will last 100 hours and provide plenty of light for you to maneuver around your house. I’ve got these things all over my house so I don’t have to walk far without the ability to get a flashlight.
    Everready Flashlight
  1. Axe – I’m fortunate to have a wood stove in my house. And, although I’ve got lots of wood already chopped, if I run out I don’t have to worry because I have a quality axe to chop up more. If you have a wood stove or fireplace (or even if you don’t) make sure you’ve got an axe that won’t fall apart when your family’s warmth depends on it. Once such Axe is the Fiskars X27.
  1. Large Camping Stove – Like several of the items on this list (flashlights, guns) I own several camping stoves. Some are smaller for use while hiking and camping and others are large for camping only. One of my large stoves is the Stansport 2-Burner Propane Stove. If the lights are out I still want to be able to cook warm meals and boil hot water and this stove has worked well for me.
    stansport stove
  1. Guns – I like guns, what can I say. It’s possible that one day I’ll create a checklist that doesn’t involve firearms, but today is not that day. When the power is out because of a snowstorm your alarm system may be down as well and the cops will likely take longer to get to you because they’re tied up with traffic accidents.

Criminals know this and just because it’s snowing it doesn’t mean they don’t want to rob people to be able to pay for their next drug purchase. This is why, at the very least, you’ll find me walking around my home with my Ruger LCP or Smith & Wesson snubby (Airweight 642) in my pocket.

Like I said, this is a very small list for short-term power outages and not an “end of the world” list. If you’ve got suggestions on items you think I should add, please let me know.

Photo by NSFC

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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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Go camping! Buy quality gear and when the s hits the air conditioner, you’ll have everything you need. Of course you should include weapons, as always.


A generator would be good for a short term outage.


I prefer oil lamps for indoor light when the power is out. Lamp oil can be stored indefinitely, and the lamps provide some heat. I like the 360 degree light better than the spot light of a flashlight. Also, I like the Coleman dual fuel stove – white gas or gasoline. We have no wood stove, so we know how to drain the pipes. Shutting off the water isn’t enough; know how to drain the lines so the pipes won’t split.

Aaron Loki Marceaux

Also a good water filter like a Berkey is a great idea


Sleeping bags and camping bedrolls are shiny wonderful things for this scenario. Sleeping bags need to be designed so they can double as blankets. Family members can share body warmth that way.
I know an ax is a good backup, but unless we get hit with an EMP my chain saw is my first go to for cutting wood. Rather than a full 36″ double bit or single bit, I would recommend a smaller camp axe or hatchet to split kindling. Multiple edged tools should be around any house.
A propane or wood/charcoal grill on the porch is a good cooking alternative without the worry of CO inside the house.
Most all wood stoves/heaters have the capability to cook or heat water right on top of the unit. A well vented wood heater/stove is probably a safer cooking alternative.
Not knocking the propane stove for ease of use, but lots of folk would look to a propane camp stove for heat too. Carbon Monoxide is deadly, and folks need to be almost clubbed up side the head with the safety training….multiple times.
Flashlights? Oh yea, can’t have too many of them. The 6V Eveready style has been in rural homes for decades. It’s a great general flashlight. Set it down; point it at the ceiling (especially if the ceiling is a light color), and you have general room illumination.
Firearms are a given. But don’t forget that common items around the kitchen, hearth, shop, etc. can help if the situation gets up close and personal.
Good basic article and good comments


The axe can double as a hand to hand weapon.


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A couple of additions:
– Hand crank radio
– Hand crank lantern or flashlight
– Chemlights
– Fully charged jumper battery to keep cell phones running
– Headlamp