Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Prudent Prepping: Portable Power

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

My job starts so very early in the morning that the sun doesn't come up until after my first coffee break, even in the summer. I give myself an hour to reach all the stores I cover, even if the actual mileage should not compute out to an hour's drive time, to compensate for traffic.

There are only two ways to get to the Oakland-San Francisco metro area from where I live, so figuring in time to take the alternate route is necessary. That means I often arrive at stores up to 30 minutes before I can get in to start my work. 

In nice weather, I'll have the windows down to enjoy some fresh air, listen to music, connect to the free WiFi or read an eBook. Because of the smoke last week, the windows were up and I was reading a dead tree and listening to music. When it was time for work, I grabbed my tools, lunch box, extra bottles of water, and hopped out of my car.

I also neglected to turn off the dome light.

What To Do When The Lights Stay Off (and the car won't start, either)
Luckily, I call on Home Improvement stores which have so many wonderful things to buy that they are stacked to the ceiling just waiting for someone to purchase any number of cool products. 

I needed to get a jump start and couldn't find anyone with cables in the group of people who were leaving when I was. The cables offered in this store were too small a gauge for my needs, so I looked for Option #2. Other BCP authors have written posts about portable power, but hard starts in winter are never an issue here in the mild climate of California, as on average it drops below freezing less than 7 days a year. Leaving lights on is a different matter.

What I decided to buy to get myself home was the Black & Decker 300 Amp Portable Jump Starter. This charger leaves the factory partially charged, so it worked right out of the box. I have a 4 cylinder engine, and after a 30 second wait my car started right up.

BLACK+DECKER 300 Amp Portable Jump Starter
Model #J312B
The instructions say "4 or 6 cylinder engines",  but I'm curious if letting the unit sit for a few minutes might charge the battery enough to let it spin up and start a V8 motor. I don't have one of those handy, so it will require testing at a later date.

At 12" high, 10.5" wide, and 5.75" deep, this sits quite well into one of the smaller pockets of my previously-reviewed trunk organizer..

As things stand, I find that I'm doing what I really don't like to do, which is starting to fill up every nook and cranny with stuff, even if that stuff is useful and/or handy. I tend to be a hoarder, and getting a list of supplies to the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) stage is difficult for me.

I will however soon be adding a set of long, large gauge jumper cables to my car kit, for those times when I can be the giver, and not the receiver, of a jump start. I know this sounds like "Belt and Suspenders" redundancy,  but I think both can be justified if I squint Clint Eastwood-style. 

The Recap
  • Getting a jump start is a rare, but not unexpected, thing. 
  • I believe jump starts are like Christmas: better to give than to receive. 
The Takeaway

Just a reminder: if you plan on buying anything through Amazon, please consider using our referral link. When you do, a portion of the sale comes back here to help keep this site running!

If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to