Is Pedal Power As A Prep Really A Good Idea?

Why Including Pedal Power Generation In Your
Preps Is A Terrible Idea! (Pictured above is the
popular K-tor Power Box 20 Watt Power 
Generator)

You see a lot of tips and tutorials these days on various websites and social media about how to create your very own bicycle or pedal-powered generators to generate electricity during an emergency power outage, but are these pedal-powered generators really a good idea for a prepper or survivalist? Should these pedal-powered generators be central or even a small part of your preparedness or survival plan? Well, we are about to lay out a case for why we think these are actually a terrible option for preppers and survivalists for their power generation preps.

Sure, in a pinch one of these pedal-powered power generators would be better than nothing at all, but isn’t the point of being a prepper or survivalist to actually be prepared as well as you can be? Sure it is. And we would simply argue that preparing for your energy needs with a pedal-powered generator would not be nearly as effective as preparing to generate power with solar panels, wind turbines or hydro power (assuming you have a suitable water source/supply to sustain hydro power).

In a survival situation, your physical energy is going to prove a critical resource that you will need to leverage for all sorts of tasks, and this physical energy is going to be a finite resource. During a crisis, it is likely that you are going to demand a whole lot more from your body in ways that you are not normally accustomed to, and your caloric intake is quite possibly going to be significantly less than it normally is.

Time is another precious resource during a crisis. You need to spend your time, much like your physical energy, very wisely during a crisis. The last thing you need is to dedicate these two precious resources toward pedaling away on a stationary bicycle to generate power when you could be doing other far more important tasks.

Active Power Generation vs. Passive Power Generation

Here’s the important distinction that we want to impart to you regarding the two categories of alternative energy production on this front: active power generation vs. passive power generation. Active power generation methods require direct involvement with the power generation by a user in terms of physical exertion and time. Passive power generation methods do not. Bicycle, pedal-powered and even hand-crank flashlights and radios fall into the active power generation category while solar panels, wind turbines and micro-hydro power fall into the passive power generation category. That means solar panels, wind turbines and hydro generators do all of the work for you while you are spending precious time and energy doing other things. Maybe even resting!!

So there you go. That is our case for why we think pedal-power generators are a terrible idea as a prep for your energy needs.

What do you think? Still think pedal generators are a good idea? Share your thoughts and comments!

Author: Josh Nieten

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1 Comment

  1. Yes, I do. For several reasons:

    I expect the immediate catastrophe situation to wear down in time and very quickly, because people adapt quickly and don't tolerate stress well. The life will go back to "normal" and people will have more free time in their hands. The work environment will change radically. I'd rather have bored people generate electricity than embroider lamp shades, as they did back in the 19th century.

    I grew up off-grid and I find the human powered inventions very handy. Also, I think the more complex you make things, the more can – and will – go wrong. The more I use electricity, the more special education I need to maintain and fix the appliances. A simple washing machine that uses the old rocking churn principle can be operated by the weaker members of the community, like kids or elderly people.

    One should remember that a community doesn't consist of clones. Some are better at things like defending the premises, or hunting and gathering food, others for other purposes. A person in a wheelchair isn't very useful in hunting/gathering and recognition, but can have a very strong upper body and could be the engine for hand-crank machines.

    Another thing is that if you put all your eggs in one basket, it's easier to sabotage your efforts.

    But if you are planning on being "one strong and healthy man against everyone else", then human power isn't a very good idea. I am not a man, nor strong, nor healthy, which changes my premises from yours quite drastically.

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