Category Archives: Rocket Stove


Fire, Snow and cooking
Re-Blogging and Linking to two separate articles here. Rogers Blog where he explains how to setup a campfire and a new to Youtuber, a prepper and self reliant buddy of mine who has a done a series of videos to show people how to make a winter shelter and how to build a winter fire. 

This is a skill that anyone who lives in any climate where there is cold and winter should know of. This post will have some of my own info included, some re-blogged info from Roger’s blog along with a re-blogged video series from a ex Canadian Military buddy of mine who lives way out in the flatlands of Canada!

This winter campfire photo was taken in January a couple of years ago. The next photo shows the same fire pit in the summer time.

A great way to build a fire in winter if you have a camping spot for year round use or look for established camping spots along any trail or campground. Remember you do not have to always re-invent the wheel, just keep it simpler and it works.
firepit lrgb

Same firepit in summer time as the winter shot above.

A blog post by RMACTSC where he explains how to setup a campfire
…. excerpt.. 
KINDLING is the foundation of any fire. It is made of lightweight materials that are capable of burning quickly and igniting heavier materials. Kindling can be made from a mixture of twigs, tiny sticks, slivers of shaved wood, dried leaves, paper, cardboard, cotton balls, dryer lint, birch bark, dried grass, dried pine needles, etc. You’ll be using small sticks to then form a tepee and get your fire started. …. read more….

The following link is to the topic of winter fire on the forum
… If you are in the bush and had nowhere to make a fire but on the snow, and no rocks were available because they’re all under the snow and ice, what would you do? … read more

The new YouTubers in action, building a winter fire and winter shelter heated by fire

Canadian Candle Fire on snow

The next is a series of photos created while I was at Buroak Wilderness Adventures this summer. The owner of the camp a buddy of mine created a stunning all season fireplace/pit. Just look at all the features this cooking camp fire pit has;

  • flat rock for use as a warming centre and for putting objects on like the kettle
  • lots and I mean lots of hanging hooks all created from hardwood branches
  • excellent over the camp stand
  • excellent front and back projection areas
  • not seen in the photo is a canvas cook’s tent which is close enough to the fire to catch heat from this in the fall/winter/spring making your old bones just a bit more comfortable!

Buroak Wilderness 012bb

Excellent campfire setup.

Buroak Wilderness 031bb

This shot shows the ease at which cooking at various heights is accomplished.
Buroak Wilderness 039bb

Dinner is almost ready, can you not just smell the yummy goodness! Fresh field potatoes, fresh picked corn (non gmo), fresh farm raised free range chicken.

Kinda making me hungry all over again! Plus the smell of freshly brewed coffee all cooked on hard and softwoods.

Remember the old ways, remember this is how Humans have lived for thousands upon thousands of years.

This is one of the reasons your computer screen saver is of the outdoors and not your bosses cubical or office! just saying !

Hopefully these skills will be appeal to you, so get out and learn or get out and practice but above all just get out and have some fun folks!
Until next time Cheers ~wild_E

Come on out to the forums at where we talk about this stuff and so much more for prepping, self-reliance, homesteading and survival skills.


Filed under Blog post, CDN Military, Equipment, Family_Friends, Food, images photography, Improvised Stoves Heaters, Kits, Recipe, Rocket Stove, Shelter, Survival Prepping

Veggie veggy oil lamps prt 3

Well since people spell veggie/veggy both ways… that is the title.
Editors be like; O my … LOL

What we have here are two floaters,  floating two improvised veggie/veggy, vegetable oil lamps to share, kudlich. Veg oil is safe, ultra safe, easy to use, inexpensive and recyclable. (you can use veg oil from deep fryers if filtered) Soda can, soda pop can, oil lamps for the USA, Americans!

knife or scissors – thats it
material pop can
wick – natural fibre jute string

1st – quick floaters / floating wick holder
made from the bottom of pop cans
cut bottom of the can off
use scissors or knife
turn upside down, poke a whole in it so the opening is now going upwards into the freshly cut area
take your pre soaked in veg oil for 1-1.5 hr wick
insert into the fresh opening
use the lips that are there to grip the wick (do not make the hole too big or it will just fall down into the oil)
add in oil to the container
put the floating wick onto the oil
watch if float, say aw that is nice
light it with some sort of flaming device

Veggy, Veggie oil lamps, floating candles, Hurricane candles, Hurricane Lamps, improvised lamps, vegetable oil lamps, made from pop cans, tuna cans, salmon cans, natural fibre jute string, natural fiber jute string.

Veggy, Veggie oil lamps, floating candles, Hurricane candles, Hurricane Lamps, improvised lamps, vegetable oil lamps, made from pop cans, tuna cans, salmon cans, natural fibre jute string, natural fiber jute string.

2nd Hurricane / pop can veg oil burner, veg oil lamp, kudlich lit in the front,
cut out a whole in the middle of the can (see pics below)
leave the wings or not it is up to you
put oil in the bottom of the newly cut pop can
take the top from one of the tops that are left over from the floaters
crimp edges (images coming soon)
see pics below
run the wet wick up into the pop tab to hold it in place
light with a flame
voila, veg oil candle substitute!
looks nice, safe, may be hung, easy to refill, lots of options here.
p.s. the Hurricane style lamp is my own creation and have never seen anyone do this before, ya me!

kudlich lit in the front, Veggy, Veggie oil lamps, floating candles, Hurricane candles, Hurricane Lamps, improvised lamps, vegetable oil lamps, made from pop cans, tuna cans, salmon cans, natural fibre jute string, natural fiber jute string.

kudlich lit in the front, Veggy, Veggie oil lamps, floating candles, Hurricane candles, Hurricane Lamps, improvised lamps, vegetable oil lamps, made from pop cans, tuna cans, salmon cans, natural fibre jute string, natural fiber jute string.


I will take some time tomorrow to show how the insert is done, very simple and easy to follow along with some pics to guide folks. Stay tuned !

great for Preppers, survivalist, self reliant, self reliance, homesteaders, stuck in snow, ice storms, power outages, camping, hiking, anywhere, christmas decorations, Christmas table, table settings, substitute for tea lights or tea candles

kudlich lit in the front, two floaters, two improvised, veggie/veggy oil lamps, veggie oil lamps, veggy oil lamps, deep fryers, reused oil, pop can oil lamp, wick, natural fibre wick, natural fiber wick, pop can, soda can, soda pop can, floating oil lamp, floating oil, floating wick, hurricane lamp, veggie hurricane lamp, veggy hurricane lamp, substitute for a candle, candle alternatives, quick, easy, safe, lighting

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Filed under Blog post, Equipment, Food, Improvised Stoves Heaters, Kits, Lamps, Rocket Mass Heater, Rocket Stove, Shelter, Survival Prepping

Vandwelling in Canada

Hello there,
Atmosphere in Canada for vandwelling is pretty good in most places. This would be the wrong time for someone from Arizona to come up though since it is September! For me it is hot, for y’all eh, jackets!

There are a lot of signs saying no overnight camping or sleeping, though if you go speak with a manager, it is normally alright. I have just said, passing through need to stay overnight to sleep and I never litter.

Due to the size of each province there is so much to see, do and travel you could easily spend each season travelling around and never go to the same spot twice. The downside is the lower parts of each province only offer paid camping, most Crown Lands you are not allowed to camp in for overnights or at best only a few days.

There are very few true vandwellers here, though there are some, most in the BC area as it is much warmer than the rest of Canada.
There are full timers and snow birds who go south or to BC for the winter then head back to the home range in spring.

In spring, fall and winter, you stay out of the wind! In summer stay in the wind and hope you do not get eaten by bugs.

There is so little crime up here or aggression with guns and such that even traipsing through the woods, most never carry a firearm. In Bear and Cougar country a small radio or music player warns them the Two Leggers are coming and to stay away, yes it does work and is the best repellent ever. That being said I always have large hunting knives on me when I hike and have other weapons located near each door and sleeping area.

Most people have forgotten the rules of living in the bush;
keep your food area and food prep area, 25 feet away minimum distance
do not camp right by a water source, move your tent away the residents want to drink and cool too
cooking fires are always 25 feet minimum away from your sleeping area, not near your vehicle
no food in vehicles
hanging food cashes are great, again not near your sleeping area
never had food issues even in my vehicle that was in cans or such like that.
some special food containers will keep the food smells in and bears out, but then again hanging it up 25 feet away is good insurance
animals are territorial, in the old days they used to pee in containers and then circle their living quarters sprinkling as they went, thus the animals knew to stay out of that area (yes it works)

Most places can be accessed with vehicles that are 2 wheel drive, though with higher suspensions. Just can’t beat the 4×4 with the tent top campers and Alaska campers, so compact and the 4×4 is a go so many places option.
In Canada the best way to hide is in plain site here, if it looks like an RV or some sort, people leave you alone. It is harder to live in a car here though as we need so many layers of clothing and insulation that most of the room of a car would be taken up with sleeping bags and warm weather gear. Even in Summer time, I have had to dig out the jackets and gloves, along with the sleeping bag that is rated to 0 degrees to be comfortable.

There are some great Rv’s some great camper vans and everything else on the road up here as well. My conversion is done on the $$ figure conversion. Bad health and lack of work means found objects and creative living space inside. I have too much stuff, and hopefully this month will see a big chunk of it goes, somewhere somehow I am feeling very toxic due to stuff and storage issues. Some other conversions I haves starting at just $100 are quite nice up to the Tens of Thousands of dollars, these conversion just make you go, wow!

For the curb shopping types Canada offers a variety of dates to find good items, and if you drive around close to the garbage days, there are always deals to be had from people getting rid of things for so many reasons.

For the $$ crowd, we have a multitude of places to buy equipment although it is most times more expensive than our cousins south of us, so keep that in mind as well.

For insulation reasons I say spend more on the floor and make sure there is no metal or the fiberglass showing unless covered over or it will rain inside from the condensation! Wood heat is dry so there are less issues with heating your place with wood, be it a tent, yurt, vandwelling, conversion or RV.

modified small propane heater in old Kerosene heater shell with plastic items close to show they do not melt.

modified small propane heater in old Kerosene heater shell with plastic items close to show they do not melt.

Heating is of course a popular thing to do here, along with Alaska and the Northern USA States. People here heat what they live in using conventional wood fireplaces (seen them in long term tents as well) to portable wood boxes and camping stoves. The advent and development of Rocket Mass Heaters and Pocket Rockets are becoming more popular and gaining a larger following as well. I am turning one of my camping portable wood stoves into a Pocket Rocket with a mass to heat and hopefully stay warm all through the night. Of course I will be having a propane backup heater just in case.

Propane heaters for me right now, are the small older Sport Cat style and a Big Buddy heater with the propane condensation issues that plague them.

Most places have a live and let live attitude, although there are hot heads and people with hidden agendas just like anywhere.

Hope this helps,
cheers from wild_E


Filed under Blog post, Equipment, Improvised Stoves Heaters, Rocket Mass Heater, Rocket Stove, Vehicles

Preparedness Meet Huntsville July 20-21

So, Helped to set up a Preparedness and Bushcrafter meeting that is on the 20-21 July in Huntsville Ontario
info to be found through here

I will be giving a show and tell on Fire/Stove/Shelters there are a lot of presenters as well as door prizes, networking and just a general get together with like minded people.
Bit of a drive for the USA Folks but, we have ONE coming as of now 🙂

Look forward to seeing some of you pop by
Cheers ~Wild_E

camp fire picture

Fire is Life and the start of technology

Direct link

Saturday Event Program

Sunday Event Program

Canadian and American Prepper, Preparedness, Self Reliant, Bushcraft, Homesteader forum


Filed under Blog post, Equipment, Food, Improvised Stoves Heaters, Rocket Stove, Survival Prepping

Earthbag & Eco house site

Here is someone after my own heart. This fellow has two sites both dedicated to creating and sharing Eco housing options.

On his sites you will find many fine Eco Friendly housing options for anywhere in the world and pricing per sqft that enable even people with hardly any money at all able to afford these Eco Houses and buildings. Perhaps you start here, build the Eco Buildings, Earthbag buildings or strawbale infill buildings, then in 10 yrs or so, build a standard style house although why would you want to after living in something so nice and cozy?

build an Eco House in the woods or jungle

Jungle Eco House

The original building can now be used as a guest cottage, writing or craft area or a deluxe and eco friendly barn of sorts. These people offer plans in a lot of different styles and to their great credit, they also offer Free Plans as well. Most of the Shelters can be made from mostly local materials, created on site, or say make the base and walls then put on a prefab truss roof, the combinations are endless here folks.

Here is a great post from the WordPress Earthbag plans blog Water Tower apartments, follow read and let your imagination run wild!

Negative comments directed to me in the past when I say that my future holds me building an alternate house, the comments turn to; it will be dark, dreary, damp, closed in and ugly! Well now most of those comments where by people who live in Sticks and Bricks houses in the city. (sticks and bricks refer to standard 2×4 with brick veneer construction type houses)

My kind of house has thermal mass for the walls and no need for expensive pink insulation, uses the material from the land, no need for expensive huge Carbon footprint to make them. Most of them look very interesting, something that makes you want to smile and go in and see what else there is to see of the place. These are not free houses, or caves or simple dug outs with tarps/sticks and mud over them, however I have slept in all of those and they were mostly comfortable as well, with one exception! Heat the buildings with Rocket Mass Heaters info here, or with Bio Heating via the Jean Pain Method and you will be assured of cozy living with a small Eco and Carbon Footprint, Mother Earth will be most happy if you do so.

very nice designs

You could make this from two Yurts, Earthen Yurts, Earthbag, Strawbale or what ever the mood and materials take you to

Personally I am hoping to build a few different Eco Buildings, one a Mike Oehler’s $50 & Up Underground House Book, another a Yurt, then a modified Canadian Winter Yurt which will be a cross between a round house a pit house a straw bale house with a ceiling and covering of all natural materials with a living green roof.

Take a trip over to his blog and new website, they love to teach, and help out which is abundantly clear in his writings and responses to queries. The trip is more than worth the click.

How about this one, Triple Dome Survival Shelter

survival shelter and long term living underground dome

Survivalists take not of the Triple dome Survival Shelter

The preceding info pictures and plans are from;
Earthbag House Plans 
Natural Building Blog

all pages and writings copyright @ WildernessReturn


Filed under Blog post, Improvised Stoves Heaters, Rocket Mass Heater, Rocket Stove, Shelter, Survival Prepping

Rocket Mass Heater Plans

I have seen people who build covered decks that are really mud rooms. In these Mud rooms they put the heaters, so it frees up space in other areas. The last one I saw, had the deck so long it covered both doors, massive heater with stone around it. Just use some computer fans which are 12v, use even the small 1.5 or 2 watt panels to power them. The excess power can be diverted to a small 12v deep cycle battery, I got mine from a used Electric Bike dealer. One could put an addition onto the back, even insulated Canvas would work, then you increase the mobility of the RV/Camper while creating extra room and a place for the larger heater.

Now I am working on two projects, well actually 3 projects.
1st was simple, I gutted an old Kerosene heater, put in a small catalytic propane heater. I am using the old cabinet from the Kerosene in order to make it safer as well as direct the heat better. Last night, I put an old brake rotor on top, since it is solid metal it took a while for it to heat up, likewise it will take a while to cool down. So there is some mass.

2nd my mechanic uses the old oil he takes out of vehicles to heat his shop. He puts them in some soup cans, 3/4 full then squirts a bit of BBQ lighter fluid into them to get them going. After a while, he will put some wood on top, to really get it heated up. Heating cost $0, although you need to clean the chimney more. I have two portable camping wood stoves now. One brand new the other cost $40 with the home-made chimney.

3rd Will be making a rocket mass heater for this coming Winter and Fall, enough of spending so much money on Propane. I will of course use the propane as an emergency supply or a quick warm up, while the rocket mass heater is doing its thing.

Now seeing as this is a vehicle, RV there is not as much room in it as I would like, so the outlet pipes will be modified. I have picked up some used (although maybe never used at all) gas heater pipes. This will be for the outlet of the Rocket Mass Heater. Since it is already a duel pipe system, the inner pipe, the smaller one will be for the exhaust. The outer ring will be filled with Vermiculite or Perlite. (almost the same, slightly different but very similar) They both hold and retain the heat, are both very lightweight.

Next I will attach a cheap copper or other metal pipe to it, this will be the outside air, so it is warmed as it travels along to the Rocket Heater. The heat and fire will draw the air so no need for a fan for the fresh air intake pipe.

Next, since I finally found a local supplier of Clay, I can now make my Portable Rocket Mass Heater. The base will be a concrete slab/patio stone with some clay bricks with air gaps, so the floor does not get too hot. The combustion chamber will be a Propane Bottle, modified of course. Inside and outside will be the clay to absorb the heat. I will be using a 20pndr for size reasons. Since the Rocket Mass Heater is so efficient, picking up small wood from building sites and other small wood sources will provide the bulk of the fuel. In this I might experiment using the used oil as well. There is a few hundred gallons kicking around this place and I already have the permission to use some of it.

The exhaust since it burns so well, and the way rocket mass heaters work, it will just travel along the floor under my living wall, into my storage/workshop area in the back, down one of the sides that has an opening for the back doors.

I will post a pic later of the Modified Kerosene Heater with the Propane Catalytic


Filed under Blog post, Improvised Stoves Heaters, Rocket Mass Heater, Rocket Stove, Survival Prepping, Vehicles

Rocket stoves when the gas is gone

Here are a few links that have tons of Rocket Stoves, Hobo Stoves and the like.
For the ones who do not know;
Rocket Mass Heaters are for heating you house or trailer, can also be used to cook with
Rocket Stoves are for cooking with, they also give off heat, though the mass is normally missing

a list of lists of rocket stoves (this one and the one before are on Ammo Box Stoves, two cause they are cool, and ammo boxes)

another good option is to use a Haybox (cooking via thermal mass heating and continual heating) … rs/haybox/

The following is a link to a very cool website, this particular link is for the one page instructables, the following is for the section that most are in. See also links to the side

and Survival site in the main site

The power goes out, you grab your stove, do you try to heat the entire house or just a room some thoughts;

We did this in the military many times, it is so much easier to heat the tent, especially if it is canvas inside a room than to heat the room itself. Another option would be to make a tarp Tent inside the room, make an inside heat trap using simple sheets as well. If you have lots of time, you could line the walls with Sand Bags, create an inside wall structure with walking room or storage room on the outside of the sandbags, next to the regular walls. Create an inside roof of Canvas or similar material and then heat this mass, from experience once the sand bags are heated up, they stay warm for quite a while.

The problems with heating the entire room is the rooms construction, the heat will constantly be absorbed by the thermal mass of the walls and of the earth. The heat and warm air will find the smallest of openings to escape into, and quickly escape the room. Heating the thermal mass of the surrounding earth and structure, now normally this is a good thing, but in an emergency with no end in sight or even a known time frame of say 1-2 weeks to restore the power, you are conserving fuel, using a layered system of thermal mass and air mass to conserve the heat. With unlimited or seemingly unlimited supplies of fossil fuels and natural gas, heating the entire house is feasible. With a modest stack of even 6 containers of fuel, you will quickly go through them if you’re trying to heat the entire wall and mass of earth.

In the past, layering won out time and time again, another thing of note is to block the entrance to the basement, drape sheets or tarps before and after the door to create a heat sink, wind sink, the efficiency of your efforts are greatly increased then.

If I still had my house, I would make a Rocket Mass Heater, put it into the basement, use it to at least bring the house temps up to 60-70′ deg and top off with the Natural Gas Furnace. I have seen videos and read articles that state entire wings of the house are heated thus, morning and night or just the day before, feeding the Rocket Mass Heater to warm the house. Even 1 cord of wood in the backyard will allow you to use the Rocket Mass Heater to lower your bills. They burn so efficiently a small inconspicuous vent will go unnoticed and in this case not draw attention either. They can be fed using only sticks or by splitting the wood into much small pieces, thus conserving wood as well.

Videos show people putting their faces right up to the vent, no smoke no carbon emissions over the normal air, now they are a little crazy, use a meter. OPSEC is greater if they can not smell wood smoke, using 98% of the efficiency of the wood is just plain smart.


Filed under Blog post, Improvised Stoves Heaters, Rocket Mass Heater, Rocket Stove, Shelter, Survival Prepping