Multi-Fuel Stove – At Star & Bullock Hardware
Living off-grid is going to be a real bitch of a time, if it ever happens. Because just when you think you have a system worked out, it can all fall apart. Stored food can be stolen or destroyed. Water all of a sudden is not drinkable. Or perhaps the worst, your CDV meter spikes to a dangerous level, and it’s just time to go.
In those cases, carrying food will be difficult for any length of time, and carrying fuel also, forget it. You have to plan to find fuel on the road. And while you may actually find some food out there, you will not find a usable stove. I’ll be covering some backpackable rocket stoves shortly, but I figured that it was time to do this multi-fuel stove first. I have had this stove for many years, and there are now some in the country and available.
By multi-fuel, I mean literally anything that burns and smells like nasty fuel. Obviously this stove will burn white gas (Coleman fuel), but it will also handle gasoline, diesel, and as you can see in the video, even solvents like mineral spirits.
If you watch the video you will see that I intentionally used fuel that was either oddball, or worse for wear, or both. On the road you could be siphoning cars or trucks, or you could find a can of paint thinner at an abandoned hardware store. I don’t like to get too Walking Dead in this column, but if you are going to be a prepper, accepting that we are not talking about hurricane supplies is pretty important.
Lighting this stoves is different for different types of fuel. For gasoline, white gas (Coleman fuel), and the cheapest option, E85, you just pump up the pressure, hold the match to the atomizer nozzle, and slowly turn up the stove.
For diesel, kerosene, and whatever type of solvent you want to try, generally they do not have an ignition temperature within normal ambient. So like glow plugs on a diesel truck, you have to preheat the fuel before it will light. There is a preheater bar accross the burner on this stove to make that easy. It also has a wick in the bottom below the burner. So you let a little fuel out onto the wick until it soaks, then light the wick to heat the preheater tube. After it is hot you then turn the stove up gradually.
At first it will sputter and flame up, so be careful. It has to get the air out of the lines. But eventually, with not a lot of pumping, the stove will burn steady and ripsnorting hot, and will not show visible flame in daylight.
The stove comes with a couple extra nozzles, some replacement parts for the pressure pump, and a multi-tool for working on the stove. It is quite a little package. And you can get an adapter from the same place that will also allow you to run the stove on 20 lb. propane tanks.
You should note that I did try to run vegetable oil in this stove, specifically, cottonseed oil, which is very light. It didn’t work, and it boogered some part of the stove, not sure which part yet. There are stove approaches that will burn vegetable oil, waste oil from changing your car oil, and other thicker oils, but this stove ain’t it. Stick to fuels and solvents and you should be ok.
Stoves, stoves, stoves, stoves! I can’t stress enough that food and water are not enough. You have to build redundancy in your options for cooking, because the cheapest store-able foods, GRAINS, need to be cooked. A year of flour, rice, beans, pasta and sugar will save you enough money in savings compared to canned food, MREs, and that scammer prepper food to buy two of each stove I have covered, and will cover in the coming weeks.