Saturday, February 6, 2010

Emergency Stove - Butterfly #2412 Kerosene

Kerosene stoves, refrigerators, heaters, lanterns all are available to people looking for an alternative to high pressure, highly volatile fueled devices or those requiring on-grid or regular service delivery.
On the smaller side and a bit safer would be this copy of the venerable Swedish made Optimus-45 brass kerosene pressure stove called the Butterfly 2412 Pressure Stove.
Assembled in Indonesia the stove is put together well enough to last out most emergency situations and carry on for years. It would make one of several good choices to have stowed away in your emergency gear or camp because it is not expensive to own or operate.
The butterfly has some advantages over higher priced stoves in that the fuel required is relatively inexpensive in comparison and available in bulk from gas stations ($2.99 gallon) if need be. Gas station fuel is tinted red for IRS purposes but works just fine.
K-1 fuel can also be obtained seasonally from chain hardware stores like Ace, Lowe's and Home Depot in 1 or 5 gallon cans. (Hint: Remove the child safe plastic cap you see here on the metal can as it is a pain to open if injured or weak in an emergency)
A clean burning kerosene alternative is Klean-Heat which is about $10 a gallon at Home Depot.
There are no wicks to replace and the stove operates by placing a small quantity of 90% alcohol or fire ribbon paste in the lower cup and igniting that in order to heat up the tubes in the burner. These heated tubes will vaporize the kerosene when it is pumped up using the built in hand pump. That vaporized kerosene will be forced out of the small orifice in the burner and ignited either from the flames below or with a match or lighter. Flame can be adjusted higher by more pumping or lowered to a simmer by opening the bleed valve on the tank cap.
This unit will accept large pots unlike most backpacking stoves and can also be broken down into several parts. It can be carried in an upright position with the tank cap valve slightly open or it will leak out the orifice. A small cleaning needle is included with the stove as kerosene can leave deposits that need to be periodically cleaned from the orifice. Soaking the burner in vinegar or using carb cleaner periodically will keep it free of deposits.
Learn to take care of yourself folks...this is inexpensive insurance. Plus you can use it camping.
Can use the same fuel as alternative heating/refrigeration devices.
Fuel is less volatile / safer to store and widely available.
Can accept larger cooking pots and you can build a support for larger pots around this easily.
Can work with multiple fuels - bio-diesel, fuel oil, diesel, mineral spirits as well as kerosene.
Folds up compact and can be stored easily.
One gallon of fuel can last for up to 32 hours of cook time.
All you need is a small funnel to fill the tank.
Can be purchased for $50 from St. Paul Mercantile who is carrying spare parts as well.

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