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Thread: Hunting Camp - Electricity Help

  1. #1
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    Default Hunting Camp - Electricity Help

    First off, let me start by saying - I think we need a dedicated sub-forum for Hunting Camp construction, talk, and ideas - with that out of the way.

    What do you folks use for electricity at your off-the-grid hunting camps?

    For lighting - We've been using some ultra-low wattage, 12V lights (0.7W each). This works great for some "dim" lighting, although your eyes DO eventually get used to to it. We had even left the lights on after hunting season for three weeks until I returned to do some clean up and noticed they had been left on - as bright as ever.

    For other electrical needs - charging radios, cell phones, and other devices, or even some brighter lights - we purchased a generator (4200 watts). But, we'd rather not run it all the time since fuel is so expensive these days, we typically end up running it only about 3-4 hours a night (however, we've yet to use it actually DURING a hunting season with a full gang at the camp). The generator is also connected to a 50/10/2 amp battery charger that is connected to our 12V battery relay (3x12v batteries), so whenever the generator is running it is also charging our batteries.

    I know there are some purists out there that say - "Leave that at home, you don't need it!" etc, but honestly - we're a hunting camp in the 21st century and we enjoy those electronic comforts out in the field. Especially the communication advantage the radios offer.

    Just curious to hear about your electrical set up, and perhaps some ideas for improvement to ours. Armchair experts - unit!

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  3. #2
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    We use 120 watts of solar panel. Panels charge a 200 amp-hour 12V deep cycle battery via a charge controller. Battery is connected to marine 12V LED lighting. We also have a 1500W Pure Sine inverter that produces 115V AC that is comparable to or better quality than utility supplied AC. AC is used very sparingly.

    System also runs a 12V well pump that supplies cold water to kitchen. Hot water is produced on the wood stove.

    Totally silent and no fuel required. Cost for all items (battery, controller, panels, inverter, wire, switches,lights and well pump) was about $1,700 - 4 years ago.
    Last edited by Species8472; August 6th, 2014 at 01:32 PM.
    Bring a compass. It's awkward when you have to eat your friends.
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  4. #3
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    The higher the voltage the less the losses, so your 12V lights are not great with that respect.

    You can get a 12VDC to 120VAC inverter for your charging needs, but if may or may not work with all electronics because most have what is called a squared off sine wave, this is not the same power as your standard house AC power but much cheaper.
    If you are intending to run digital clocks and some other digital electronics then you need to look for an inverter that has a true sine wave.

    This one is probably a squared off sine wave:
    http://www.amazon.ca/Cobra-CPI-1575-...words=inverter

    This one is a true sine wave:
    http://www.amazon.ca/Xantrex-Prowatt...rter+true+sine

    If you run a generator every night then it does not make sense to use solar or wind, if you did not want to charge then you would need solar/wind and a charge controller for your battery bank.

  5. #4
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    I use goal zero.

    32in (?) solar panels and a 150w battery gen
    Does everything I need it to. From running bright 3w led lights, to charging phones, batteries, running my laptop. On a sunny day, it will fully charge in about 10hrs, if I trickle charge anything I plug in can run all day. "Worst" case I can hook it up to my car and fully charge it.

    I take it hunting, camping, more. Have even pulled it out at home when the power goes out.

    If you want to shoot the moon they have a larger geny that can run fridges and more. I think it retails for about 2500 Cdn

    www.goalzero.com

    What I have (Panels, lights separate)
    http://www.goalzero.com/p/164/goal-z...olar-generator
    Last edited by JBen; August 6th, 2014 at 02:10 PM.

  6. #5
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    The members at the camp bought a bigger genny a few years back. We run it in the morning for an hour while everyone gets going then again at night when it gets dark until the last guy is down. It runs everything. With enough guys, the fuel cost is negligible.

  7. #6
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    Our camp uses mostly propane for lights and fridge. Three 100lb. propane tanks lasts almost all year. One of the guys also brings a 5KW generator during the Moose and Deer hunt for charging radios. Cell phones aren't an issue because we're too far in for service except GM On-Star. It's sure quiet and peaceful when you live off the grid,isn't it?
    I like my firearms like Liberals like voters-----undocumented.

  8. #7
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    When were done with the generator we just use a couple of coleman propane lantern's

  9. #8
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    I have two generators, a 3500 W and a 1300 W. The smaller unit easily runs every light I could possible put in the camp including porch and sauna. The amount of gas it uses is negligible.
    The larger generator is for power tools around camp.

    My fridge and stove is propane.

  10. #9
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    I have a propane jenny it runs the regular electric lights as well as tv etc. But I also have propane lights which are great!

  11. #10
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    I wasn't that long ago we used to do everything with Naptha (whitegas) Coleman lanterns and stoves and our FRS radios used 'AA' batteries. No need for an electricity source.....no one seemed to mind either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Species8472 View Post
    We use 120 watts of solar panel. Panels charge a 200 amp-hour 12V deep cycle battery via a charge controller. Battery is connected to marine 12V LED lighting. We also have a 1500W Pure Sine inverter that produces 115V AC that is comparable to or better quality than utility supplied AC. AC is used very sparingly.
    That's the way to do it, nice setup, perfect for a hunt camp scenario. I wouldn't enjoy relaxing in the bush with generator running, not when there are alternatives available.
    Arte et marte (By Skill and by Fighting)...The RCEME motto

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