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eBooks when the Grid is Down.

In the digital age, eBooks are a constant. We read them on trains, we read them while waiting in line and we study with them. What will happen to your vast repository of eBooks if we have a Grid Down situation? How will you access that knowledge? Will it still be available or will you lose this resource forever? We have an idea that can help.

Reading eBooks when the Grid is Down

If you’re like me, then 99% of your prepper library is digital. Most of my books, ranging from tying knots all the way through military operation guides are eBooks of some form. If I lose the ability to charge my Android Tablet, then I lose most of my library. If you have an iPad, Android tablet, Kindle, or other eBook reader, you are in the same boat.

Before we get to the solution, you need to ensure that your eBooks are stored on your tablet and not in the cloud. Make sure that your device has a copy of the books stored locally on your device. Most eBook readers do store locally, but verify that you can still access your books if you are not connected to the internet!

A generator or car battery can charge your eBook readers and tablets, but have you every tried to carry a generator (or deep cycle battery) with you on a long hike? Not a great idea and not very practical either. The best answer to this is small Solar power charger.

Solar cells have gotten smaller, flexible and more efficient. Here are 3 very strong contenders in that arena.

 goal zeroGoal Zero Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit Goal Zero makes some awesome gear, and people who own these things swear by them. This panel and battery pack/battery charger combination is tough to beat.

Hang this panel from your backpack or set it up in camp and you’ll always have AA and AAA batteries, and the ability to charge other devices!

  • Can be strapped to your backpack to charge on the go!
  • Keep your power hungry phone juiced and ready for you to use
  • Power up your tablet for 25 percent longer
  • Small and compact enough to carry with you always and power up anywhere
  • Handy built-in LED flashlight to help you search in your dark backpack or purse
  • AA rechargeable batteries included
Instapark 10 Watt Solar Panel Portable Solar ChargerInstapark Portable Solar Charger  – This solar panel seems to have it all. You can charge 2 devices at once with the built in Dual USB Ports for iPhone, iPad & all other USB Compatible devices. This will allow you to charge your iPad, Android tablet, Kindle, or other eBook reader and a USB battery charger at the same time.

If you’re on the move or in a hurry, you can tie/strap this to the outside of your backpack and charge devices on the move!

Technical Specifications:

  • Power input: 10-watt Mono-crystalline solar panel
  • Power output: 5V Standard USB port x 2
  • Maximum output current: 2 amp
  • Operating temperature: 32 – 86 F (optimal)
  • Storage temperature: 32 -104 F (optimal)
  • Dimensions Folded: 9 X 6 X 2 inches (about the size of an iPad)
  • Dimensions Open/Unfolded:9 x 22 x ½ inches
  • Weight: 12 Oz

Product Features:

  • Can be strapped to your backpack to charge on the go!
  • 10 Watt high-efficiency mono-crystalline solar panel with foldable design offers excellent portability, ideal for emergency preparedness, backpacking, camping and other outdoor activities
  • Built-in dual USB charging ports for directly plugging in iPhone, iPad and other USB compatible mobile devices
  • No additional battery needed for charging external devices, 100% green energy with zero carbon footprint
  • Measures only 9 X 6 X 2 inches and weighs less than 1 lb

The Instapark 10 Watt Solar Panel Portable Solar Charger is currently my go-to solar charger for my Android Nexus 7 Tablet and other portable devices.

ReVIVE Solar ReStore XL 4000mAh External Battery PackReVIVE Solar ReStore XL & High-Efficiency Solar Panel. – This is a sweet system. It charges it’s own battery pack then that is used to charge other devices. It also has a built in LED flashlight, which could be real handy.

  • External battery pack recharges up to 1,000 times from the power of the SUN or USB power – PLEASE NOTE: On first use, charge it up 100% by USB, then drain fully so that the Li-polymer battery chemicals can be exercised and broken in.
  • SOLAR CHARGING TIME : 13 hours in direct sunlight – high-efficiency 300mA ; USB CHARGING TIME : 4 – 6 hours
  • 4000mAh battery is ideal for giving multiple charges to Android, iPhone, Windows smartphones, MP3 players and E-readers
  • Charges your device at a MAX rate of 2.1 amps

2 ADD-ON Solar Charging Panel Extensions for ReVIVE

Another great thing about the ReVIVE Solar ReStore XL, is that if you need to reduce the charge time, you can add additional panels to this device for faster charging.


Preparedness is key. I have thousands of eBooks, many of them are going to be real handy in a post-SHTF arena, and I want to be able to access them with or without the grid. Either of these solar charges would be awesome for keeping your devices charged in a Grid Down situation, but would work equally well for normal life use and in recreational situations like camping or long bike trips.

If you plan to rely on eBooks then get a grid-free method to charge them. If you wait too long, it’ll be too late.

The Amazon Kindle lets you Store thousands of Preparedness eBooks in one small package


  1. While the above mentioned products appear to be okay, I would respectfully submit that Goal Zero products are better. Goal Zero 19010 Guide 10 Plus Small Adventure Kit. Available on Amazon.

  2. I know my comment probably won’t be considered useful nor helpful, but what’s wrong with real paper books? If the grid DOES go down- which I don’t think it will “all of a sudden” (I’m thinking more of the lines of death of a thousand cut$ if you catch my drift..?) won’t the grid have issues keeping all those gadgets powered? What if one chooses to bug out in a log cabin out in middle of nowhere, with no unlimited power supply?
    You have to be diligent in where you find cheaper old books however. A lot of thrift stores STINK- is someone going around removing all of the useful and nonfictions and leaving the crap fiction paperbacks behind?? It almost seems like a conspiracy. Many good nonfiction how-tos are into the 100s of dollars on amazon. Weird.

    I DID manage to find one small Christian thrift store in my area that had old encyclopedias (before political corrections made;) old dictionaries and awesome obscure farming and homesteading stuff- many of them with chapters one can only find now online hidden behind university paywalls. The big box booksellers all seem to have two sections: Teen Romance and Cooking!

  3. I have a Kindle DX. It has a 9.7″ e-ink display and uses very little power. Much better than a tablet in a low power situation.

  4. While paper needs no power, in a BOB you limited as to what you can carry. Whereas with an ebook reader you can carry a large library on a few SD cards. All with about the same weight as an average paper book.

    E-ink ebooks are great cause they can last a couple of weeks on one charge.
    Tablets not as long but you can carry instructional video’s.

  5. The problem with paper books is that they take up a lot of space that can be used for more important survival supplies, and should you need to bug out, they are also extremely heavy. Having all of my information in my kindle means I need only carry my kindle and my solar charger for it as opposed to all of that paper.

  6. my suggestion would for sure be the Kindle Paperwhite with an eink screen it can last for up to 8 weeks on one charge (i’ve seen 4 weeks confirmed on mine.) I also have quite a bit of goal zero gear including the stuff you talk about above and I feel like it is quality gear and has held up to many camping trips…my nest foray into power will be the gasifier type BioLite wood fueled stove. Could there be anything better than to charge your device while cooking your supper at the same time?!!?

    Thanks for all the hard work.

  7. Kindle isn’t a great idea. Relies on internet for DRM validation. Get a Kobo, and DRM-free ePubs from Kobo.com, and liberate your already bought Kindle books with Calibre (free ebook converter software for all platforms). Kobo also takes Micro-SD cards, so does not need special connection software. Do not buy DRM books. You will lose access to them in a SHTF situation.

  8. First, paper books are incredible. I have a well composited to my friends, only a wee tiny few.
    But I have been in house with none. And been in houses where moving takes at least 2 trucks just for the books.
    However that is the main problem with print books. Bulk.
    Bug in fine. Bol fine. Bob, lol not a chance in hell.
    But an ereader? I can and do carry a library of 1000s on my phone.

    Charging the main thing ids you need a way. The only two serious ways are crank, and solar. Though there is that new wind turbine in a bag thing. Not sure how good they are.
    Those stupid stove chargers are fake and a joke. It’s a pre charge battery pack. Yes it does have a heat transfer cop in it that Producespower when coming. Problem is a full charge only charges your phone a couple times. The cooking system takes about a week to recharge the battery pack. Do you can run your phone two days a week. Or a for a short time each day. But forget an ereader.
    Second problem you have to be careful of is with kindle. Buying a book doesn’t actually download the entire book onto your device. And technically you don’t fully own it, they can recall or change it. Do you have to make sure it downloads the entire book and then disconnect. There are ways that you are not allowed to do.
    The kobo system doesn’t have those problems, but they also have no where near the selection. And there are a number of sites that search for and offer free daily kindle books. Fully legal. It’s a link to Amazon. They are offering the book free, just a pain to find. Fkb.me free kindle books is one. And prepping groups on fb have a lot of prepping books. You can find pages on many subjects.
    Do no they are not as nice
    You can carry far far more
    There really are only a few ways to charge the readers
    And you have to make sure you actually have the book.
    Oh and a big also.
    There is a peppers ereader being developed. Hardened. Full nav system. Frs radio and scanner and weather radio. Built in solar!
    Comes with two diff resolution screens. And diff resolution topo maps of NA.
    I may chop off a limb to get one.

  9. I have 1000’s of e-books from Amazon. Amazon has the capability to access your “kindle” and remove books at any time. So if the grid goes down and we have no internet, that means there is no Amazon. Will all our books disappear? Is there any way to put my books permanently on my ipad, laptop, ereader etc outside of the kindle app to ensure I don’t lose all my books that I will need for survival and for entertainment if and when the grid goes down?


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