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Old 11-09-2019, 07:31 AM
~Black.Dog~ ~Black.Dog~ is online now
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Miles Stair maybe? Lots of kerosene facts.
The name doesn't ring a bell but the info and way it's laid out seems like that is indeed the one.

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Old 11-09-2019, 10:08 AM
LuniticFringeInc LuniticFringeInc is offline
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I've been kicking around different backup sources of heat for a few years. In our house there's some issues relating to wood heat that would cost us probably a couple grand to fix, and it's just not a near-term problem to solve, as we may not even be staying in the home more than a few more years.

after doing some research i settled on kerosene: burns clean enough to be used indoors, energy-dense and compact, long-burning and hot.

1. How long have you stored kerosene without negative effects, aka, what's the shelf-life of kerosene?

2. Can you recommend an efficient kerosene heater?

3. Do they make kerosene stoves? or heaters with a convenient top you can sit a pot on?

4. general tips for kerosene, do's and don'ts, looking for the wisdom of your experience here
Used them for 15 years while stationed in Japan as did most Japanese people. Stored it for about 9 months a year no problem. Sludge from moisture can accumulate in the bottom of the jug over time just as it can on diesil sitting for long periods of time. Not as bad when stored indoors. The better your heater the less smoke and fumes they will make on initial light up. To combat the Kerosene smell use fragraces you can add to the fuel. After an extended time it will discolor white walls after a time but not bad. It is noticable after an extended period of time. Get one that can be timed to come on or shut off when fuel gets too low. Dont know if they make a stove but we always kept a water pot on the top as a heat sink and hot water for food or tea. Get an electric start one... they light easier and you dont have to mess with lighters or matches. We ran them all night and had no problem but japanese homes arent as tight as american homes are and we kept a window cracked. We used a small fan in the house to circulate heat more evenly. I wouldnt hesitate to use them here again if the cost of fuel wasnt so high and more readily available.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:11 AM
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In a pinch mine runs just fine on diesel, a bit more smell and needs to be burned off more often. But at half the price and much more easy to get it has its benefits. I have read that you can mix the diesel with rubbing alcohol to get a cleaner burn. In my experience the water in the alcohol won't mix with the diesel and will plug up the wick.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:41 AM
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I changed my kerosene heater over to diesel. It helps to add some rubbing alcohol(90%) or kerosene to the diesel for a cleaner and hotter burn. The wick will foul up a lot quicker on diesel. The BTU's are lower too. Kerosene was getting expensive a few years ago and it burns thru a lot quicker than diesel. But the heat both produce is very good especially when really cold outside.

The cheapest place to buy wicks that I found is Home depot. Only $10 and on the shelf. Mine still has original wick. If I clean it much more will need to be replaced. I finally tore the stove apart to clean wick, because it was barely getting warm and way too much smoke. After cleaning I could turn the wick down all the way. Much much better now.

Another vote for propane if I were going for long term storage and much less maintenance.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:16 AM
Bearsclaw 73 Bearsclaw 73 is offline
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Is there anything that costs more as a fuel than kerosene? I had to heat my garage to get paint to dry so I ran a diesel torpedo heater off and on for about a week. I would shut it off when I was in the garage painting and then fire it up when I left the garage. That torpedo heater runs on kerosene or diesel and if I had used kerosene it would have cost me a fortune to do the job. Do what you have to to keep the house warm but I would look at about anything other than kerosene if they haven't lowered the cost of it a whole lot.
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:20 AM
dealfinder500 dealfinder500 is offline
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Here's a few other little tips:

1. Don't let the fuel tank run out and then refill it. Then you'll need to wait a good 30-60 minutes before lighting it again, to let the wick become saturated. Instead, when you see it's getting low, put it out yourself. Wait 5 minutes or so (once the flame is out, it cools quickly), and refill it. And then you can instantly relight it. This is very handy when it's -0 out and you'd rather not wait all that time to relight it.

2. The better care you take of the wick, the longer it will last and the cleaner it will burn. Lighting the wick before it's saturated can result in a bit of smoke and will shorten the lifespan of the wick by causing carbon build up.

3. Learn how to change the wick and clean the heater. It looks complicated, but it's not really hard. The diagrams included in most of the instructions are often not very clear, but Youtube has some good videos. When you do have it opened up, you will want to wear gloves. Not only will you get your hands all sooty, but there are a lot of very sharp sheet metal edges in there waiting to slice you!

4. If this is going to be your main source of heat, considering that these are only around $100, you might want to have two. Maybe you put it outside one night and a big wind or a large animal knocks it off in the snow and it gets water in it. If you live where it gets significantly -0 for a while (I usually only get a few weeks a year, and rarely does it go below -10) you might find that you want two of them going. $100 for a back up heater is a money well spent, in my opinion.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:58 PM
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The wicks can be cleaned with a liars or hammer. When that no longer works I take the wick out and clean it in gasoline, wring it out then han it to dry fo a few days. Once it is dry it is very difficult to get it back in the heater because the gas causes it to swell. Washing it in gas is a last resort. Two or three times will destroy it. I am using a 20 year old wick that was in the heater when I got it. I used I have probably run it 400 hours on diesel since I got it. The wick was water logged and should have been replaced before I ever tried to use it.

I have 3 spare wicks and the next time it carbons up I will replace the wick.

The little kids love it. They set up with their toys a couple feet away from it and love the heat.

Mine will just barely simmer a pit put on top of it. If i could somehow get the pot closer to the catalytic converter it could be used as a coojstove.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:52 PM
PeterWiggin PeterWiggin is online now
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There is no longer-term shft solution for fuel if you don't have money or land with trees.

The best solution i could come up with is insulating the most isolated/insulated bedroom.

We'll tarp the only window in that bedroom on sides and bottom, then fill space with clothes/whatever. Hang blankets over that and door to bedroom with blankets on us while sleeping.

Otherwise our winter clothes while awake.

I have wood, propane, and kerosene.

I'll use that for cooking or light, but not as primary heat. Or if temperatures go way too cold.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ~Black.Dog~ View Post
Auxiliary or emergency heat are high on my priority list. I believe we humans can much better handle adversity and stress if we have a warm hearth and home. With that in mind, I have a multi-layered plan to ensure that at any given time I have a minimum of one full heating season supply of reliable heat. It consists of wood (our primary), coal, propane and kerosene.
I store up to 80gal of kerosene using four 5gal cans and a couple 30gal drums. All are treated with Pri-D when originally filled and retreated annually. I get the drums from the local carwash very cheap and sometimes free. They are great for gasoline storage as well.
The oldest I have right now is at least four, maybe five years old. I haven't noted the dates lately. As of last winter it burned fine with no noticeable increase in smell. IMO, you always get some odor with kero heat. I don't find it a problem since I will put up with a little smell over the alternative of freezing my butt off.
I have my original round style fixed tank heater that is probably getting to be 25 years old. Through proper cleaning and maintenance, it works as well as the day I got it. I think it is like 23,000btu.
I also have the smaller rectangular, removable tank model which is, I think, 12,000btu.
The bigger one can actually keep the house at a livable temp (65-70) in the coldest part of winter. The smaller one is usually used as auxiliary to the woodstove in the room farthest from the stove when it's really cold out, though propane is my first choice for that if I have it since it doesn't smell at all. It would also be ideal for a sick (quarantine) room that might be closed off from the stove heat.
I have a "brand new in box" backup of each of those heaters since I lucked out a few years ago and got them both at a yard sale for $30 each. Also, I keep several spare wicks for both models. They get changed every couple years.
As others have said, start and extinguish outdoors to keep them from stinking up the house. A covered porch makes that much easier on rainy or snowy days.
I am not ashamed to admit that I am guilty of refueling the big unit while it is burning. As others have said, kero is not volatile so if you are careful it's no big deal. Just never let your attention be drawn away while refueling. If you overfill and spill kero, you are going to have a smelly mess on your hands. You could still shut it down and would not really be in danger of blowing anything up or burning your house down if it was running. Kero is just strong smelling and a mess to clean up if it gets anywhere other than in the can or the tank.
I know that there have been kero cook stoves in the past but am not aware of any current models. There is a guy online, whose name and web address I can't recall naturally, who knows everything kerosene and sells wicks and parts and stuff. He has a lot of info on his site and I understand he is very responsive to questions. He shouldn't be hard to find if he is still around.
One other great benefit to kerosene is....Light! I have several kerosene lanterns, some old and some new. I've been using them for years during power outages or sometimes just hanging out on the porch at night.
Flea markets and yard sales can turn up some old ones. If all else fails, the ones at Walmart work fine. You can burn kero in most glass "Hurricane" lanterns as well. In those (of which i also have several) I keep and use clear lamp oil (paraffin, I think) since it has less odor. Once i run out of lamp oil I can just switch over to kero since I keep more than the average bear. SHTF I would probably reserve some from the heat supply for that.


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Ah, PRI-D sounds like just the thing I will need. Looks like 1 ounce to 16 gallons. That's pretty efficient on paper. Yeah I need to hit up some goodwills and see if i see any kerosene heaters for cheap, at least for backups. I'll probably get a factory-new primary heater online this week or in rural king or something.

I'm also planning on getting a couple Dietz lanterns, they make a model that comes with a bracket on top that can support a small pot that can...eventually...boil some water. they would provide light and put out ~1100 BTU apiece which is not much but maybe would help in a small space

i'm excited about the kerosene option because it would allow me to pack the most amount of energy in the smallest space, safely. for example: a dietz millenium lantern cooker uses about 0.75 ounces of fuel per hour. let's say you use it for 4 hours per day (couple hours in the morning, couple at night). you can use it to boil water for cooking, warm up some soup, or make coffee while you're also getting light from it. you can use it this way, every day, for an entire year....and only use just over 8 gallons of kerosene. that's honestly a lot of capability. and since i don't have interior wood-burning capability right now, it's just too good of an option to pass up.

however obviously kerosene is not magic and you need to burn more to get more BTUs. it's hard for me to estimate how many days i would absolutely have to have solid heat to avoid major health risks for the family (cincinnati region). we have a lot of blankets and insulative clothing, but my instinct says i would need to have heat at night most nights from december through february, a few nights possibly on the tail end of november/beginning of march, and during the day on the coldest possible days of winter. for a small house, and closing off the un-needed rooms, i'm thinking roughly a 1 gallon a day, for about 90 days. 90 gallons per winter for heating. with a little wiggle room, 100 gallons of kerosene to get me heat, light, and cooking (limited to warming canned food or boiling water) for a year. now granted, that's like 20 jerry-cans of kerosene...but still. for a year's worth of heat, light, and cooking? that would give you a year to figure out some way to get wood heat going on.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:05 AM
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Ah, PRI-D sounds like just the thing I will need. Looks like 1 ounce to 16 gallons. That's pretty efficient on paper. Yeah I need to hit up some goodwills and see if i see any kerosene heaters for cheap, at least for backups. I'll probably get a factory-new primary heater online this week or in rural king or something.



I'm also planning on getting a couple Dietz lanterns, they make a model that comes with a bracket on top that can support a small pot that can...eventually...boil some water. they would provide light and put out ~1100 BTU apiece which is not much but maybe would help in a small space



i'm excited about the kerosene option because it would allow me to pack the most amount of energy in the smallest space, safely. for example: a dietz millenium lantern cooker uses about 0.75 ounces of fuel per hour. let's say you use it for 4 hours per day (couple hours in the morning, couple at night). you can use it to boil water for cooking, warm up some soup, or make coffee while you're also getting light from it. you can use it this way, every day, for an entire year....and only use just over 8 gallons of kerosene. that's honestly a lot of capability. and since i don't have interior wood-burning capability right now, it's just too good of an option to pass up.



however obviously kerosene is not magic and you need to burn more to get more BTUs. it's hard for me to estimate how many days i would absolutely have to have solid heat to avoid major health risks for the family (cincinnati region). we have a lot of blankets and insulative clothing, but my instinct says i would need to have heat at night most nights from december through february, a few nights possibly on the tail end of november/beginning of march, and during the day on the coldest possible days of winter. for a small house, and closing off the un-needed rooms, i'm thinking roughly a 1 gallon a day, for about 90 days. 90 gallons per winter for heating. with a little wiggle room, 100 gallons of kerosene to get me heat, light, and cooking (limited to warming canned food or boiling water) for a year. now granted, that's like 20 jerry-cans of kerosene...but still. for a year's worth of heat, light, and cooking? that would give you a year to figure out some way to get wood heat going on.
Yup, it's a very good option. You might want to check with a local carwash about getting some of their used 20 or 30 gallon drums. I use my 5gal cans to get kero and haul it home to dump in the drums. When I'm needing kero from the drums, I pump it back out into one of the cans for ease of working with.
Using my bigger heater a 5gsl can usually lasts me 3 days if I'm running it around the clock. In a grid down situation I would do like you and just run it at night to stretch it out longer. Probably be busy outside during the day, anyway.

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Old 11-11-2019, 11:42 AM
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another thing i'm thinking about, as a dead-minimum possible prep, is figuring out a way to heat with...just the lanterns.

the dietz millenium is rated at a 1100btu burn rate. their larger jupter lanterns are 1400btu

now that's now much especially when compared to actual heaters. but generally the btu-for-sqft formula is (sqft*20) = btu needed. at night i feel confident i could pack my small 4-person family into the 10x10 bedroom my wife and i use now. 100*20 = 2000btu. but i have a few concerns. the btu is a bit low still, this is a lantern not a heater (1400 vs 2000 required) but i think that would be enough to knock the edge off the chill, and we'll still have our blankets and such. but i'm concerned about oxygenation and CO problems. kerosene is said to produce carbon monoxide when there's not enough oxygen, and packing 4 people into a 10x10 i'm concerned might be a problem. maybe we crack the bedroom door a little bit as a compromise? the other problem is actually something that normally is a feature: it produces a lot of light. which is great when i'm awake. but when we're asleep we need a way to hide it without reducing the lantern's burn rate. i'd just get a 3000btu heater if they were made but i can't find anything under 10,000btu and while that's on the table, i won't be able to extend the kerosene as long that way.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:52 AM
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I just picked up a kerosene stove that is still new from Korea $8. written on the box "for emergency use only." no instructions. but it looks simple enough.
the recycling store has a bunch of them.
Looks like I need to try this thing out.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:05 PM
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I just picked up a kerosene stove that is still new from Korea $8. written on the box "for emergency use only." no instructions. but it looks simple enough.
the recycling store has a bunch of them.
Looks like I need to try this thing out.
would love to see a picture if you can
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:46 PM
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would love to see a picture if you can
Ditto on the pic

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Old 11-11-2019, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinfire View Post
another thing i'm thinking about, as a dead-minimum possible prep, is figuring out a way to heat with...just the lanterns.

the dietz millenium is rated at a 1100btu burn rate. their larger jupter lanterns are 1400btu

now that's now much especially when compared to actual heaters. but generally the btu-for-sqft formula is (sqft*20) = btu needed. at night i feel confident i could pack my small 4-person family into the 10x10 bedroom my wife and i use now. 100*20 = 2000btu. but i have a few concerns. the btu is a bit low still, this is a lantern not a heater (1400 vs 2000 required) but i think that would be enough to knock the edge off the chill, and we'll still have our blankets and such. but i'm concerned about oxygenation and CO problems. kerosene is said to produce carbon monoxide when there's not enough oxygen, and packing 4 people into a 10x10 i'm concerned might be a problem. maybe we crack the bedroom door a little bit as a compromise? the other problem is actually something that normally is a feature: it produces a lot of light. which is great when i'm awake. but when we're asleep we need a way to hide it without reducing the lantern's burn rate. i'd just get a 3000btu heater if they were made but i can't find anything under 10,000btu and while that's on the table, i won't be able to extend the kerosene as long that way.

I almost exclusively use my lanterns for heat rather than light. A single lantern will heat 4x8x6 foot ice shack with no insulation, few air leaks and a floor literately made of ice from 0f to about 50-60f about 5 feet off the ground. With insulation and a floor it could do even better, but mine make everything stink of burning camp fuel. I also have racks made from #10 cans that allow me to put a brick on top of the lantern to heat it up, then wrap the hot brick in a towel and put the brick/towel anywhere on my body that could use some extra heat.

I also put the lantern in a wooden box about 13"x13" and 22" inches tall with the top 9 inches of one side and a couple inches of the top removed. I light the lantern, put it in the box, sit on the box then wrap a blanket around my shoulders to trap the heat of the lantern. With this set up up I can comfortably sit from sunrise to sunset in -20f temps. My clothes end up smelling of camp fuel as well.

Edit: when it comes to co, you can by a co detector for $10 with a ppm readout that will run for over a year on a single battery. It is very cheap insurance. You can get them even cheaper without the ppm readout. I have one anywhere I use combustion heating(ice shack, cabin, home, camper)
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:43 AM
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A lantern would qualify as a dual use prep. It provides heat AND light, while a heater doesn't. If my fuel gets low and I have to prioritize it for cooking, my Alamo survival gear for if the temp drops below zero at night is my -30F rated sleeping bag. If I can be down right comfortable sleeping in a drafty tent in zero degree weather, being in a house will be a relative luxury.
Never understood how a person could afford a car and house payments or rent and not spend a few bucks on basic survival gear.
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:38 AM
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I travel all the time, the best choice for me is a gas burner to light a fire and food if I'm using a cold tent burner to heat it up for a while. I always have some kerosene so I can use a portable generator. I'm short on fuel for a long time.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:52 AM
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I almost exclusively use my lanterns for heat rather than light. A single lantern will heat 4x8x6 foot ice shack with no insulation, few air leaks and a floor literately made of ice from 0f to about 50-60f about 5 feet off the ground. With insulation and a floor it could do even better, but mine make everything stink of burning camp fuel. I also have racks made from #10 cans that allow me to put a brick on top of the lantern to heat it up, then wrap the hot brick in a towel and put the brick/towel anywhere on my body that could use some extra heat.

I also put the lantern in a wooden box about 13"x13" and 22" inches tall with the top 9 inches of one side and a couple inches of the top removed. I light the lantern, put it in the box, sit on the box then wrap a blanket around my shoulders to trap the heat of the lantern. With this set up up I can comfortably sit from sunrise to sunset in -20f temps. My clothes end up smelling of camp fuel as well.

Edit: when it comes to co, you can by a co detector for $10 with a ppm readout that will run for over a year on a single battery. It is very cheap insurance. You can get them even cheaper without the ppm readout. I have one anywhere I use combustion heating(ice shack, cabin, home, camper)
that's an interesting setup for sure. it's proof at least that i'm not the only person who thought of doing it, which means i'm not crazy, haha.

my prepping interest comes in waves, irregularly, but each time i discover or rediscover some blind spot or inadequately prepared portion of the plan. right now, i'm filling in this gap. got a lantern on the way, going to head to rural king tonight and grab some 5-gallon kerosene empty cans, and then fill them with K-1 locally. if the lantern thing seems to work well on testing, i'll get a couple more.

but if i'm going to rotate this kero every year i'll end up needing to get a legit heater just to burn through it in a cost-effective way. i know i could condition it with chemicals, which i plan to do, but i'd still like to rotate the entire stock every 2 winters
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Old 11-12-2019, 11:50 AM
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that's an interesting setup for sure. it's proof at least that i'm not the only person who thought of doing it, which means i'm not crazy, haha.

my prepping interest comes in waves, irregularly, but each time i discover or rediscover some blind spot or inadequately prepared portion of the plan. right now, i'm filling in this gap. got a lantern on the way, going to head to rural king tonight and grab some 5-gallon kerosene empty cans, and then fill them with K-1 locally. if the lantern thing seems to work well on testing, i'll get a couple more.

but if i'm going to rotate this kero every year i'll end up needing to get a legit heater just to burn through it in a cost-effective way. i know i could condition it with chemicals, which i plan to do, but i'd still like to rotate the entire stock every 2 winters
Using a lantern like that is by no means my invention but it does make my family stand out for the last 50 years or so. Last winter I met a man for the first time and he said it thought he ran into my grandpa some time back in the 60's poaching. His description of the man he thought was my grandpa pretty well fit but when he said described him as sitting on a potato box with a fire in it that made me know for sure it was my grandpa. I have also gone out ice fishing and saw square indents melted into the ice by the lantern in a box and knew one of my extended family members had been there since the last snow.

It is kind of neat to be able to see that and have the connection to it that others wouldn't notice at all or if they did scratch their heads at the odd marks.


You can also convert a white gas(campfuel ) coleman lantern to kerosene, it takes a generator with a smaller hole and a preheat cup. The generator is about 6 bucks and the preheat cup can be made for a few cents if you now how to solder plumbing. Because the hole size in the generator is only .001 smaller I bet you could run kerosene(inefficiently) in a regular lantern with just the preheat cup.

I didn't actually watch this video but the name says it all. there are dozens of similar videos out there that I have watched but have never converted one because gasoline burns fine in mine and it more available and cheaper.


I like the idea of rotating your stocks by using them. That way you get actual first hand practice on what it actually takes to use them rather than theoretical or very limited knowledge on how it SHOULD work.
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by lasers View Post
I almost exclusively use my lanterns for heat rather than light. A single lantern will heat 4x8x6 foot ice shack with no insulation, few air leaks and a floor literately made of ice from 0f to about 50-60f about 5 feet off the ground. With insulation and a floor it could do even better, but mine make everything stink of burning camp fuel. I also have racks made from #10 cans that allow me to put a brick on top of the lantern to heat it up, then wrap the hot brick in a towel and put the brick/towel anywhere on my body that could use some extra heat.

I also put the lantern in a wooden box about 13"x13" and 22" inches tall with the top 9 inches of one side and a couple inches of the top removed. I light the lantern, put it in the box, sit on the box then wrap a blanket around my shoulders to trap the heat of the lantern. With this set up up I can comfortably sit from sunrise to sunset in -20f temps. My clothes end up smelling of camp fuel as well.

Edit: when it comes to co, you can by a co detector for $10 with a ppm readout that will run for over a year on a single battery. It is very cheap insurance. You can get them even cheaper without the ppm readout. I have one anywhere I use combustion heating(ice shack, cabin, home, camper)
In Michigan ice fishing sleds have a built in box for a lantern in this setup. This is a fairly common thing. They also have a few slots in the front for some foreword facing light and a way to warm fingertips after getting them wet and cold.
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