SUN Oven! Cooking with the power of the Sun!

I first heard about the Sun Oven on The Prepper Recon Podcast some years ago. Paul Munsen is the owner and operator of Sun Oven and below is from their “About” page:

About Us
Welcome to sunoven.com. We are pleased you have chosen to spend some time with us. SUN OVENS International has a simple business model. We seek to help people in the U.S. save energy and prepare for emergencies while using a portion of our cash flow to promote SUN OVEN® cooking in deforested developing countries.
For the past 31 years, SUN OVENS® have been proudly made in the U.S. We believe in free enterprise and seek to take a private sector approach to helping solve problems, which are often left to governments and nonprofit organizations, by developing self-sustaining projects in Third World nations. We strive to assist entrepreneurs to make and market GLOBAL SUN OVENS® in the country in which they will be used. In addition, we assist in implementing projects to help orphanages to gain self-sufficiency through the sale of bakery goods sun-baked in VILLAGER SUN OVENS®.
The reason we are so passionate about our work in Third World nations is that it saves lives:
2.4 billion people still depend on wood, charcoal or dung for cooking fuel. Women who cook with wood or charcoal inhale the equivalent of smoking 3 packs of cigarettes each day. Each year, on the continent of Africa alone, over one million children under the age of 5 die from respiratory-related disease. The leading cause of respiratory infections is the indoor air pollution of cooking fires. Up to 85% of the smoke can be eliminated with the use of SUN OVENS®.
When you buy a SUN OVEN® you are helping us with our work. We think it is the ultimate win-win situation when we can help more people in the U.S. discover the joys of cooking with the sun as they help us expand the use of SUN OVENS® around the world.
PaulWe want to thank those of you who have bought SUN OVENS® for your important role. Without you, we could not be able to continue.
Warmly yours,
Paul M. Munsen
President
SUN OVENS International, Inc.

During the podcast Mark and Paul discussed the advantages of cooking with the sun. It was very compelling and I decided to get one. We used it a bit when we first got it just to try it out but as with all new toys once the newness wears off it can be quickly forgotten.

Sitting out here this morning watching the kids play on their Shark Slide and seeing how sunny it was I said to myself, “Self it’s very sunny…. you should get off your ass and get your Sun Oven out”. So I did just that!

I had to figure out what to cook since cookies and bread were out due to the fact I don’t eat that stuff (That is another whole post). So like any Red Blooded American man would do I choose BACON! I buy it 3 lbs at a time I have plenty!!!

I set the Sun Oven up and let it preheat.

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Part of the setup is getting the Sun Oven lined up properly. This is facilitated with the use of these ingenuous blocks. Keep the sun lined up with the dot and you are good to go. You do have to adjust the oven from time to time to keep it at the optimal temperature. I have heard of people just setting them up flat in a general southerly direction. I like keeping mine aligned.

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At 1001 hrs the starting temp showed 100 degrees.

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I let it preheat for just shy of 30 minutes. This was at 1027 hrs.

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Off to prepare the bacon for cooking! The system comes with enamle pots and a couple bread tins as well as these stacking racks for baking things such as cookies. Or BACON!

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I put the bacon in and left it for about an hour and a half checking periodically to ensure the dots were still lined up and making small adjustments along the way.

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As you can see there is a build up of moisture on the glass. I will open it from time to time to wipe it off to help with the heating. I will also leave the top latch off to allow moisture to escape but that also lets heat out.

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This is the bacon at 1056 hrs. I wiped off the door and closed it back up leaving the top latch off.

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Here we are at 1220 hrs and the sun is directly over head and the temperature is at 300 degrees. We are really cooking now! The bacon is bubbling.

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At 1250 hrs I decided the bacon was done!! Notice the grease in the bottom of the oven. Next time I will use a small pan or something just to catch the drippings. BE VERY CAREFUL it is 300 degrees inside of this thing.

I am very pleased with how this thing works. They are not cheap! The full kit listed below can be found here. This kit sells for $399 with free shipping!

All Americanwith Dehydrating and Preparedness Accessory PackageIncludes:
All American SUN OVEN®
Multi-Level Dehydrating & Baking Rack Set (set of 3 racks w/1 roll parchment paper)
Two Easy Stack Pots w/interchangeable enamel and glass lids
Multi-Fuel Water Pasteurizing Indicator (WAPI)
Two Loaf Pans
SUN OVEN® Cookbook a specialty cookbook featuring 40 of our favorite recipes, techniques, and tricks of the trade to inspire your taste buds as you focus the sun on delicious meals
FREE Shipping within the Contiguous US via FedEx Ground (please provide a street address)

The Sun Oven is not the cheapest thing to add to your preps but having the ability to cook with virtually no smell and no fuel can be invaluable. The added benefit is that you can pasteurize water. The kit above lists the “Multi-Fuel Water Pasteurization Indicator” this could be an useful asset if clean fresh water is not available. Three days is all you can survive without water.

In all I think the Sun Oven is a valuable tool that would be useful in a bad situation. This is not something you would carry if you were on foot but for a fixed location it will fit your needs.

There are many pros to this system but what about the cons?

  • It is relatively heavy at 23 pounds for just the Sun Oven
  • It is a bit Bulky I do not see measurements on the site but when folded down the top 22.5″ by 20″ it stands 14 1/4″ in the back and 9 1/4″ in the front
  • It requires a relative sunny day

The Sun Oven site claims it will reach 400 degrees I have never personally seen that kind of temperature. Today, May 18, 2019, during my bacon cooking adventure the outside temperature at noon was about 95 degrees. There was no cloud cover. The highest I saw was 300 degrees. I did have one of the door latches open to help vent moisture so I am sure that had some affect on the max temp.

Paul Munsen has been a fixture at Prepper Camp in the past couple of years and I hope to see him again this year. You are going to Prepper Camp? Right!?! He is doing a lot of good around the world and a portion of this purchase will go to a good cause. Go to his site and check it out!

Now that I have the Sun Oven out I think I will try to use it more often as this tool is not just for use after a disaster but could be used every day. Thank you for taking the time to read this and please fell free to add your comments. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Near Vertical Incidence Skywave- Simplified

This is a great post by my friend Ncscout from the Brushbeater blog. NVIS will be critical in a grid down situation for regional Communications!!

brushbeater

I’ve brought this up enough times already; let’s de-mystify this beast. Communications fall into one of two categories: Line of Sight(LOS) and Beyond Line of Sight.

LOS

If you can see it, in theory at least, you should be able to communicate with it. Low-band VHF(10M/11M/CB) and above(UHF, Microwave) works in this manner. VHF can have some characteristics of HF; but that’s beyond the scope of this article. Squad level communications work in this manner. This would be your mobile rigs and HTs. Keeping it simple, if there’s something big in between you and the person your talking to(like a mountain or a bunch of buildings) or long distance, you need a repeater to compensate. Line of Sight(plus repeater) looks like this:

LOS

Beyond Line of Sight

So what if you’re outside the range of repeaters? Eventually the energy from your radio or repeater will fizzle out. At some point…

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Feminine hygiene products are not medical products!

I was listening to a podcast today by a highly respected man in his field. He is prevalent in the prepping circles and very knowledgeable about his area of expertise. I have met him and listened to his very well done lecture/ presentation. Today he mentioned something which may have been in jest, but didn’t seem so, about using maxi pads for wound dressings. My hackles went up on the mear mention if this fallacy!!!

Please say it out loud “Feminine hygiene products are not medical products!!!” Holler it from the highest places!!! Below is a very well done video by some unknown source that does an outstanding job illustrating and dispelling this prepper myth.

Please share this video FAR and WIDE!!!

Here is a video by a Skinny Medic covering this information also! Watch and learn!!!

I am not a medical expert in any way and at one time I believed this myth. It seemed odd to me so I sought out DOPE on this and found it to be some very BAD information. Please get medical training and get propper medical supplies! It really isn’t that expensive.

Get trained and get equipped for whatever the future brings!

Here are some good resources for medical supplies:

Rescue Essentials

Medical Outfitters (Skinny Medic)

Darkangel Medical

North American Rescue

Archangel Dynamics

These are just a few of my goto places to get medical supplies and if you look they are not that expensive. Just be mindful of where you get your supplies because there are many fake CAT tourniquets out there!!! BE AWARE!! If it seems too good a price it probably is!

CTX-10 Updates

brushbeater

Both the readers here and the folks who’ve taken the RTO Course know I’m a big fan of the CTX-10. It’s small, self contained, backwards compatible with Yaesu interface equipment, and pushing 10 watts its very effective in a wide variety of modes (especially CW!). And its American made. But the great folks over at CommRadio are making it even better.

From CommRadio:

Several updates to the CTX-10 coming down the pipe – MARS (general coverage transmit) will be available. This will require a trip to the mother ship to have a few capacitors removed. Also dual VFO so you can transmit and receive on completely different frequencies on the same band.

That’s a big deal, considering the number of you involved in MARS that have asked if this mod was available, and the dual VFO is an excellent upgrade. If that wasn’t enough, Portable Zero is…

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Got COMS?

Are you ready for a world without Communications? A world where the Internet doesn’t exist? No Cell phones? No power? Go check out AMRRON and Radio Free Redoubt and see what they have to offer! There is a national exercise coming up in July! Are you READY? You can also get some great training for your prepper group, family and community from NCScout at the Brushbeater Blog there is a wealth of information to be had there!

Fox in the Hen House!

So up until about 3 months ago I would leave the hen house open all the time. We never had any issues until something killed 4 of my mature laying hens! At first I thought is was a possum that I caught coming out of the chickens yard. I dispatched that guy and decided to put up a game cam to see what was going on. It was quiet for another couple weeks until 4 more of my girls were killed. This is war!!!

So after after the second massacre I decided to get HighTech! and got an automatic door opener. Off to Amazon I went. It was a bit pricey but well worth protecting my girls. Low and behold with in a few days I checked the game cam and there it was big as life……

A FOX!!!!

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Well I knew the girls that were left were safe so I ordered some snares. I really wanted to try them out since the spot it was coming in would have been a perfect spot. So off to Bruce “Buckshot” Hemmings site https://www.snare-trap-survive.com/ to order some. While I was anxiously waiting for them to arrive my wife says “I am surprised your not out there waiting for the fox!”. That was all the prodding I needed…. Off to the war room to kit up!!

I broke out the 300AAC blackout with the AAC 762-SDN6, NVGs, and my0241 Tactical Operators Smock lite zipup in #m81 Woodland. Off I went to set up my hide site (Which consisted of laying in the grass about 75 yards from the Chicken Coop) and proceeded to feed the mosquito’s. Surprisingly within 30 minutes of the sun going down and getting pretty dark he appeared from behind my shop. Unfortunately my 1-4×24 scope was sorely lacking in the darkness. The 24MM objective lens just doesn’t gather enough ambient light like a scope with a much larger objective lens. So the only thing I could do was hit it with some white light…. the fox looked in my direction and froze. His last mistake!!! I aimed for the eyes and pulled the trigger! At first I wasn’t completely sure I had made contact until I got to where it had been standing.

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Blood Trail

As you can see it was a solid hit but I was unsure of where the fox went. I did a walk around the shop and couldn’t find anymore blood. I came back to the initial blood spot and looked around some more to find a trail. It took a few minutes but there is was…

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The fox had run around and dragged itself through a small opening in some 8×8 posts I have. It was still alive so I got the .22 I keep in the chicken coop to put it out of its misery. I am here to tell you the 110 gr Barns TAC-TX bullet is devastating.

It did some pretty serious damage….

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In all is was a good night! A predator was taken care of and my girls are now safe for now. We still have a possum problem. I think I have killed 5 or so at this point. I even had two eating the chickens food one night… they were getting fat and happy.

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Must have been date night.

So what DOPE have I gained from this experience? Complacency kills! I am the only one to blame for the death of our 8 chickens this spring. I got lazy…. plain and simple. If I had taken the time to close the door to the coop this wouldn’t have happened. Security is paramount! If this had been a grid down situation I would have been up S#!T creek without a paddle! Without a rooster I would have had no way to replace my losses. Lesson learned!

What is the D.O.P.E Farm?

Well the best way to explain it is to first explain D.O.P.E.. It stands for Data On Previous Engagement. In the long range shooting context it means knowing most every aspect of you weapons system. You must know your bullet weight, bullet speed, and bullet coefficient to name a few. You must also know your environmental data but I am not here to teach long range shooting. For that seek out and read Ryan Cleckner’s book “Long Range Shooting Handbook“. It is a valuable tool!!!

My idea for this podcast is to apply the DOPE mnemonic to everyday life. As we go through life we are constantly learning, we do until the day we die. So applying DOPE to everyday life makes sense but we are not putting it in log book (unless you keep a journal which I don’t). Although I do not plan on discussing a myriad of topics my main goal is to pass on and link to preparedness minded information. This will range from books to websites. I hope you will come on this journey with me because you are what will make it all worth it!