One set of skills you will definitely need for survival is knowing how to use alternative ways to cook food without power.
Do you have any means to do so? Do you know how? Furthermore, do you have what you would need?
If the power goes out, what is your plan?
Thankfully, there are several ways you can cook your food without electricity. Your job is to make sure that you have the means (and the skills) to apply several of these methods if you were ever to face this need.
There are many methods available. Some use expensive specialty stoves. Others use units which you can make at home for a small cost. Some use certain unique fuels, while others use free accessible energy. The options are wide, and many people have their own personal preferences on which to use.
Here are a few examples:
- Propane grills, camp stoves, and the like – These stoves require propane, of course. The issue here is the amount of fuel you can store beforehand will be limited by your local laws and your living circumstances. You should also be aware of the need to cook outdoors due to soot and carbon monoxide concerns. The clear advantage to using propane, however, is how familiar most people are to using these kinds of grills and stoves.
- Butane stoves – Butane is similar in some ways to propane as both are derived from petroleum, but butane, however, has a boiling point around the same temperature at which water freezes. This makes butane difficult to use in colder temperatures. (Backpacking fuels get around this by combining butane with propane in order to lower their freezing temperatures.) Speaking of backpacking, one of the main advantages to using butane is that it is often packaged in the form of small, light-weight canisters which makes it an ideal bug-out fuel (in warmer temperatures.)
- Rocket stoves – These stoves use a certain structure to efficiently burn sticks and kindling. They make excellent survival stoves, and there are many plans found online which you can make on your own.
- Solar ovens – These take advantage of the sun for energy. Your latitude may dictate how effective and efficient this may be for you. For example, this map displays the solar energy potential for the United States. If you live at a lower latitude, you would be silly not to take advantage of this free available energy to use as an alternative cooking method.
- Dutch ovens – Using cast iron and coals to cook with has been a time-honored tradition for food preparation for hundreds of years. It is also enjoyable. (I love a good Dutch oven meal!)
Those are just a few of the many methods which are available out there for cooking without electricity.
I suggest that you research which methods may be best for your given area and living circumstances. After you decide what is best, then make the effort to acquire the equipment that you would need. Next, learn how to use these methods now while there is no emergency. It should go without saying, if you don’t practice using these methods to gain skills now, you may be in bad spot if you needed to use them and you had no idea what to do. (Besides, that way, if you mess up, you could always get take-out. :D) In addition, you should also store as much fuel as it would be safely possible. Doing these things would go a long way in preparedness as you would then have other methods to prepare food to survive if the power ever went out for either a short or long term.
Without these skills and means, what would you do instead???