Essential to civilization but let’s not go that far back.
In an emergency, fire is essential for survival. You need to be able to cook and to provide heat during cold weather. Even in Hawaii, it can get cold as you go up the mountain.
In the aftermath of a hurricane, you are going to have to be able to cook and you will not have electricity to help you. Even propane will be limited to what you can store.
I live in Hawaii and the first thing that goes from our shelves in an emergency is toilet paper. Propane cylinders are close behind. The only dependable fuel supply will be wood. Be assured, a hurricane will leave plenty of kindling behind.
For camping, you will need a small stove you can carry in your backpack. For tailgating and for emergency use you will probably want a larger stove. One with more cooking surface or even to provide a safe, smokeless off the ground campfire.
Why smokeless? You will answer your own question when you try to cook on an old fashioned on the ground campfire. Tearing eyes and a choking throat takes a lot of the fun out of outdoor cooking.
Modern wood stoves for outdoor cooking burn efficiently and nearly smokeless.
In an emergency, you need to be able to cook using what is available. You need to know how to use your equipment. So, take the kids camping, introduce them to Mother Nature and make sure your equipment works and you know how to use it.
Here are some super-efficient wood stoves that will allow you to enjoy the fire without the smoke:
Numanna sells some very interesting wood stoves. I particularly like their Scout. It is a tiny wood stove designed to go in a backpack. When you use it you don’t have to carry fuel. You just gather a few twigs from wherever you choose to camp. https://numanna.com/?s=stove&post_type=product
There is one problem with using wood. It rains. If you Bar-B-Que you know how difficult it can be to even get dry charcoal burning. InstaFire makes it easy to start a fire under any conditions. The liquid fire starters are dangerous particularly when you fire needs a boost and you squirt it on a struggling fire. Liquid fire starter is petroleum-based and can leave carcinogenic residue on your food.
If you go to Amazon, you will see a confusing array of wood camp stoves. Seems everyone is making the best wood camp stove you have ever seen.
My selections are arbitrary. I like BioLite Products because the company has ingenious products beautifully engineered. They build smokeless cookstoves most of which have a USB port and that can generate enough electricity to charge your phones and laptops. They design lighting systems powered by the sun, and and they have a program which gives one device to an African family living off the grid for every stove the sell. Finally, they have an excellent affiliate program so I can act as a sales rep for them. To check BioLite Smokeless Grill.
You can check out the BioLite company and its full line of products.
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The firebox stove is a versatile wood burning stove. It is not smokeless but it is the most versatile wood camp stove I’ve seen. I think you will be intrigued by its packability and utility.
Use InstaFire even in the most severe weather such as rain, snow or high winds. Anytime, anywhere, a fire is needed, InstaFire provides a safe, clean, environmentally friendly way to start a fire. One pouch of InstaFire produces an 8-10 inch high flame for 10-15 minutes depending on conditions. InstaFire is a patented blend of volcanic rock, wood pellets, and paraffin wax.
This patented formula is what makes InstaFire water-resistant for use in even the harshest conditions.
You will need a fire to boil water and prepare food. Gas and Propane may not be available. Wood camp stoves are most reliabole because you can always scrounge kinkling.