Create A Simple Portable Stove From An Aluminum Can [video]

Easy enough to create a few of these simple portable stoves for your survival kits. Lightweight carry for hiking, backpacking or in your bugout bag.

You can store the fuel in a small shampoo bottle, and add when needed.

5 Prep Tips to Keep Your Family Safe from a Wildfire

Wildfires

Image from Skeeze via Pixabay

It doesn’t matter how small the likelihood of a wildfire is for your area–when it hits, you want to be ready. So even if you think the chances of a wildfire in your area are moderate to low, know that it’s better to spend a bit of extra time now preparing yourself and your family than to be thrown into a state of panic should a wildfire ever hit.

 

  1. Keep Up with Regular Home Maintenance

 

There are a few chores you can do regularly to help lessen the effects of a wildfire on your home. Minimize the amount of debris around your property by cleaning the roof and gutters, raking away leaves and dead limbs, mowing your grass, and making sure your trees and shrubs are pruned regularly.

 

  1. Stay Informed

 

Educate yourself on the fire conditions in your area and stay in the know on breaking weather news. Watch the news regularly, check the weather online, or download a weather app for your phone. Turn on notifications for your weather app so you’ll know of any risk of a wildfire in an instant. Ask your child’s caretaker or school about their disaster plans so you can rest assured that your child will be in good hands if disaster ever strikes.

 

  1. Compile Your Emergency Supply Kit

 

Build your family’s emergency supply kit and include items like a compass, clean drinking water, nonperishable foods, a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, and copies of important documents.

 

It’s also wise to document all of your belongings and keep a copy of this list in your kit. This will come in handy for insurance claims or for receiving aid from charitable organizations. Include descriptions and photos of furniture, appliances, electronics, and other valuable belongings. Collect any relevant serial numbers or receipts.

 

  1. Create a Plan

 

In a time of crisis, clear communication can be the best tool in your toolkit. That’s why you should make it a priority to talk to your family about what you’ll do in case of a wildfire. Practice designated evacuation routes. Discuss what actions should be taken if a family member is separated from the group. Make sure children (and adults!) have necessary emergency numbers memorized.

 

  1. Know Where You Stand with Insurance

 

Fire damage can be a tricky topic when it comes to insurance coverage, so it’s better to know your plan’s limitations ahead of time. Insurance may not cover certain landscaping costs following a fire, or may only cover a certain percentage of damaged personal items. You may even want to increase your coverage depending on your area’s level of risk for wildfires. Check with your agent to see what your coverage entails.

 

It may sound like a bit of a hassle to prepare yourself and your family for a wildfire even when one may never hit, but don’t underestimate the power of having a plan of action during a moment of crisis. It’s better to make plans now and never have to use them than to come up short should disaster strike. Prepare now and you’ll be glad you kept your family’s safety in mind.

 

Bradley Davis is a retired firefighter and SoCal resident. He has seen is fair share of natural disasters and knows all too well the damage they can cause when people in their paths aren’t prepared. He created DisasterWeb.net to share his emergency preparedness knowledge and to offer the many emergency planning and natural disaster-related resources he has compiled from his online research. When he isn’t adding new information to his site, Bradley enjoys relaxing on the beach with his wife.


Easy to Make Fire Starters from Wood Chips, Shavings and Sawdust

If you’ve been using old newspapers and dangerous amounts of lighter fluid to get your fires going, believe me, there is a better way. Even better, much of this can be done with leftover materials most already have sitting around the house. Well, what sort of materials are we talking? 

saw dust fire starters

 

Wood chips are easy enough to find, especially if you live in a heavily wooded area. These shavings can come from cutting down trees, trimming trees, or just general woodworking – assuming you have some of those tools around the house. One of the best materials to use is easily sawdust, as all of your woodworking projects will leave you with an abundance of the stuff. All your drilling and sawing will create more than you’d first imagine. Also, sawdust is much safer and wildly more effective than what most people generally use when attempting to start a fire. Discover on housetipster.com how sawdust has several uses ranging from fixing awful oil and gas spills to killing weeds. It’s surprising how beneficial this material can be for solving particular issues around the home.

 

First-rate fire starters

  • Pack sawdust into paper muffin cups, above, or a cardboard egg carton.
  • Melt paraffin wax in a double boiler, pour over the sawdust and allow to cool.
  • Slow-burning when lit, these hotcakes make great starters for a fireplace or campfiresawdust-fire-starters

A great way to use up scrap wood chips, shavings and sawdust to make these easy and effective fire starters. Be sure to use paraffin wax not candle wax, as it is food grade and burns completely.

Now that you have these hotcakes, they are easily brought along on camping trips or a simple walk to the backyard fire pit. Folks will be wondering just what in the world you’re using to start your fires so effectively. They’ll be shocked when you tell them you packed wood chips, shavings and sawdust into muffin trays and made the most efficient fire starter around. They’ll be begging for your secret, which, is simply, castoff materials that most take for granted.

 

 

source: Wood Magazine

How To Identify Dry Firewood

Using wet wood to get a fire going will leave you cold and frustrated…regardless of how much effort you put into it.

Even if you do get a fire going (which in a survival situation is better than nothing) your fire will be inefficient and will require much more maintenance to see it through the night.

dry tinder and wood start the best fires.

The reason why it won’t burn is that the water contained in the wood is absorbing the heat, preventing the wood from absorbing enough heat to ignite.

As heat continues to be applied to the wood, the water turns to vapor, absorbing a huge quantity of heat in the process. It isn’t until this process is finished that the hydrocarbon gasses start leaving the wood so that they can then catch fire.

Basically your best bet is to make sure that you have the driest tinder, kindling, and fuel possible.

tinder, shavings, sawdust, fire starters

It’s one thing if you have a cord of wood neatly stacked out in your woodshed, but how do you find dry wood in the wild?

Below are three quick tips you can use in a pinch:

The Snap Method:

The Premise: dry kindling is devoid of a high water content and will snap easily instead of bending.

How To do it: take your smaller bits of kindling no thicker than your thumb and grasp them at both ends.  Pull the ends towards the middle, the kindling should snap in the middle.

What to look for:  twigs, sticks, and other kindling that snaps cleanly and easily is an indicator of dry kindling.How do you know if your fuel is dry?

The Percussion Method:

The Premise: as wood dries out, its acoustical properties change.

How to do it: grab two sample pieces of wood at one end and let them dangle, one from each hand. Swing the bottom ends together, and listen to the sound at impact.

What to look for: dry wood will “ring” or “bonk” when they hit each other. Wet wood, however, will issue a dull thud on impact.

Cracking the code:

The Premise: as fuel wood pieces dry, the wood fiber shrinks, which causes visible radius cracks to open up on the ends of the wood.

How to do it: examine the ends of a sample piece, looking for cracks that radiate from the core to the bark.

What to look for: big, deep radius cracks are a good indicator of well-seasoned wood.

Note: this is the least reliable indicator, as the cracks won’t close back up if the seasoned wood is subsequently allowed to re-absorb rainwater.

via Three Quick Tips To Identify Dry Firewood 

Unique Improvised Grills – Ideas For Cooking In A Survival Situation

 

By Dian Thomas

 

A few weeks ago, I got a call to give a presentation on preparedness. My approach was not to focus on preparing for a rainy day, but to get out and have a great time learning outdoor cooking and camping skills. Then when the rainy day comes, your skills are up to speed.One of the key places to practice your skills is in the backyard, a park, or in the woods. Decide to take the time now to enjoy your family and prepare them for their summer camps, outings and rainy days.

My parents were raised in the depression by pioneer parents. Creating and improvising was the norm. I grew up watching my mother and father make do with what we had instead of running to the store to buy Survival Food Supplies the next item that was needed. A great by product of challenging times is that we have to look inward for solutions, instead of looking out. What a great skill to teach your children which will prepare them for whatever challenges come.

If you do not have a grill, here are some fun creative ways to use your ingenuity to make one. When you create using items you have, it shows you children it is possible to make do with what you have. What a great skill to develop.

Tin Can Grill

An improvised, inexpensive grill can be made in just a few minutes. This is a favorite of children at scouting and campfire cookouts. All that is needed is a #10-size can, tin snips, aluminum foil and a pair of safety gloves.

Beginning at the open end of the can, cut 2-inch-wide parallel slits down the side, to about 3 inches from the bottom, repeating around the can. Bend the strips away from the center of the can to form a low basket like container. Fill the bottom of the can with dirt. Cover the dirt and strips with heavy duty aluminum foil. You have now created an improvised tin can grill. Place the charcoal on top of the foil and lay the grilling rack on top of the metal strips. It is important to keep

the distance between the grilling rack and the charcoal at about 3 to 4 inches (Bend the strips to this distance.)

Bonus of this grill is that it can be discarded after one use, and replaced at very little cost. Individual stoves can be made by a group to involve more people in the fun.

A #10-size tin can will make an easy and economical grill.

Use tin snips to cut two-inch strips down the sides of the can

Line the tin can with heavy duty foil before adding charcoal

Add a rack, and you’re ready to grill

Unique Improvised Grills

If you don’t own a barbecue or if you are having a “dry run,” enjoying a day at the beach, visiting a picnic area, or camping in your backyard, you might be happy with a child’s wagon grill, a wheelbarrow grill, a metal garbage can lid, or even a terra-cotta flowerpot.

The wagon or the wheelbarrow might tote your supplies to your site. Adapting it for grilling is as easy as filling the base with 6 inches of gravel, sand or dirt to insulate the bottom from the heat. Cover the dirt with extra-heavy-duty aluminum foil, which prevents coals from sinking into the dirt and insures that air will circulate. On top of the foil in the center make a pyramid of charcoal briquettes.

Pour lighter fluid over the charcoal and light. Drape a pair of oven mitts over the wagon tongue or wheelbarrow handles so they’ll be close by when needed. When briquettes are burning, arrange bricks around the outside edge, adapting them for the gill or rotisserie. If you simply want to do stick cooking, omit the bricks. The most efficient height for grilling is 3 to 4 inches about the coals.

Dirt can be stored between uses by covering the wheelbarrow or wagon with an old plastic tablecloth with Velcro stitched to seal the corners. Moisture will rust out the bottom of the wagon or wheelbarrow if it gets wet.

 

Backpacker’s Grill

A backpacker’s rack can be purchased from a sporting goods store. To use the backpacker’s grill, place coals on the ground; the backpacker’s rack sits on legs about 4 to 8 inches above. If

the dirt is loose or sandy, assure uniform heat by placing a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the dirt to keep the briquettes from settling into the sand and causing the briquettes to lose heat.

The heat for the backpacker’s grill is very simple to regulate. To increase heat, simply push the rack toward the ground. To decrease heat, raise the rack farther from the coals.

 More survival cooking ideas…

How Much Fuel Is Needed To Power A Light Bulb For A Year?

What-it-takes-to-power-a-light-bulb-for-a-year

What items would you add to your survival preps to give you a power source if the electrical grid goes down?

Please comment below and share your prep ideas.

Homemade Emergency Canned Heat

can_wlid

We lost power at 4:23 am on Saturday morning. We had power restored at 11 am on Monday. It was a long few days. We were able to stay in our house. Thankfully no pipes broke and there were no major events other than the power outage.

I want to really encourage you all to be prepared for such emergencies. We have moved twice in the last year and had let our supplies dwindle. We had no propane for the camp stove. We had no firewood. Not a good situation to be in. We did have some knowledge though and that helped us to get through until we were able to get wood and propane.

You can make your own “Sterno” at home for heating water. It is an open flame. By that I mean OPEN FLAME! Especially when initially lit. The flame starts out tall and then gets shorter. I found this to be true each time it was lit (not just the very first time). tall_flame

Never to be put where it can tip over, get knocked over, be around children (we have 5 of those), etc. I decided to clear one side of my sink and put the can in the sink to hopefully minimize any accidents.The flame is burning off alcohol so it can not be put out with water. I wanted to be clear that I put it in the sink not so I could douse it with water, but in case it tipped over I would at least not have flame rolling across my floor.  I was also careful to clear the area around the sink of anything flammable.  This homemade cooking/heating gave us some hot water and our first hot meal (Spaghetti-o’s) in 24 hours.  Having a way to heat food & drinks really boosted our moral.

Supplies:

  • Large metal can & its lid
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)

How To Make:

Clean The Can: You need a large clean metal can and it’s lid. In our case, I emptied a can of crushed tomatoes into a bowl, cleaned the can and lid (be careful of sharp edges) and dried them. Do NOT throw away the lid!

The Toilet Paper: Remove the cardboard tube from the toilet paper roll. Fold the TP roll in half length wise and then in half again (you’re crushing the roll and making it as compact as possible). Insert the roll of toilet paper into the can. Wrap additional toilet paper around your hand (making a mini-roll of TP) and compact in the same way you did the large roll – use this to fill in any spaces. Repeat until you have the can tightly packed with toilet paper.

flat_roll

folded_roll

Adding Alcohol: Slowly pour the isopropyl alcohol over over the TP in the can until the TP is saturated. This took nearly 2 bottles in my case.

Use:

Hold a match to the alcohol. It should light right up. This will burn nicely for quite some time. To put the flame out simply lay the lid on top of the flame. I am told that snuffing (eliminating any source of oxygen) is the only way to put this flame out. That is why you need the lid. I used tongs to put the lid on because I had them available. Make sure the flame is out and keep it out of the reach of children.

After several uses you see a bit of charring on the TP & some blue candle wax from lighting it (we were conserving matches).

After several uses you see a bit of charring on the TP & some blue candle wax from lighting it (we were conserving matches).

cooking

You will need to hold the pot above the flame (resting the pot on the flame will put it out). I used an oven rack across my sink.

 

**Please know that I am sharing this in the hope that it may come in handy one day to you or your family. YOU are 100% responsible for your safety should you choose to try this. I can make no guarantees on how well or how safe it is. As with any open flame; you must make sure there is proper ventilation. Keep yourselves safe! I used the canned heat several times before we were able to obtain propane for our camp stove and I had no problems using it. I made sure my children were no where near me when dealing with the can in any way.

 

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