Gas stoves and induction cookers are great and all, but will they even be useful in the apocalypse? Hell nah.
You’re gonna want something that’s portable and doesn’t need gas and electricity to function.
What might that be? A rocket stove. It’s a wood-burning cooking stove that uses small fuel sources like twigs and branches.
In this article, we’ll tell you what to know about rocket stoves as well as share five rocket stove plans you can try at home. Let’s get right to it:
3 Essential Components of Rocket Stoves
This type of wood-burning stove is a fantastic DIY project to work on. There are actually several rocket stove plans that you can make at home, but before you get your hands dirty, understand how a rocket stove works first.
To get acquainted with its mechanism, familiarize yourself with its basic construction.
This step is essential because you don’t wanna waste time racking your brain assembling it—not when you have hungry mouths to feed in a survival situation.
Making and using one isn’t exactly rocket science, but understanding what each of its parts does is beneficial. Here are the different features that you should know:
Chimney or Combustion Chamber
This part is where the magic happens.
Chimneys are usually made out of a metal box, like a 5-gallon tin can. If you can’t find one, a pipe will work fine as long as it supports the cooking vessel. However, the primary purpose of a chimney or combustion chamber is to make sure your rocket stove has a good draft so that it can burn efficiently.
Once your combustion chamber increases draft, it will reach maximum heat, leading to faster cooking with less firewood and smoke.
Fitted horizontally into the chimney base, the fuel magazine is a short length of steel or ceramic pipe that limits the inflow of cool air in your chimney. This element is essential because cool air actually lowers the temperature in the combustion chamber and decreases efficiency.
Remember: A smaller fuel magazine or inlet helps you cut back on fuel since airflow is regulated.
This flat plate is found at the bottom of the fuel magazine. It holds your fuel in place and allows optimal airflow underneath.
Pro tip: For more efficient burning, use smaller sticks of wood. These also form a grate, improving the air to fuel ratio.
4 Uses of a Rocket Stove
Now that you’ve got a rocket stove’s basic parts down pat, it’s time to explore its different uses:
If its name hasn’t given it away yet, this portable stove’s main application is cooking. Since it’s known for its ability to efficiently create heat with little fuel, it’s a pretty awesome option to cook your meals vs. cooking over an open flame. Plus, it’s effective in improving air quality in shelters.
In a survival situation, especially when you’re outdoors, smoke only invites unwanted folks and prey, and you don’t want them to discover your hideout. You’re not only risking what’s left of your supplies, but you’re also putting the lives of your companions at stake.
If you can cook meals using a rocket stove, then you can definitely boil water with it, too.
Water is of the primary resources that will help you survive a major catastrophe. If you haven’t stored enough drinking water to last you the first 72 hours after S hits the fan, you’ll be left with no choice but to find and collect your own water.
The safest, fastest, and most common way of purifying water is boiling it. With your wood-burning stove, you can easily do that in just a few minutes.
If you need a backup heater during the winter season, a rocket stove might be your best alternative. It can get pretty cold under extreme weather conditions, even if you’re just indoors.
Feeling a little warmth will help by a mile, and this portable stove works best when you’re in an enclosed space. But make sure you still have enough ventilation in the room so that you don’t suffocate.
Stuck and stinky in the wild? We know exactly what you need.
You won’t have access to a nice hot shower in the wilderness, so a smoke bath is the only way to kill bacteria breeding on your body. It’s also effective in keeping annoying bugs at bay.
The bacteria is what causes body odor. When you kill it, the smell dies with it.
Once you have your rocket stove set up, consistently expose your skin and clothes to the smoke. You’ll smell like a smoked roast after, but it’s much better than smelling funky.
5 Rocket Stove Plans You Can Build
You might be surprised that rocket stoves aren’t just good for cooking, but wanna know something more interesting? You can actually make one out of various materials.
Here are rocket stove plans you can make at home:
Brick Rocket Stove
If you’re looking to create the simplest DIY rocket stove out there, just pile a few bricks to form a chamber like in the video above. For this portable stove, you’ll need roughly 24 blocks and a wire mesh.
After you’ve gathered your bricks, stack about five layers of these rectangular blocks to help improve the draw of your wood-burning stove. And voila, you can start a fire and cook a nice hot meal.
4-Block Rocket Stoves
Rectangular blocks are the easiest and fastest way to stack into a chamber, so it makes sense that you can also make a rocket stove out of concrete or cinder blocks. They’re the second-degree cousins of clay bricks.
What’s cool about using cement blocks is that with just 4 of them, you can assemble and arrange your own rocket stove in minutes. It’s super simple yet very effective. Plus, it provides a stable place for your cooking pot.
Tin Can Rocket Stove
Have tin cans lying around somewhere? You can make them into a portable stove with no special tools required except for a hacksaw, pliers, and drill. For the materials, you just need 3 metal cans and gravel or dirt.
It’s a powerful stove that can cook full meals with little fuel. It’s even wind and rain resistant. Check out the video above for a step-by-step process on how to make one.
Metal Rocket Stove
For a more advanced rocket stove, consider making a metal one if you’re an experienced welder. Since this type of portable stove is a complex one to build, you should know how to handle a torch. Don’t forget to always have gloves on for hand protection, too. Even though you consider yourself an expert, that doesn’t mean you should skip the safety gear.
The design shown in the video is built with enhanced functionality with a handle, hinge, and cover for the fuel magazine. It may look a little complicated to follow, but it’s guaranteed to be more durable than the simpler designs.
Dakota Fire Hole
The solution is right below you if you can’t find bricks, concrete, or metal anywhere when SHTF.
This concept is the same as a DIY rocket stove. Just dig a hole in the ground using an entrenching tool.
Take note that a Dakota Fire Hole consists of two intersecting tunnels, much like the elbow of a wood-burning stove.
It’s also efficient for cooking, provides high heat, promotes clean burning, and is very discrete since flames are hidden below ground. Since it’ll be hiding in plain sight, you won’t have to worry about attracting unwanted guests.
A rocket stove is a vital piece of survival equipment to own. Thankfully, there are several rocket stove plans you can try at home.
Rocket stoves are cheap, fuel-efficient, portable, and easy to use. With just a few tiny twigs, you can already cook, enjoy a whole meal, and even keep yourself warm and comfortable on a chilly night.
Which of these rocket stove plans will you try first? Let us know in the comments!