Cooking stoves

We often talk about the top priority that is having a good amount of food stored for emergencies. The food stored will preferably be palatable, will store well for long periods of time, and something else of great importance, it will require little or no cooking. Canned food fills the requirements well, but it soon gets expensive when storing large amounts.

Grains and cereals stored in mylar bags inside buckets are a great way of storing food for long term storage. Rice and wheat, they are favorite staples for survivalists because they allow a broad spectrum of recipes and combine well with other stored foods. Yet here we come up with the problem of cooking. We have the food stored, but unlike canned goods here we need a heat source to actually process it properly.

During one of the videos I recently made for youtube, I mentioned the “Sarajevo Survival Guide”. In that book it explains how the citizens of Sarajevo, being sieged and not having outside resupplies ended up burning the city’s trees, furniture, wooden floors, they even chopped down the trees of its cementery for heat and cooking.
Think about it. What would you do if you have no electricity and no propane? How would you cook your food?

In Argentina its still common to use smaller propane tanks for cooking. Most homes have one, and even in those homes where they don’t use it much you’ll probably find done in the shed, still ½ full of propane.
For short term problems where power may go down for a few days or the service of natural gas interrupted, this is a nice quick alternative both for heating and cooking.
Manchester Tank 10054 5# ACME/OPD Vertical LP Tank
Manchester Tank 10054 5# ACME/OPD Vertical LP Tank

Bayou Classic SP10 High-Pressure Outdoor Gas Cooker, Propane
Bayou Classic SP10 High-Pressure Outdoor Gas Cooker, Propane

For longer term situations where you may end up scrounging fuel, a camping type stove will be handy to keep cooking with whatever fuel you find.
These two are my favorites. The Coleman Multifuel is a classic, using coleman fuel, unleaded gasoline or kersone alike. Of course this is basic camping gear so you can use it as well during camping trips, having a good time.
Coleman Exponent Multi-Fuel Stove
Coleman Exponent Multi-Fuel Stove

The little Trangia stove uses alcohol which of course is cheap and plentiful. This stove uses the same concept used in “penny” can stoves. What I like about this type of stove is that its fail proof, there’s nothing to break, no o-ring to dry up, no delicate or moving parts. Its pretty cheap too at $14. The only way to destroy this stove is crushing it beyond its useful shape. For an emergency/disaster kit, this is a very compact stove as well and while not the most efficient, still uses little amounts of alcohol.
Trangia Spirit Alcohol Stove
Trangia Spirit Alcohol Stove

If you have thousands of dollars to put into huge propane tank installations then more power to you. If not these are some cheap alternatives to ensure you have means of cooking if services are disrupted, and you don’t end up needing to burn your furniture or floor to survive.
Take care guys and have a nice weekend!



Cooking stoves — 5 Comments

  1. I have used every type stove there is. IMHO none are better than the trangia stove. You left out it’s main attributes. first and foremost is SAFETY. Trangias are NON-PRESSURIZED so there is no chance of exploding. trangias use ALCOHOL which mixes with water instantly so water puts any fuel spill fire out INSTANTLY and most importantly Alcohol gives off ZERO HARMFUL emmissions ( depending on which alcohol is used )and gives off water vapor only. These two things are why they are the PREFFERED STOVE/HEATERS for boats.

    while safety is the trangias most important aspect,it is ( like you said ) durable. but you failed to mention WHY…. it has NO MOVING PARTS. it is ONE PIECE , not counting it’s cap for traveling with fuel in it.

    what IS MOST IMPORTANT is using the PROPER FUEL ( all alcohols are not equal ) and proper operation. here is a blog about the Swiss milsurp trangia stove which, IMHO is the best camping/survival stove in existance.

    • I’m sorry, but no harmful emissions is just baloney. All alcohols are oxygenated hydrocarbons; ethanol (grain alcohol) has the chemical formula CH3CH2OH. When you burn it, it undergoes the chemical reaction CH3CH2OH + 3O2 -> 2CO2 + 3H2O assuming you have adequate oxygen. In fuel rich conditions (i.e., low oxygen amounts), you don’t produce only CO2 (carbon dioxide), you also produce CO (carbon monoxide), which is extremely toxic in even small quantities. The production of CO is why if you have an open flame/kerosene heater/etc. at home or if you are in a running vehicle you should always have adequate ventilation. Even with adequate oxygen, you still produce trace amounts of CO and CH4 (methane, the predominant component of natural gas). The *only* fuel which can be burned to produce only water is hydrogen (the drawbacks to hydrogen are a topic for another day).

      It is true that ethanol and other alcohols burn much more cleanly than non-oxygenated hydrocarbons due to their oxygen content. This is why it is included in gasoline in many places; it helps ensure complete combustion. Nevertheless, it is still possible to burn it incompletely. The downside to the oxygen content of alcohols is that alcohols have lower energy density than ordinary non-oxygenated hydrocarbons and tend to produce lower flame temperatures. This is why propane or white gas (naptha/Coleman fuel) stoves cook/heat more efficiently than alcohol stoves.

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