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Storing Propane Tanks/Cooking During a Power Outage

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CanCricket
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Storing Propane Tanks/Cooking During a Power Outage

Postby CanCricket » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:33 am

Oh, the joys of trying to prep in an apartment.

I'd like to get a small camp stove for emergencies and power outages. They seem to run on small propane cylinders. However, all the advice I read states that storing propane cylinders is a no-no. So, where do you store them? I know inside my apartment can't happen. I'm thinking of the keeping them in my storage locker, which is a huge concrete area in the basement with very high ceilings and it quite cool. Is there a risk for doing this? I don't want to put anyone or anything at risk.

I'm also open to alternative options for basic cooking during a power outage. I considered a solid alcohol stove, but everything I read tells me that the tablets stink during storage and make a mess when burned.
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Re: Storing Propane Tanks/Cooking During a Power Outage

Postby Learner » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:48 am

You could get a butane stove. They work very well inside, just have a window cracked open. They usually run around the $25-30 area. You can usually find them at Cdn Tire and Home Hardware, among other places. Its the kind of thing they use for food demonstrations.
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Re: Storing Propane Tanks/Cooking During a Power Outage

Postby helicopilot » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:33 am

I agree that butane is a great option. In your case. They come on sale from time to time. Hexamine tablets stink awful and even more so while burning. Another option would be an esbit stove there you can burn denatured alcohol. Good do boil water and maybe warm up canned soup or stew. You can easily store a quart of denatured alcohol (sold in paint departments), it's quite cheap, and an ounce is more than enough to bring about 1.5-2 cups of water to a boil. I have one in my "GHB" with 6 oz of fuel in a PET bottle.
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Re: Storing Propane Tanks/Cooking During a Power Outage

Postby CanCricket » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:36 am

Thanks helicopilot. You don't have any links to that type of Esbit stove, do you? I've seen some Esbit's but they all seem to use the solid (i.e. stinky) fuel tablets. Does denatured alcohol burn clean, therefore being suitable for indoor use?
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Re: Storing Propane Tanks/Cooking During a Power Outage

Postby peppercorn » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:31 am

Well it looks like I will be the odd man out but I will say look at propane again. I have all the other fuels too but over all I have come to respect the power (and ease of use)of propane when 1st used for cooking, 2nd less so but still great for emergency light....other uses its harder to justify unless the cost is cheap.
Take a look on most apartment decks will sit a 20 pounder hooked to a barbeque. Most people don't understand how much power is in a tank because when its used in a barbeque, that device is throwing out 30 to 60- 80thousand btus depending on the size, cook one meal a day on your Barbie and you will burn through that tank in less than a month (3 week my experience) Put on a single small burner like in my pic and you can bring a liter of water to a roiling boil three times a day for over 4 months. It stores forever, doesn't spill, doesn't go bad.
In the picture is a 22 dollar part you can buy from ct that lets you put the burner onto a 20 pound bottle, or put on a mantel lamp I have one of the mantel lamps but cant say how long the tank will last using it for light cause I haven't tested it for duration, but a long time I am sure.
A 20 pounder on your deck, a 20 pounder in your storage space, and keep a 20 pounder in your trunk and you have cooking covered for a year!
The small 1 pounder bottles work too, I have a dozen or so of them, but I refill them myself, if you don't refill them yourself it gets expensive fast!

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CanCricket
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Re: Storing Propane Tanks/Cooking During a Power Outage

Postby CanCricket » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:40 am

You're not the odd man out, peppercorn. I actually prefer the idea of propane. It's just storage, and a lack of outdoor space in my apartment (no balcony), that's my main concern.
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Re: Storing Propane Tanks/Cooking During a Power Outage

Postby helicopilot » Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:57 pm

CanCricket wrote:Thanks helicopilot. You don't have any links to that type of Esbit stove, do you? I've seen some Esbit's but they all seem to use the solid (i.e. stinky) fuel tablets. Does denatured alcohol burn clean, therefore being suitable for indoor use?


This is the kit I have http://www.redsgear.com/esbit-alcohol-b ... hgodmbQO0w. You can also use the tablets if you want so it's dual purpose. With alcohol, it burns "clean" but like any open flame, it would release some gazes so you would need to open a window or something to bring in fresh air. I didn't use that store (i can't remember where I bought mine) but that's the first picture that popped up on google.
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Re: Storing Propane Tanks/Cooking During a Power Outage

Postby Danux » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:08 pm

I also have a couple of burners, like Peppercorn's, they're great for a single pot. There are setups that use the little green 1lb bottles with two burners, as well. They generally look like a grill, but can also offer a burner, usually green in colour. Like this:

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if you need to cook more at once. You would still have to store the little green bottles, not sure there is an easy solution for your fuel and circumstance.

I've also used alcohol a fair bit, it works, but it's inferior to propane IMHO, messier, doesn't seem to burn as hot. Trangia has been making theirs for years, but there are a few manufacturers:
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If alcohol seems like a good idea, there are "sailboat" options from a company called Origo, that I am aware of. One and/or two burner stovetops, plus a two-burner + oven, alcohol-fueled appliance.
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About the only benefit I see to alcohol is that you could make your own fuel, if push came to shove. And, an alcohol stove works better than a tea candle in those upside-down-flower-pot "heaters". I buy methyl hydrate from Home hardware to burn, usually in my spectacularly simple Vargo Triad:
Image

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Re: Storing Propane Tanks/Cooking During a Power Outage

Postby jonesy » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:20 pm

CanCricket wrote:You're not the odd man out, peppercorn. I actually prefer the idea of propane. It's just storage, and a lack of outdoor space in my apartment (no balcony), that's my main concern.


Get the brass part on eBay to refill the 1-pounders from the 20s. Much cheaper. Or just buy a few 3-packs. Propane stores very well, and carting a one pound up from your storage is a piece of cake. Don't worry about storing in your apt, the tanks don't explode on contact:). Also the 1-lb bottles use the same threading as blowtorch tanks, FYI. So dual-use bonus:; Creme Brule' before the apocalypse, cooking after:)

Me, I'd just go with the 20 lb tanksx3& a Coleman stove, as mentioned, get the hose at CT or Wally World to run the stove off of them, and you are super set. Just keep a window open during use. One 20 lb in your closet floor won't even be noticed!

If the emergency is that big, bylaws of the strata will mean diddly.
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Re: Storing Propane Tanks/Cooking During a Power Outage

Postby morningcoffee » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:15 am

We have a number of different options in our house, but if I was in an apartment I would probably go the butane route. They can be found really reasonably priced (ours was $14) in local Chinatown and the butane refills last quite a while and come in 5 packs often. You get a single burner which would be enough to do a one pot meal. We have used ours to do New Year's Eve Asian hot pot meals as they simmer the cooking broth beautifully and do a great job cooking fish, meat and veggies. I really like the ones we have as they are very easy to clean, simmer really well (which coleman stoves aren't always great for) and are very gentle on fuel, small to store (the refills are quite compact compared to a 20 lb propane tank) . They are safe for indoor use (often see them at brunches in hotels, etc) unless you are in a very tiny confined space as they will give off a small amount of carbon monoxide and you might want to crack a window open slightly, but the Coleman stoves are not rated for indoor use but if you were to do so you would want a window or patio door wide open, as they produce more CO. There are small propane or white gas units that produce less CO than the Coleman stoves, but they are typically a lot more expensive. Check out Cabela's or Mountain Equipment Coop to see those. This is of course, my opinion, and everyone has one! Good Luck...
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