Testing my Sterno stove and stuff

February 21, 2012

I finished up the house cleaning for the storm and I got everything in the yard and patio ready or put away.  Looks like the weather service is down grading the wind to 40 mph rather than 60. Still a stiff breeze but a lot more manageable.  Plugged in all battery chargers and the Laptop battery.  I have one of those little Black & Decker portable power stations that you see folks use to jump car batteries.  I got mine used without the jumper cables for a good price and I love it. It has a cigarette lighter outlet and a regular AC plug outlet,  a  200 watt inverter built in, so it’s great for charging small items and I have one of those 12volt DC car fans that I have run about 48 hours on one charge. The cell phone is all charged up and it will be good for several days because I use it as a phone and not a toy.

I tested out my emergency Sterno Stove and a couple of containers for heating water. I was impressed in about 5 minutes the stove had heated  a cup (12 oz. Aluminum) lightly covered with tinfoil to about 120-130F and I think a couple more minutes it would have been boiling.  I also tested my Aluminum water bottle I got at the Dollartree store. This was a colored bottle in blue not the standard silver color and it holds 25 oz. I put about 20 oz of water in the bottle and within 10 minutes it had reached about 120 degrees F.  I used a bit of tinfoil to cover the top of the bottle rather than the hard plastic cap. I don’t know if the blue color is painted on or applied in a different way but there was no bubbling or peeling on the bottom from the flame touching the bottle.  I will be getting several more of those water bottles in different color as they will make a great way for rationing drinking water.  Plus I’ll be adding them to the BOBs as a cooking vessel.

The Sterno Stove I got on sale for $4.00 and it folds flat. You can buy Sterno Emergency Kit that includes several candles, two cans of fuel and the stove for under $20.00. Cases of canned heat can be found in your average megamart or in camping sections for under $20.00. Each can should last about 1.5 -2 hours and you won’t be cooking a regular meal on one. But I think for making tea, coffee or boiling water for a meal or for safe drinking,  this would be a great little stove to have on hand. I have one in my BOB and I keep one in the car in my little survival shoebox.

As you can see you don’t need a lot of money getting thing that will work for at least the basics and good enough. My total cost is:

  1. Folding Sterno stove $4.00 (on sale)
  2. Canned heat $1.00-$2.00 per can
  3. Aluminum Water bottle $1.00

So for less than $10.00 you can have several of these little stoves to heat water and won’t take much room and give you enough energy for cooking for 3 days easy with a couple of cans of fuel per person.  I think this would be great for folks with kids as the kids could have their own personal stove that is relatively safe and little food/drink packs.  You could make it a lot of fun by adding in the makings for s’mores in the kids BOB and have them practice a bug out.