Tag Archive: rocket stove

Indoor Emergency Cooking

The first thing you need to take into consideration is the heating source. If a power outage occurs, you can use a propane stove, NEVER something based on charcoal. Why? Because burnt charcoal releases a great amount of carbon monoxide that could poison you and your family.

But here`s the #1 safety rule: whatever you use for cooking, always keep a window cracked open all throughout the process, so you make sure no toxic gas harms you or your kids. Always cook in well-ventilated areas, only with indoor cooking tools (never on outdoor grills or camp stoves). Open doors and windows when you`re finished at let the air circulate for at least 30 minutes.

To get familiar with cooking without electricity, you can even replace your electric cook top with a gas unit, so as long as you have gas, you can cook. 

It`s not very complicated, but you have to keep one thing in mind: if a major disaster crashes buildings down, gas will most likely be shut down, to avoid any leakage. So the best solution is to get a regulator that also handles propane and stock some alternative fuel to use when there`s no gas.

You can also use Sterno Fuel, which is made of jellied petroleum. It`s perfectly safe to use indoors and it`s easily ignited with a match. So make sure you`ve always got matches around, preferably kept in an airtight bag. 

Now let`s move on to the next thing on the list: how do you keep items fresh after the power outage begins?

First of all, try to keep your fridge and freezer closed as much as you can. Make a list with everything you need for cooking and get everything out at once. If you don`t open the fridge more than once, it can keep food cold for up to 6 hours. Afterwards, you`ve got just 2-4 hours left to cook everything… or move the items into a cooler, with lots of ice.

A freezer can normally keep food cold for up to 48 hours. But keep some towels under it, as the ice will start to melt and leak on the floor. Also, you can wrap your fridge and freezer in blankets to keep it cold longer. Sounds weird, I know, but it actually works.

My advice is to get an instant read food thermometer, to make sure the food is still safe for eating. If the thermometer shows above 40 degrees, you should seriously question whether you should eat the food or not.

But it`s better to always be extra cautious and throw out what`s not perfectly safe. A ride to the hospital isn`t worth all the food in the world. Also, when power comes back, clean your fridge and your freezer thoroughly to keep away bacteria. 

One last tip: write down easy emergency cooking recipes and keep them in your pantry, close to your stockpile. Keep your cooking tools in there, too. This will make things easy for you, cause you`ll know exactly what foods and tools you need while you`re in the pantry.

So come back for a collection of the simplest, tastiest recipes you can make with your survival food.

Via: myfamilysurvivalplan

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Make firestarter balls out of dryer lint and petroleum jelly.

When it comes to fire tinder and fire starting materials, I could probably write a book on all of the different natural and store bought materials I have used – some working better than others.  However, for the purpose of this post I am going to focus on what I think is the most effective and economical home-made fire tinder/starter available.  Here at Willow Haven Outdoor, we call these very cheap & very effective fire starters PET Balls.  This stands for Petroleum Balls.

Put simply, a PET Ball is a wad of dryer lint saturated with petroleum jelly.  In my experience, a PET Ball will successfully take a spark from almost any ignition device (flint & steel, fire steel, match, lighter, friction coal, etc…) even in horrible conditions.

I keep a container of PET Balls in both my Bug Out Bag and also my excursion pack.  They are SIMPLE & CHEAP (REALLY CHEAP) to make.  Below is the process.

The Raw Materials

PET Balls Raw Ingredient: Dryer Lint

PET Balls Raw Ingredient: Dryer Lint

The first ingredient is completely FREE and abundantly available – Dryer Lint.  Dryer lint is the perfect consistency to use as a fire tinder material.  It’s fluffy, fibrous and highly flammable.  This, combined with run-of-the-mill Petroleum Jelly, makes for an incredible fire starter combination.

PET Balls: Dryer Lint + Petroleum Jelly

PET Balls: Dryer Lint + Petroleum Jelly

The Process

When mixed with dryer lint, petroleum jelly acts as what’s called a FUEL EXTENDER.  By this I mean that it allows the flame to burn longer than normal.  The fibrous dryer lint is what catches the flame and the petroleum jelly acts of a fuel source and allows the flame to burn longer and slower – giving you more time to feed the small flame with little twigs and wood shavings that you have already prepared.  Without the EXTENDED burn time, your window of opporunity goes up in a flash of smoke – literally! It’s possible, but more difficult. Petroleum jelly can be a fuel extender for many different materials including cotton balls, cattail down, milkweed down, dried grasses, etc… I always carry a tube of CARMEX Lip balm in my pack for this reason.  CARMEX is a petroleum based lip balm and can be mixed with a variety of tinder to make excellent fire starters.

Making PET Balls is a very simple process.  The first step is to slather a big scoop of petroleum jelly on a descent sized chunk of lint like you see below.

PET Balls: Step 1

PET Balls: Step 1

 Then, with your hands, vigorously mix the 2 ingredients until the dryer lint is completely saturated.

PET Balls: Step 2

PET Balls: Step 2

 Finally, simply roll the saturated chunks of dryer lint into small quarter sized balls.

PET Balls: Finished Balls - Ready for a spark.

PET Balls: Finished Balls – Ready for a spark.

When you are ready to use them, simply pull them apart to form a small nest – stretching out the fibers a bit.  Then, land a spark right in the middle and watch the magic.

Packing & Containers

Choosing a container for your PET Balls is pretty basic.  I prefer a waterproof container – even though PET Balls will successfully take a spark even when damp.  You can use any small container and jam in as many PET Balls that will fit.  There are several good small container options in the SMALL TRAVEL SIZE section at most pharmacy stores.  You can also get creative and use containers such as Altoid Tins and old film canisters.

PET Balls: Container Ideas

PET Balls: Container Ideas

 Once you choose a container, the more PET Balls you can fit, the better.  Jam them is as tight as you can get.  If I were using the Altoid Tin below I would cram in at least double that many.  It helps to saturate the dryer lint even more.  Besides, these little fire-balls weigh virtually nothing and can be life savers in damp & rainy weather conditions.

Sure there is excellent fire starting tinder available at camping and outdoor stores.  But why spend $10 on something when you can spend virtually $0 and a few minutes to create a product equally as effective.  This is exactly what being a survivor is all about – using the resources at hand to meet your basic survival needs – in this case, FIRE.

A BIG lesson from a very simple project.

Via: willowhavenoutdoor


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Build a tiny stove out of tin cans.

Build a Camping Rocket Stove from Leftover Food Cans

LDSPrepper on YouTube/Video screen capture

brought our attention to this really cool DIY rocket stove design. You just needs some tin cans, a pair of tin snippers and some vermiculite.

Using four soup cans and a #10 can (like the size used for bulk stewed tomatoes or something), you can build this rocket stove which is powerful enough to cook a meal in minutes. In the video, you’ll see the pot of water at a high boil after just about eight minutes on the stove.

LDSPrepper via YouTube/Video screen capture

Because rocket stoves are very efficient, using little wood to create strong heat, and because they produce little smoke, they’re an ideal option for people in developing areas as a healthier, cheaper alternative for cooking. They’re also fairly easy to DIY. This is one of the easiest designs we’ve seen.

LDSPrepper via YouTube/Video screen capture

LifeHacker notes, “The design of the stove means that fuel burns both in the fuel opening and also in a reburn combustion chamber—this means that a lot of heat is generated as the wood is first burned and then gassified in the combustion chamber. Rocket stoves also incorporate insulation so that the heat generated is absorbed and radiated outward for several hours. Rocket stoves burn wood so efficiently that most of the exhaust ends up being almost completely steam and CO2 so some use them illegally in cities without being detected.”

This design is a smaller version than usual, ideal for camping. And it should take less than an hour to build. Not bad!

Via: treehugger

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