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Off Grid cooking, appliances, stoves, fuels and tools

Strategic Preparedness – Episode 14

Off-Grid Cooking

At some point in the future, you may find yourself without the ability to use your microwaves, electric or gas stoves and ovens that you’re used to cooking with. It’s important that you have the tools and knowledge to cook your food with other methods that don’t rely on the “grid”.

Cooking is necessary for us to enjoy many types of food – not only for the taste, but also for safety, sanitation, and nutritional purposes. Today we’re going to be talking about some of the options you have for off-grid cooking, and some things to consider as you plan your purchases and storage.

Cooking tools

There are some tools in the food preparation category that you’ll want to be sure you have available. A bucket opener is important to have to open and use your food storage buckets, or the proper wrench to open a water barrel. You’ll want to have a pocket knife/multi-tool, which often includes other helpful cooking tools, like a can-opener. Be sure to try out all the accessories on your multi-tool so you know how to use them. And if you’re missing a spatula or spoon, a pocket knife can allow you to carve out a make-shift utensil which can be handy in cook preparation.

You’ll also want to have some hand-operated tools to replace ones you might have that require electricity, like grinders and mixers. Keep a good collection of pots and pans, knives and sharpeners, pot holders, pliers or vice grips for use in emergency cooking.

Get some high quality cast iron skillets, griddles and dutch ovens. Learn how to use them and take care of them. Because they hold heat so long, they are excellent for extending the life of your fuels. And if they are properly seasoned, they are almost non-stick and make cooking and clean-up easy.

Cooking appliances – Liquid Fuels

Small propane stoves or large portable Camp Chef style stoves are very handy. These can be used indoors as long as you be sure there are no fuel leaks in your tanks or hoses. Keep the larger stoves on legs, or make sure your surface under your stove is well insulated. Of course, you’ll need to be prepared with plenty of fuel. If you’re willing to make a significant investment, you can purchase a propane range and a large propane tank for long-term emergency use.

One concern you might have is the conservation of your propane. Dutch oven cooking allows you to use less fuel because the dutch oven material will absorb and store the heat. High-temperature glass mat insulation used with a Camp Chef style stove will allow you to cook with a Dutch oven on even less fuel.

Kerosene stoves and diesel stoves are other options. If you’re a farmer or truck operator with a lot of diesel fuel around, you might consider this option. These stoves must be vented outdoors.

Alcohol stoves do an excellent job and are relatively safe. Some of the backpacking alcohol stoves are fairly inefficient. Alcohol is often used at sea, so check marine supply stores for efficient alcohol stoves.

Liquid fuel is to be used only outdoors. These are from the gasoline family, and give off fumes that are not safe indoors. If you use a camp stove that uses this type of fuel, they work very well at very low temperatures. White gas appliance fuels also tend to last the longest as far as durability.

Cooking appliances – Solid Fuels

Coal stoves are often made primarily for heating but can be used for cooking. Wood stoves are also a good option. If your budget will allow for these larger appliances, they are wonderful indoors.

Rocket stoves are great for outdoor cooking, but could also be used indoors inside of a masonry fireplace. In the winter, however, you may lose a lot of heat up your chimney while your stove is in use, so you may want to keep it outside. You can purchase a rocket stove, or even make your own. When you’re shopping for a rocket stove, look for one with stainless steel or cast iron grates that will allow you to also burn charcoal. You’ll usually use small sticks and twigs, which allows you to burn very efficiently and cleanly.

It’s a good idea to learn how to make your own rocket stove in case your stove isn’t available, or if it breaks down. They can be made out of blocks, bricks, concrete, sheet metal, or even coffee cans. There are several tutorials on Youtube. Here is just one method of building a rocket stove:

Try it out

Get out your stoves that you’ve purchased and try them out! Find out the limitations and problems now while they are easy to fix. And have fun! Have an adventure cooking with these alternate methods and learn what you like to cook and how to cook them. Practice cooking efficiently to make your fuel supply go farther. You may find that your favorite foods taste even better cooked outdoors.

Listen to Episode 14

(broadcast January 9, 2017)

What are your favorite things to cook using tools that would be available off-grid? Have a recipe or technique to share? Share in the comments below!

Instructor: Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips is a nationally known speaker and teacher who has professionally taught thousands of classes all across the United States for 40 years. For a number of years prior to this career, his hobby was teaching cold weather safety & survival.

Jim is a strong advocate of self-reliance living and family preparedness. He developed an entire preparedness curriculum by asking himself the question “What if?” and then setting out to discover what actually does and does not work.

The answers he seeks (and then teaches) must be based on true principles derived from first-hand experience. Above all else, he believes that attitude and practical knowledge is more critical to survival than having a bunch of “stuff.”

Olive oil lamps, glow sticks, starting fires, and flashlights - Emergency lighting tools and techniques

Strategic Preparedness – Episode 13

Emergency Lighting (Grid Down Lighting & Cooking part 2)

Did you know that natural oil lamps are the safest flame based lamps? Lamps that burn olive oil, vegetable oil or other natural oils (not petroleum based or lamp oil based) give off no vapors at room temperature, and have a very low volatility, making them one of the best choices for indoor lighting in an emergency. And they are easy to construct with items you may have around your house. I use wire (my favorite is #12 or #14 solid copper), pliers, a mason jar (with lid), 3/4″ or 1″ wide lamp wick and olive oil. Be sure to keep a sharp pair of scissors for trimming your lamp wick to keep your lamp burning bright.

You can find instructions online on how to make a lamp similar to the one I made. There are also videos available like this one:

Of course, if you don’t want to make your own, you can buy them pretty inexpensively. Amazon.com sells one here.

To light your lamp, you’ll need to be able to create a spark. Keep plenty of matches on hand – this is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to light your lanterns. They do age though. Temperature, humidity and oxygen exposure eventually make matches unusable. For long term storage, vacuum pack your matches in an air tight container with a moisture absorber, and store them in a cool, dark place.

Butane lighters are also very useful. Disposable or refillable lighters are very handy. If using refillable lighters, be sure to have the right fuel and correct attachment for refilling your lighter. Eventually you may run out of matches, lighters, and lighter fuel. You’ll need a backup method of starting a flame.

Boy Scouts have used steel wool for a long time. Steel wool has lots of uses. Touch it carefully to a 9 volt battery for a strong spark that will help you create a flame. Keep steel wool tightly sealed up in a dry container to prevent it from being ruined by rusting. Strikers like ferrocerium rods, misch metal rods, flint and steel will do the job as well. Practice using different methods to see what works best for you.

Flameless light is the safest light to use when it’s available. Glow sticks and flashlights should be kept handy whenever possible. Glow sticks do have a limited shelf life. Individual foil wrapped sticks will store 2-4 years, whereas bulk glow sticks last only 12 to 18 months. Past their shelf life, glow times and brightness are greatly reduced.

Flashlights will require batteries of course, and they come in many different sizes. It’s advisable to buy and store as few battery types and sizes as possible to simplify storage. A simple battery charger is an excellent tool to have. Don’t mix new and old batteries – the new batteries will be drained far faster because the old batteries will consume part of their energy in the circuit.

Remember, brighter is not always better. There seems to be a contest to see which manufacturer can produce the brightest LED light. There is a place for bright lights, but when it’s dark and your eyes are adjusted to low light, a little bit of light will do wonders, and it saves power too.

Listen to Episode 13

(broadcast January 2, 2017)

Get your FREE Handout for this episode.

Follow along with the show and keep for future reference.

Download your free "Choosing Fuels" handout now!

Episode 13 Handout

Have you made your own olive oil or vegetable oil lamp? What are some tricks you use to get a fire started quickly? Share in the comments below!

Instructor: Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips is a nationally known speaker and teacher who has professionally taught thousands of classes all across the United States for 40 years. For a number of years prior to this career, his hobby was teaching cold weather safety & survival.

Jim is a strong advocate of self-reliance living and family preparedness. He developed an entire preparedness curriculum by asking himself the question “What if?” and then setting out to discover what actually does and does not work.

The answers he seeks (and then teaches) must be based on true principles derived from first hand experience. Above all else, he believes that attitude and practical knowledge is more critical to survival than having a bunch of “stuff.”

The best lanterns to use in a grid-down situation for light

Strategic Preparedness – Episode 12

Grid-Down Lighting

Light is an important tool to have. What do you do when you can’t just turn on the switch?

This week we’ll talk about some of the best lanterns and light sources you can get and learn how to use now, so you’re not trying to figure it out after the emergency comes.

It’s critical that you don’t just store away the emergency lighting that you purchase. Get it out and try it to see if it’s going to hold up like you expect! I once had a popular candle people often use in their preparedness supplies, but when I tried it, I found that it got so hot that it melted much too quickly and was unusable. Get out your supplies and see what they really do and practice using them.

Not only do your supplies need to be of good quality, you also need to practice using them. If you don’t know how to properly use things, you’ll find yourself frustrated and discouraged. You may even compromise your safety and the safety of others. Watch videos, take classes, try out things, and do it NOW before tragedy strikes.

Listen to Episode 12

(broadcast December 19, 2016)

Get your FREE Handout for this episode.

Follow along with the show and keep for future reference.

Download your free "Choosing Fuels" handout now!

Episode #12 Handout

Do you have a favorite lantern? Share in the comments below!

Instructor: Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips is a nationally known speaker and teacher who has professionally taught thousands of classes all across the United States for 40 years. For a number of years prior to this career, his hobby was teaching cold weather safety & survival.

Jim is a strong advocate of self-reliance living and family preparedness. He developed an entire preparedness curriculum by asking himself the question “What if?” and then setting out to discover what actually does and does not work.

The answers he seeks (and then teaches) must be based on true principles derived from first hand experience. Above all else, he believes that attitude and practical knowledge is more critical to survival than having a bunch of “stuff.”

Choosing the Right Fuels for Strategic Preparedness - weekly radio show by expert Jim Phillips

Strategic Preparedness – Episode 11

Choosing the Best Fuels for the Job & Conserving Them

Tonight we’re going to talk about using and conserving fuel. Look for ways to save fuels in the several different areas where we commonly will use fuels:

  • Light
  • Cooking
  • Sanitizing
  • Heating
  • Transportation
  • Power Tools

Today fuels are ubiquitous and easy to get at bargain prices — in a grid-down world they’ll be scarce and expensive, if you can find them at all.

It will become extremely important to learn how to conserve energy and fuel in such a situation.

Listen to Episode 11

(broadcast December 12, 2016)

Get your FREE Handout

Follow along with the show and keep for future reference.

Episode 11 Handout - Choosing Fuels

What tips do you have to share about using fuels for cooking, heating, and light? Share in the comments below!

Instructor: Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips is a nationally known speaker and teacher who has professionally taught thousands of classes all across the United States for 40 years. For a number of years prior to this career, his hobby was teaching cold weather safety & survival.

Jim is a strong advocate of self-reliance living and family preparedness. He developed an entire preparedness curriculum by asking himself the question “What if?” and then setting out to discover what actually does and does not work.

The answers he seeks (and then teaches) must be based on true principles derived from first hand experience. Above all else, he believes that attitude and practical knowledge is more critical to survival than having a bunch of “stuff.”

In Search of the Best Fuels - Safety and Storage. Listen to the Strategic Preparedness Show to learn how to properly use and store fuels.

Strategic Preparedness – Episode 10

In Search of the Best Emergency Fuels…continued

This is part 2 of our last episode from early in November – what fuels should you stock up on and how do you store them?

Just starting a fire to cook and keep warm by will likely not be enough. Wood doesn’t burn very efficiently out in the open, and chances are that if there’s an emergency that affects a large area, the availability of wood will become scarce pretty quickly. So what else can you use?

In this episode we’ll talk about the different fuel groups:

  • Liquid Fuels
  • Solid Fuels
  • Gaseous Fuels
  • Alternative Fuels

It’s important to know how and why to use each of these different fuels safely. Using the wrong fuels in the wrong way can be deadly! You’ll need to make sure you have the correct fuel for the appliances you want to use.

There are a lot of safety concerns when burning fuels. ALWAYS make sure you have proper ventilation when needed. How will you know what kind of ventilation and safety precautions are needed for different fuels and appliances? You’ll need to study up on it. Many appliances come with instructions or warning labels…make sure you read these very carefully. We’ll also talk about a few important safety tips in this program, so be sure to take notes. Take time to practice and gain experience with the equipment you have before you’re in a life-or-death situation.’

There are also a few alternative fuels that you might find around your house – things that you didn’t plan on using as fuel until you have no other option. Learn what these are and how you can use them safely.

Listen to Episode 10

(broadcast December 5, 2016)

What fuels and appliances do you like to use? What have you stored? We’d love to hear your stories! Share in the comments below.

Instructor: Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips is a nationally known speaker and teacher who has professionally taught thousands of classes all across the United States for 40 years. For a number of years prior to this career, his hobby was teaching cold weather safety & survival.

Jim is a strong advocate of self-reliance living and family preparedness. He developed an entire preparedness curriculum by asking himself the question “What if?” and then setting out to discover what actually does and does not work.

The answers he seeks (and then teaches) must be based on true principles derived from first hand experience. Above all else, he believes that attitude and practical knowledge is more critical to survival than having a bunch of “stuff.”

Strategic Preparedness Show moves to Monday at 5pm

Recap & Review

Bad News/Good News

The Bad News:

This week we won’t have a live show – it’s basketball season, and there’s a live game during our usual time slot for the next two weeks.

The Good News:

This gives you time to catch up on any episodes you may have missed! Take the time to download worksheets, listen to the programs, watch any videos, and better understand how you can use the content to better yourself and your family.

If you’ve been keeping up with the show, please go back and review to see what you can implement. Maybe you can purchase needed items, or talk to family members about what you’ve learned. Remember, Information times Experience = Knowledge. Get some experience with the concepts we’ve covered.

Here’s a quick recap of the topics we’ve gone over so far:

Strategic Preparedness Episode 1: What is Strategic Preparedness?
An overview of the topic of strategic preparedness and some basic information to get you started.

Strategic Preparedness Episode 2: Life Happens, Make it an Adventure
Being prepared has a lot to do with your attitude. Learn about how to change your thinking in order to better your odds of survival.

Strategic Preparedness Episode 3: Who Packed Your Parachute?
Purchasing a kit at the store will do little to prepare you for unfortunate events. Find out what you should be doing instead.

Strategic Preparedness Episode 4: We’re in this Together
In a crisis, you really can’t go it alone. Ultimately in order to recover from a major event it will take a “community” working together.

Strategic Preparedness Episode 5: Building Strategic Community
Are you a contributor, or a consumer? How will you work with, or deal with others after a major event?

Strategic Preparedness Episode 6: Are You Still With Me?
Some people struggle with the idea of preparedness. How do you involve them? Plus some important concepts you won’t want to neglect.

Strategic Preparedness Episode 7: Deadly Twin Sisters of Misery: Disease & Death
Dealing with waste, garbage, gunk, and illness will be extremely difficult when we lose the “grid” we’ve come to depend on. How can you protect yourself and your family?

Strategic Preparedness Episode 8: The Black Holes of Preparedness
When you think of preparedness, you think food storage, right? Sure it’s important, but neglecting some key topics you may not have considered could be deadly, long before you’re starving.

Strategic Preparedness Episode 9: The Best Emergency Fuels
Fuels are very important when storing items for preparedness.  You’ll need heat, light, cooking, cleaning, transportation…what should you be storing, and how?

The Extra Good News!

When we come back, we’ll be presenting our show on Monday nights from 5-6pm. This is one of KLO Radio’s most popular time slots. They’ve been getting a lot of great feedback from our show. We can’t wait to share more information with you on strategic preparedness! Tune in at our new time on Monday, December 5 at 5 pm.

Strategic Preparedness – Episode 9

 

In Search of the Best Emergency Fuels

There are common questions people ask about the fuels they should store for emergencies:

“Which is the best fuel to store?”

“Is there one that is the best that will cover all the bases?”

Storing different fuels is an important part of anyone’s preparedness program because they have important uses in each of The Nine Preparedness Modules.

There are some serious issues surrounding fuels that will be a part of your emergency readiness program. You’ll want to learn about the different types, their advantages and disadvantages and the safety issues surround each.

It’s what you don’t know that will get you into trouble, and can even be deadly. A knowledge void in an emergency is like a giant killer black hole that will suck you in and grind you up. This is especially true when dealing with fuels in stressful emergency conditions.

So you’ll want to get the right fuels that meet your particular needs, availability, cost, performance and safety. Your future comfort, well-being and safety could very well be at stake.

Listen to Episode 9

(broadcast November 3, 2016)

What’s your biggest take-away from this week’s show? Is there anything you’d still like to learn about fuels? Please leave us a comment at the bottom of the page!

Instructor: Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips is a nationally known speaker and teacher who has professionally taught thousands of classes all across the United States for 40 years. For a number of years prior to this career, his hobby was teaching cold weather safety & survival.

Jim is a strong advocate of self-reliance living and family preparedness. He developed an entire preparedness curriculum by asking himself the question “What if?” and then setting out to discover what actually does and does not work.

The answers he seeks (and then teaches) must be based on true principles derived from first hand experience. Above all else, he believes that attitude and practical knowledge is more critical to survival than having a bunch of “stuff.”

Strategic Preparedness – Episode 8

The Black Holes of Preparedness

It’s what you don’t know and don’t see that will get you into the most trouble.

When most people think of preparedness and storing supplies, they think “Food Storage”.  Storing food is a very important thing to do.  However, in terms of what can kill you first, starvation takes weeks, and long before you starve to death there are a myriad of other things that can cause suffering, injury and death.

The proper approach to living providently is to work in a balanced way as you take care of the issues that will cause the most harm first.  This episode shines some light on some of the biggest black holes to illuminate issues that many people miss

Listen to Episode 8

(broadcast November 3, 2016)

Jim mentions the following video during the radio program. Take a few minutes to watch his presentation.

Video – Three Black Holes of Preparedness

Key Note Address at Utah Prepare Conference and Expo, April 13, 2013

 

Again, thanks for tuning in! We’d love to hear your comments, questions and feedback about this week’s show. Please leave us a comment at the bottom of the page!

 

Instructor: Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips is a nationally known speaker and teacher who has professionally taught thousands of classes all across the United States for 40 years. For a number of years prior to this career, his hobby was teaching cold weather safety & survival.

Jim is a strong advocate of self-reliance living and family preparedness. He developed an entire preparedness curriculum by asking himself the question “What if?” and then setting out to discover what actually does and does not work.

The answers he seeks (and then teaches) must be based on true principles derived from first hand experience. Above all else, he believes that attitude and practical knowledge is more critical to survival than having a bunch of “stuff.”

Strategic Preparedness – Episode 7

The Deadly Twin Sisters of Misery: Disease & Death

In reality everything we do in trying to live providently will always come back to developing “community”. Episode 7 starts where we left off last week, and if you missed last weeks program, for best effect we recommend that you listen to Episode 6 before number 7.

Episode 7 finishes a most important program, The Deadly Twin Sisters of Misery: Disease and Death — Following a disasters there are two overlapping and sinister challenges that will cause more trouble than anything else.

When “things” happen, there are areas we can work through on our own (food, shelter, clothing, stored water, first aid, etc.). However, there are a few things that are very public in nature, and absolutely require unified participation from those around us. At the top of this list is the full spectrum of proper SANITATION practices.

It is important to recognize that if you are doing everything right, but others around you are not, your ability to stay well is drastically diminished, and can be almost totally negated.

Two major issues go hand in hand with most disasters of significant magnitude and duration — failed sanitation, and limited access to sanitary (potable) water. This deadly combo will kill people far more quickly than starvation or most other issues. Be prepared to overcome them, before they overcome you and your household.

Listen to Episode 7

(broadcast October 27, 2016)

Handouts

Note: The handouts for Strategic Preparedness Show Episode 7 were finished after the program was recorded. As a consequence there was one more page added. In the audio program the reference to page #2 is now the printed page #3, and each page referred to after that is one number higher than called for in the audio. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion.

Thanks for tuning in again this week. This episode is part of our Strategic Preparedness Course, which is a FREE course to help you prepare your mind and family for rough days that may lie ahead. If you’ve missed any of our previous episodes, you can catch up anytime! We’d love to hear your comments, questions and feedback about this week’s show. Please leave us a comment at the bottom of the page!
Handouts, products and links mentioned in this program:

Instructor: Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips is a nationally known speaker and teacher who has professionally taught thousands of classes all across the United States for 40 years. For a number of years prior to this career, his hobby was teaching cold weather safety & survival.

Jim is a strong advocate of self-reliance living and family preparedness. He developed an entire preparedness curriculum by asking himself the question “What if?” and then setting out to discover what actually does and does not work.

The answers he seeks (and then teaches) must be based on true principles derived from first hand experience. Above all else, he believes that attitude and practical knowledge is more critical to survival than having a bunch of “stuff.”

Strategic Preparedness – Episode 6

Are You Still With Me?

In reality everything we do in trying to live providently will always come back to developing “community”. In Episodes 4 & 5 we started in to formally addressing the concept of community, and this always brings up some questions.

So the first part of this program is addressing some of the questions and concerns that have arisen from those two shows. There are five that Jim takes on at the beginning of this week’s program.

There are several critical issues that can only be dealt with through the efforts of people working in “common-unity”. In the next portion of the program and continuing on next week Jim dives into the first and worst (most important) of the community bases solutions that must be properly addressed.

Fail in this area and food-storage, security preparations, heat, light, first aid or anything else will eventually be of no worth! You have got to get this right from the very beginning.

Listen to Episode 6

(broadcast October 20, 2016)

Handouts

Episode 6 Handout #1
Episode 6 Handout #1 Page 1-3
Episode 6 Handout #2
Episode 6 Handout #2 Pages 4-5

Thanks for tuning in again this week. This episode is part of our Strategic Preparedness Course, which is a FREE course to help you prepare your mind and family for rough days that may lie ahead. If you’ve missed any of our previous episodes, you can catch up anytime! We’d love to hear your comments, questions and feedback about this week’s show. Please leave us a comment at the bottom of the page!

Handouts, products and links mentioned in this program:

Instructor: Jim Phillips
Jim Phillips is a nationally known speaker and teacher who has professionally taught thousands of classes all across the United States for 40 years. For a number of years prior to this career, his hobby was teaching cold weather safety & survival.

Jim is a strong advocate of self-reliance living and family preparedness. He developed an entire preparedness curriculum by asking himself the question “What if?” and then setting out to discover what actually does and does not work.

The answers he seeks (and then teaches) must be based on true principles derived from first hand experience. Above all else, he believes that attitude and practical knowledge is more critical to survival than having a bunch of “stuff.”