I’ve stressed, in previous articles, the importance of having safe drinking water for your survival. Also, you have to have some type of food to feed your calorie-burning body. We can go a long time without food, but let’s be honest, we’d rather have a good hot meal to eat.
I’ve reviewed several different types of small, compact camp stoves that easily fold up and fit inside your bug out bag (BOB). I reviewed a rocket stove, and was impressed with how easy it was to cook on. I’ve made a few “hobo” stoves in the past; this is a really poor man’s rocket stove of sorts. Now, while you can cook your food a number of different ways, some methods of cooking are easier than others. Cooking a meal on your stove in your kitchen is the way to go. However, in a SHTF scenario, we might not have access to our kitchen stove. The power could be out, your gas line broke, or the gas cut off for whatever reason. When this happens, you have to kick into a survival mindset and figure out a way to cook your meals. Sure, lots of foods can be eaten cold, but that’s no fun, to be sure.
Today we are looking at thh Silver Fire line of stoves. They manufacture many different models. Silver Fire’s founder, Todd Albi, provided me with their Silver Fire “Survivor” rocket stove model for testing, for SurvivalBlog readers. I’m here to tell you, right off the bat, if the “Survivor” model is any indication of the outstanding quality of the rest of their stoves, I’m totally blown away. The quality, manufacture, and materials used in this stove is the best of the best. It’s simple as that.
Just a short note about Albi is in order. He was the former founder of StoveTec rocket stoves, and (for reasons that I won’t go into) left StoveTec and worked to refine his rocket stove idea into a high-quality rocket cook stove. Silver Fire cook stoves require minimum fuel and produce little emissions or smoke. His stoves are designed for improved durability and efficiency, too. He challenges anyone to compare his line of rocket stoves to any other brand and draw your own conclusions. A very brave statement and challenge to be sure. The man has every confidence in his products!
When you take the “Survivor” rocket stove out of the box, you will immediately notice the fine workmanship. The round stove is covered with a polished stainless steel body, and the cook top is cast iron, with five spacers on the top, so your pot or pan will sit nicely and evenly distribute heat. The insulation isn’t clay, as is found in many commercially manufactured rocket stoves; instead, fiber insulation is used to reduce the weight. Some rocket stoves are heavy, real heavy. Not this one.
With the new designs incorporated into the “Survivor” rocket stove, in an emergency, very little fuel is required to bring a large volume of water to a boil or cook a pot of food. I like that this rocket stove only weighs 12.5 pounds– about half of what other commercially made rocket stoves weigh. The rectangle shape combustion chamber allows for uniform insertion of a wide variety of fuel, and the stove’s door improves efficiency in burning the biomass or wood fuel. Unlike other rocket stoves, this one is designed to operate with the fuel door closed. Yes, there is a feed “ramp” that attaches to the front of the stove, and you can keep your fuel loaded on it and ready to slide it in, as it is needed. There is also a fuel “gauge” on the front of the black fuel door. This gauge lets you know the size of wood that is best inserted and burned in the stove. Neat! Just keep in mind that this stove operates best with the fuel door closed!
The “Survivor” rocket stove also comes with two carry handles, which you must attach once you unpack the stove. They are easy enough to install with a screw driver. Complete instructions come with each stove. (Some other stoves come with NO instructions at all, and you are left on your own to figure out how to best utilize the stove.)
There is a lot of technical information on the Silver Fire website, and I won’t bore readers with it. You can go to their website and read it all for yourselves. Also, there are several videos on the website. Please take the time to watch them; they are educational and very useful. As mentioned, Silver Fire makes several different types of cook stoves, so check them all out before deciding which model is best for your needs. I personally like the “Survivor” model sent to me for testing, and it would be my first choice from all their different products for use in a SHTF scenario. I really like that very little fuel is needed to cook a meal, and the stove is very efficient in burning the fuel, leaving very little ash and very little smoke when you are cooking. As any outdoorsman can attest to, smoke can be seen for miles; in a SHTF scenario you may not want someone knowing your location.
Another feature worth mentioning is that this stove has a temperature-reducing baffle plate on the bottom of the stove for safer handling and to decrease temperature on the cooking surface. Silver Fire claims their stove has the coolest surface temperature below the stove of any product on the market.
I tested the Silver Fire Survivor rocket stove and was totally blown away with how nicely it worked. It worked as advertised– something nice in this day and age of so much hype. I have a very small homestead, but it is heavily timbered. Using the “Survivor” for my cooking needs, I’d have more than enough fuel from my trees and shrubs to last me for a lifetime of cooking on the “Survivor.” It takes very little fuel, and this stove certainly does remind one of the fire that comes out of the back of a rocket engine. It gets hot, and it gets hot fast.
Boiling water was no chore, and cooking burgers in a pan was a piece of cake. I think I can cook a burger faster on the rocket stove than I can on my kitchen stove, which happens to be electric. Clean-up is fast and easy; just wipe the outside of the stainless steel body off with a rag, dump what little ash has accumulated, and you’re ready to go.
Silver Fire also sells some accessories for their stove that you might want to take a close look at, too. Once again, check them out on the website for complete information and pricing.
Seriously, I don’t care if you live in the city, on a farm, out in the boonies, or you are dead serious about your survival, you simply should have a rocket stove in your survival supplies. A city dweller could use the “Survivor” on their back porch, in their yard, or on their front deck. Of course, you shouldn’t use this stove inside your house for safety sake. However, you CAN find a place to do your cooking, no matter where you live. Silver Fire also sells a very nice carrying case for their rocket stove, and I would suggest buying one. It makes transport easier, and the padded carrying case helps prevent your stove from getting dented and dinged up.
The “Survivor” retails for $124.95 and is worth every penny of it. I was actually surprised it didn’t cost a lot more than that. Please, once again, take the time to check out their website at http://www.silverfire.us/ for complete information. There is a wealth of material there. Also, you will note that Todd Albi isn’t just selling these stoves to make a profit, he wants to get these stoves into the hands of folks in Third World countries, too. He has special pricing for that. He also has wholesale pricing, if your group wants to make a large purchase.
I test a lot of products each month but nothing quite like the Silver Fire Survivor rocket stove. It is everything Todd Albi claims it to be and more. It’s nice when I’m blown away by a product. This may well be the Rolls Royce of rocket stoves at Chevy prices! Silver Fire products are made right here in my neck of the woods– Eugene, OR. If you’re in the area, stop by their showroom and check out all their various stoves. – SurvivalBlog Field Gear Editor Pat Cascio