Cooking Without Electricity

May 23, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin

coleman camp stove

Self Sufficient Cooking Without Power

If the electricity is off for a long period of time, or to be more self sufficient when it comes to cooking food or boiling water, you will need an alternative method. Instead of surviving on just cold stored food, a nice warm meal or a hot pot of coffee will enlighten the spirits for sure. In addition to cooking, you may want to heat water for cleaning and sanitizing.

Coleman Camp Stove

Be prepared. A great emergency stove to have on hand is a Coleman camp stove. I have had two of their dual burner liquid fuel stoves during the past 20 years and have been very happy with them as they are definitely built to last. They are compact, simple to assemble and use, and they store well. A must have, and perfect for your survival preps inventory.

Their are two basic varieties of Coleman camp stoves, one that uses liquid fuel and one that uses propane fuel from pressurized canisters.
Coleman 2-Burner Dual Fuel Stove
Coleman 2-Burner Propane Stove

I use the liquid fuel model because it seems a bit more rugged, apparently holds larger pots, and I have always been familiar with it since I’ve grown up with this model since my childhood camping trips. I believe that liquid fuel is more practical when it comes to storage space versus the propane canisters because you will get far more cook time from a gallon can of white fuel versus an equivalent size can of propane fuel.

The camp stove liquid fuel requirement is a ‘white gas‘, a special Coleman blend which is orderless, has rust inhibitor in it, and is available  in one gallon cans at nearly every store that sells camping supplies. According to the Coleman documentation you can even use unleaded gasoline in their dual-fuel model stove as a substitute for their Coleman fuel white gas. I have not tried this, but it would certainly be  the most economical fuel to use compared with the Coleman fuel which costs more.

I have found that a one gallon can of Coleman fuel will provide quite a lot of cooking time, and is well worth stocking several, or more, in your survival preps. The reported shelf life is apparently quite long. Coleman white gasI’ve heard reports of no problems or issues after 15 years, as long as the screw top is secured. I personally have some cans that are now 10 years old, and I have not experienced a problem last time I checked. Just remember to filter the Coleman fuel as it is poured into the tank, in case of sediment. Unleaded gasoline however will not store well for that long, and I recommend adding a stabilizer additive such as PRI-G Fuel Stabilizer (best) or STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer (pretty good)  if it will be stored beyond several months.

Do not use the camp stove indoors because it consumes oxygen and produces carbon monoxide (like any combustion appliance).

There are other cooking alternatives that do not require electricity, but I feel that this particular choice is a great minimum requirement which will serve you well in nearly all survival emergencies, so long as you have fuel.


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