SHTF School: Fire


Selco emphasizes the importance of a fundamental.

Got heat?

4 responses to “SHTF School: Fire

  1. For about $10 at a gun show, you’ll find people selling those little Magnesium sticks with a handle, and a steel part and an attached bit of hacksaw blade, that will start a fire in a hurricane, or snowstorm. Good for several thousand lights.

  2. Cassandra (of Troy)

    For anyone who may see this, a ratcheting fire drill (spring drive optional) w/ a variable chuck-type mouth sounds like a dandy lil’ item to me as it’s not dependent on spark production to start a fire & therefore has no betraying flash/scraping sound, is tougher than a burning lens & works in total darkness, is actually enhanced by wind, & will ignite even quite damp wood after awhile. It should be of appropriately robust construction/materials, fast enough in either ratchet only or ratchet/spring configuration to generate enough friction to accomplish its task w/o a great amount of time/effort (making it better for kids/the elderly/sick/injured to use) & also easy to disassemble for cleaning/repair. Size would be about 2-3″W/5+”L w/ a waterproof storage compartment big enough for spare parts &/or combustion enhancing substances like wood/coal dust, Esbit/G.I.-type solid fuel tabs, kitchen/lifeboat match heads, etc.

    Sooner or later, magnesium/similar spark generators’ll run out as will matches & various gaseous/liquid/solid chem-based fuel sources & if one doesn’t know what to look for flint’s just another rock, but wood can be found almost anywhere & so the utility of the above device is self-evident.

    Just a thought.

    Cassandra (of Troy)

  3. Cassandra (of Troy)

    There are kits that turn 15-16, 30, & 55gal steel barrels/drums into really good heaters w/ a minimum amount of effort & many include stands/doors/chimney ducting. Make sure that the barrel/drum to be used is the unlined type as the liner gives off toxic fumes when heated, & THOROUGHLY clean the the inside of the barrel/drum BEFORE use. This can be easily done by taking it to a car wash, but be advised that most facilities SERIOUSLY frown on being used for such purposes & many localities/states also prohibit same so caution & deviousness is key. Another thing is that after the barrel/drum has been THOROUGHLY washed, make sure that ALL paint &/or coating is removed from the inside & outside of the barrel/drum BEFORE conversion/use by either burning it away, chemically stripping it, using a wire wheel on a portable grinder, or sandblasting. You don’t want to breathe what’s been in the barrel/drum as it just might kill you in a very bad way. Disbelieve/disregard at your peril.

    Pre-fabbed fuel grates & cooking racks can either be bought (think BBQ supplies) or made from cut-up steel shopping carts, but if the second option’s chosen make sure that ALL paint or plating is removed BEFORE use. The reason’s obvious for doing so w/ painted carts but it’s just as important for the plated type as some plating’s toxic, the good news is that paint & plating stripper is readily available & if that method’s unacceptable sandblasting units can be rented or the pre-cut cart pieces can be taken to a shop that’ll do it.

    Disassembling the cart isn’t all that hard if a saw, cutting torch, or big bolt cutters are used, & the grate/rack supports consist of bolts screwed thru holes in the sides of the barrel/drum w/ a washer between the bolt head & the barrel/drum outside & a washer between the nut & the barrel/drum inside. Make sure to put the appropriate high-temp rated sealer on the outside of the barrel/drum BEFORE installing the washer/bolt/nut assemblies or smoke & carbon monoxide will leak into the room.

    Another problem in a SHTF situation is smoke/odor control as such can reveal one’s presence leading to all sorts of unnecessary, & quite likely horrible, occurrences. Smoke/odor removal is easily done w/ extra ducting, & if it’s cooled by use of heat exchangers before exiting one not only gets more heat in more places but the remaining gases tend not to spread as widely & as such reduce the chance of involuntary discovery & uninvited guests. For urban/suburban dwellers, the simplest smoke/odor removal solution is tapping into the sewer system but there’s no guarantee that it’ll be dispersed & diffused enough to prevent being backtracked even if cooled by the concrete. Same goes for diversionary ducting unless a LOT (300+ yards) is used & the gases are cooled sufficiently before exiting.

    The above mini-treatise on smoke/odor removal may appear to be overly paranoiac, but this is one of those things that can really come back to bite you hard & fatally if not given consideration equal to that of water, weaponry, food, commo, hygiene, & garbage/waste disposal. As w/ training, the more comprehensive one’s security is the better things tend to go, & when the children of Hobbes are out & about looking to frolic one can’t be too careful.

    One more thing. There’s an interesting device called a Stirling cycle fan that’s powered by the heat produced from the top of the heater. It’s a neat gadget. The following are some examples, but be advised that the English one’s unavailable & therefore for informational purposes only. It’s just like one made in Alabama but from what I’ve read the company’s folded & the English company just doesn’t seem to have any of their own in stock. How odd……. The other one’s made in Canada & I don’t know how good it is so you’re on your own if you get one. There’s also a company that has kits but they require machinist time to get ready for assembly & that time ain’t cheap.

    Whisper Stirling Powered Stove Fan
    http://gyroscope.com/d.asp?product=WHISPERENGINE

    Freebreeze Fans
    http://www2.cyg.net/~frebreeze/

    These are the kits

    Essex Hot Air Fan Casting Kit
    http://myersengines.com/engines/essex_fan.htm

    Hot Air Stove Fan Engine
    http://myersengines.com/engines/stove_fan_engine.htm

    Hope the above helps.

    Cassandra (of Troy)