The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Portable power

5 in 1 power pack with compressor and light with pressure gauge

cute chicken with portable air tank
The 5 in 1 portable power pack has quietly replaced our blue air tank when it comes to inflating small tires.

It took considerable effort to lug that tank to a gas station and it would only hold a full charge for a month or two.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Ye olde fashioned bicycle pump. :-) Most bicycle pumps have a connector that will also fit car tire valves, so you can use it to inflate those as well.

Comment by Roland_Smith Fri Feb 25 13:21:11 2011

Thanks Rolland...That's a good addition to the post.

I've had a few bike pumps in the past, but none of them seemed to stand up to any heavy use. That was when I was young and still had not figured out that you usually get what you pay for.

What kind of pumps do you have?

Comment by mark Fri Feb 25 15:51:07 2011

I've got two pumps; both hand operated.

A fairly standard one like the one I linked to earlier. You use your foot to secure it to the ground and use both hands to operate the lever. My best advice here is to get a sturdy one with a built-in pressure gauge, and a large foot-pad to keep it stable. A pressure gauge is pretty important if you're using it for car tires. Incorrect pressure can lead to a blowout or heat failure at high speed.

For outside use you might want to screw it onto a piece of plywood for additional stability. There still are traditional all-metal pumps, but they tend to be without a pressure-gauge.

And for flats-on-the-road I carry a compact double action hand pump (which also has a built-in pressure gauge) in my cycling bag, along with a repair-kit.

There are also foot-operated pumps, but for some reason they've never really caught on here.

I've used both of these pumps to inflate bicycle tires to 5 atm (car tires are usually limited to 2-2.5 atm).

BTW, my name only has one "l" in it.

Comment by Roland_Smith Fri Feb 25 18:16:40 2011
I'd been meaning to take Mark to task on misspelling your name so much. Glad you beat me to it!
Comment by anna Fri Feb 25 20:45:41 2011

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