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An Emergency Cook Stove

March 26, 2011

I learned another one of those lessons this winter. I learned that when the weather gets really cold, and if you have any water condensation in your gas lines; your gas regulator can freeze up, and you are out of business as far as getting the old cook stove lit.. We have a gas stove in our kitchen. It runs off of the small 20 pound size bottles; you know, the kind that are on your outdoor grill. Here’s the problem. Our bottles and the gas regulator are above ground, and this winter we had a spell where the temperature got down into the teens. Apparently our regulator froze up, and no matter what I did, the kitchen stove wouldn’t light. I guess I could have disconnected the regulator and brought it inside to thaw out, but this seemed like a lot of hassel, especially in 14 degree weather; so I went out to the shop, dug around on the storage shelves, and came up with my Coleman camp stove and a couple of small bottles of propane. This little two burner stove worked like a champ, and as long as you don’t need to bake something it will take care of any cooking job.


I remember when we lived in Dallas, years ago, I think it was the winter of 1979. There was a really bad ice storm. Tens of thousands of people lost power; a bad deal for people with all electric homes. Then for some reason, which escapes my memory, the above ground gas meters started to explode. So whole areas of town had the gas shut off. Now you had people without electricity or gas, and temperatures in the 20’s. It took less than a day for every camp stove in town to disappear from the shelves. You couldn’t buy one for any price. People who could afford it moved into hotel and motel rooms in parts of town that still had power. After all the rooms were rented, or for people who couldn’t afford a room; it was wrap up in blankets and eat cold beans. Not a pleasant situation. So my point is, don’t wait until the power goes out and then have to fight for a cook stove. Buy yourself a nice, two burner camp stove and ten or twelve mini-bottles of propane now. It doesn’t cost much, and it can sure save you a lot of misery

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