Monday, May 21, 2012

Cool Weather Survival Evaluation

(Thank you, Two Bears!)

Check out the lean-to shelter in this video.  The sled weighed 65 lbs.

My Bug-out bag has a change of clothes, three or four emergency blankets, a bivvy bag to sleep in, Alcohol stove and cooking system, and survival kit.  It only weighs 11 lbs. and I have room left to carry a week of food, and alcohol to cook it.

My backpack is a Jansport backpack like kids would carry books to school in.  I even have a folding shovel to dig a solar still with, or a latrine.

Check out this video on youtube:

Bivi Bag: Survival Kit, Survival Training, Bushcraft, Stealth Camping

(Thank you, Two Bears!)

This Gore tex bivvy bag is a great idea. I have a bivvy bag in my bug out bag. What she says about condensation in an emergency blanket is true: but if you have a shelter as described earlier change clothes and in minutes you are toasty warm. My bivvy rolls up and fits in a nylon bag about the diameter of a coke can. And 1/2 - 3/4 as tall as said coke can. This is much thicker Mylar than the cheap emergency blankets.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Nui aloha.

Two Bears

Wilderness Survival Training for Beginners

(Thank you, Two Bears!)

Here is very simple survival training. I would never build a garbage bag shelter like the video. I would use an emergency blanket tied with dental floss or paracord at three trees then lean branches against the trees and emergency blanket and using dental floss tie them in place so they do not tear the blanket.

Emergency blankets are Mylar, and Mylar reflects the heat back.

If you have an L shaped shelter that blocks the wind, and you have a fire so that the heat is caught and reflected back you can survive in the coldest temperatures.

I remember some people was looking for a survivalist years ago. The searchers found him around 4 pm one afternoon but he had a shelter as described and he and they were so comfy there the searchers decided to stay the night instead of hiking back in 20 degree temperature.

I would like to know who gave that instructor his instructor credential.

That shelter in the video was tiny, and open on three sides and no fire.

I have one emergency blanket in my survival kit and three or four more in my bug out bag.

Use one to protect me on two sides. Another for the sla ting roof and I have a cozy nest.

An emergency blanket is almost 7 feet long, 4 1/2 feet wide, and weighs less than 1 ounce.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Nui aloha.

Two Bears

Cooking Rice With Little Fuel

(Thank you, Two Bears)

Here is a video how a person cooked two servings of rice in a Fosters beer can pot and used 24 ml of alcohol in a MiniBull Design Atomic alcohol stove. He heated the water with 12 ml of alcohol. When the stove ran out he added the rice And stirred thouroughly. Added another 12 ml of fuel. Lit the stove and set the rice back on the stove to boil the water and rice; then he sets the pot in a cozy so the rice could finish cooking.

By the way 24 ml of alcohol is only 4/5th ounce of alcohol.

If you want to insert this link in my article about cooking in a tin can pot be my guest.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Nui aloha.

Two Bears

GSI Halulite Minimalist Cookset

(Thank you, Two Bears)

Here is a video of the GSI Minimalist cook pot I told about in the article Tin can pots.

Before posting that to your blog add the following sentence somewhere.

A magnet will attach to a steel can; but will not stick to aluminum or tin.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Nui aloha.

Two Bears

Make Your Own Pot Cozy

(Thank you, Two Bears!)

If you want to buy a cozy made fro
reflectix (SP) be my guest.

If money is tight, and who'se money is not tight these days?

Go to the dollar store and buy one of those cheap Mylar sun shades for a car.

First measure the diameter of the pot and cut three round discs the size of the pot. The easiest way would be to set the pot on the sun shade and use a felt tip pen like Paper Mate Flair, Sharpie, etc then cut the discs s little outside the lines because the tighter the fit the longer the food will stay hot.

Next roll the sunshade around the cook pot, and cut the shade to length, and use a good sticky tape and tape the cozy together.

Next tape the bottom disc to the bottom of the pot cozy,

Next step cut the length of the cozy 1/2 an inch longer than the pot. You will want to have extra room for a lid for the pot, and the two other discs.

Mylar reflects between 80 and 90% of the heat back inside the pot.

Now the lid for the pot. If you have a side cut can opener you can cut the lid off the can of soup or stew, and VOILA a lid for your pot. Of course glue a twist tie to the lid so you will not burn your fingers.

Speaking of burning fingers; exactly how does one move a boiling pot of rice or soup into the cozy without third degree burns? Well there is the commercial way and the CHEAP way. ;-)

Commercial way buy a pot lifter on eBay or Wal-Mart.

Cheap way lift the piping hot pot of food with a Silicone bracelet that has broken, or a small piece of an inner tube. GSI provides a silicone pot lifter with the GSI Minimalist pot. You can see it on eBay if you want to get creative and make something similar.

After the pot is in the cozy, place the lid on the pot, then put the two discs of Mylar in the top of the cozy.

If the temperature is very cold and you do not have insulated shoes or boots. You can cut a sheet of sun shade the size of your foot and place it under the shoe liner. This will really block the cold that comes though the soles of your shoes. I used that trick when I lived in Ellensburg Washington from 2004-2010.

Nui aloha.

Two Bears

Cooking A Meal In A Tin Can

(Thank you, Two Bears!)

Cooking a meal in a tin can (well almost) ;-)

The cans that people call tin cans are not in fact tin.

The very light cans are aluminum. You can use these quite easily with nothing more than using a can opener to remove the lid and wash them out thoroughly. Of these the best cans are soda and pop cans because they have a liner to prevent the liquid from eroding the aluminum. Many ultralight backpackers made pots out of the 24 OZ Heineken can that was shaped like a beer keg. Heineken discontinued the keg beer can so they have switched to 25 OZ Foster beer can, and the 24 OZ wide mouth Coors can.

By the way If memory serves; Coors invented the liner because their beer had to travel much longer distances.

The best thing about the liner it will act to keep foods from sticking to the can; as long as you use wood or plastic utensils, the liner will be good indefinitely. Then your pot will weigh an ounce or less.

The types of beer cans with the wide mouth; you can pack your stove, fuel bottle, and windscreen inside the pot. I would recommend you put the stove, and windscreen inside a bandana to protect the liner. I do NOT store my fuel inside the pot because I do not want to have alcohol inside the pot I will be cooking food in.

My cook set weighs a total of 6.6 ounces With Heineken pot(The pot is wrapped with about 30 feet of fiberglass wicking so i can handle the pot when hot, A Batch Stovez 1.0 that is specifically designed to cook food in these small diameter pots. I super glued a fiberglass wick outside the stove to speed up bloom times, a 24 by 4 inch windscreen, a one ounce plastic container to measure fuel, and a short pipette so I can wet the wick with alcohol, a cozy to keep food hot. One can literally use two stoves and cook rice for about 30 minutes; then slip the pot inside the cozy, and the rice will continue to cook another 15-25 minutes, lastly I have everything in an Equinox stuff sack that keeps everything together. The bandana inside the pot had one unexpected benefit. The items in my pot are QUIET!

You do not have to buy a $89 Titanium pot, a $10 cozy, or a $4-6 aluminum windscreen.

If you cannot find a suitable beer can pot; make a pot out of a steel can. Two of the best choices are a 24 OZ Dinty Moore can, or a 19 OZ Progresso Soup can, this is the perfect size if you are hiking alone. GSI Minimalist pot holds 20 OZs and costs More than $30. the Minimalist comes with a pot lifter, a spork, and a Neoprene cozy. Your steel can will not be non stick but you can season the can with olive oil and heat the can thouroughly. This is the way good cooks pre treated their cast iron cook ware to prevent food from sticking to the pots before the invention of non stick coatings such as Teflon, Silver Stone and others.

I put a Super cat Stove, and a windscreen I made from alimum foil that is folded four times, inside the Progresso steel soup can, and the cook set for one weighed 2.4 ounces.

My next article will tell you how you can make a cozy for you homemade cook pot.

Nui aloha.

Two Bears

Review of the Super Cat Alcohol Stove

(Thank you, Two Bears)

The Super Cat is a super lightweight stove made from a 3OZ can of Fancy Feast cat food. The Dollar store sells the same size cans of cat food 2 for $1

1. Open the can and feed your cat or set the food out for a stray.

2. Wash out the can.

3 use a paper punch and punch 16 holes under the rim. I punch one hole, them another hole on the opposite, then I punch two holes until there are four holes equidistant apart. Then I divide each of the four areas. This gives you 8 equidistant holes, then divide the area so you have 16 holes below the rim.

Here is a You Tube Video that shows how to make a Super Cat stove in mere minutes.

Earlier I called this stove super lightweight. This stove only weighs 6.7 grams (about 1/5th of an ounce). Do not assume the stove will crush when you put a pot of food on the stove. If you accidentally step on the stove it will crush; but a pot and food will not crush the stove. As a test I set the stove on a table, and I stacked all of the books I could find in the living room until the stove was supporting six books totaling 9 pounds of books.

What kind of fuel can you use in an alcohol stove?



Heet (a gasline antifreeze) in the yellow bottle is one best fuels you can buy. You can buy Heet at Wal-Mart, Auto parts stores, and many convenience stores. You will probably see Heet in red bottles too. The red bottles of Heet are isopropyl alcohol.

Denatured alcohol.

High proof grain alcohol

151 proof vodka, rum, moonshine, everclear, etc.

Do not use isopropyl alcohol unless you can't get anything else. The reason is that isopropyl burns dirty, and will soot up your pot, and you will have a mess to clean.

How to use the stove.

Pour 1 or 2 fluid OZs of Alcohol. Light the alcohol with a lighter or match, and allow the alcohol to burn for 15 or so seconds. This allows the alcohol and stove to heat up, then you are ready to set the pot on the stove. If the water is very cold the stove may go out because the cold pot has cooled the alcohol and stove too much. If you have very cold water hold the pot over the flame for a while to warm the pot.

Many people who hike the Apalachian trail carry alcohol stoves just because fuel can be purchased along the way. A large number of those carry the Super Cat simply because the stove Weighs next to nothing.

Several people do video reviews of alcohol stoves.

Here is the link to a You Tube video where Hiram Cook Tests the Super Cat stove, and tests a Vargo Triad commercial alcohol stove that cost $30.

Rating of the Super Cat homemade stove 4 3/4 stars.

Here is a picture of a beer can pot sitting on my Super Cat stove.

What is shown here weighs 1.015 ounces. A windscreen made from aluminum foil would weigh next to nothing. Deffinately less than 1 1/4 OZs.

The Heineken keg can is no longer available. I can get the Fosters beer can but the lid is almost impossible to cut out so I did this with the normal 24 OZ Budweiser can.

Nui aloha.

Two Bears

Review of BIOS#4 Alcohol stove

(Thank you, Two Bears, for this great information!)

MiniBull design makes some good quality alcohol stoves.

I bought the BIOS #4 because of two reasons.

1. It has a Fiberglas wick glued to the outside of the stove. Saturate the wick with alcohol, then pour the alcohol into the stove, then light the fuel inside the stove and the fuel on the wick. This gets the stove hot much faster. Some side burner stoves made by White box stoves, the gram Weenie Pro by End2end trail, and many side burner stoves can take 1-2 minutes before the stove gets hot enough to send fire out the jets. This is called the bloom or blossom. With the fiberglass wick outside the stove; Tinny of MiniBull Design says that this stove will bloom in 11 seconds. In my test the stove did not bloom in 11 seconds. My stove bloomed in 15 seconds; but then I live at 4000 feet above sea level. I was very pleased with a 15 second bloom time.

2. The stove has four bumps to raise the pot about 1/16th of an inch above the rim of the stove. This prevents cold pot flame outs.

Cold pot flame outs is a problem because I have an eBay stove sold by Lost-hiker16. It was a copy of the BIOS #1. I set a pot of tap water on the stove, and the jets got smaller, and within 10 seconds the stove went out, and had to be re-lit.

Of course you can hold the cold pot over the flames ad you wait for the jets to ignite but who wants to baby a stove you expect to work.

3. With the flames coming out the jets; you can set the pot of food you are cooking directly on the stove. You do not need a separate pot stand. I like this because there is one less thing to worry about losing.

4. Some side burning stoves have problems with spurting. This is where the pressure builds up and the stove spurts long flames, then the stove goes out.

Tinny fixed that problem by drilling three holes through the wall that was folded inside the stove. This allows the pressure in the walls to equalize with the pressure between the walls.

5. All four models of the BIOS stoves from MiniBull Design are made from Budweiser aluminum beer bottles, and can withstand a 200 pound adult standing on the stove.

6. The BIOS #4 with wick weighs a little less than 1 1/4 ounces.

So with all of above I should be happy; right? Well there is one little problem that prevents me from being entirely happy with the stove.

1. You can not use small pots such as beer can pots, the GSI Minimalist cook system, and other small diameter pots.

If you are going to be cooking food for two or more people, and using pots that are at least 10 or so so centimeters (4 inches across) you could not buy a better stove.

If you will be using a Heineken or Fosters 24 ounce beer can pot, or cooking a single serving of something like an empty vegetable container that holds 15 ounces of veggies that has a three inch base; you will need to use a top jet stove with a pot stand, or you will need to use a side burner stove with a smaller diameter.

Here are some smaller side burner stoves that are supposed to work with smaller pots.

BS 1.0 -- made by Batchstovez . I tested this one so wait for the review,

Gram weenie, and possibly the gram weenie pro --made by end2end trail.

White box Soloist -- by White Box stoves.

Cobalt Blue Soloist --made by Zellph. I have tested this one time. Wait for the review

MBD BIOS#4. recommended with a score of 4 1/2 stars.

Nui aloha.

Two Bears

Survival Kit

I'm pleased to welcome Kahuna "Two Bears" to the blog as a contributor!  She's sent several exellent posts which I'll begin uploading now, starting with her great column on making a Survival Kit! 

This branches out some from the Food Storage and how to store & cook it, but is valuable information.   You can scroll through all the posts and read the ones that interest you. 

Thank you, Tow Bears!

Survival Kit
A lot of people think "I need a survival kit" but have no idea what should go in it; so they end up doing nothing.

Now your survival kit and mine may look nothing alike. So before I tell you what is in my survival kit; I am going to tell you some things that belongs in every survival kit. If you hike the back country you are going to need a much more thorough survival kit than someone who hikes in local state parks.

Just remember the rule of three.

1. You can live for three minutes or so without air.

2. You can live for three days or so without water.

3. You can live for three weeks without food.

4 if you panic and lose your head you may die in as little as three seconds.

Basics for a survival kit.

1. Matches. If you are lost a fire and the smoke from a wood fire can be seen for miles from the air. Now matches will not last forever. You should replace them every six months. You can make matches last longer by putting them in a tightly closed container with a desiccant pack that often comes in vitamins, etc. This desiccant will absorb the moisture before your matches will. You can melt parafin wax on the stove or in the microwave and dip the match sticks in the paraffin. Tea light candles are made of paraffin. Just be sure the wax is unscented.

2. You are going to need a sharp edge to cut things. This could be a hunting knife, a pocket knife, etc. I used to carry a survival kit that fit into a 35 mm film canister. I also carried N eye dropper bottle full of Clorox. The sharp
Edge I carried in that survival kit was a Shick single edged razor blade taped onto card board.

3. You are going to need some cordage to tie things together to build a shelter even if it is only a tarp tied between two trees or tying a rope between two trees and turning a tarp or emergency blanket into a pup tent. Now you can buy nylon rope 1/8th inch thick, or paracord that has seven smaller cords if you need to divide them. You can often get a 100 yard spool of dental floss at the dollar store for $1. Dental floss is incredibly tough. I wrapped about 30 feet of dental floss around the card board the razor blade was on.

4a. You will need a all bottle of Clorox, or 2% iodine.

4b, you will need a container to hold questionable water while 4a makes the water safe to drink.

I carried Clorox in an empty eye drop bottle. You can use either Clorox or iodine. This choice is up to you. Clorox or iodine will make questionable water in lakes and streams.

If your water container holds 1 quart fill up the bottle with water, then add 4 drops of Clorox, or 5 drops of iodine to the water. Put the lid on tightly and shake well. Or you could use 5 drops of 2% iodine.

Shake well and allow the water to sit for 1/2 an hour or so, in 1/2 hour virtually all pathogens including Giardia will be killed.

5. You will need a sewing kit to mend clothes or a few safety pins. My sewing kit in the 35 mm film canister was a narrow piece of cardboard with thread wrapped around it and 2 needles stuck between the thread and cardboard.

6. Lastly you should consider 25 feet or so of fishing line, and a few hooks.

Since I no longer drive all over as I used to I just have the survival kit in my bug our bag.

When you make a survival kit; think small and efficient. The reason for this is if it is big and bulky; you will not carry it, and a survival kit left at home is less than worthless. This is why I carried a survival kit in a 35 mm film canister. In your car you can carry a tarp, emergency blanket, a small pot and two or three cans of soup.

Here is my survival kit that stays in my bug out bag,

1. A Swiss army knife

2. I have three ways of starting a fire

a. Matches and desiccant pack in a 35 mm film canister.

b. A Bic butane lighter

c. A magnesium block with a striker on the side.

Why different methods of starting a fire? The lighter and matches require small muscle control. If you are cold you have problems with small muscle control. Shaving off magnesium and creating a spark with the striker and piece of metal uses large muscles.

3.1 have 12 or so cotton balls in a 35 mm canister. Dry cotton balls are good tinder but do not burn long

4. I have petroleum jelly in another film canister. If you dip the cotton balls in petroleum jelly the tinder will burn for long enough to start the kindling and then the wood,

5. I gave gauze pads and medical tape to treat injuries. #4 above has an herbal concentrate with three herbs to heal skin injuries, and a good fire starter too

6. A styptic pencil to stop bleeding.

7 I have two kinds of cordage 50 feet of 7 strand paracord, and a 129 yard spool of dental floss.

8. Two burned our resisters in a ceramic housing. I scavenged these from a busted TV. I use the ceramic cover to sharpen my knife.

9. Emergency blanket.

10. Pipettes and small container of herbal concentrate to make more ointment if I find more petroleum jelly.

11. Sewing kit.

12 fishing line, fish hooks, and flies.

13 p38 can openers.

15. 2 fl OZs iodine.

16. 31/2 OZs Clorox

#15 and 16 are to treat water.

Everything except for the medical tape and #15 & 16 goes in small pack, and when loaded only weighs 12 OZs.
This is my survival kit. This has everything but #15&16. those bottles sit beside this kit in the pocket of my bug out bag.

Nui aloha.

Two Bears

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Solar ovens and cookers

There seems to be a lot of interest in alternative ways to cook, judging by the number of comments and emails I've been getting.  I'm waiting for permission to post some that were written on a review of the book on Amazon.  The reviewer had some good ideas that I'm not familiar with, and I'd love to share that information.
Meanwhile, I'll write about something I've been playing with for the last couple years.  We ordered a solar reflector oven from Amazon and have used it quite a bit.  All you have to do is put the food in it and set it in the sun over the day.  It works like a slow-cooker, so any recipes you have that you would make in a slow cooker, you can cook in one of these.  It's free to use!  It works by the heat of the sun!

 This is Venison stew.  My husband shot the deer (in season!) and we added our own homegrown potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots.  The only thing store-bought was the salt and pepper.
This oven works by setting a black bowl inside a clear glass bowl and putting a clear glass lid on it.  It then sits inside the reflector walls, which reflect the sun's rays and heat into the bowl.  It boils in less than an hour, in our experience, but that could vary according to the sun's intensity and the temperature of the food and liquid when you start.

 Yum!  Potato soup!  It's very cool to dump all the ingredients into the bowl, put the lid on and walk away, and it cooks without any heat source other than the sun.  My favorite thing we made in it is spaghetti.  I broke the dry, uncooked noodles into about 2" pieces and dumped them in the bowl along with the meat, tomato sauce, fresh oregano and thyme from my garden, and some cheap Dollar store garlic salt.  I stirred it about once an hour, and after 3 hours we had the most delicious spaghetti!  The flavors were blended throughout!

In this picture I'm making Chili in the solar cooker.  We spent almost 3 months in a converted Uhaul truck (made into a camper  in the desert last spring, living only on the home-canned and home-dried food we brought along with us as, and a few buckets of flour, rice, sugar, and beans, sort of like a trial-run of bugging out.  We used some of the locally available plants, like various cactus, to supplement, and hunted for jackrabbits for meat to supplement the home-canned venison, chicken, and fish we brought along.   The rest of our food and drinks were all brought with us, including home-canned butter and cheese.  Water is the only thing we re-supplied regularly.
The solar cooker works best during the hours the sun is pretty much overhead.  It works slower when the sun is at lower angles. 

You can buy these solar reflectors for as little as $12.50 on Amazon. 
For that price you have to use your own bowl or pan, but they do work with just about any covered pan, and you don't need the clear glass bowl.  It's more efficient with the clear bowl, but if money is hard to come by, you can get by without it.  I made my own using a cardboard box and aluminum foil, and while it worked best for reheating food, over the course of a day it would cook a meal.

In case anyone is going to ask how we kept the butter and cheese once it was opened, we made an evaporative cooler, which I'll describe and show pictures of in a future post.  It worked very well for those items and condiments, but I wouldn't recommend it for milk and meat.

As always, input is welcome, on this any any other subject related to prepping.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Back-ups to your cookstove

I'm going to be answering a question that was posed in a review of my book on Amazon.  A reader named "Leslie" said she was overall finding the book helpful but had a question:

"My only concern so far is that it the issue of a heat source for cooking isn't addressed (or maybe I haven't read that far yet). We live in an urban area, and cook on a gas stove. We don't have a wood-burning stove, or other way to cook food in the event that the gas lines are damaged in an emergency. A chapter on cooking without a stove, and how to gather and store firewood, basics of building a fire for cooking etc. would be really helpful"

Like I explained in my answer on Amazon to her comment, I had to draw the line somewhere about what all to include in the book.  So many books on "Food Storage" are filled with several mostly-relevent side-chapters and often with 'non-relevent" ones.  For instance, there is a book on Amazon called "Food Storage Basics", and one of the first chapters is all about how to make a bug-out bag, including how much water to carry and what kind of fire starters you'll want.  I don't see that as being essential to Food Storage.  For those seeking knowledge of those things, it's a well-written book.

There are almost as many answers to the 'stove' question as there are people and situations.  One won't fit all.  You can buy any of the various camp stoves available and store some bottles of fuel for it, and that might suffice in the short term.  If a long-term situation develops, the fuel would run out.  By then the immediate crisis would be over and it might be safe to seek another way to cook.

Leslie says she lives in an urban area, but that can mean different things.  Does she live in a house, or an apartment?  If she lives in an apartment, does it have it's own balcony?  She could keep a barbeque grill out there, along with extra charcoal or propane tanks depending which it requires.  Be sure to have a way to light it.

If she lives in a house, she might have the option of building a campfire to cook on.  Supposing that were true, and she had no where to get firewood, I'd suggest buying a few of those (yes, overpriced!) bundles of firewood they sell for condos with fireplaces or for campers to take to the KOA or other campground on the weekends, assuming such is available where she (or others of you) lives.

Both options present possible complications.  You run the risk of hungry neighbors seeing you out cooking, or the aromas drifting around the neighborhood attracting attention.  In a short-term emergency you probably won't be bothered much by others, other than having them wanting to share your cooking source to cook their own food.  You need to decide how much of your fuel you would be willing to share, since it would reduce the length of time you'll be able to cook food for yourself and your family.

Cooking inside on a camp stove would reduce those risks, but be careful about ventilation.  Even camp stoves put out carbon monoxide, which is a silent killer.  Crack a couple windows open, and keep an eye on everyone.  Try to only use the camp stove for brief cooking, which will also extend how long your fuel will last.

There are small "wood stoves" called "Pocket Stoves" that are available from several online camping supply sites.  They run around $15 to $20.  They fold up small enough to fit in a coat pocket or backpack pocket, but they do weigh a couple pounds.  They're not a backpacking stove!  But you could keep one in your car or your house, for emergencies.  You can burn paper or wood or anything that burns and can be broken small enough to put inside the stove.  You set a pan on top of the little stove.  This is an outdoor-use ONLY stove.

You can buy or make sterno or alchohol stoves, but again, these are outdoor-use stoves.

Small chemical pouches can be used to heat food, similiar to what the military uses in their "MRE"s (Meals Ready to Eat).  When the chemicals are mixed or activated they create enough heat to cook or boil water.  They can be used indoors.

A solar oven is another possibility.  We have what's called a "Solar Cooker" that we ordered off the amazon website three years ago, and on a sunny day you can cook wonderful meals in it.  Solar ovens can be made, too, and if you type "Solar Oven" into the search on google or youtube, you'll find several plans.  Watching a youtube video is a great way to learn how to make them and how they work.

I'm not an expert about these stoves.  I have used some of them on our camping, backpacking, and long-distance bicycle trips, but since we have a woodstove and live in a rural wooded area I haven't done a lot of research on what to do if I didn't have that available.

If anyone has information to add to this, please either leave a comment or send me an email and I'll copy & paste your email here so you can share your information with other readers.

Philo Logia writes:
I'll add to your post the thought of a cob oven (or masonry oven) built outdoors. I happen to be amongst gathering materials to build a cob oven outside currently, which is why it's fresh on my mind ;)
Here's a brief but thorough run-through:

"Anonymous" writes:
Excellent post. Keep writing such kind of info on your blog.
Im really impressed by it.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on emergency essentials.

This anonymous person also wished to share this site with us:

I received some wonderful tips from W. Lambdin, who says:
"Here is a Super Cat stove I made out of a Coke can

I made these because they hold almost twice as much fuel as a genuine Super Cat.

I used a P38 can opener to cut the lid out.

I have given about 15 of these stoves away. You can see that I cut the can with a knife and pressed the top down over the bottom 40% of the can.

I did that for three reasons.

1 holds more fuel.

2 double walls gives the stove more strength.

3 the stove is shorter so it is not as tipsy.

Here is a video showing you how to make a Super Cat stove.

Here is a link to a page on

This page tells you what kind of alcohol you should use and should not use in alcohol stoves. Sam DeCesar (not sure of the spelling of his last name. I have bought two of his stoves BS 1.0, and BS 2.0.

He is one heck of a nice guy. If you want to use that chart; ask his permission and tell him that Two Bears sent you.

He is currently moving so you may have to wait a day or two for reply.

As soon as he gets moved I am going to send him two empty 2012 Saint Patricks bud light aluminum beer bottles for him to make stoves out of them.

I am having Sam make the stoves because his stoves can be used on a beer can pot. I used his BS 2.0 stove to boil water in an empty can that held corn.

I have a MiniBull BIOS 4 and you need a pot that is at least 10+ centimeters across.

I also have a Zelph stove the Cobalt Soloist. I live at 4000 feet above sea level, and the water never boiled.

I also bought a copy of MiniBull BIOS 1 from Lost Hiker 16, and that stove blossomed and the jets were so big you would need a 7-8 inch pot.

Needless to say my sister will be selling three stoves for me as soon as she gets her Masters degree in Math.

Here the Desert Dog In Tucson, AZ is testing the Vargo Triad (commercial $29.99 alcohol stove) against a 50 cent Super Cat alcohol stove that anyone can make in moments with a $1 paper punch. The Super Cat stoves I make are made from Ever Pet cat food I get 2 for $1 at the dollar store.

A large number of people hiking the Apalachian trail carry Super Cat stoves because they weigh next to nothing. I will spoil the surprise that the almost free stove out performs a $30 stove.

Feel free to e-mail me directly:

Check out this video on YouTube:

Here is the Super Cat stove that weighs 1/5th of an ounce.

I bet you are wondering why I would have Sam of make stoves for me when I can make stoves?

1. A stove made from a Budweiser aluminum bottle; can withstand someone weighing 200 pounds standing on them without ruining the stove.

2. If I am in a survival situation I do not want to worry about falling down and crushing the stove in my back pack. I have poor eyesight, and I want a stove that is dependable.

Some people like Jason Klass carry a stove made out of the aluminum container for a tealight candle.

Not this little black duck in the words of Daffy Duck."

Thank you, Kahuna! 
There's more on other prep-related topics, but we're literally heading out the door to go camping.  When we get back at the end of the week, I'll share more of W. Lambdin's information, some of which will be on other posts of those subjects.

Thank you to everyone who contributes!  Please keep it coming!  I am not an expert.  I'm someone just like most of you, and I learn something new all the time!  :)