If you are building a survival kit, you should consider purchasing hand crank electronics. Other than a bit of “elbow grease,” these devices do not require a power source. No matter if you’re going on a hiking trip or are expecting a major hurricane that will knock out power, these devices could keep you safe. Your hand crank emergency supply kit should consist of, at a minimum, these four products:
- Short Wave Radio
- Cell Phone
Hand Crank Short Wave Radios
Hand Crank Blenders
Hand Crank Cell Phone Charger
Hand Crank Generator
4 Hand Crank Emergency Supply Essentials
Below, you’ll find a review of why each of these products could be beneficial during a survival situation. We hope that after reading this post, you’ll be more inclined to add this equipment to your survival kit. You never know when a catastrophe will strike, and it’s better that you’re prepared beforehand than trying to scramble after the fact.
Hand Crank Short Wave Radios
When compiling your survival kit, a radio should be at the top of your list. A radio could be a critical tool whenever you find yourself in a dangerous situation. When the power goes out at your home, or if you’re lost in the wilderness, a radio could provide access to essential updates about impending weather, road closures, power outages, or other pertinent emergency information.
Remember that when your power goes out during a storm, you won’t have access to television broadcast or the news. And, news agencies are affected by these outages as well. They cannot broadcast their radio frequencies. However, the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides a network of shortwave radio frequencies, built to withstand Mother Nature.
Shortwave radios that you power by a hand crank have built-in batteries. To charge the batteries, you need to grasp the handle and turn the cranking mechanism. When turning the crank, you’ll generate energy. The device’s batteries store excess energy. Some shortwave hand crank radios may also come with a solar panel so that you can charge them when outdoors without having to crank the device.
These radios are small, which makes them a logical addition to any survival kit. They also come with other built-in tools that could prove beneficial during a catastrophe, such as a flashlight and a USB charger. Thus, you could use a hand crank radio to power devices like cell phones, tablets, headphones, and smartwatches. Whether for entertainment or safety, these devices are necessary during an outage.
An affordable hand crank that you could add to your survival kit is this one from Running Snail. You can purchase the device for less than $. It comes with a 1000 mAh power bank that supplies micro-USB cables. You could also charge the device by power adapter so that its charge is at full capacity the next time disaster strikes.
Hand Crank Blenders
These blenders are quite portable, making them an ideal choice for those camping or traveling. These devices can assist you in preparing or grinding practically anything, including smoothies, coffee beans, oats, nuts, soups, and baby food. Using this product could grant you access to quick, easy to consume meals.
In an emergency situation, you’ll want to ensure that you are consuming enough protein. Protein will allow you to maintain your strength, which you never know when you’ll need in a disaster situation. Using a blender that relies on a hand crank could allow you to make protein shakes using only a few ingredients.
Unlike shortwave radios, blenders do not have an internal battery. With a shortwave radio, you could turn the crank for a while to build up an internal charge. But when using the blender, the crank turns the blades on the device. Some may find it tough to begin working the crank, but once you build some momentum, the crank operates effortlessly.
If you’re looking for a blender that you can operate with a hand crank, consider the Vortex Blender by GSI Outdoors. The unit features a two-speed gear system that is strong enough to crush ice. It also comes with a 1.5-liter pitcher, which is big enough to hold various ingredients. The pitcher is also constructed of unbreakable Lexan resin, allowing you to transport it from place to place safely.
Hand Crank Cell Phone
Cell phones are critical in an emergency because they can help you find out valuable information for your area and put you in touch with friends and family to let them know you are ok. They are also crucial for those camping and hiking, as they could put you in contact with the proper authorities should you get lost on the trail.
Companies now offer cell phone cases or batteries that run on hand cranks, allowing you to charge your phone manually. You may not get enough battery life to browse social media, but you could charge your phone enough to place an emergency phone call. As a general rule of thumb, two minutes of cranking should give you enough battery life for an emergency call, while ten minutes could net two hours of use.
An excellent option for a cell phone charger with a hand crank is this version from MAXOAK. You can charge this device from a wall outlet so that it reaches full charge before your next emergency. Then, you can use the hand crank to charge it whenever you need to replenish the power supply. The unit works with a wide range of devices, including both Android and Apple cell phones.
Hand Crank Generator
If you’re looking for a multi-purpose tool to use in a survival situation, a hand crank generator could be a great option. Now, most people consider emergency generators as devices that run on gasoline and can power your entire home in case of emergency. By hooking a generator to your power grid, you have the electricity to run your television, lights, water heater, and kitchen appliances.
Hand crank generators do not provide nearly as much power. That would be virtually impossible. They are much smaller than gas-powered generators, which makes them very portable. You can carry them while traveling or place them in your survival kit. However, these devices typically provide about 10 watts of electricity, enough to run mid-level electrical appliances.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one charger to add to your survival kit, consider the Pocket Socket Hand Crank Generator from K-TOR. The generator features an electrical outlet, allowing you to plug in devices such as a lamp, a laptop, or anything else that requires an electrical socket for power. The generator weighs less than a pound, so it is easy to take with you while on the go.
When powering a hand crank generator, one of the best devices to consider using is an electric hot plate or skillet. This equipment often features two prongs, which means you can plug them into the generator’s socket easily. Doing so allows you to cook food safely. No matter if you’re on a camping trip or stranded in your home without gas or electricity, a hand-operated generator could help.
Why Not Batteries?
One of the common questions asked when people are considering their options for hand crank devices is, “Why would I not purchase a battery-operated device instead?” It seems much easier to use a battery-operated device than to have to provide power to your equipment manually. But the fact of the matter is, batteries, in a survival situation, are quite unreliable.
First and foremost, you do not know when they are going to die. Just because the batteries did not die while you used them during your last emergency does not mean they won’t die within an hour of your next catastrophe. The natural counter to this, of course, is to carry extra batteries in your survival kit. Unfortunately, this can weigh you down significantly.
Imagine having to put AA, C, or D batteries in your devices and lug this with you wherever you go. Then, consider the fact that you’d have to have at least one backup set for each device. When it’s all said and done, you’re talking about adding a few extra pounds to your survival kit. Those who need to take their survival kit on the go, such as campers or hikers, can’t afford to carry unnecessary weight.
Additionally, you never know how long you are going to need to have a power source. Imagine being stuck in your home during a hurricane, with no idea when you’ll regain power. It could be weeks before your surrounding area is clean enough for you to leave your home. What if your batteries die shortly into the storm? With hand crank equipment, this is not a worry, since you’ll have unlimited power.
Finally, your batteries could leak, rendering them useless. Imagine opening your survival kit for the first time in a year, only to discover that acid from them leaked all over your device. Not only will the batteries not work, but your equipment may not work anymore either. So, while they are more reliable than a power outlet in a storm, they are less reliable than equipment powered by hand cranks.