Some kind of long term disaster has happened, you and your family have almost depleted the food and water reserves at your home, now it’s time to make a decision, stay or go? Its time to go.
Your family loads whatever gear, food and water you have left in the truck, car or SUV, then you hit the road. You get to the Bug Out Location, unload your gear, now what? You cook a good hot meal on your camp stove, that’s what.
Never underestimate the power of a good hot meal on moral. The smell and sight of cooking food does something to the human mind, it relaxes us. The effect of cooking food might have something to do when we led a hunter-gather lifestyle. The hunters would come back to camp with a leg quarter off a horse, deer or a chunk of meat off a mastodon. The meat was cooked over an open fire for everyone in the group to partake.
Ok, so what kind of stove do you store at the Bug Out Location? This needs to be at least a dual burner stove, something large enough you can cook a full meal on.
Coleman Perfectflow Stove
One stove I own is the Coleman PerfectFlow insta-Start grill stove, the one with the built on griddle. After cooking some sausage on the griddle, the grease drain pan almost filled up, and the griddle was difficult to clean. The grease dried in the corners of the griddle and was difficult to get out.
A buddy of mine has the Coleman perfect flow stove without the griddle. Adjusting the gas was a little difficult, as the burner was to be all the way on, or off, there seemed to be almost no fine adjustment. While cooking on my buddies stove we used a griddle to cook the boudain and sausage. The griddle helped the grease drain off without dripping into the burners and made clean up a breeze.
The difference between the built in griddle and griddle we used on the perfect flow stove, is that the built in griddle has openings the grease can drain between. With the solid griddle you just wipe the warm grease off, wash and you are done.
One of the issues with this stove is it burned a lot of fuel. Compared to the Coleman425, the Perfectflow seemed to use an excessive amount of fuel.
Coleman 425 Camp Stove
The Coleman 425 is a classic liquid fuel camp stove that can also use a propane adapter. This allows the stove to use either Coleman fuel, or propane.
The propane adapters for a liquid fuel stove are about $30.
A hose to go from a 20 pound propane bottle to the adapter is about $25. This allows the Coleman 425 to use 20 pound propane bottles.
For a cost of about $100 you could have a liquid fuel stove that can also use 1 pound or 20 pound propane bottles. Stock a couple 20 pound propane bottles along with several 1 pound propane bottles and you have a quick cooking solution.
I have no idea how many meals have been cooked on my personal Coleman 425 camp stove. It has been used for everything from camping to cooking after a hurricane. For example, my Coleman 425 camp stove was used for cooking after Hurricanes Ike, Rita and Harvey.
One of the main reasons why I prefer propane over liquid camp fuel, propane will store just about forever. I would say propane can store “forever”, but you are limited to the capability of the storage tank. If let outside tanks, and especially if sitting on the ground the metal tanks can rust to the point where they can no longer hold the pressure of the propane. If all possible, keep your propane tanks stored in a cool dry place, such as a shed, and out of direct sunlight.
There are a lot of good stoves out there. Nobody is saying you “have” to go buy the best of the best. My liquid Coleman 425 camp stove is over 20 years old, a buddy of mine has a coleman liquid fuel stove that uses a propane adapter. My buddies stove is well over 25 years old and still going strong.
If you look around there are some low cost and second hand good quality propane stoves out there. Ebay, the local pawn shops,,,, are all good places to find inexpensive gear.