♨️ How much cooking fuel for 2 weeks?

Having 2 weeks of food & water at home is a basic preparedness tenet.

If the grid is out while I’m going through these reserves, I’d need enough fuel for my Jetboil to boil all the water for my emergency food supply.

Based on my calculations, a single 450g canister ($10) would be enough to boil all the water I’d need for my partner and I to eat 14 days of Mountain House meals. Does that sound right to y’all? Have I made an error in my calculations?

 Screenshot 2021-08-15 3.03.12 PM 


  • Comments (16)

    • 3

      What if the crisis is longer than 2 weeks?  Have you considered that in such a crisis, you might also be in a boil water advisory?  Have you considered your drinking water when your stores run out?  What about if you need to take care of someone else?

      All my cooking & heading will be using wood for my numerous rocket stoves, as I have basically an endless supply of wood around me.  But even if you live in the city, there is plenty of wood that can be split up & burned.  One can run out of canisters but it would be hard to run out of combustible items.

      • 3

        I figure I’d get two or 3 canisters, and at that point how much water and food I have would probably be the limiting factor. 

      • 3

        If your calculations are correct store three canisters of fuel in case there is a longer situation, you want some warmth, or you help heat up meals for neighbors. For $30, that’s a cheap price to pay for 6 weeks of emergency fuel. You won’t regret storing more fuel than you will need, but will regret not storing enough.

        In response to Redneck’s comment about a water boil advisory, getting a solid water filter will be a good investment so that you no longer have to use that precious fuel to make potable water. Many filters to get the job done can be had for under $30.

    • 2

      We allow extra for heating water for washing clothes and personal hygiene, plus the pure pleasure of some occasional warmth ( Prepping is about continuity and comfort  not struggling to get by)  so we allot 7kg of butane or propane per week in our family.  We have usually 5 or 6  Seven KG gas bottles as reserve. PLUS we have some a pack of ten  450 gram canisters to run a single camping burner. AND we have a coal / wood burning stove for heating and hot water as well ( only about 2 weeks of firewood though)

    • 1

      I’ll give you 2 days of crap eating and you’ll be looking for a way to cook that food that’s going to waste in your frig & freezer ….

      prepping is about maintaining your current lifestyle as much as possible – some reason why you can’t prep a better cooking surface? 

      • 3

        What’s your recommendation here bud? 

      • 1

        How long does your normal winter season last where ever you live, then enough reserve fuel for heat, cooking and washing to last the length of that season.

        Depending on your home it could be lumber, coal, bottled gas, heating oil, ground source heat pump etc

        Some folks also hyper insulate at least one room to keep it warm even in the worst weather ( ventilated of course). This requires less fuel to keep warm.

      • 2

        Parts of FLA after H Andrew were without heat, light and water for over 7 weeks in some comunities.

        There is no such thing as ” To Much”, just not enough storage space.

      • 2

        I’ve been without an electric/gas stove for a while due to a major remodel, and I have a couple of one burner butane stoves and cans of fuel.  One can will boil about 2 pots of soup (a pot being 3 quarts) and do a stirfry. 

      • 4

        Lowell – I would have thought you would be set with your 14 day supply of mountain house until I experienced a 50 mile hike when I was 16 years old. Because of that experience, I have to side with Illini Warrior, that the dehydrated hiking food can be rough on a system.

        So on this 50 mile hike that lasted 5 days we packed lots of Mountain house meals for Lunch and Dinner and some of those Quaker Oats instant oatmeal packets for breakfast. On the first day, we loved the dehydrated hiker meal and thought we were set. But after 2-3 days of eating that, no one could stomach the mountain house food any more. We ended up only eating our instant oatmeal until that was gone and then not eating the entire last day of our hike because we were so put off by the taste of the hiking food. 

        My brother in law’s entire food storage is probably a year’s worth of freeze dried mountain house meals. I think he will have a rude awakening when he has to live off of that every day. 

        From what I take about your situation, you are not in an area where you can burn wood, coal, or other fuel sources and the jet boil is your best option. I congratulate and bow to you for going so intense into your calculations of figuring out how much fuel you will need for 2 weeks of cooking. That is far more than I have done in this area unfortunately. 

        It’s expensive, but I would encourage you to try only eating those meals for a week straight and see if it gives you the calories and energy you need for your normal day activities. An emergency will be much more labor intensive though so you may find out you need more than you thought. And maybe your stomach will be just fine on those meals, that would be great! And not only can you see if the food agrees with you, but I would encourage you to only use your jet boil to cook the meals. If you still have half a canister left over after one week of making freeze dried meals, then your calculations were spot on! It is an important lesson to learn and prepare for, and will be worth the time and money spent on it.

        I’d love to hear your results of how the food and fuel situation worked out if you end up doing it! 

        And my last piece of advice, going back to my hiking experience, I would have some ‘normal food’ like instant oatmeal, ramen noodles, canned soup, and canned vegetables. These probably won’t be a complete meal compared to a mountain house meal, but it will be a luxury comfort food that you are used to and will break up the every day of a dehydrated meal.

        Best of luck to you pal, and great job at being prepared. You inspire me to do better than I have been doing lately.

      • 3

        Thank you very much Bill & Robert! 🙏

      • 2

        You have really gotten some great advise.  I’m curious why burning wood in a rocket stove is not an option?  I keep a small one in my get home bag, knowing if nothing else, I can burn cotton balls & vasaline.  A rocket stove uses very little wood.

      • 2

        My thought as well.  I have trees on my property that I can prune branches from (they’re in need of a trim) and make a rocket stove, and it seems more efficient to do the heavy lifting of heating water with that method than canned fuel.

    • 2

      What rocket stoves are you using?

      • 2

        Gosh, I’d have to check out all the names as I have several.   There are two larger ones in my storage closet (pictured below), including a 60 liter Instove cooker, which is really nice.  My smallest is a Solo stove, which is in my get home bag.  I have a few medium sized ones, Ecozoom Duras, up on top of my storage closet.