Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Cooking Off the Grid or Post Collapse
One of the things all us preppers and survivalists do to prep is stock up on food. After all hunting and gathering will only get us so far at the beginning when shtf. If we don't have a survival gardening up and running, or if we have to leave it behind, we want to have some kind of food. That is why we stock up on food and water. No matter how much food we stock up on though, we will have to cook it, and we will eventually get sick of, or run out, of our canned food. Therefore knowing how to cook without all our modern conviences will be be an important skill when shtf, or even just for living off the grid.
For many people the idea of cooking without gas or electricity is inconceviable. We live in a world of convience where we can cook with electric or gas stoves, or even the push of a button with microwaves. When living off the grid or in a post collapse scenario you'll need some kind of different options for cooking.
Propane Propane is a great for short to medium length disaster situations and for cooking off the grid. Propane gives you the option to cook with gas, and can also be used for other uses around an off the grid home.
There are two things to consider however with propane. The first is that you may want to cook with propane outside to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide building up in your home.
The second thing to consider is that while propane can work well for off the grid living and short term survival, in the event of a long term disaster, the propane will eventually run out. In which case you will need a new way to cook.
Open Fire Perhaps the easiest way to cook is simply over an open fire. Basically its cooking camping style. A campfire cooking set up has the obvious advantage of being a mobile. You can set it up quickly, and put it out when your done. However a campfire does have the disadvantage of uneven heating, as well as having a more limited range of what can be cooked with them.
Another way to cook with open fires is a fireplace. Again uneven heating can still be a problem but a fireplace does allow for a more permanent cooking space, as well as giving a few more options on how you can cook, with the addition of the contained space.
Solar Cooking This is a great option for cooking off the grid. The best part of solar cooking is that you don't need a fuel source, because the sun provides that for you. The downside is that you need sunlight to cook. For many areas of the country this isn't a problem, however for many areas this is a problem. How long it takes to cook food is also dependent on the time of day, with it taking longer to cook in the early morning and late afternoon.
Another plus side to solar cookers is that while you can buy them, you can also make them, with there being numerous plans to build your own available online.
Wood Stoves/Ovens Wood stoves ae perhaps your best option for long term cooking both off the grid and in long term survival situations. Wood is a plentiful fuel source in many places, is a sustainable source of fuel, and can be stocked in large quanties.
Because stoves have a surface to cook on it allows for a more even heat that can be more easily controlled. This allows for more control when cooking, which in turn means you have more options for the things you can cook.
The downside to buying a wood stoves is the cost. A good stove can cost $4,000 dollars or more. However when shtf, the cost will definatly be worth it.
Another option to the traditional wood stove is an adobe oven. While they are bigger than a traditional wood stove, they do give you multiple ways to cook, and with the right materials, you can make your own oven, rather than having to buy it.
Alternative means of cooking can range from being mobile or permanent and a free diy project to a bigger investment. Whatever option you chose though, having an alternative way to cook is definatly a prep that you should look into. When it comes down to it, food is one of the most important parts of survival and if shtf, you want to make sure that you can still prepare the food you need.