Alternatives for Consumables - Member ideas

twp

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I'm putting this on the public side of the forum so it is visible to non-registered guests. Now there is even more incentive to register so you can contribute to this thread.

The intent of this thread (with some allowance for thread drift:eek:) is to offer alternatives to the various consumable items in our prepper stockpile.

Example; store wax in bulk contains as alternative heating and lighting fuel. You can only store so many propane/butane canisters (or none at all in my case) and eventually you will run out. Wax can be found in bee hives which makes it a renewable resource.

So, what are your alternative/fall back items?
 

twp

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One drawback to the wax tabs in the article is the smoke and smell. But they are easy to make and lightweight for carry and the are higher BTU output, per tab then esbit.

@Atlas; how do yours compare on the smoke/smell factor?
 

Atlas

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Not as clean as a true esbit tab, but the paper is probably the main culprit.
 

twp

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I would think that the smoke is due to the hydrocarbon (wax) and the inefficient wick. Consider that oil lamps, using a wick, can be adjusted to very low smoke output, just as a plain wax candle can burn without smoke.

I can see a design for a reusable wick, made of glass fiber, which would sit on top of the wax tablet. It would last a very long time and could be made from fiberglass insulation found in many homes.
 

hypnos

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I would think that the smoke is due to the hydrocarbon (wax) and the inefficient wick. Consider that oil lamps, using a wick, can be adjusted to very low smoke output, just as a plain wax candle can burn without smoke.

I can see a design for a reusable wick, made of glass fiber, which would sit on top of the wax tablet. It would last a very long time and could be made from fiberglass insulation found in many homes.
I saw a guy years ago use a fiberglass rope soaked with alcohol epoxied to his homemade alcohol stove to preheat the fuel inside. It's reusable for quite a long time by the looks of things, maybe you could use something like that as a reusable wick? My little wood stove, bushbuddy solo stove burns waste oil very well when it is hot with some wood burning first. The flame cleans up, is very uniform and roast your eyebrows- hot. Deer talo, vegetable oil, etc all burns well.
 

hypnos

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For dish washing "detergent" on extended camping trips i have used wood ashes and a little sand.

I boil water in my dirty container , add ashes and sand or small rocks, then use my dirty clothes, like socks etc, to scour the pot and clean my clothing after a good rinse at the same time. A good thick pair of wool socks make decent oven mitts as well hahaha.

For drying wool i would hold both socks in my hand and spin them as i sat near the fire. Provides a little bit of a bellow effect, getting air to the fire, and helps ward off the smoke that chases you around inevitably, and increases dry speed, Of course your socks will smell like smoke, but i have read early native American accounts of keeping their feet toward wood smoke while resting. It is supposedly a cure for bacteria and fungi that can be dangerous for your feet if not treated, so i don't imagine it would be bad for your socks.
 
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hypnos

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Esbit tablets are a fall back cooking fuel for me, but they are expensive. Instead of the actual tablets I make my own.

Here is a similar method.
https://www.survivalpunk.com/homemade-fuel-tabs/
I like that idea allot. I would try leaving them in full rolls for storage, if you had a bigger amount of water you wanted to boil you could cut any appropriate size. Might be a good idea to dummy proof things a little by marking cut off points in minutes of burn time with a sharpie.
 

Sally Rudd

Active Member
Esbit tablets are a fall back cooking fuel for me, but they are expensive. Instead of the actual tablets I make my own.

Here is a similar method.
https://www.survivalpunk.com/homemade-fuel-tabs/
A camping friend of mine uses this method, only he uses an icecube tray to shape them.

He also mentioned the smoke and residue, but he rates them. I might have to have a go.

Oh and I've just had a look on Hiram's site (I love Hiram!) he came up trumps!

 

Atlas

Administrator
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I like that idea allot. I would try leaving them in full rolls for storage, if you had a bigger amount of water you wanted to boil you could cut any appropriate size. Might be a good idea to dummy proof things a little by marking cut off points in minutes of burn time with a sharpie.
That is a really good idea. Next time I make them I will do it that way.
 

twp

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Atlas

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A camping friend of mine uses this method, only he uses an icecube tray to shape them.

He also mentioned the smoke and residue, but he rates them. I might have to have a go.

Oh and I've just had a look on Hiram's site (I love Hiram!) he came up trumps!

I like the ice cube tray idea as well. That might be a better way to go.

Thank you for the videos. Both are great!
 

twp

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Thanks @Sally Rudd, I'll watch some of those later today.
 

hypnos

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I have seen people use the chemical abosbant from diapers for different things, mainly as a growing media for planter pots. Because it absorbs water well, it prevents root rot and releases water to the soil as it drys over time, but i wonder if it couldn't absorb alcohol as well.
 
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