Welcome back to Season 3 of Prepping 101 here on GunsAmerica. If you are new to this series, most likely your whole concept of preparedness will change should you choose to review the back catalog. Because unlike the survival blogs, print pubs and cable shows, my focus here has been to open your eyes to what off grid survival living really will look like after the collapse. Once in a while I will devolve into the reasons why things are ultimately going to collapse, and they probably aren’t what you think. But mostly I test stuff. Once you look around a bit here, you’ll find that there is no other off grid, survival or prepping resource in the world with as much useful information in one place.
This week I finally dragged out my gasoline stoves. And the reason I waited so long is because I just assumed that they worked (they did), and I assumed that most survival minded folks have seen a dual fuel Coleman stove (not so much). If you watch the video, I brought in a couple other Chinese stoves that may be a better buy than the Coleman stoves, and they are certainly more portable. But first I want to back up a bit and address the point that I made in the video about cooking in general, and cooking specifically with gasoline.
To start, if you haven’t been with me over the last two years, but you feel that you have been prepping, most likely you have been led down the rabbit hole of expensive freeze dried food. Don’t feel too badly about it, because ultimately, even if most of what you bought is powdered drink mix and very little protein, you can still live off of it, and that puts you way ahead of most folks. Please search here under “calories per dollar,” and you’ll see that there are some much better options out there, right at your local Walmart. I’ve also covered food storage with bags and buckets, buying online food from Walmart in bulk, and I’ve even showed you how to get cheap food in #10 cans from the Mormons.
Most survival food in calories per dollar terms needs to be cooked, not just re-hydrated. The cheapest food, flour, at over 4,000 calories per dollar, has to be baked or at least fried into pancakes or waffles. Beans, rice, and pasta all are more palatable when you cook them rather than just soak them, and of course if you happen upon a source of fresh game meat, you will want to cook it.
I don’t like to beleaguer the point of cooking, but you would be amazed at how many people just don’t get it. In order to cook, you need a plan for fuel, long term. In the video I discuss wood, diesel fuel, and this week we are on gasoline. As I explained, I think gasoline will be readily available after the big reveal. You just need a hose of fuel transfer pump to get it out of all the abandoned cars.
You’ll notice that I don’t allow comments on these articles for the most part. I do that because my purpose here is to give you the courage to take real steps toward giving yourself a shot once this whole card house tumbles down. Again, I am not a prophet and I have no idea when that will be, but 2+2 almost always equals 4, and this ship is going to sink. A bunch of useless comments where 90% of the people explain why their idea is better serves no purpose at all. I used to think that we’d pick up some good tips, but that has almost never happened. I have said a few times on here that the most useful comment ever on these articles was that canned Beefaroni tastes like metal after two years in storage. Meanwhile we had to wade through tons of bad advice, and several outright lies about incorrect personal experiences.
When it comes to cooking, the bad advice is nearly always about propane. About 30 years ago the camping industry realized that they could get a ridiculous margin on small propane cylinders, far more than gallons of Coleman fuel, which is what we all used to camp with. They all but eliminated liquid fuel stoves, in favor of propane. One gallon of Coleman fuel has about as much BTUs as 4.5 cylinders of propane, so at current prices, that equals almost $20 per gallon. If you go into Walmart today and buy Coleman fuel, it is like $15 per gallon, because there is very little demand for it.
What they didn’t tell you is that you don’t have to use Coleman fuel, otherwise known as “white gas,” in Coleman stoves. Unleaded gasoline works fine, but you may have to clean the nozzle more frequently, or replace the generator tube here and there over the years.
Realizing that Joe Sixpack figured this out, Coleman came out with stoves called “Dual Fuel,” which claim to have been built differently, and specifically to handled gasoline. I have never compared them side by side, so for this article I stuck to the Dual Fuel.
Considering that you can buy a propane stove at Walmart for $15-$20 these days, the liquid fuel Colemans are very expensive. I bought my single burner 533 that you see here for $55, but I just went looking and could not find one under $75. Likewise the dual burner. Right now there are some deals out there for $75-$90, but there are also plenty well over $100.
For camping, it will be a long time before you realize any real fuel savings on a deal like that, which is why if I did open up comments, you’d see a bunch of wingnuts claim that they don’t need gasoline because they have years of propane stored up.
So my question is, but what if you have to leave?
The backpacking gasoline stove that you see here in the video is probably the most practical urban road stove I have ever seen. Especially on the road where you may find questionable water sources, being able to drain a couple cups of gas out of a car is really valuable. For a mere few extra ounces you can even carry an extra aluminum bottle. It seems to be a robust and durable design. It comes with an extra gasket and nozzle, and the online reviews seem to be very good for long term backpacking use. Obviously if you plan to stay put the Coleman stoves are a US made better value. Just don’t leave fuel in any of these stoves for any length of time, and assume you’ll forget. The nice thing about gasoline is that you can use the tank cap off for a day and it will evaporate.
If you live where there are trees and other organic burnable material, check out the Biolite small rocket stove that I reviewed in my first thermoelectric article. I wouldn’t say don’t get a gasoline stove as well, but on a limited budget, the Biolite is a better option. Likewise for family cooking, the Biolite Camp Stove is better. I’ve used the Biolite stoves now for a few different articles here, so check them out.
For those of you who are regular readers and watchers, I hope to get back to more detailed pieces on SDR radios, setting up solar, perhaps even wind turbines, which I have and didn’t get to use yet. Canning in bags, dry pack in barrels, groundwater wells, and milking cows are all also in the works. Hopefully the Trump euphoria will allow them to cover it all up for a while yet and we’ll get another year here to prepare. I shot and edited waaay too much video for SHOT and I really just needed a break. But we’re back! I hope some more of you will plug in and get going. Prepping is expensive and time consuming, but ten years early is better than one minute too late.