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Survival Stove

Survival Stove

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Warm food and hot beverages can make any disastrous situation tolerable. Keeping a survival stove on hand will allow you to prepare nutritious foods and warm beverages no matter what the situation may be. Modern technology has allowed manufacturers to create very small, efficient, portable stoves. Everyone should have an alternative way to cook in the event of a power outage or emergency.

Sodacan Stove

Tin can Stove

Some of the least expensive survival stoves can be made from old food cans, and using candles or Sterno as fuel. First, you need a larger sized can, similar to the kind stew or canned meat comes in. Then take a wire coat hanger and bend it to provide a grill to support a small metal cup or can. A votive candle or can of gel type fuel is placed inside the large can and lit. In a few minutes, you will have warm soup or water for making instant coffee, tea, oatmeal and more.

Solid Fuel Stoves

Small solid fuel stoves were designed for use by the military in the early 1900’s. These collapsible stoves used solid fuel. The Esbit folding stove is Nitro Pak’s version of this unique, easy to use powerful stove. Each fuel tablet will provide 15 minutes of cook time and can bring a pint of water to boiling in about 8 minutes. Military surplus stores sometimes have this type of stove available. Fuel tablets for either type are available through Nitro-Pak .

Metal grates for use with gel type fuels allow you to use a metal cup or can to heat water or food. These grates fit on top of the fuel can and weigh less than 2 ounces. There are many types of folding stove platforms that will support a small saucepan or metal cup over candles or gel fluids. Some provide a larger heating surface and may suit your needs better.

Backpacker Stoves

Backpacker stoves are a bit larger and use a semi-solid canned fuel. Small portable kerosene heater-cook stove combinations produce heat, light and a stove for cooking. They are heavier and require liquid fuel, which will weigh over 8 pounds per gallon. These units will operate for almost 16 hours on a little less than a gallon of fuel.

Using this type of stove indoors during an emergency does require proper ventilation. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a possibility. If you have a fireplace, these heater stoves can be set up on the hearth and used safely. Weighing only 15 pounds and barely over a foot tall and wide they can be packed in a vehicle easily. Storing and transporting kerosene in approved containers is safe and does not pose a safety hazard.


If you plan to stay in your home during an emergency, you may want to consider a propane camp stove. Small canisters of propane are easy to store and can provide a few days of light cooking. Propane camp stoves come in a variety of sizes from one burner to deluxe models having 3 or more, with built in wind shields.

Wood Stoves

Another survival stove option especially for the home is a wood burning cast iron stove or wood burning cook stove. Wood burning stoves are available through hardware and farm supply stores. Lehman’s has a number of wood cook stoves for purchase. These stoves do require an approved stove pipe/chimney system that is properly installed.

When you are planning your preps, you will want to consider the different options for a survival stove.

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