How to Build a Power-Out Emergency Kit
Be prepared and upgrade your car-camping setup at the same time
Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Winter is awesome; it brings fresh powder and ice climbing and backcountry skiing and the chance to wear your favorite winter layers. But winter also means frozen tree limbs, high winds, and inevitable power outages. We’ve put together an emergency kit that will help you survive the next blackout. Plus, most of this gear doubles as upgrades to your car-camping kit.
Midland ER310 Emergency Crank Radio ($60)
You have three different power options with the Midland ER310—rechargeable batteries, solar power, or hand crank—so you’ll be able to get weather alerts, NOAA broadcasts, and even AM/FM stations no matter how long the power outage lasts. It has a built-in flashlight with SOS and strobe functions in case things go south and you need to signal for help.
Reliance Aqua-Tainer ($19)
This cube holds seven gallons of fresh water, so you can stay hydrated or even take a quick wash if your water supply gets compromised. The spigot cap makes it easy to dispense the water, and you can stack these containers on top of each other to store as much water as you think you’ll need.
Pendleton Yakima Blanket ($140)
You could go with one of those lightweight space blankets, but there’s nothing like the feel and warmth of wool. That’s true whether you’re camping in Yosemite or huddled in your living room by the fireplace during a power outage.
Goal Zero Yeti 150 Portable Generator ($200)
Keep this portable generator charged in your garage and you’ll have 150 watts of power at your disposal, even after the neighborhood lights go dark. A variety of ports (USB, AC, 12-volt) will keep your phone, laptop, lights, and blender running and charged when you need them.
Camp Chef Everest ($100)
Your power might be out (and your stove with it), but if you have a two-burner stove and a can of propane, you can still whip up a stew, cook oatmeal, or heat a tin of beans. The Everest pumps out 20,000 BTUs on two burners in a suitcase package that stores easily. It has a push-button ignition and works on industry-standard propane canisters.
Ultimate Survival Technologies 30-Day Duro Lantern ($50)
If your power is out for more than a few hours, you’re gonna need a lantern that lasts. The Duro can run for 30 days continuously on the low setting (140 lumens) and up to 22 hours continuously when on high (700 lumens). A recessed hook on the bottom lets you hang the lantern as a downlight, and there’s an SOS flashing feature, too.