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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a little surprised to learn how many folks are prepping for the future with a liquid or gas fueled stove for cooking. I do keep several of the white grill propane tanks stored, but that's for a short term event. For long term I have wood gas/biofuel stoves, but I'm open to other options.

If you're going to rely on propane, butane, or a liquid fuel stove for post event cooking, how much do you figure you need to stock? Do you have the means to make or acquire more? Maybe you have a generator and you're going to use an electric range ... just for cooking, how much fuel does that require?

Mahalo, Chaps
 

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Get off my lawn!
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How much food should you store?, water? All this depends on too many variables. Some people wouldn't be satisfied with a 1000 gallon tank of propane, others are ok with a few cans of Coleman fuel. Bottom line is, what are you most concerned about and what is your comfort level? Me, I will probably never have enough.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I've been a little surprised to learn how many folks are prepping for the future with a liquid or gas fueled stove for cooking. I do keep several of the white grill propane tanks stored, but that's for a short term event. For long term I have wood gas/biofuel stoves, but I'm open to other options.

If you're going to rely on propane, butane, or a liquid fuel stove for post event cooking, how much do you figure you need to stock? Do you have the means to make or acquire more? Maybe you have a generator and you're going to use an electric range ... just for cooking, how much fuel does that require?

Mahalo, Chaps
I like to have options rather than depend on one type of anything. As to the question of how much fuel to store: enough to cook all your food plus any gathered or hunted foods.

Personally, I have different options. I have a propane cooktop, but I don't store a whole lot of propane. I have two butane hot plates. I have a Coleman white gas stove. I also have several charcoal options. But my main cooking system is based on kerosene because I can store a lot more BTUs worth in a smaller space. And last of all, I also have the ability to cook with wood. Wood is sustainable.

I didn't buy all of these specifically for the SHTF. The propane cooktop was bought so I could broil a steak outside in winter without smoking up the house. My last house didn't have a stove vent. I've always been a grilling, smoking and barbeque fan, so I have everything from a small hibachi to 2 sizes of Weber grills, to a smoker. I use them regularly throughout the year. The butane hot plates were bought because I do a lot of "cook at your table" type Asian dishes. The Coleman was for camping.

The only ones bought specifically for the SHTF was the Alpaca kerosene cooker and the folding woodstoves. I can also bake in my chiminea using wood, but it was bought for outdoor heat and atmosphere more than anything else.

I think a fuel powered cooking setup is ideal and convenient. But we should always have at least one sustainable method of cooking.
 

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Blessed
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We have several methods also. We are storing the 1lb bottles of propane for the camp stove, we have a solar oven that you can cook most anything in, plus we have a wood burning stove that I will start using this next winter for cooking. Might as well learn how to use it now instead of later.

I believe you should have several options open to you.

Suzanne
 

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As long as you can start a fire, you'll always have fuel to burn (as long as you don't live on Easter Island). My prep has plenty of white gas fuels such as stove, lanterns etc. I also keep other lanterns around (Dietz) and about 10 gallons of kerosene. I also keep a few multi fuel lanterns and stoves in the "incase" of but depending how bad it is, if it goes long enough, you won't have enough fuel.

The only issue however, if you using wood fuel, you are pretty much telling everyone around you that you are there. Using camp fuel (White gas etc), you're at least not telling the remaining world "HERE I AM".
 

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The easy answer to this question IMO is simply: "Just enough"
Now that that is out of the way……

This is an open ended question/event. Don't know "how much to store" if we don't know how long it will last.
Flexibility would ALWAYS be warranted. You start with propane. You heat and cook some with kerosene, then you find a white-gas stove and fuel and use it for a while. All the time you have a wood burning stove and keep gathering wood/charcoal/coal.
The best case scenario is obtaining and storing any/all possible fuels and then using them before the same fuel expires/degrades or otherwise becomes less valuable/usable….
 

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My Temperature is Right
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Multiple hundreds of gallons. I live in town and wood is not really a good alternative seeing as how everyone here heats with wood to some extent already and they quit trucking in coal about 5 years ago, this area will look like haiti after a year or so.
 

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I, like MikeK, like multiple ways to cook. First my line is our every day propane stove. I have about 400 gallons in 120 gallon tanks. Second would be Colman stoves. I have seven in good working order. I also have 20 gallons of Coleman fuel. Third will be kerosene. I have three kerosene cook stoves and 110 gallons of kerosene. I will add another 55 gallons this week. My last will be wood. I have one gas/wood combination stove. Four burners are gas and on the left side is a two lid wood stove. I have not set up the stove to see if the wood heat can be ducted to heat the oven. I would like to build an outside wood fired dome oven.
 

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Coleman fuel is just white unleaded gas without any additives I believe. Supposedly it lasts forever, but I assume that means only when to be used for a stove. Is this correct? Why doesn't it need fuel stabilizers?
 

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I agree with MikeK, the more ways to cook the better!


My main way will be outside in the fire pit using wood and dutch ovens.

others:

-LP gas stove/oven combo
-Thermos cooking
-solar oven
-using dutch ovens with indoor wood burner

I store LP gas in the 1 lb tanks and the (appox) 18 lb tanks, around 150lbs. I only plan on using LP gas when I'm worried about drawing attention or bad weather.
 

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I have a small butane camping stove. It will useful if we lose power for a week or two. If TSHTF, I figure I won't be able to buy enough gas to last me forever so I don't keep excess gas cylinders on hand, I just plan on switching over to using wood. I have enough strikers, matches, torches and lighters to keep me lighting fires for a good long time.

One thing I will be trying come camping season is making alcohol burning stoves out of old cans, I can make my own alcohol and I doubt we'll run out of aluminum cans so it's a good backup.
 

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I agree with MikeK and OhioMan, I have multiple ways, I have a coleman propane 2 burner, a coleman multifuel 3 burner, a LPG stove in the BOL, woodstove with cook top and oven top in the BOL, Block BBQ pit with oven outside, home built smoker in garage, and another cooktop woodstove in garage.

I have 20gal of coleman fuel for the 3 burner, which will also burn gasoline.
I have 6 20lb propane tanks for the 2 burner
I have 3 100lb propane tanks for the LPG Stove & Water heater
I have around 5 full cords of dried hardwood under a lean-to

When its warm out, I can use the BBQ to cook, boil and bake, if its raining I can use the woodstove in the garage, or use the 3 burner in the garage. When its cold out I can use the woodstove in the house, and if I don't want to heat the house, I can use the LPG stove. Not to mention I have a couple dutch ovens for just cooking on a simple fire.

With proper use, aside from the firewood I will have more than enough fuel for a year probably more than 2 yrs and my BOL is in a national forest so firewood is not really an issue as we have buck saws, crosscut saws and axes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How much food should you store?, water? All this depends on too many variables. Some people wouldn't be satisfied with a 1000 gallon tank of propane, others are ok with a few cans of Coleman fuel. Bottom line is, what are you most concerned about and what is your comfort level? Me, I will probably never have enough.
For food and water, there are some calculations to determine quantity for planning. You can buy prepackaged foods in "year's supply" for example, or figure 1,500 calories per person per day, etc.. Water is calculable based on the number of people as well (gal a day, liter a day - all depends on your expectation). So if you're planning to stockpile for 3 years food and water let's say, you can fairly easily come up with some metrics to determine how much food and water to stockpile. Above that, you can also plan to make your own food, or collect your own water: heirloom seeds, rainwater collection, solar/windmill pump on a well. If it takes a couple years to get a good crop in, you can stockpile to cover that time, and then transition to self-sufficiency.

How would you apply that same logic to your cooking fuel, since as a people we seem to enjoy eating our food cooked? What calculation did you use to determine that you need a 1,000 gals of fuel? How many meals will that last you? Do you have a transition plan to making your own fuel source to keep you going when your stockpile runs out?

For all of the answers given that engage multiple options, the failsafe appears to be wood based, i.e. when the fuels all run out, or their storage containers are compromised. Sounds like its the only sustainable option out of the mix.
 

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I'm really getting interested in alcohol stoves. I'm concerned, however, that pressurized alcohol stoves have the potential for exploding. I just saw on somebody's site that one blew up in his cabin cruiser out on the water and sent alcohol everywhere. I got it put out but it's still dangerous. Alcohol flame is very difficult to see.

Therefore, I'm looking into just an open container and letting the alcohol burn in the open. I know it doesn't put as much heat out, but.... Does anyone have any ideas on what to use as the "stove" itself, meaning something to hold the cooking pan/pot on while it's boiling.
 

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We have several methods also. We are storing the 1lb bottles of propane for the camp stove, we have a solar oven that you can cook most anything in, plus we have a wood burning stove that I will start using this next winter for cooking. Might as well learn how to use it now instead of later.

I believe you should have several options open to you.

Suzanne
Solar ovens are a great option for those of us in sunny areas. Mine didn't survive the move, but I wanted to build a different model anyway. There are plans online for all sorts of models that you can build yourself for almost nothing.

The one I built was based on this design:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/radabaugh30.html
It's extremely efficient.

You can find a bunch of others here:
http://www.solarcooking.org/plans

After dabbling, I found that I prefer the box ovens to the panel or parabolic ones. They're better for baking yet can simmer a pot of beans just fine.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I agree with MikeK, the more ways to cook the better!


My main way will be outside in the fire pit using wood and dutch ovens.

others:

-LP gas stove/oven combo
-Thermos cooking
-solar oven
-using dutch ovens with indoor wood burner

I store LP gas in the 1 lb tanks and the (appox) 18 lb tanks, around 150lbs. I only plan on using LP gas when I'm worried about drawing attention or bad weather.
I still want to get one of those stove/oven combos like yours. That one really struck a chord with me and the way I cook. I have just had to prioritize my purchases and haven't been able to yet. That one is just about perfect for my normal outdoor summer cooking.

Maybe it'll motivate me to get a bigger propane tank. I got rid of my propane grill when I moved, and I don't use the cooktop as often at this house since the stove is vented here. So I never really got around to stocking much propane.
 

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Gun Luvin Hippie
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Alcohol anyone?

I've recently experimented with alcohol stoves and have fallen in love. I never gave alcohol much consideration because it has half the btu's as propane which has half the btu's of petrol. But after building several small alcohol stoves from soda cans it became clear what I'll be relying on when SHTF. Alcohol stoves have no moving parts, make no noise and emit no soot or fumes making them ideal for indoor use. The stoves are simple and safe enough for youngsters to use. Alcohol doesn't expire like gas and has other useful applications such as cleaning. I'll still need my MSR and Coleman stoves to boil large pots of water, sear large stakes or carry in a BOB. So far my small stoves boil two quarts of water in 10 minutes. I use an aluminum foil skirt around my pots as everyone should to trap/channel maximum heat to my food. Give alcohol stoves a try, it won't cost much.

Hemp

 

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Like others have said, it depends. For me it's easiest too think in terms of meals. In other words how much fuel do you need to produce one meal from your SHTF stores with your equipment. From experience I know that I can get 10 meals from a quart of white gas.

Lets say that there are two people in my group and we will be eating two hot meals a day for 12 weeks. That comes out to 336 meals. Rounding up that means I need 9 gallons of white gas.

If I add in fuel to heat water for personal hygiene that's another 3 gallons.

Add this all up and I figure I need 12 gallons of white gas. This is the amount NEEDED and does not leave any extra for creature comforts or to purify water by boiling it.

Last but not least this example is meant just to show the thought process. Each persons situation is different. How many people? How long? What type of meals (Mtn House vs rice & beans)? Will you need to purify water by boiling?

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Does anyone have any ideas on what to use as the "stove" itself, meaning something to hold the cooking pan/pot on while it's boiling.
Using an open alcohol burner, you can use a can of larger diameter and deeper well, use some coat hanger wire and one cut off end of the larger can to make a suspended platform to hold your open burner inside the larger can so the flame is below the lip of the larger can when lit. Set your pot on the larger can for stability. You can port the larger can for airflow as well. Hope that makes sense!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Pezz, that's what I was hoping to see shared. For example, based on my woodgas stove's performance, for 3 people, 2 meals a day plus hot water for hygiene, tea, etc. One 15" log of 6" diameter will last 4 days. Water purification is covered by other means.

Based on your whitegas calculation, a gal a week sparingly; 55 gals per year with 3 gal cushion. That sounds like a plan, and not just a hoard. Does whitegas need a stabilizer?

Mahalo, Chaps
 
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