ESSENTIAL SURVIVAL AIDS
Fortunately, nowadays there are many survival aids which will allow you to do just that with relative ease.
Modern design, and high quality manufacturing materials, means it is possible to have a very efficient cooking stove.
Modern materials also mean it will be light and durable and will produce good heat with the minimum of fuss.
These modern stoves also use a tiny amount of fuel, normally just twigs, and are highly efficient at maintaining good heat for a longer time.
Why Do You Need A Stove
Whats Wrong With A Camp fire?
In the past cooking over an open fire was your only option, and yes, it works fine and is all well and good but we are talking 'survival aids' here and that means equipment that will make your life easier
An open fire is great and often essential for some cooking, especially larger, more bulky foods but also for heat, drying clothes, to ward of animals or for physiological comfort.
But for purely providing a near instant, confined and controllable heat to boil water or cook on, an open fire is not the best choice by far.
If you are on the move and just want to heat a meal then an open fire can be the last thing you want to start messing around with.
A camp fire is always welcome
Of course, in a bug out, or simply run away and hide fore a few days scenario, it is even more important to know you have good kit, which is reliable and able to provide a heat source to boil up water and cook over.
A big roaring open camp fire is all very nice, but if a more covert approach is required then a camp stove becomes essential.
What Are The Requirements
When Choosing A Camp Stove?
The modern camp stove comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, as well as different materials and designs for producing an efficient and reliable long lasting flame.
A flame that is constant and able to produce enough heat to boil water.
The important areas from a prepping viewpoint are reliability and ease of use, as well as the choice of fuel which is also a very important factor when choosing a new stove.
If you have to carry around bulky, heavy fuel containers as well as your stove it’s just not going to give you room for all the other essential bug out bag equipment that you need to have with you for successful survival.
Of course, the most obvious down side is having to carry the fuel with you in the first place, especially if your stove requires anything other than naturally found wood, twigs etc, that are just laying around on the forest floor.
For instant, controllable heat a a touch of a button, you have to be looking at a gas system.
I use the Jetboil Flash, a very efficient cook stove from the Jetboil range - probably one of the most efficient and certainly fast boil times you can get.
It's lightweight, compact and performs very well.
But, you need to carry a gas canister with you for fuel.
All very well on short hikes or camping trips, but for any amount of time away, there is the fear that your fuel supply will dry up..!
However, to be certain of a unlimited fuel source, you need to be looking for fuel that burns naturally and efficiently in your stove.
By far the best is a bio-mass cooking stove:
That is a stove that will burn all types of natural fuel - dead wood, cones, fungus, dung, etc. etc
There are also a host of other natural fuels that can also be used in a bio-mass stove
Below are three survival cook stoves that I personally recommend, and depending on what type of prepping training I am doing, I will normally take one of these with me.
I have video review articles on the three stoves below
as you can see, all quite different:
As a prepper, it's reasonable to practice the ‘less is more’ theory, and if you can reduce the amount you carry then you reduce the weight or leave yourself room in your bag, for other items.
So, the No:1 choice has to be a stove that will work using a local foraged fuel source, ie: wood and twigs – so long as your near a tree or bushes, that offer you dead wood, you have fuel, simple as that really – it’s a ‘no fuss’ energy source.
Generally there are only three types of fuel source, namely, solid fuel [wood, twigs, solid fuel, dry fuel tablets], alcohol and gas.
However some stoves are capable of running several different fuel types which can be very handy bonus, although a gas stove is normally just that and cannot be used with other fuels.
Most wood burning stoves will also take an alcohol burner in place of the wood fuel, with the TRANGIA BURNER being the most popular. - it's certainly one of the lightest, most compact and easy to use burners.
The Trangia Cook System:
There are 4 main fuel types used with the Trangia - Bio-ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, methylated spirits and alcohol gel.
The Trangia cook sets are very good, and to be honest you cant go far wrong with one.
A set like the one above will cost around £45, then all you need is the fuel.
Be aware these are not the most fuel efficient cook stoves and do tend to take a bit of time to boil water.
But for ease of use and reliability, they are a very good standby stove cooker.
Downside Of Using A Survival Stove:
The good points far outweigh the bad points, but there are some to consider;
The stove needs to be kept quite clean inside which means, if using a wood burner, emptying the burnt ash and debris every time before reusing.
Not too much of a pain but needs doing for an efficient heat
Also the outside of the stove will get very hot, even the double walled stoves will get too hot to touch, so this means you can’t just get up and leave camp – you have to wait a bit for it to cool sufficiently to pack away
There are quite a few very very good camp stoves on the market in the UK today that tick all the prepping requirements.
- Easily sourced fuel.
I truly believe that using any of the modern survival aids is the way to go when it comes to efficient prepping – yes, of course you must have a good knowledge of the the top 5 basic survival skills, and yes, you must know various ways to make a fire and maintain it, but it’s all about making your life easier and a survival stove will do just that.
Happy Prepping Folks,