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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I'm new to the site and just starting to prepare my Bug Out Bags and Survival kits. I have question that I hope someone can assist with.

I travel a lot for work and in a disaster type situation there is a strong chance that I will be in my car. I live in an area where the winters are pretty harsh.

I have some items in my pack that may be frozen and need to be heated up (ie water/canned soup). What is the safest type of heat source in a situation like this?

I’ve seen some of the propane cookers/burners in the camping section that run for about $25 and some of the mini sterno ovens for about $2 each. What are the risks associated with these? I could be wrong, but I imagine it may be dangerous to store a small propane canister or a sterno oven in your trunk, especially in a car accident or during the summer months when it can get hot. Could the fumes be harmful in the car? My thought is that I would have to go outside to cook/warm up food, but then you run the risk of being exposed to the conditions.

Also, these propane burners and sterno ovens may be a good heat source if I'm stuck for an extended period of time and run out of gas.

Also, as a side note, I do have several other sources for keeping warm. I have emergency blankets, extra clothes, gloves, hat, socks, and panchos.

Let me know what you think.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I don't know how well Sterno would handle the heat of a trunk. It may dry out. I'll let others who have more experience with it answer that one.

But propane is pretty safe all around. It can handle heat fine and the cans are strong and durable. It would take one helluva wreck to break the canister open. A wreck of that magnitude would probably be fatal anyway. The canisters also don't leak, generally, so no worry about fumes.

In your situation, my choice would be propane, hands down.
 

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Renegade Vegan
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Not sure about the cooking part, but Mr. Buddy makes some great car-safe heaters. Your main concern in burning fuel in an enclosed environment is carbon monoxide. It is odorless, colorless and can kill you quickly. Mr. Buddy is approved for enclosed environs, although you will still want to crack a window for oxygen. http://www.mrheater.com/ProductFamily.aspx?catid=41
 

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Anyone?
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Not sure about the cooking part, but Mr. Buddy makes some great car-safe heaters. Your main concern in burning fuel in an enclosed environment is carbon monoxide. It is odorless, colorless and can kill you quickly. Mr. Buddy is approved for enclosed environs, although you will still want to crack a window for oxygen. http://www.mrheater.com/ProductFamily.aspx?catid=41
I second that.

You can't use a propane camping stove in an enclosed space. Sterno is mostly alcohol, but I wouldn't chance it either.

No harm in having one, but use it outdoors. Think tailgaiting.

I heard that a single tea candle or "plumber's candle" will heat up a car interior surprisingly well. I've never tried it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for all the advice.

I didn't even think about sterno's drying out... but like mentioned earlier, it cant hurt to have them.

My slow burning emergency candles that i bought on ebay came in today. So that will help.

I'm going to with the propane burner and use it outside. www.walmart.com/ip/Century-Matchless-Single-Burner-Stove/10966284

Plus, I could use it with a Mr Buddy type heater.

Thanks again.
 

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Founder
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I learned the hard way - sterno dries up. While on a 3 day camping trip, I had to use my buddies propane stove because my sterno had dried up between trips.

Propane stores forever, single burner stoves are lightweight, and they put out a lot of heat.

 

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My Temperature is Right
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I use single burner coleman stoves, I've had them for 40 years though. Full stove and a spare quart of fuel and I'm good for over a week of cooking. I've never liked propane. I used to carry an x-ray film developer bottle full of fuel in my pack.
 
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