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

    Freebreeze Fans

    These are the kits

    Essex Hot Air Fan Casting Kit

    Hot Air Stove Fan Engine

    Hope the above helps.

    Cassandra (of Troy)