> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Camping Stoves



Camping Stoves

Good old camping/Coleman stoves are rarely mentioned in conventional prepper/survivalist literature. Usually it's cooking over a fire or maybe some kind of ultralight weight backpacking stove. Maybe it's because these stoves so common sense-simple for preppers that they need no mention. Well, I am going to break with whatever tradition and mention them. I think they're a great prep item and something that everyone should have. I lean towards propane stoves due to overall simplicity, so my comments will be addressed in that direction.

Here's my rundown:

Cooking fires are not always possible: Think in the city, suburbs, living in an apartment, etc. You may not be able to have a cooking fire in an emergency due. Or you may not have a sustainable amount of wood, or your may not want the attention that smoke can bring.

Ease-of-Use: A decent propane stove is very easy to use and cook on. Turn gas on, light stove, begin cooking. The stove we have ran about $60 and has great adjust-ability, from roaring blast to a nice gentle simmer. It's clean, works like any other stove, and is just plain easy.

Transportable: Yes, you wouldn't want to go backpacking with one of these, but a stove and propane bottles is not a space-killer in a vehicle. Definitely worth bringing along if you need to bug out by vehicle.

Convenient fuel: Camping-stove sized propane bottles are everywhere and available for $2-$5 a piece. We've found these bottles last through more than a couple overnight camping trips without issue (cooking 2-3 meals per trip). With an adapter hose, you can also hook into larger propane tanks, which should last a good long while. Propane bottles are available all over the place and can be stored easily enough. They're easy to connect/disconnect, and there's no need to worry about spilling gas all over the place when refilling.

Affordable: Stoves are generally $50-$150 new, with deep discounts available if you buy used/garage sale items. Propane bottles are cheap, and you may already have a few big 'uns sitting around for a propane grill.

Dual fuel stoves (Coleman fuel/gasoline) offer an alternative to propane stoves. They require more maintainence than propane models, need pumping, are generally more finicky and require potentially messy liquid fuels, so in general, propane will work best for most people. Gasoline may be a bit easier to come across than propane bottles in a post-apocalyptic world, so that may be worth the tradoffs for some.

There you have it--the good old camping stove. Definitely a recommended piece of basic kit. I find many, many people that I talk to have some kind of food storage but zero plan for how to prepare that food in a grid-down scenario. Propane camping stoves provide an easily available,  easy to use option for no-grid cooking.