Fuel for heating and cooking in the desert

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by mrbrownmegacab, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. mrbrownmegacab

    mrbrownmegacab Occasional Lurker

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    What would you use as fuel for heating and cooking in West Texas mountains and deserts area. I assume there are not forests and an unlimited supply of wood. What other alternatives are there? Assuming everything went all to hell and you can't get propane/gas.
     
  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I'll have to let those from Texas chat about what kinds of natural fuels there are locally, but, if you need to use some kind of fire for heating, cooking, etc - you can use dried cow turds, dried/weaved grasses, natural oils (cow, pig, bear, moose, deer, vegetable, whale, seal, etc), natural waxes (bee) ... and I am sure that there are many other burnable cooking grade items that occur naturally.

    If you want to stay away from burnable fuel sources, you can use a solar-oven to cook up many foods.
     

  3. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    I lived in eastern New Mexico around Clovis for about 2-3 years and there seem to be an abundant source of mesquite available, we used it for BBQs and campfires, never ran out. It burns hot as Hades.
     
  4. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

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    I was stationed in Clovis for 4 years. That place will never run out of cow turds. No matter which direction the wind blowed, that place wreaked.
     
  5. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    When were you stationed at Clovis, I was there between 69-71. 522 TFS. F100s and F111s.
     
  6. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

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    I was there from 90-94 and worked instruments and flight controls on F-111s at the 523rd next door.
     
  7. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    I was a flight control systems specialist or auto-pilot, for those who don't know our lingo, also on the F111s when they first came out, loooong time ago...got out in '71. Lt Col Loftus was our CO.
     
  8. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I can't believe that you remember names from that long ago ... I've dated girls for a year before I could remember her name .. :ignore:
     
  9. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Don't ask me how I remembered his name, now what were we talking about...:scratch:D
     
  10. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

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    Clovis has 3 cattle feed lots surrounding it. The stinch overpowers every nose in Clovis no matter which way the wind is blowing, and the wind is always blowing. Clovis is also an excellent place for wind or solar power. I would live way out of town though.
     
  11. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    You are right about the smell, when I was there a T-33 went down in one of those cattle yards, smoked for hours, we watched as the wind blew it towards us.:(
    By the way did they have the same tornado procedure when you were there of going to the barracks and waiting it out. They told us it would be better to have everyone in one place for body ID after a tornado accident.:scratch
     
  12. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    That's comforting...
     
  13. cowpuncher

    cowpuncher Active Member

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    There is a lot of flammable foliage in the West Texas/New Mexico area. Resorting to cow chips is an option but not really a necessary one. In addition to greasewood (I wouldn't cook on it) and mesquite, once you drop into a creek bottom or get up into the mountains a little bit, you've got regular timber as well.

    I LOVE the smell of feedlots! Smells like money to me.
     
  14. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    Brush. It's everywhere. I've been all through west Texas on vacations and what not. Spent some time in Big Bend. Animal Droppings work, I wouldn't cook over them but I don't want my food to taste like crap. You can also dry cactus I've been told but I've never seen it.
    I doused a hugs cactus patch with Kerosene when my father bought some property and didn't want the cactus and I burnt. Took a long time though.
     
  15. GetPreparedStuff

    GetPreparedStuff Member

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    What stove, heater or device do you plan to use the fuel in or do you need the fuel choice settled before you find the stove to use it with?

    I've used a WoodGas stove successfully with many different fuel sources. Basically any natural woody type material that can be gathered and burned can be used as fuel. The woodgas stove does need a power source to run a small fan. It runs for ~8 hours on two AA batteries which a CostCo 48 pack will give you a years worth of runtime. Or add a small solar panel and NiMH batteries to the mix for longer use.

    The WoodGas stove reburns the gases given off by the burning materials to create a very hot and efficient flame with little smoke. It's still an outdoor stove but it's ability to burn abundantly available fuel sources makes it something to consider when all other fuels sources are exhausted.