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Hurricane Ida’s Grim Reminder: Everybody Needs a Power Bank, Solar Panels, and a Water Filter

I’m known as the “battery guy” in my friend group because I frequently harp on about the fundamental importance of being able to store energy. It’s not an eccentricity to me, but plain common sense. When people imagine the sort of disasters it would take to interrupt our access to utilities like water and electricity, I suspect they’re picturing very rare, extreme events.

It doesn’t take rare, extreme events to interrupt utility access, sometimes for days or weeks at a time. Also, what constitutes rare and extreme, in the way of weather events, is shifting along with our changing climate. The other assumption I feel people commonly make that accounts for the average citizen’s lack of preparedness is that it’s “all or nothing”.

As if you need a fully stocked bunker beneath your home, and no level of preparation short of that extreme will be of any use. This is emphatically not the case. There are very simple, cheap precautions each of us can take that are of tremendous utility during disasters. Preparedness is like exercise. Even a little bit yields dramatically improved outcomes down the road. More is better, but only to a point beyond which it’s all diminishing returns (the prepper bunker).

If you interested in learning more from Alex Bayman on how to prepare for emergencies, head here.


May 7, 2022

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While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure


The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere


SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team