Emergency gasoline and alcohol stoves

As you probably know so far, it is very important to have an emergency heat source to use for preparing meals: an emergency stove. In this video I’m going to show you a couple of emergency alcohol and gasoline stoves.

In Poland we cook using gas or electric stoves. But it’s wise to have an emergency heat source for this purpose. Sure, you can eat raw eggs and drink cold water that was not boiled first. It’s a lot more pleasant to eat a hot meal, and some foods cannot be eaten raw. Can you imagine eating raw rice, that was only held in water for some time, or uncooked pasta, or flour? If you hunt, it’s wise to cook the meat first, and not be infected with some kind of parasite.

Gasoline or alcohol stoves were introduced earlier than gas stoves. But now the gas stoves are very popular and used mostly in tourism. Stoves that use liquid fuels are also being sold now, but they are very expensive. It’s much easier to get a used stove of this kind and I want to show you two models of such a stoves.

This is a soviet Rekord-1, a copy of Primus No. 1 stove, that was first produced over 120 years ago! The most important part is the burner, of course, designed so that the fuel from the tank is heated and evaporated in those pipes first, and then supplied to the burner through a nozzle as a vapour. You poured some fuel onto the small plate below the burner and light it to heat up the burner before using the stove. On the side of the tank you can see a opening for refueling, and a pump used to increase the pressure inside the tank. This knob was used to release some of the pressure. By changing the pressure in the tank, you change how large the flame is.

Primus No. 1 stove was seen as a very reliable heat source, for the time it was introduced. That’s the reason it was used in a couple pole expeditions, including the one led to sounh pole by Amundsen, and also by climbers going to Mt. Everest.

This Primus Turisticznyj is nothing else than a copy of Optimus 8R “Hunter” stove. As the one before, it has a burner with a nozzle, and a plate for heating the burner. In this stove, this knob is used to adjust the flame. The fuel tank comes with a shield to be closed soon after lighting the stove to keep it from heating too much. This stove is easier to use than the previous one, as it requires no pumping, but it also makes it less safe to use, which is a disadvantage.

I’d also like to show you a simple do-it-yourself alcohols stove. It can be made from two beer cans, using only simple tools. We won’t be showing you how to do it just now, as you can already find plenty of such videos on YT.

This stove is lightweight, reliable, costs next to nothing and it’s pretty versatile in terms of fuels, but on the other hand, you can’t adjust the flame easily. It would be possible if you added a cover made from another beer can to block a part of the burner.

The alcohol and gasoline stoves are less reliable than gas stoves. They are more difficult to start. It means that somebody who never used a stove like that and has no experience might have difficulites using it. Such a person should buy a gas stove instead.

But on the other hand, such stoves are more versatile in terms of fuel, as they don’t need propane in a can. One could imagine fueling such a stove with gasoline, petroleum solvent, ethanol, lighter fluid, or any mix of those fuels. You can also make alcohol on your own, and then use it for a stove.

Is it worth to have a gasoline or alcohol stove? It sure is! But you don’t need to buy one, just make your own from two beer cans. In worst case scenario it would cost you as much as those two beers.

If you’re thinking about buying one, wait till we cover all the other emergency stoves available.

Krzysztof Lis

M.Sc. in mechanical engineering. Interested in alternative energy sources, biofuels, and preparedness.

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