Firearms One, Food Two & Rocket Stove, Two & a Half

By Major Van Harl
Rocket Stove Review.

Henry Mare's Leg, Buffalo Bore ammo, Silver Fire Survivor Rocket Stove and Spam
Henry Mare’s Leg, Buffalo Bore ammo, Silver Fire Survivor Rocket Stove and Spam
Major Van Harl USAF Ret
Major Van Harl USAF Ret

United States -( The crisis has hit. The systems we rely on are shutting down. The have-nots have just figured out they are in a world of hurt, and why is your unprepared neighbor staring so hard in your direction?

I always say in time of crisis the two most important things are food and firearms.

It really should be firearms and then food. You can go a couple of days without eating, if the have-nots “get you” on the opening day of the crisis because you cannot implement a basic family defense plan, it does not matter how much food you have.

They” will take it away from you, but lets say you have that covered. Next question how will you cook it or sterilize it?

How are you going to heat your food, or boil water to make it safe to drink? Your electric range stopped the first day. If you have a gas stove you may have fuel for a few days, as long as you can light the stove with your limited supply of matches.

Once your Coleman Fuel is gone, your gas or propane camp stove stops working. I guess you can go into the “woods” and bring back armloads of firewood, build a big roaring fire that may attract “walkers”, aka liberals who also failed to prepare, and after you burn up most of your fuel you can use the remaining coals to cook your rabbits and squirrels. Food you hunted with your firearms that are still #1 on the list.

What you really need is a way to create fire fast, with a low impact to your limited resources, and that uses as little fuel as possible. Yes, and the fuel has to be found, lying on the ground near you and you cannot use a saw or ax to harvest the fuel. You have to be able to start your fire and have it cooking / boiling in less than five minutes. You have to be able, as soon as your food is done cooking to stop your fire from continuing to burn, and conserve the remaining fuel. There also has to be very limited flame or smoke that might attack the “walkers”. So how are you going accomplish this?

Two Words, Rocket Stove

Rocket Stoves
Rocket Stoves

Rocket stoves have nothing to do with aircraft. ( The stove gets its name from the sound of the draft as the fuel efficiently burns. When you think of a rocket stove think of the letter “L”. The “L” is made of 3-4 inch diameter tube steel. Using sticks and twigs you build a small, fast-burning fire in the foot of the “L” and the flames shoot up the tall part of the “L” and create the rocket draft effect. That is the basic rocket stove. Adding insulation, doors to control draft, shelves in the burn tube to place fuel on, and the overall size of the rocket stove is where the many types and variances in different rocket stoves come from.

Economy of fuel is the primary mission of a rocket stove.

If you have always lived in North American where there is fuel just lying on the ground you most likely have never given this any thought. I was stationed in Korea in 1983 and there were very few old growth trees in that country. Between the occupying Japanese cutting down trees for war industry, and the massive destruction during the Korean War, big trees were hard to find. You hardly ever saw sticks and twigs lying on the ground. It was a common sight at the end of the duty day to have Koreans who worked on Osan Air Base, walking out the gate with tied up bundles of sticks. They picked up the sticks off the ground and took it home to use as fuel. American Airmen on the base saw these sticks as waste if they saw them at all. Americans would also consider it a waste of their time to pick up the sticks, and what would they do with the scrap wood anyway?

When you have an abundance of fuel you do not really care about conserving it.

My wife, an Air Force nurse who was serving in Korea at the same time as me, came back to the States during our tour to attend a nursing conference in Colorado. A civilian Korean nurse who worked on Osan Air Base accompanied her to the conference. Miss Kim the Korean national had never been out of her country, and so had never seen forests full of trees like in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She absolutely could not get over all the trees / wood laying everywhere on the forest floor.

Rocket stoves are for countries like old Korea, sub-Saharan Africa, or any other country were fuel is scarce or a precious commodity. In some hot spots of the world where rocket stoves are used daily, there is always the fear of raiding terrorist groups such as Boko Haram that attack, kill and plunder. Average people who live in this type of fluid environment have to be able to bug-out at a moment’s notice, and make instant decisions on what valuables to grab and run with–knowing that whatever is left behind will be plundered. This is why the sub- Saharan, discerning rocket stove consumers want handles on their stoves. A good rocket stove is too valuable to be left behind, especially in countries were natural fuel is limited to the point of being life threatening.

Grab the kids, grabs the guns, grab the rocket stove and run.

Minuteman Rocket Stove

Minuteman Rocket Stove :
Minuteman Rocket Stove :

The Minuteman Rocket Stove is probably the easiest stove to grab in a crisis and head for the hills. It is built inside a military style ammo can. I have a great affection for ammo cans. I use them to store tools and field gear, to carry nails and screws to a work site, I keep a tow chain for my truck in an ammo can, and I even store ammunition in ammo cans. So having one more ammo cans in my truck only seems natural. Closed up, it is a tight package to take with you on the run. Soldiers of many nations have experience running, walking and fighting to survive another day with an ammo can in their hand.

The Minuteman Rocket stove keeps up with you on the go and cooks your meal after you have out run the unprepared “walkers.”

Rocky I by Rocky Mountain Rocket Stove

Rocky I by Rocky Mountain Rocket Stove
Rocky I by Rocky Mountain Rocket Stove

The Rocky I insulated cook stove, manufactured by Rocky Mountain Rocket Stoves, at 22 pounds is not really a lightweight “bug-out” rocket stove (  It is more of a base camp rocket stove.

It has a larger / longer burn chamber that allows you to use larger diameter wood and longer sticks that can continually be pushed / fed into the stove. It has a removable grill that can be used to set pots on or cook meat directly on the grill surface. This is a rocket stove that you can leave for a short time and the burning continues unattended. Most rocket stoves you have to constantly be present and feeding new fuel into the burn chamber. Solid and built to hold up to continued use, day to day or in a crisis.

Silver Fire Survivor Rocket Stove

Silver Fire Survivor Rocket Stove :
Silver Fire Survivor Rocket Stove :

If fuel is at an absolute premium than the Silver Fire Survivor Rocket Stove is the answer ( They talk about sticks, and twigs for fuel but Silver Fire keeps emphasizing the term biomass. Which means, almost anything nature made in some of its smallest forms can be burned for fuel in the Silver Fire Survivor rocket stove. The Silver Fire Survivor uses primary and secondary combustion for a more efficient burn, which again means using less fuel. Heat is hard on stoves and eventually causes rust. The Silver Fire is stainless steel and holds up better under the constant high heat. Safe drinking water is a life sustaining necessity in a crisis. The Silver Fire Survivor rocket stove will boil five liters of water with less fuel and in less time than any other rocket stove.

I encourage the reader to go to the web sites I have provided for the three above rocket stoves. Rocket stove is a subject and a skill you need to learn about and learn how to use in advance of a bad situation. In our modern world we take our electricity and gas for granted. It will be turned off on you in your life. If you are lucky the power goes back on in hours and perhaps days. If you are not lucky it does not come back on.

Number one is legally acquired firearms and ammo. Number two is stock up on non-perishable food. Number two and a half (2.5) is get a rocket stove .

Tools and the skill to use tools is how man has learned to survive. A rocket stove is a needed tool, unfortunately in North America most people do not even know how to build a basic fire, and even if they did, how much fuel will they have on hand?

Rocket stoves are about a little bit of biomass fuel going a long way to keep you safe and most importantly alive.

I was burning a brush pile on my farm this past weekend. There was enough scrap nature-made fuel in that fire to supply a rocket stove for six plus months, if I was using one everyday to facilitate staying safe and alive. Economy of fuel, economy of fuel and again economy of biomass fuel, get a rocket stove.

Major Van Harl USAF Ret. / [email protected]

About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:

Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]

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very cool.


Good article!

Doc Dempster

Check out Biolite Stoves which will also generate 5 to 10 watts of electrical current


You might also consider a “Kelly Kettle” (just google the name). It was designed by an Irish Ghillie, a fishing guide, and has been improved over the intervening century or so. It looks like an aluminum version of the glass chimney for an old kerosene lamp, but the chimney is double-walled and you fill it with water, so that along with whatever you might put on the top (you can get a small rack with it, like a stove top burner, for an extra couple of bucks) to cook, you are also boiling water at the same time. It works… Read more »


We bought one of the Silver Fire stoves earlier this year and, accidentally, also ended up with one of their skirted pots to go with it. It helps the stove be even more efficient and seems to be a pretty nice pot in its own right, albeit with limited utility off the stove.

As always with these things, I hope I wasted my money and never have to use it. 🙂

Silver Fire Stoves Dragon Pot

Susan Kay Remington

I really like this one, very much.