The vast majority of people depend on electricity in everyday life for nearly everything. Houses have electricity for lights, hot water, entertainment, communication, washing and drying laundry, washing dishes, cooking, heating, food preservation, and other things. For many people, it would be an inconvenience to lose power, but for many others, it can be life-threatening.
If something were to happen to cause a lack of electricity for an extended period of time, most people would desire some way to generate electricity and for some, it would be crucial. Depending on the reason for the power outage, a portable option may be required. In a situation where evacuation is necessary, electricity will be required to maintain communication with friends and family, at the very least.
Electricity can be generated by a gas-powered generator (which can be gasoline or propane), a battery-powered generator, or even a solar generator. Some things to be considered when choosing a generator include what it will be used for and how many people will be needing it.
Gas or Propane
This dual-fuel generator can run on gasoline or propane, allowing users to choose whichever fuel is easiest to get or less expensive. It is very powerful, with starting watts of 12,000 and running watts of 9,500. It can run a refrigerator, a home air conditioner, and several other things. It will automatically shut off if the oil gets too low.
This gasoline-powered generator can run for up to 13 hours on its 1.3-gallon tank. Its motor operates at a very hushed 52 dBA, making it an excellent choice for camping or other outdoor uses. Its built-in handle aids in carrying it; at only 44 pounds, it can be carried relatively easily by most hikers or campers.
Weighing in at just 39 pounds, this portable generator runs quietly and offers enough power to charge all kinds of electronic devices or power some things. It has the ability to shut off the fuel before turning off the motor, allowing it to empty the carburetor before turning off.
Chargeable with the included car charger and wall charger or a separately purchased solar panel, this easy-to-carry power station offers 3 USB ports and a 110V AC outlet. The LCD display shows charge status.
This has a high capacity for power storage – 300w 80000mAh – and is ultra-portable. It has a handle that is easy to hold and offers silent power for hours. Recharge from a vehicle, a wall plug, or add a solar panel.
Very compact, this high-speed charger is perfect for charging cell phones or other small devices. It recharges via USB either with a wall or car charger. Micro USB cable included.
The 3A charger is lightning fast, automatically adjusting the output to charge devices appropriately. Includes a handy flashlight. Recharge with a wall or car plug.
This charger can hold 20100mAh and charges ultra-fast with 4.8A outlets. Excellent for recharging cell phones on the go, it can also recharge laptops or tablets quickly. It comes with a Micro USB cable, which is also used to recharge it using a wall plug or car adapter.
Two outlets allow users to run two items or charge two devices at the same time. Recharge the internal battery with a wall cord or car cord (included) or add a solar panel for recharging on the go.
This backup power supply holds 60000mAh and is appropriate for use powering a CPAP while camping or charging other devices. It is recharged with a car or wall charger, or with solar panels which can be purchased separately. Its handle makes it easy to carry and it is sturdy and weighs under six pounds.
The lithium battery pack inside this power station stores enough energy to power a CPAP unit for up to four nights between recharges, or run a small refrigerator for several hours, as well as other potential electrical uses. Weighing 5.7 pounds, this generator is easy to carry with its sturdy handle.
A power bank with 4 solar panels folds into a block the width and height of an iPhone 8Plus and can charge two devices at the same time. The solar power charges both the power bank’s internal batteries and up to two devices attached by their power cords. 2.1A charges lightning-fast – most phones are fully charged in about 1.5 hours and a tablet takes about 2.5 hours. Includes a super bright built-in LED emergency light and is constructed to be waterproof and protected from dust and shocks.
This high capacity charger has solar panels built-in. It stores power for charging later and can be recharged with a separately sold adapter if the sun is not shining. Three devices can be charged simultaneously. 36 LED lights give bright light when needed. It comes with a USB cable and a carabiner.
The solar panel allows for continuous lighting after charging. 3 extra bright LED bulbs offer white light as needed at two different levels. USB and DC outputs allow charging or use of up to four devices or lights at once. You will also want to make sure you get a good RV inverter.
This 100-Watt solar panel can be used with any of the power generators that can be charged with solar panels. They are made to be durable and weather resistant. It includes holes on the rear of the panel for mounting or securing safely. Also available in a double pack for greater power collection.
Do It Yourself
A handy book explains how to set up a 12-volt system and install it on cars, vans, RVs, boats, and more.