What Items Do You Or Would You Store In Your Own Faraday Cage?

what-to-keep-in-faraday-cage

Some of you (including me) know of the vulnerability that we face with regards to the risk of ‘natural’ or ‘man-made’ EMP (electromagnetic pulse), which has the potential to destroy our electronic components and electronic infrastructure – and maybe even bring down the grid.

As a precaution, some of you (including me) may stash some particular items in a do-it-yourself Faraday cage for protection from an EMP.

So, I have two questions for you:

1. What specific items do you (or would you) store in a Faraday cage?
2. What is the rationale for each of these items?

 
Related: EMP
Related: Faraday cage

Okay, lets hear from you. When we’ve got a good list going, I’ll update this article to reflect what seems to be the priority items that you’ve selected…

(I’ve done this before, so no cheating and looking up the last article ;) )

 
UPDATE (Top-10 results after several days of initial comments)

1. Battery charger (solar powered setup w/rechargeable batteries)
2. Portable radio receiver (AM/FM, Shortwave)
3. 2-way radios (FRS/GMRS, ‘walkie-talkies’, etc..)
4. Laptop / Tablet / Kindle / etc..
5. Charge controller for solar pv system
6. HAM radio (transceiver)
7. Flashlights (LED, etc..)
8. CD/DVD / MP3 player / iPod / etc..
9. Inverter for solar pv system
10. Electronic scope / Red Dot, etc..

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48 Comments

  1. OK, I have the following items stored in two separate Faraday cages (small galvanized trash cans that are lined with cardboard and sealed with metallic tape). Some of these items are also stored inside Faraday bags for double EMP protection. I ran out of bags or I would have double protected everything.

    1. FRS/GMRS radios(2)
    2. Nitecore AC/DC model D4 battery charger
    3. Nitecore AC/DC model D2 battery charger
    4. Fenix PD 35 flashlights (2)
    5. Fenix LD 22 flashlights (2)
    6. Renology 30 amp charge controller
    7. Portable AM/FM/SW receiver
    8. Samlex 300 watt pure sine wave inverter
    9. 12 volt LED standard screw base bulbs (30 watt equivalent)
    10. Cobra CB radio
    11. DeWalt 20 volt battery charger (for tools)
    12. Garmin hand held hiking GPS
    13. Realistic analog radio scanner
    14. Baofeng ham radio (1)

    I have a few more items that I would like to add including another Baofeng ham radio, a laptop computer and a small solar charger. Those items will have to be added as time and money permit.

    1. I would toss in a few inexpensive multi-meters and spare batteries. After TSHTF, you might be able to get a few things running again if you have the right test equipment.

      1. @Gilroy, That is a very good idea! Even for those who only understand ‘basic’ electronics/electricity, keeping an inexpensive Digital Multimeter could prove to be an excellent troubleshooting tool in this regard…

    2. I know that many of the bloggers prefer to line their trash cans with cardboard. Something that is a bit easier to maintain and not worry about is a slightly smaller plastic trash can with snug fitting lid. You pack your gear in it, put the lid on it (get solid lid type, seal that up, then put it inside the metal can, put that can’s lid on and seal it up. If you really want to get fancy, put the stuff you are storing in individual plastic zip lock bags with desiccant in them before you store them. Have even known folks to use vacuum sealers, but I don’t own one of them.

      1. I happened to acquire a gallon tin leftover from someone’s Christmas candy. Would this work for a mini cage?
        dude

  2. Ken one of the things I like about this site is your diversity of topics & your calm spirit.

    In my Faraday cage is my short wave radio, a solar battery charger & some walkie talkies. BUT I don’t like it. I need to get a better garbage can & some of that proper tape to seal it better.

    1. @canadagal, thanks for the compliment. Hopefully the diversity of topics and the contributory nature of our readers will continue to enable this site to grow.

      Regarding Faraday Cage, I’ll bet one of the first things people think of are a set (or more) of 2-way radios (walkie-talkies), etc.. which will have many uses post-SHTF (so long as you have a means of charging the batteries).

  3. Ham Radio
    Am-Fm/Police/Weather/all around radio
    Small Solar charger for batteries
    Coil and Condenser for the 1961 International Scout
    Red Dot Scopes (2), Infrared Scope

    Other than that, it’s all fluff and going to be worthless anyways if a full blown EOTWAWKI happens. Even the stuff I listed will be worthless in a year.

    If it does, forget about electricity for a long long time; Years and Years, one had best learn how to live/survive without Electricity, period.

    But that’s JMHO
    NRP

    1. I agree NRP,

      Loss of everything else, although inconvenient, not really needed for your survival. We look at everything we do and think about how to do that task manually without the aid of fossil fuels and electricity. Information and communication will be key I think, and there really are no other substitutes for a good radio or walkie talkies.

      The only thing left to get is a good solar charger for the batteries to keep the above working for as long as possible. Other than that we go as low tech as possible.

    2. Agree NRP.

      Most items in the Faraday cage will be worthless/useless within a year. Have a number of items in there…..hoping for successful use for as long as valuable….

      Planning for stone age existence…and oddly comfortable with the idea. LOL

      Lifestyle says it all. While I drive some 60k per year for work, I guess that would cease. What a relief! Then I could garden and play with my chickens, turkeys, cows, horses all day every day???

  4. We have a multi band portable radio and walkie talkies. News and communication will be key to know what is going on as well knowing if and when you may need to bug out. I am considering a second radio to stow away, I just haven’t decided which one. I may be wrong but I don’t expect flashlights to be affected by an EMP. Although I do have extras of the key-chain variety I could put in there as well. They are very compact and don’t take up much room, but very bright.

  5. Take Bilge Pump McCoy’s list, (really, its uncanny how close it is to mine), and add to it:

    – Sony all-band shortwave receiver
    – 11″ Windows laptop
    – A 3 TB hard drive with 50 years worth of pictures, video and records
    – High capacity “assault AA battery holder” for the Baofeng
    – A blacked out “assault long range antenna”, also for the Baofeng

  6. Trash can that’s insulated with cardboard and plastic trash bag. Gmrs rsdiod, solar charger, 800 radio, flashlights. That’s it for now. I keep this in a metal cabinet in the basement. Hardy get a cell signal or radio in there, so there should be a good start to weakening an EMP signal.

  7. I made a faraday cage for my five 250 watt solar panels. Then I stored an inverter and all the other parts to the solar system in faraday trash cans.

    I stored short wave and long wave radios
    Laptops
    Mixer and other small electrical kitchen appliances
    Skill saw, drill, jig saw, and other electrical tools
    Hair clippers
    Dvd player
    Battery Chargers (solar and regular)
    Bottom mechanical part of food processor/blender
    Smoke Alarms just in case they get fried
    Small tv
    Parts to lamps and light socket that will be fried
    Fans and a small 500 watt A/C
    Sewing Machine
    Foodsaver.
    Part that could be fried to my tiller

    I made a double screen wire faraday cage to cover a med. small refrigerator and deep freeze and a well pump. Also made one for my gas operated generator.

    Some items I take out and use occasionally. Many I have been buying a little along.

    1. Pencilpusher6
      You thought of items I had not even considered, thank you for the additional insight it is appreciated. Almost forgot my power tools, which I would require along with my vita mix so I could feed the hubby.

    2. Another faraday question:
      Could a heavy duty filing cabinet be fitted to be a faraday cage? Must it be airtight?
      What do y’all think?
      dude

      1. All cracks and holes would have to be sealed with metal tape. Also remember to insulate everything inside from touching the metal container

        NRP

        1. NRP,

          Is there a way to make it such that you could access its contents easily (without having to untape)? What about a magnetic tape? I dunno.

          Things I’d want to put in there (solar charger, cell phone, cat) just kidding
          I might want to use sometime…hate to lock something up permanently! I’m not THAT rich to be able to buy 2 of something!
          dude

          1. @ dude this is it

            Not really, a Faraday Cage has to have very VERY small openings in it, remember your talking electrons here, mighty small little critters that can and will get in.

            Personally the Cage I use is opened only once or twice a year to check the equipment I have in there, remembering that Batteries do NOT need to be in a F-Cage.

            NRP

            PS, one of the “rules” of prepping, “Two is One, One is None”. if it’s important enough to have in a F-Cage, it’s important enough to have two of them.

          2. It’s actually about the wavelength (and strength) of the EMP frequencies (plural – fairly broadband but not exactly…) and having a mesh size small enough to adequately attenuate the signal strength below that of damaging what’s inside. The Faraday Cage containment does not have to be sealed to the molecular level. A fine-mesh metal screen (or even window screen size openings) is thought to be ‘good enough’. With that said, if you’re directly underneath the atmospheric blast, greater attenuation (shielding) will be more important…

  8. Solar/battery powered small calculator, and a small electronic weigh scale. Desiccants (moisture absorbing clay in capsules) in the foil emp bags & big Ziploc bags. 1″ foam lining on bottom and sides to keep items from contact with can metal. Tested the can by putting my cell phone in it and calling it.

  9. Faraday cage stored items:
    1. Bubble packed antibiotics that have alum foil backing
    2. Both large and small primers for reloading
    3. Metal frame eye glasses
    4. Spools of 10, 12, 8 gauge wire
    5. Spools of fine mesh copper screening
    6. Electronic scale used in reloading
    7. Ignition parts for my tractors, atv and vehicles

    1. Out of curiosity, why the glasses, wire and screening? Those things shouldn’t be affected by an EMP

  10. Been wanting to build a cage for a bit. Definitely would be putting in ham radio, spare sights, gps, computer, DVDs player, a small tv, and solar charger and batteries.

  11. Next project
    Buy a 20′ Steel Shipping container, line the floor with 1/8″ plate fully welded and do a triple overlap on the doors. Instant 20’X9’X8′ Faraday Cage.

    NRP

    1. NRP….

      You are too funny. However, we went for a 40 footer. Did exactly that then lined all the metal with OSB and foam….nothing touching the metal. Then stored all the generators etc in there. We open it on occasion to test items, then use a metallic tape to seal the doors.

      1. @ pioneer woman
        There ya go a 40’ Faraday Cage for under $4k. And big enough to park a truck in if wanted with all the rest of the “stuff”. I may have to upgrade to a 40’er, for $1500 more. That’s cheap insurance.
        NRP

        1. We initially spent 2600 for the container…dir the welding and insulating ourselves over 10 years ago. Works great as a shelter too….built into hillside, below the winds and turmoil. Extended wings on each side to create stalls and secure corals for the livestock….multi purpose! painted it green to blend with the hillside.

          1. @ pioneer woman
            Last one I bought was around 9 years ago, about the same $$$ Now those stinking things are at $4K, ridiculous.

            Sounds like you set it up right… Nice
            NRP

          2. pioneer woman
            Love the total idea of how your system is set up.

            May I ask a question, how are you on oxygen levels for any extended time inside the container? Did it require a venting system(s)which was also grounded?

  12. Wow… reading everyone else’s lists is a bit daunting.

    For me, it starts with a couple of basics:
    – Solar battery charger and solar re-chargeable batteries
    – Emergency solar/hand crank radio

    Not having a big piece of land, we don’t use walkie talkies, but if we did I would keep a set in there as well. Same thing with electronic replacement parts for tractor, farm truck, generator, etc… we don’t have pieces of equipment, so their parts are not on my list (but would be on a farmstead).

    I figured any kind of electronics like cell phones and computers wouldn’t have much use, but I guess depending on the circumstances having a lap-top or equivalent could be helpful – will have to think about that.

    Interesting lists from everyone to say the least!

    1. I would still get walkie talkies because if you have to go a distance to “check out
      ” the perimeter of your property or go hunt, you may need to communicate.

  13. 3 inverters
    2grms base and 4 handheld radios
    20 inch laptop
    External CD DVD player
    Cb base and 2 mobile radios
    12v tv
    12 lunch box oven
    12v coffee maker
    Zero charged AA,AAA,and D batteries
    6 Delco 10si repair kits
    318 dodge repair kit
    12v shower
    12v 25 ft lift pump
    2 Douglas dry never charged group 24:-( from the formation line. Rip douglas!)
    2 4 panel solar sets in there own enclosure.
    Thanks foot tip on tools guys. Time to make another cage.

  14. Writing my list and not looking at what anyone else wrote. As you said no cheating on this challenge.

  15. I don’t have a Faraday cage exactly, but I do have a metal toolbox with no openings. Inside I store all my small battery powered tools, including a calculator which works in feet and inches. If I do upgrade to a proper Faraday cage, I am planning on taking an old tablet and filling it with as many survival/gardening/herbal/etc e-books as I can and adding a small solar charging system. And maybe an MP3 player full of my favorite music too ;-)

  16. Bicycles, I have a small multi gear one with quick release tires an wheels in the trunk of my car along with my BOB. It’s 35 miles from work to home sure beats walking also works for earth quakes.

  17. Like many I tried to fit everything into a garbage can, as they say ‘not happening. Revised the plan, invention is the best thing of all.

    Like NRP & Pioneer Woman stated, a cargo container remodeled. Was not sure how to accomplish this task until I read their statements.

    Here is our list:
    Ignition car parts for the pre-1980’s model(on the shopping list). Simple is better for me, I am not a mechanic but I can figure out how it works from books an tearing it down and putting back together.

    short wave radio receiver
    walkie talkies min of 10 sets(failure/damage)
    recharge batteries with chargers
    batteries AA-AAA-C-D non chargeable
    solar exterior lighting with recharge batteries(when you need it inside)
    solar panels recharging batteries
    *self contained solar power station-EMP proof*(Always Empowered price $1,700)
    flashlights
    lanterns
    laptop-extra batteries this unit only
    kindle book reader
    electric strips for power distribution
    dvd player with tv (visual entertainment)
    110/220 electric wire
    water well pump
    phone wire military grade

    Now for the container.. the wish list.

    golf cart batteries and connecting cables
    solar panels with extra parts
    inverters/converters
    Midland base radio/hand crank
    Propane generator with a couple of batteries-electric start
    Parts for generator along with detailed manual

    I know there is more I would like to stuff inside a cargo container but this is my wish list and some items we have gathered so far.

  18. if I’ve enclosed my electronics in “faraday defense” foil packages, are they protected as is or must i enclosed those packages in a faraday cage such as a trash can?

    1. It really depends… if it’s a nuclear bomb 1000 miles away barely visible over the horizon, you’re probably safe. If’s it’s a high-frequency EMP device 2 miles directly overhead, everything you have is probably toast.

    2. @ roger

      Not sure what ‘“faraday defense” foil packages’ you are using of have, but one would believe that the produce “should” protect as advertised. Here is the point, IF the product does not do as said, how are you going to go back on the producer if we have a full blown EMP?

      Would it not be better to toss the “package” into a trash-can Faraday Cage just for extra protection???? It seems to me a $10 trash can, some cardboard, and a little metal tape might just be worth the investment?

      JMHO
      NRP

  19. I’ve stored solar… batteries A>>>B..C..D..E’s &Walkie talkie…ETC
    But the $ 400.00 18 ft. aluminum container I have will only need a metal floor. Thank’s

    Bob

    1. Bob, I would like to know more about your aluminum container. Did you build it yourself? Purchased from who? how are you going to do a metal floor? etc. Thanks so much! Beach’n

  20. I keep a Honda 2000 generator in mine but have to store the flat. Also have most of the items mentioned.

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