Camping Cooking Stoves & Accessories For Use In A Crisis: Part 1 of 2 – Basic Knowledge.

A hot meal is a luxury not readily available to many people after disaster strikes. With the electrical grid down, your house destroyed or un-inhabitable, and no signs of immediate aid/assistance, your chances of serving your family a comforting, hot meal are slim to none—unless you planned well beforehand.

A portable stove powered by propane, butane, or other fuels, can be an affordable answer to this seldom-thought-through scenario. Models differ in size, construction, and portability, as do accessories that range from simple to all the “bells and whistles.”

The key to choosing the right camp stove depends on your particular lifestyle, your family’s size, and your overall emergency plan. But, for all affected, a portable stove will be a “life saver” after long, hard days spent trying to rebuild lives and/or property – a hot meal and drink is a step in the right direction on the road to recovery and well-being.

Furthermore, you have to consider the situation what to do if the electric stove stops working due to an extended power outage or the gas supply is cut off? Such a failure of the power supply can be compensated and, above all, cheaply with the use of an emergency camping gas cooker.

This has already proven itself when preparing simple meals while camping can also be very helpful in such situations where there is no power (for your gas or electric stove) or you have to cook with little or no possibility to use appliances readily available in your kitchen.

Today’s market offers an extremely large selection of camping gas stoves. A background knowledge is required to answer the questions about which model is appropiate when buying such a device and whether it is worth buying at all for “normal” life during a power outage. We think so. The Mobile gas cooker for emergencies is not only a valuable aid when camping but can also help and ensure survival in times of crisis with power outages. 

Are you well prepared to cook at least 1 hot meal and prepare hot beverages during an emergency crisis or disaster ?

How Do You Choose Your Stove?

A stove is used to boil water and cook food. It is mainly used for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, mountain and mountaineering, fishing, hunting. That being said, there is no reason as to why it cannot be used indoors provided due care and attention is applied to common sense behaviour.

Cooking with a propane or butane gas stove can be dangerous if not done right and can create gas buildup inside your home. You’ll need to take a few safety precautions beforehand to avoid any health hazards or problems.

Preparing to safely cook indoors may be easier than you might think. There are a variety of great indoor cooking devices and fuels that you can safely use to cook indoors.

The trick is to use a combination of the right device and the right fuel for indoor use.

The following list represents top picks for safe indoor cooking solutions when the power goes out.

  1. A wood-burning cook stove is a perfect solution for cooking indoors in the cooler months.
  2. Alcohol has an indefinite shelf life and burns cleanly.
  3. Canned heat is a convenient option for cooking indoors.
  4. Butane may be carefully burned indoors with a little bit of ventilation.
  5. Propane can only be burned safely indoors in an appliance rated for indoor use.

Gas, multi-fuel, wood, alcohol: which stove to choose?
The choice of a stove depends on the fuel you will find locally and the type of fuel you want to use. The technologies, gas, multi-fuel (gasoline), wood and alcohol, each have advantages and disadvantages that have to be taken into account before reaching your final decision.

Gas heater :

The gas stove is reliable and easy to use. To operate, it uses a mixture of pressurized liquid gas: propane, butane or isobutane. The efficiency of a gas stove is high and the flame adjustment is precise. It is undoubtedly the lightest and most compact heating tool on the market.

Gas does,however, have a few drawbacks: depending on the destination, it is not always easy to find a gas cartridge suitable for your stove. It is preferable to acquire a stove using the international standard: the cartridge with threaded valve type Coleman, Primus, Msr, Optimus, Jetboil.

The advantage of the valve cartridge (screw thread): it disconnects and reconnects, even full, and traps the gas safely. In France, CampinGaz distributes pierceable and valve cartridges without thread which are not compatible with stoves using a screw thread (valve). In this case, you must have an adapter. Outside the territory, depending on the country, these pierceable cartridges are difficult to find. To overcome this problem, some manufacturers offer so-called “Duo” stoves compatible with threaded and non-threaded valve gas cartridges.

Pressurized gas does not withstand cold. Butane quickly becomes inoperative at negative temperature. In this case, the cartridge must be warmed up so that the butane can vaporize again. To overcome this drawback, it is preferable in a cold environment to have a gas cylinder using a mixture of propane and isopropane. For winter use, or in low temperatures, it is best to use an inverted canister stove.

There is a new generation of optimized stoves. Their efficiency is high and they can be used in difficult weather conditions. They consist of a burner, a heat diffuser, a cooking pot and a lid. These 2 in 1 (stove + saucepan) save energy consumption by reducing boiling or cooking time.

4 types of gas stoves exist :

i – “Traditional” stoves : these are the simplest models. These burners are light, compact and efficient. 
ii – 
The “Duo ” stoves are composed of a valve which allows the connection of cartridges with threaded and non-threaded valves. This means that they are compatible with all valve cartridges on the market: Primus, Msr, Optimus, Jetboil and including Camping Gaz.
iii – 
Remote cartridge stoves and / or reversed cartridge. The burner is connected to the cartridge by a supply pipe. This system allows much more stability and security when preparing meals. In addition, this system allows the use of large capacity pans. Models with inverted cartridges allow the stove to be used at low temperatures. Reversing the gas canister promotes better gas mixing.
iv – Optimized stoves : these are integrated models (2 in 1) which consist of a burner and an optimized cookware. The cooker is equipped with a heat distributor optimizing the speed of heating and consumption. In this section, we have also integrated the stoves delivered with a saucepan.

Multi-fuel stove: gasoline, petroleum, alcohol, kerosene

The advantage of a liquid fuel stove be it gasoline, oil or diesel is that it can be purchased easily from many outlets. 

The principle of this type of stove is simple: by actuating a pump, the liquid fuel is pressurized, then passes over the burner which, under the effect of heat, transforms the liquid into a gas. There are 2 types of gasoline refered to as gasoline C (unleaded) and C gasoline (contains lead).

The gasoline or multi-fuel stove can be used at any temperature. It performs very well, even in cold weather. It is the stove for expeditions in the polar regions and in the high mountains. It is also ideal for long trips.

Using a gas stove is more complex than using other systems. It requires attention before it can be used at full power, it must be pre-heated. It requires regular cleaning but little maintenance. In addition …..

  • The supply of liquid fuel is easy and inexpensive. It is more economical than gas (but the stove is more expensive to buy).
  • The gasoline or multi-fuel stove can be used at any temperature. It performs very well, even in cold weather. It is the stove for expeditions in the polar regions and in the high mountains. It is ideal for long trips.
  • The supply of liquid fuel is easy and inexpensive. It is much more economical than gas (but the stove is more expensive to buy).
  • The fuel must be stored separately from the stove, in a bottle dedicated to the transport of flammable liquid. Unlike gas, liquid fuel is not under pressure when stored.
  • Gasoline C is the cleanest liquid fuel on the market: it contains no residue. It is the one that clogs gasoline stoves the least. It is the ideal fuel for extremely cold weather and high altitude expeditions. Whenever possible, choose this fuel!

Wood stove :

Wood is a free and abundant natural resource! It is not necessary to transport it since the supply is done directly at the place of fire. The wood stove requires you to collect kindling and keep the fire going. Lighting requires an efficient method and/or device, especially when the wood is damp/wet. 

  • It is unusable in regions devoid of wood e.g. glacial areas, deserts and high mountains. With a wood stove, it is preferable to use an easily cleanable cooking pot, because cooking with wood is messy: soot settles on the pan.
  • Some wood stove models have a double wall to optimize heat transfer and therefore increase efficiency.
  • Other models of wood stoves are compatible with other fuels. If the wood runs out, it is possible to replace it with solid or liquid alcohol.
  • Example: in the hearth of the Firebox wood stove , it is possible to place a Trangia or Tatonka alcohol burner . It also works with solid alcohol such as Esbit.
  • The use of a wood stove requires care and attention on the part of the owner. It should not be used in areas sensitive to fire risk such as woodlands and forests.

Alcohol stove

Arguably the easiest system to use. There are 3 types: liquid alcohol (methylated spirit), solid (tablet) or gel.Easy to handle, it requires no maintenance. Alcohol is a fuel that is easily found all over the world. These stoves are widely used in Scandinavian countries have many advantages since they are light and inexpensive. They represent a sound economical purchase when compared to gasoline or gas but they are consequently limited in use and function. (Not really ideal for a family). Furthermore ….

  • Alcohol does not freeze: however, it requires preheating at negative temperature.
  • The boiling time of alcohol is longer than that of other fuels and the flame adjustment is less precise.
  • Several models of alcohol stoves are sold as a kit including the burner, an integrated windscreen and the cooking set.
  • Note well however that the boiling time of water when using alcohol as the fuel source alcohol is longer than that of other fuels
  • the flame adjustment is less precise with this type of stove.

For this discussion and review of emergency cooking device options, Alcohol Stoves will not be discussed further because of the following reservations :

1). Bad for “Cooking”. They may excel at boiling water, but alcohol stoves are not great at cooking because they have a fixed flame setting. The stove is either on or off – therefore, slowly simmering your food is not easy to do.

2). Only a few stoves stoves have a simmering ring, which is a shield that can be adjusted to block the flame from reaching the pot. Also, the alcohol vaporizes. This can be helpful by allowing you to easily light the stove. However, it also means you can accidentally burn your entire fuel supply.

3). Messy to carry.The actual fuel must be stored in a leak proof container. Traces of the alcohol can often still be found around the lid of the container making it smell in your pack. There is also some cleanup after cooking – usually this means pouring any leftover fuel back into the bottle.

4). Less Safe.Once set up, these stoves are not the most stable and require some careful handling as you try to balance the pot on the small cooking surface area. Because of this small surface area to cook on, most models require an additional stand to elevate and stabilize your pot. Alcohol stoves can and will tip over, sometimes with tragic consequences. A spilled alcohol stove is thought to have started a forest fire in Colorado in 2012. Though they won’t explode, they do need to be handled with care.[]

Please note that ….

Another criterion when choosing a stove type is energy consumption

When it comes to the question of how long the gas supply for the gas stove will last, various factors play a role. For example, the number of persons, whether the stove has two or four stoves and the size of the fuel source. It also depends on your cooking habits and how long you use the stove per day. 

Another important consideration to bear in mind is to make sure that you have the right cookware for the respective stove type. Whereas in principle, you can use all kinds of pots and pans on an ordinary electric stove. With an induction cooker, things are a bit more complicated. 

Here you will achieve the best cooking results with special induction pots. Since the induction plate in the mobile home or caravan heats the pots electromagnetically, all pots that have a magnet sticking to the floor are suitable. Non-metallic pots and pans are therefore not suitable for the induction cooker – with the exception of metal-offset cookware. 

It is again different with a gas stove : Due to the open flame, you need heat-conducting pots and pans, for example made of stainless steel, copper or those that are coated. Cookware made from materials that melt when exposed to excessive heat OR a naked flame will therefore not be suitable.

With this newly-acquired knowledge on camping gas stoves at your finger tips, lets now move onto Part 2 and use this knowledge to help us select the most appropiate stove/s for our present needs AS WELL as for any future situation that prevents you from cooking food in the ” normal ” manner.

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