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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Survival Cooking


In many different articles over the years I have tried to explain the necessity of utilizing a “Low Impact” technique to be used when conducting a Tactical Bug Out. Camping stoves that require bottled or canned fuel is okay for camping, but when SHTF, an alternative method must be considered—for many different reasons.

Commonly called the Espit’ Stove; its origins are of East Germany, and were widely used during the cold war ear. The fuel consisted of small trioxide tablets which averaged a 15-minute burn time. Enough to boil some coffee water, or heat a can of stew.

These stoves can be purchased in most military surplus stores, or they can be found on-line at EBay and other online retailers. In some cases, the fuel tabs are supplied as well.

I make my own fuel tabs in the following manner:

  • Small Pot
  • Cleaned Soup Can
  • Thongs or Tweezers
  • Paraffin Wax
  • Aluminum Foil

Using a pot filled half-way with water; I place a cleaned soup can in the middle of the pot, and then ignite the stove. Using paraffin wax purchased at my local hobby store, I break the wax into small pieces, and drop them into the can.

Using a pair of thongs, a cotton ball is then dipped into the hot melted wax. The saturated cotton ball is then placed on a 3” x 3” piece of aluminum foil, and the ends twisted like a candy kiss.

The fuel tabs can be made smaller, or larger as needed. The normal cotton ball size will burn for at least 30-minutes; while a cotton ball half the size will burn for about 10-15 minutes. A novel idea that can be used, is to tear the cotton ball into three strips, and then roll the strips between your fingers until it resembles a small sausage.

Having used this set-up for years; I take comfort in knowing that during a SHTF scenario, I will not have to resort to building a campfire to cook food; thereby betraying my presence. Additionally; the wax-saturated cotton balls can also be used as a source of heat and light inside small tents, or primitive shelters.



Another stove along this line is called The “Volcano Stove”; another fine invention by foreign military units. It works on the same principal as the Esbit Stove, but is taller, and comes with a built in water bottle and canteen cup.



Even if fuel becomes a problem; both of these stove can be fired with small twigs, leaves, and other combustible materials. For long term solutions, it’s hard to beat these stove. The only difference is their size and weight.

NOTE: using an old soup can, it’s easy to build a Volcano Stove with little effort. Look at the above picture, and see where to punch the air holes. Fuel and tinder can be carried inside of the stove with relative ease.

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Map picture