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wood burning free standing fireplaceMini Preppers and Wood Stoves


A wood stove, or a fireplace insert, is one of the best survival items a mini prepper can put in their homes.  It is a source of both heat, light, and cooking food.


The above wood stove is an economy model, although wood stoves are not inexpensive.  To buy one with metal trim around the doors costs a lot more money.  However, the important thing about this wood stove is that the top is flat.  That means that you can put trivets on it, and cast iron pots for cooking.


Gas stoves are wonderful for warmth, but you cannot cook on them, and if the gas lines go down in an earthquake, the stove will not work. That is why the wood stove is the most desired item for mini preppers.


To cook on a wood stove you need some cast iron cookware, some trivets, and a temperature gauge.  You will also want to keep a pot of water on the top to keep humidity in the room.  Some people like to have hot water ready at all times for a warm drink or to quickly hydrate food.


The temperature gauge will help you determine the temperature on the top of your stove.  The temperature will vary from the back to the front.  Pans are put on the trivets to keep items from getting too hot.


You can also learn how to bake on a wood stove top by placing items on a trivet, and then covering them with a lid.  Be aware that cast iron takes a long time to heat up, so if you want to make a quick batch of pancakes, use a very thin metal pan.


It is skill to learn how to cook on the top of a wood stove.  You may never want to do more than make a few stews or heat up water.  You are the one who determines who much you want to learn.  The important thing is that you have options.


wood stove temperature gauge

wood burning stove trivet for cooking

cast iron oven for wood stove or charcoal cooking


Wood Stove Temperature Gauge

Cast Iron Trivet

Dutch Oven


Note:  the Dutch oven in the picture above has a flat top.  That is necessary when you cook with charcoal, but not on a wood stove.


The size you cut your wood will depend on your wood stove.  Ours will take an 18-inch log.  If you have a large, secure backyard, you may want to store regular firewood.


However, if you cannot store wood in your yard, which may be for several reasons, you can store pressed logs in your garage.  These logs burn a long time, and can be stored inside as they don't get bugs.  You can line them up in your garage along the sides of the walls.  Our homeowner association restricts woodpiles in our yard, so we use our garage.  One of the benefits of storing wood inside is that it is secure from theft.


Trying to light the outside of a pressed log is like trying to light a brick, so you do need fire starter and some kindling.  Actually, we found the easiest way to start the fire was to cut off a few biscuits from the end of the log and make a teepee.  Place the fire starter under the biscuits, add your newspaper or kindling, and the wood will ignite.  Just a couple logs will last for hours.


Below is the next best alternative to a wood stove- a fireplace insert.  Not the flat cooking surface.



pressed logs for wood burning stove

wood burning fireplace insert with cooktop


Pressed logs stored in the garage
with fire starter

Fireplace insert with cooking surface







Emergency Preparation and  Prepping Articles

More tips and perspectives on how to prepare and cope with natural  disasters and other emergency situations.



Recipes Using Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Foods

Recipes using long term food storage -  freeze dried and dehydrated food


Easy Recipes Using  Canned Food

Recipes that are easy to make and use items that you can purchase in the supermarket and store in your pantry.





Resources for Frugal Living


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