November 2019 Meeting Notes

November 9, 2019

  • Fire starting – flint and steel, fire plow, tender, Dakota fire pit, dealing with rain and dampness.
  • How to cook using a tripod and cast iron dutch oven and other cast iron utensils.
  • How to make a brick rocket stove
  • Alcohol stoves demo

Building a Rocket Stove

After discussion about the bulk radio purchase, the meeting began with a demonstration of how to build a rocket stove from standard concrete blocks. Dave built one and demonstrated how it works, and then showed several variations on the design. A quick search on YouTube will show various designs.


Using a Cooking Tripod

Another important aspect of primitive cooking is the use of a tripod to suspend a pot over the fire. At a time when food is scarce, the most common meal will probably be soups and stews with whatever is available at the time.

Cooking tripod with cast iron pot.

Fire-Starting Methods

Several methods of starting a fire were discussed and demonstrated.

While it is important to know various ways of starting a file, the point here is NOT to become highly skilled at using a flint and steel to start a fire. The point is realize the importance of having matches and/or a lighter so you don’t have to resort to something like flint and steel.

Have it With You

EDC Pocket kit. Outside pocket contains flashlight and spare keys.
EDC Pocket kit. Two fire-starting methods here: magnifying glass and “peanut” lighter. Also shown: S&W tactical pen, pocket knife, nail clipper, pill containers, flash drives.

Alcohol Stoves

Alcohol stoves – also called Spirit stoves – are about as simple as a cooking stove can get. There are no moving parts, no seals, and no pump. There is even a group of folks who enjoy designing and building their own alcohol stoves from things like discarded soda cans. Alcohol stoves use Denatured Alcohol, which is available by the quart or gallon in the paint section of just about any hardware store. Note that you must use Denatured Alcohol – rubbing alcohol, etc., will not work. It shouldn’t be needed, but we’ll point out here that Denatured Alcohol is a poison – not just sort of toxic, but highly toxic.

Trangia burner and stove. Weight = 7 ounces.
Trangia burner and stove assembled.
EverNew Titanium burner and stove. Weight = less than 2 ounces. Also shown is 8 ounces of Denatured Alcohol in a Stanley stainless steel flask: weight = 12 ounces.
Assembled EverNew Titanium burner and stove.
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