How do you plan on cooking at your bug out location? Some kind of disaster has happened, you and your family have moved to the bug out location, you open a #10 can of chili mac,,, and now what? What are your plans on cooking that the bug out location? Do you have a propane camp stove, or maybe an outdoor wood grill?
In other words, the SHTF, now what?
In this article we are going to be looking at propane stoves, wood grill and touch on solar.
Propane is a short term answer to a long term problem. Propane has several advantages – it stores well, it burns clean, and propane has multiple uses.
Two of the main reasons why I like propane – it stores well, and it has a multiple of uses. I can buy the 2 pack of 1 pound propane bottles, store them at the camp, and the fuel never expires. Then there are the wide range of attachments for the bottles – lanterns, stoves and space heaters.
When the weather gets cold, my brother takes a small space heater to his deer stand. Go back a year later and the stove still works.
When we need some light outside, get a propane lantern.
Need to warm up a meal, get the propane stove out and cook something up.
At the camp we have a 250 gallon propane tank which is used to fuel the furnace and the stove. When the power goes out, we can light a couple of the burners on the stove, and we are able to heat just about the whole house with just a couple of burners going.
Instead of using the 1 pound propane bottles, people can stockpile the 20 pound bottles, then get an adapter to power lanterns, stoves and other devices.
Need to cook for a large number of people at your bug out location? Get a 48 quart crawfish boiler.
At the deer camp I am a member of has something like a 250 gallon propane tank we use for the hot water heater, stove and oven. At one time we had a propane powered refrigerator to keep food cold, but the fridge stopped working for some reason.
Cooking inside: The deer camp I am a member of has a wood stove in the main sitting area. the stove is made out of something like 24 inch pipe, with the steel being something like 1/2 inch thick. This one stove puts out enough heat to warm the sitting area, and the sleeping area. In a pinch, we can cook on top of the stove because it has a flat area for coffee pots or a skillet.
Outdoor Wood Grill
Wood Stoves and grills: Wood stoves and grills come in a wide variety of sizes, features and prices. For the sake of discussion, I would like to divide grills and stoves in 2 categories – stoves for inside and stoves / grills for outdoor use.
If you plan on using a wood grill, you need a good supply of firewood. For some people firewood may not be an issue, for others, firewood might be a serious issue.
For cooking outside: I built myself a large pit on a trailer. The cooking surface of the pit is 6 feet 9 inches long and 29 inches across. The main pit section is made out of a 250 butane tank, the smoker and firebox sections are made out of 150 gallon tank. The firebox is a little long a 2 feet 6 inches long. The next pit I build, the firebox is only going to be about 2 feet 2 inches long. You want the firebox long enough to take a standard 2 feet long piece of firewood.
Construction phases of my pit:
Not everyone wants to build themselves a large or portable pit. For those types of people, there are a number of grill options available – Fire rings with built on grills, table top grills, grills on a pedestal (not pictured) and grills that can be bought from just about any hardware / sporting goods store.
Fire rings not only provide the ability to cook, but they also provide people a place to sit around a fire and talk. During a stressful situation, its good to give people a place where they can communicate their feelings to others.
Table top grills are lightweight, portable, but not very much meat can be cooked at one time on them. The main purpose of these types of grills would be for cooking small game, such as rabbits and squirrels, hot dogs, and sausage.
Grills with a firebox can be found just about anywhere. Prices range from just a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Unlike the other grills that have been listed, grills with a firebox can be used to smoke meat, make jerky, or even make sausage.
For meats that produce a lot of grease, like chicken, a grill with a side firebox would be better then cooking directly over the heat source. When the grease hits the heat source, sometimes the grease ignites and causes a grease fire.
For people where firewood might be an issue, there is always a solar oven. To build a solar oven you need some pieces of cardboard, glue, and aluminum foil.
Spread the glue over the cardboard, then put the foil over the glue.
Put a pot of food on a stand, put the pieces of cardboard around the pot so that the rays of the sun are reflected onto the pot.
To top off your cooking solutions, be sure to stock matches, eating utensils, butchering tools and carving knives at your bug out location.
My long term cooking solution is the smoker on the trailer I built. Living in a rural area provides my family and I with an almost unlimited amount of wood. As for splitting the firewood, there is a tractor mounted log splitter.