Preparedness Advice Blog
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Category Archives: fuels
There are three types of fuel that we will discuss for the purposes of this article. They are on road diesel, off road diesel and home heating oil. First, I will define what I am including in each category.
On road diesel is any diesel that is sold for vehicle use on the roads. A government road tax is included in the price of the fuel. Diesel sold in the U.S. for use on roads is ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) containing less than 15 parts per million.
Off road diesel is sold strictly for off road use and is normally dyed red in color. …Read More...
For years, my wife has used a pressure cooker for many things, including canning. They are efficient and cook your food quickly. In any disaster situation, fuel is in short supply. If you are cooking over an open fire, you have to work to find, carry, cut, and stack the firewood. Other fuels such as propane or petroleum-based fuels will all run out eventually. So anything that speeds up your cooking is energy saving.
Some examples how much time a pressure cooker can save you
- Black beans 3-6 minutes
- Pinto beans 1-3 minutes
- Bulgar wheat 8-10 minutes
- Spelt berries 15 minutes
- Wheat berries 30 minutes
- Beef cubes 1 inch 10-15 minutes
- Beef stew 15-20 minutes
- Potatoes, whole large 10-14 minutes
- Corn on the cob 3 minutes
From these example you can see how much shorter than normal the cooking times are.…Read More...
If you have a Coleman stove that works on the small propane canisters, you can readily adapt it to work off a five- gallon propane tank. This lets you run your stove almost 20 times longer without refueling. It takes a simple adapter that is sold by Coleman for $9.99. The adapter goes between the hose and the tank. You can also get an 8 ft hose so that your propane tank can be set further from the stove.
It is cheaper to buy your propane in the larger tanks. The main advantage of the small tanks is ease of movement. …Read More...
While I was arranging for hoses for my tri fuel generators, I ran across what could be a problem for some people. As many of you know as of April 1, 2002, federal law mandated all portable vertical propane tanks of 4- to 40-pound capacity be equipped with a new “quick-closing coupler” overflow protection valve. The new QCC-style valve replaces the older style “Prest-O-Lite” valves to ensure propane tanks are not accidentally overfilled.
Because gas expands as air temperature rises, this is supposed to limit the filling of the tanks to 80%. This is to allow for the propane to expand when exposed to heat. …Read More...
Yesterday I spent about an hour and half converting a Honda Eu2000 generator to tri fuel (runs on natural gas, propane or gasoline). A while back, I had ordered a conversion kit from Central Maine Diesel. The kits cost about $179.00 plus a core charge unless you send them your carburetor. In my case since the generator was new and had barely been run I decided to pay the core charge and keep the carburetor for a spare.
I am not a mechanic and the instructions were not the best. They consisted of 3 or 4 pictures with a few notes. …Read More...
A year or so ago one of my sons and I made a rocket stove out of a five gallon kerosene can and a some approximately three inch diameter steel pipe. With a cutting torch and a welder, it only took a few minutes to build. For insulation around the pipe, I used dirt at first, but soon changed to lava rock. The dirt worked fine, but I had to move it occasionally and the lava rock is much lighter.
I was able to start a fire and get the stove to work well from the beginning. But like most things, the more I use it the easier it becomes and the more efficient the stove runs. …Read More...
Here is an article from C.E. Harris on alcohol stoves.
Another viable option is the military surplus Trangia burner which is made in Sweden and also used by several NATO militaries. I have used one for over 25 years since I was first introduced by the ski patrol when I lived in New Hampshire. It is inexpensive, reliable, compact, and suitable for year-round use as a backpacker stove. It is as small, rugged and simple as a stove can get.
While it is true that alcohol does not have the heat output of gas, comparing fuel volume, and burner weight, cooking / boil times are very reasonable.…Read More...
My wife has been digging out all of our kerosene lamps and checking them out. We have some that we have picked up at garage sales that needed cleaning and new wicks. In the past, we both have been subjected to power outages during which we had to use kerosene lamps. They can provide good light if you properly trim the wicks. Read the blog at http://bit.ly/SmA9Sw to see how to maintain them.
One problem that always seems to occur, regardless of how well organized we are, is finding matches to light them in the dark. So this time my wife is taping 3 or 4 strike any where matches inside the hollow base of the lamps. …Read More...
I spent the morning playing with a couple of alcohol stoves. They are the Esbit Alcohol Burner and the Swedish Army Trangia Stove. Both burn denatured alcohol or methanol. Denatured Alcohol is easy to find and cheaper to use than the alternatives. Alcohol stoves are often used for ultralight and long-distance backpacking. The Esbit stove weights 3.5 ounces, the Trangia 6 ounces. There are no moving parts or burners to wear out or break. Just fill them and light. They can be used alone providing you have some sort of pot support with you. Some ultralight hikers use tent stakes to support the pots to save weight.…Read More...
Kerosene stoves are commonly used in many third world African and Asian countries. The brand that I have is the Butterfly stove from Malaysia. It is inexpensive, reliable, and readily available. A company that I have dealt with and found reliable is St Paul Mercantile (a link to their site is located on the right side of this blog shown as Family Preparedness Kit). The Butterfly stove is available in one and three burner models. The single burner model will run for approximately 12 hours on a half gallon of fuel. The wicks are easily changed and are good for up to six months.…Read More...