Survival Camp Stove

Learning from the Homeless

A couple of days ago someone showed me this youtube below.  I’ve always thought it could get this bad, but I never thought it actually WAS this bad.

The situation apparently is worst in California but the rest of the U.S. and the world for that matter, are not far behind.  There really isn’t the time to go into all the why’s and how’s but really to note that the time to bug out has come for a lot of people.  The SHTF didn’t happen in the way we thought it would though.  It’s happening more slowly.

I don’t mean to say that we should ever imagine ourselves getting caught in this trap but there are some things we could learn from the experiences of these people:

  • First that finding yourself living in a tent is conceivable in this day and age.
  • Second that a camping tent over the long haul is going to be VERY uncomfortable..especially in winter without a survival camp stove.
  • Third that bugging out is getting more complicated as time goes on….the unexpected with really be unexpected.

Winter in a Tent

Or in anything but a centrally heated home is going to be a shock and terror to most people in North America.  If you are bugging out for a short time then what you carry on your back and a tent without heat can be sufficient.  But if you are going on for more than a few days in the winter cold, you are going to need to be able to heat your tent or shelter.

For people on the streets, you can see how it is like being stranded in the wilderness but without any hope for rescue.  It can go on and on being more and more exhausting and demoralizing as each day passes.  I know that most of us don’t like to look at things like this.  And I don’t recommend upsetting your vibration by ruminating on it too long, but I think it’s worth considering what you would do well to have on hand if you found yourself in this situation

The reality is that bugging out could mean something less sudden than an EMP pulse or where everyone is in a crisis at the same time.  I am starting to realize that the way the world works is that the richest will be the last to suffer the consequences of ANY emergency.  That being true it could also be true that they will be the last to even know something has happened.

Something is happening but most of us with electricity and a roof over our heads and dinner in our bellies won’t notice anything wrong until one of those things personally affects us.

But I’m going off course a bit here. What I really wanted to talk to you about is…

How to Get Heat into a Tent

There are stoves that are specially designed to be operated in a tent and there are tents that are constructed to have a wood heating stove.  There are lightweight options but the heavier options will last you longer.  A cast iron stove, for example, is going to last a lot longer than one made with thinner metals.  It will take more abuse but will be terrible to carry.

Ultralight stoves are great for a backpack but are very expensive.  A stove I recently found on eBay looks to be not incredibly heavy but sturdy enough as well as being a decent price

Lightweight Packer Wood Stove


There are of course heavier and lighter types of stove but just remember the longer you are going to be out there you are going to want bigger and tougher which means heavier.  The Packer is going to run about 12 Lbs.

The Ultralight stove that I really like for extended (but not too extended) periods would be made from Titanium.  There are a few manufacturers of these types of stove but the one I like is the Seek Outside series.  They have ultralight tents that go with them and the combos are VERY expensive.  If you can afford the stove or both the stove and tent to go for it, get the titanium (you know from my other articles I love titanium).  The lightness will give you the ability to be far more mobile

A medium stove will weigh 31 oz plus 2 oz per foot of stovepipe

The Tent

If you take a look at the Seek Outside Website you will notice that the tents have no floors and are pretty simple tipi-like structures.  (I am not affiliated with Seek Outside in any way I just like their stuff)

The main thing to consider when setting up a tent for a stove is that it cannot really have a fabric floor and that the tent has a “stove jack”  That is the insulative or fireproof area around the stovepipe hole in the tent.  If you are going to use a canvas or create your own structure to fit a stove make sure to get a stove jack.  Stove jacks for tents are pretty inexpensive and with a sewing ki, you could get pretty creative with the placement of a stove like this as far as under a general tarp or lounging area as well as sleeping areas.

Long Term

One of the things you might notice when looking at the California video is that people don’t just need a sheltered place to sleep.  They need larger sheltered places to sit, cook, clean and try to work on longer term plans.

In future articles, I’m going to talk about hand tools you could pack to replicate a shelter like the one above.

They also need sheltered places to store things.  Since it was California I suspect their need for a “hot tent” with a stove isn’t going to be that critical.  But a larger tent like a wall tent is going to keep you from going ‘batty’ for longer.

Of course, a tent this size is going to need a bigger stove than I’ve shown here but you get the idea.  For a long-term encampment as seen in homeless areas in California and in colder places, you are going to need a place to stand to walk around a bit and function in a temperature controlled environment to be able to function optimally.  A smaller tent or two could easily fit inside a wall tent like this and provide additional warmth to sleeping areas as well the wall tent will absorb a lot of the noise from rain and give at least the feeling of a bit of distance between yourself and the weather.

Otherwise, if you plan to keep mobile in the snow, pack a titanium stove in your bug out bag along with a hot tent (meaning floorless with stove jack).


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