A guide to self reliant living







1. Food

2. Manna

3. Water

4. Sanitation

5. Medical,

6. Kerosene heaters and cookers

7. Lighting

8. Wood
cooking and heating

9. Communi-cations

10. Essential

11. Home
built items

12. Electrical; generators
and power

13. War preparedness

14. Gardening


Miles Stair's SURVIVAL










Miles Stair's SURVIVAL


Butterfly #2641, 10 Wick Kerosene Stove
by Miles Stair

In an ideal world, everyone would have a kerosene stove.  I consider a kerosene kitchen stove to be central to the concept of being self-reliant.  Every year the electric power goes out for almost everyone during storms or hurricanes.  Without the ability to cook and heat a home, many people evacuate to a motel - and spend more per day than the cost of a kerosene stove!   Absurd, but it happens almost every day somewhere in the country.  And what about a manufactured event, like the avian flu?  Government plans already on the books call for people to be quarantined in their homes.  Smart people will want to self-quarantine to avoid unnecessary exposure to pathogens.  But what is to stop terrorists from then knocking down an electric transmission tower in a remote area?  Given that the electrical grid is tied together, an entire region would lose power.  And who would break quarantine to fix that problem?  Without a kerosene stove for cooking and a little heat, millions of people could suffer terribly.  Many would be forced to go to a shelter, a crowded shelter, and thereby almost ensure they would catch what the least resistant person in the shelter was spreading about.  No thanks.

And that is the great utility of the Butterfly #2641, 10 wick stove.  No one in their right mind would buy the least expensive stove available for cooking every day for the rest of their lives.  But everyone should have the least expensive cook stove ($34.95 delivered, as of August 24, 2008) just for that occasional power outage or other event so they can have the ability to stay in their own home. 

 [This stove is available from St. Paul Mercantile.]

The Butterfly #2641, shown at left, comes assembled except for wick installation.  At about 8 1/2" square, this is the smallest mulit-wick kerosene cook stove available.  The compact size allows it to be stored easily in the shipping box until needed. 

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

I must make the assumption that those using a #2641 will be occasional users and therefore not completely familiar with the operation of kerosene stoves.  For the sake of safety, the fuel tank should never be more than half filled.  And because this is a small stove and stoves get hot (or they would not be able to cook food!), it is safer to use the stove when it is sitting inside a strong metal tray of some kind.  Any spilled fuel is contained and the stove is easy to carry. The tray at left is a Blitz dog food tray, sold inexpensively at Wal Mart  [UPC code 004454911897].

Wick installation is the same as for any multi-wick stove.   As with all metal appliances, the Butterfly #2641 should be treated with care before use and before storage.

There are three tabs on the cast iron top plate of the #2641 which fold out.  For normal cooking, leave them folded in.  If using the stove as an emergency heater, fold the tabs out and place a heavy metal plate or concrete block on the tabs.  The flame should be adjusted to NOT impact on the plate or block.  The plate or block will act as a heat diffuser.

The #2641 is a no-frills stove, but it's cheap and it will boil water for coffee and cook bacon and eggs. St. Paul Mercantile used to carry the #2457 single-burner stove but has replaced it at my suggestion with the #2641 because it has a better fuel tank design, no sharp edges, and it comes pre-assembled. If you plan to use your stove more than for an occasional, short power outage, then I'd recommend a larger, hotter stove.  If you plan on doing a lot of canning, the 16 wick #2487 or the 22 wick #2698 are excellent stoves.  For everyday cooking of meals, the single burner #2413 and the double burner #2418 and #2419 are excellent - they are the best selling stoves in Asia.  For everyday cooking for a large family or a group, the three-burner #2415 and #2417 are excellent.  For more information and photographs, read my reviews of the individual stoves at the links below.

Be absolutely sure to order order extra wicks, as they will not be available during a dire emergency!