Article submitted by Brian S. Kiefat @ The Ready Center
Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of using a compact propane fueled camp stove during a power outage or during a camping trip knows how invaluable they are. Especially so if you are cold and wet. These little work-horses really are a “must have” for those who live in a cold environments year round, as well as for those who appreciate a hot meal. This pay period we recommend you go out and get one.
You’ll find that compact propane fueled camp stoves are worth their weight in gold if/when you find yourself in a real “grid down” situation. We recommend you picking one up asap for a number of reasons:
1. Cooking Food – If you find that you have to endure through a prolonged power outage, you’ll feel a lot better about cooking up those frozen steaks than you would about throwing away rotten meat. That and any hot meal is huge bonus whenever the chips are down.
2. Boiling Water – With hot water you not only have another options for food preparation, but you’ll also have the ability to make coffee and hot chocolate, which can do wonders for making you feel human when you don’t have many other luxuries. Also, if you don’t have a clean source of water, simply bringing water to a rolling boil will make it completely safe for human consumption, which is a HUGE deal all in itself (this alone should motivate you to purchase a propane camp stove…).
3. Medical Purposes – Medically speaking, having hot water is very beneficial as well. Keeping any adult or child in your group well hydrated can be an issue when surviving disasters, so having a way to purify whatever water you have allows you to stay ahead of the dehydration curve. Also worth mentioning (and remembering…), even the simple act of ingesting hot water can reduce the chances of any group members coming down with hypothermia, which can be deadly. Lastly, if your situation gets really bad, you can boil instruments for the sake of sterilization if you found yourself needing to perform some sort of medical procedure (delivering baby, sewing sutures, etc). However, unless it’s some sort of life or death situation, we recommend this be left to the professionals.
4. Aromas – This is a two-fold point. First, the intoxicating aroma of hot food can and will raise your spirits and keep you feeling human in dire situations. Keep tabs on your group members and use this “technique” to help keep their spirits high. Secondly, if you have to survive any catastrophe for any long period of time, it’s possible and highly likely that criminals will show their ugly face and try to forcefully take what you have. Due to the strong smell smoke, it may be dangerous to burn wood to purify you’re water because it may lead people to your location. However, if you use a propane stove to purify your water, that won’t be an issue. Be smart. Plan ahead. Buy a stove.
5. Heat – ATTENTION: PROPANE GRILLS MUST NOT BE USED AS A HEAT SOURCE! – That being said, heat is most certainly an added benefit when using propane camp stoves. Even in larger rooms, you’d be surprised at how much the stoves residual heat actually raise the temperature of the entire room. Again, what a great added benefit.
6. Fire Source – If and when you decide you need to start an actual fire for heat, sanitation, lighting, additional cooking methods, etc, you won’t have to worry about having to rub two sticks together until you see a small glimer of hope in the form of a tiny puff of smoke. With many of these propane camp stoves, it’s as easy as pressing the ignitor button and Whoosh! You have fire!
All in all, these things are really worth it.
To save you some of the leg work, we’ve included some links to compact propane camp stoves that are within the $20 price range. Although we cannot vouch for any of these brands or models specifically, it’s pretty dang important to note that having any one of these is much better than not having one at all. If you feel the need to spend more to get a model or brand that you prefer, go ahead. But if you’re looking for something cost effective to help you get through a rough time when you’re in a pinch, any of these will do:
A few years ago I was working in a remote desert in south-west Asia where sometimes it reached near 140˚F during the day, and other times it was cold enough to actually snow at night. My job was taxing enough on the body, and it seemed the weather didn’t help things any. One evening after a particularly demanding day, my co-workers and I were mentally and physically exhausted and the very idea of doing anything at all was equally exhausting. After working day in and day out for a year and a half, the pleasures associated with any type of “luxury” were experienced ten fold. That is, when we were fortunate enough experience them. This seemed exceptionally true when on that very exhausting, yet memorable day, a good friend pulled out a compact propane camp stove, a 1 pound canister of propane, and a pack of precooked all-beef hot dogs. My friend fired up the grill, and pure ecstasy ensued thereafter.
Having the much sought after luxury of hot and familiar food put me in a state of peace and ease I hadn’t experienced in a very long time. It really and truly raised my spirits at a time when every one of us could’ve used some encouragement. In the same sense, anything you can do to put your family in a state of peace and ease amidst a major disaster, such as being able to provide hot food, should be a very serious priority.
Well, I’ll end it here. You have some propane stove shopping to do. I’ll see you again on April 1st for part 7 of “Prepping on $20 a Paychek”
Challenging you to Make Ready,
The Ready Center
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