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Theoretical Survival Rocket Stove Space Heater Question  RSS feed

 
Will Carter
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Hey guys,

I have been wondering about whether it is feasible to construct a rocket stove space heater in the wilderness with no access to modern materials. My concerns are...

1. The Insulator material separating the up/down drafts. Is it possible to use a mud/sand/small gravel combination when clay sediments aren't found readily? Sort of a homemade mortared rock and sand/gravel for the center and outer cylinders with a flat (sealed) rock on the top for the cooking surface, is along the lines I was pondering. And then in the underground exhaust lines, using cored out 8 inch green tree trunks in the area where the temps have receded far enough down.

2. Would the flat rock top stove surface be as convenient heating a pot of boiling water as a thin top surface of a metal barrel?

Thanks for any help you can give me on the subject.

Will
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I have this book by Larry Dean Olsen, somewhere in storage, but was able to find this online too. This is more of a primitive survival RMH. You might be able to sort out a cooking arrangement in the firebox area. Sorry this link is crazy long. I'll test it after I post it. I hope it works: https://books.google.ca/books?id=oTQn-auVtF8C&pg=PA43&lpg=PA43&dq=larry+dean+olsen+chimney+bed&source=bl&ots=0rJ0jOjDG-&sig=JRu9NF9h9MzEDS1B_uJR-JGK9rs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKqZHwifjJAhVN12MKHRkeASkQ6AEIIzAB#v=onepage&q=larry%20dean%20olsen%20chimney%20bed&f=false
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Just before the title and description that the link leads you to is a neat sketch of one style. If you scroll up on that link you'll see it. That sketch uses forked branches to hold up the bed stones. Another style is using stones to line the edge of the trench to rest the bed stones on.

As far as super primitive and simple rocket stove set ups, you might be better off with this (I'm sending you the crazy russian hacker link because I think he's great fun, but there are lots of youtube dakota fire holes to search and watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H83A-TaszZs

There are also versions of this put inside tent set ups on youtube to heat a space. Have fun with it.
 
Will Carter
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Roberto pokachinni wrote:Just before the title and description that the link leads you to is a neat sketch of one style. If you scroll up on that link you'll see it. That sketch uses forked branches to hold up the bed stones. Another style is using stones to line the edge of the trench to rest the bed stones on.

As far as super primitive and simple rocket stove set ups, you might be better off with this (I'm sending you the crazy russian hacker link because I think he's great fun, but there are lots of youtube dakota fire holes to search and watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H83A-TaszZs

There are also versions of this put inside tent set ups on youtube to heat a space. Have fun with it.


Thank you very much....I'm at work, but soon as I get home, I'll delve into it all
 
allen lumley
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Will Carter : Welcome to Permies.com and sister site Richsoil.com, and a Big Welcome to the Rocket And Wood Stoves Forum Threads.

I am posting a few links to our Welcoming Threads that will make your searches and your future postings more powerful and productive


See Links Below :

http://www.permies.com/t/43625/introductions/Universal
http://www.permies.com/t/34193/tnk/permies-works-links-threads


We have a ''Homesteading'' Forum that contain a wealth of Bush-crafting information and links to other locations that you should find helpful

Two quick thoughts - 1) A word of warning, There are huge amounts of Stinking Crap (Cloned ) Videos out there in You- Tube Land, they are

very hungry for any and all content videos and have NO Mechanism to remove bad content, often a newby will watch some of this crap and post

a Cloned copy of someone else's crap ! _ Just use due diligence if you go there !


As a personal Favorite Bush-crafter who has trained many of todays 'Experts' I like Canadian Master Bush-Crafter Mors Kochanski !

The 1st thing you will note about videos showing Mors Kochanski is the fact that he is now in his mid -Seventies and still has all his fingers and toes

Good luck and Good hunting ! For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL
 
Will Carter
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Thanks again for the Olsen link...I've already known about that style and was planning on doing the flue system like that. The issue is the oven... it's draft pulls back straight through to the flue pathing... therefore it acts like a wood stove. We put a pot of water on top of a wood stove for humidifying the basement in winter as it's so dry. Problem is due to the direction of heat drafting, the water just slow simmers...never boiling. That's where the space heater up and down draft comes in...it pulls the heat up to the top, which heats the cooking surface. Oh wait! I have an idea....doing a drawing and will try to attach it, and you tell me if this will work... in the diagram, I guess I'm wondering if the updraft elbow to the rock will disturb the draft flow through the rest of the system?

sheltfire.png
[Thumbnail for sheltfire.png]
 
Roberto pokachinni
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t looks like it might, but I can't tell you for sure. It looks like it would be a pretty simple system to test with some scrap material. I'm thinking that it might be hard to get a draft going considering where the chimney is in the system in relation to where the downdraft bend is. If you had a primer fire pit under the base of the chimney that could be covered with a flat stone once the system is primed, you might be better off; hard to say. It might be that the system as you drew it would work if the wind was in your favor and not at all if it wasn't.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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As a personal Favorite Bush-crafter who has trained many of todays 'Experts' I like Canadian Master Bush-Crafter Mors Kochanski !


I've met Mors, and I can attest to him being a master crafter and a really awesome guy worth supporting in any way. http://karamat.com/

I've had this amazing book of his for a long time: http://karamat.com/shop/books/bushcraft-detail

I haven't read his new books yet: http://karamat.com/shop/books/basicsafetravelprint-detail , http://karamat.com/shop/books/grandsyllabusprint-detail
 
R Scott
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Here is the civil war version of a RMH tent heater: http://www.alexandriava.gov/historic/archaeology/default.aspx?id=39470

Missing the rockety bit...but that should be intentional so it can burn wetter/greener wood. rocket stoves need perfect feedstock which usually disappears in an emergency.

I have used something similar at a historical camp. It can be surprisingly efficient. Hard on the ground, sterilizes the soil. Definitely not leave no trace.

 
F Styles
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the answer is yes you can do this with no modern metals or fire bricks. the best natural material i can think of is natural clay and if found in the wild you can build a very nice RMH. the better the natural clay the better the RMH. to make a RMH core without any modern materials i would mix the purest clay you got with fine saw dust you make from your hand saw... you will have a hand saw in the bush right? mix the clay and sawdust and lay out a good flat base the side of your RMH core. then pile moist sand (not too moist) into a RMH core along the flat clay sawdust foundation you made and then cover it with a good 4'' of clay sawdust mix. once that dries, build a sand stack to match the interior of your heat riser and then line the out side of it with the clay sawdust mix and let it all dry. once dry you carefully and i mean carefully dig out the sand. you can also replace the sand with hollow 6'' to 8'' logs to use as support to build your core and heat riser and then layer the 4'' clay sawdust mix on the out side. wait for the clay to set and then burn out the hollow log core and it will for a nice insulated fire clay core and the sawdust will create air pockets and make your clay insulative. if you feel you need to build an outer "bell" do the same with hollow logs or sand and coat it with clay and straw mix. make your ducts out of clay and rocks and build a rock and clay chimney. thats how i would build my bush craft RMH if i had no modern materials.

this clay does not build a very rugged core but if you are not rough with it, it should last a while. just dont jam your sticks into the feed area and dont get rough with cleaning it out.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I'm very curious if the description that F Styles wrote about in this last post above would actually work. I do not doubt the procedure/method, but rather the insulating/heating characteristics.

The sand form/clay buildup idea is simple enough and while in Utah I have built a beehive clay oven with that style of sand forms. I don't have a problem with that.

A clay rocket stove with a clay bell is like a dream of mine, but I'm not sure that the bell could withstand those extreme blasting flames.

I'm also not sure that the sawdust/clay rocket core would be insulated enough to ensure the proper burn temperatures to properly rocket.

Would either Ernie or Erica or anybody who has experimented with clay systems please weigh their opinion here?

Actually I'm going to post the question in a new thread after attempting a search.

 
Will Carter
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F Styles wrote:the answer is yes you can do this with no modern metals or fire bricks. the best natural material i can think of is natural clay and if found in the wild you can build a very nice RMH. the better the natural clay the better the RMH. to make a RMH core without any modern materials i would mix the purest clay you got with fine saw dust you make from your hand saw... you will have a hand saw in the bush right? mix the clay and sawdust and lay out a good flat base the side of your RMH core. then pile moist sand (not too moist) into a RMH core along the flat clay sawdust foundation you made and then cover it with a good 4'' of clay sawdust mix. once that dries, build a sand stack to match the interior of your heat riser and then line the out side of it with the clay sawdust mix and let it all dry. once dry you carefully and i mean carefully dig out the sand. you can also replace the sand with hollow 6'' to 8'' logs to use as support to build your core and heat riser and then layer the 4'' clay sawdust mix on the out side. wait for the clay to set and then burn out the hollow log core and it will for a nice insulated fire clay core and the sawdust will create air pockets and make your clay insulative. if you feel you need to build an outer "bell" do the same with hollow logs or sand and coat it with clay and straw mix. make your ducts out of clay and rocks and build a rock and clay chimney. thats how i would build my bush craft RMH if i had no modern materials.

this clay does not build a very rugged core but if you are not rough with it, it should last a while. just dont jam your sticks into the feed area and dont get rough with cleaning it out.


But without clay available(worst case scenario), the RMH isn't possible to make in this situation?
 
allen lumley
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Will Carter : You can do a Google search for the terms Ondal Heater, Ondol Floors, and see other systems close to what you are attempting . You can Also

look for The " Roman 'Hypocaust System''for more information ! see link below :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocaust



Clay is where you find it, I live in extreme upstate New York, well within the path of repeated Glaciers that scrubbed most of this area down to bed rock.

After the retreat of the glaciers the eastern half of our Adirondacks became the seafloor of a major inland sea - This just shows that clay is where you find it !

Clay with sand say 3 parts clay to 1 part sand will -depending on Clay type make a type of cob that can then be used to make your system airtight enough to

give it a decent draft !

A Word of caution, without very frequent maintenance you are creating the potential to expose people to Carbon Monoxide from leaks in your system!

For the good of the Crafts ! Big AL
 
F Styles
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I do have to point out that the topic is "Theoretical Survival Rocket Stove Space Heater" and in a survival situation, I dont know about you but what i can imagine survival i am not thinking of a modern air tight heavy insulated house... im thinking of a very drafty survival TIPI, log cabin or leantoo and gas build up does not seem to be as big of a problem as a modern air tight heavy insulated home. not saying that you can but im thinking down in the dirt wild crafting survival.

the outer clay bell i would mix with sand and some kind of fiber straw or such to give it strength and it should stand up to the lower temps since the bell is the cooling area and not the internal burn chamber or heat riser.
 
allen lumley
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F Styles : Refer back to the post by Will Carter Dec 25th, The major difference in that sketch and the Ondol or Hypocaust Systems is that they are simpler that that sketch !


The Ondal system is uses flag stone like capstones to provide both the roofing layer for the Horizontal flow of Exhaust gasses And the Floor or the sleeping surface !

Recently someone has posted a Thread Here ( Rocket Stoves ) on the use of a Rocket System with an extended Horizontal Chimney that delivered in floor heating to Civil War

Casualties living in tents ! Even in very porous Structures like Tents, Teepees or Debris Huts the accumulative nature of exposure to Carbon Monoxide will degrade the

performance levels of those with long exposure.

The ONLY Medical treatment is Sealing the victim into Hyperbaric chambers and administering high flow Oxygen- AND this care is only Palliative, giving the Respiratory System

a chance to clear the Carbon Monoxide from the body at the cellular level ! Being indoors in tightly sealed houses can make the situation much worse but CO poisoning is a

re-occuring situation in Survival Situations !


The Rocket System is a major improvement on 3 rock fires, But is very sensitive to ANY leaks in its system, often totally failing to 'Draw' due to simple loss of air-tightness.


All clays have varying expansion and contraction rates, Notably during drying and when heated/cooled . The use of Sand, preferably a course Builders/Masonry Sand in a

range of ratios provides a reduction in that Expansion and Contraction - this is something that should be tested for with the construction of ''Cob loafs'' at various ratios to

Find the correct ratio for that ''local Clay ".

As you pointed out the addition of Sawdust into clay or Clay/Sand will by its eventual combustion provide additional insulating pore spaces, Generally the use of Straw in the

Cob construction can be ether insulating or Structural depending on whether the straw is consumed due to the Heat Energy Load at that location !
 
Will Carter
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thanks for your input
 
F Styles
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what do i know?... the more i know and learn the more i know i dont know anything. i do know people with native american blood have built tipis with OPEN fires in the middle along with bush craft and primitive festival people that do the same in their tipis and tents and all of them state " CO poisoning" is EXAGGERATED in the mentioned drafty "survival bush craft" shelters. im not here to ninny or split hairs but to share and learn myself. but then again what do i know. i can tell you for a fact my RMH system is NOT air tight and i get amazing results. i dont recommend building a leaky system. i look forward to patch those leaks but so far i have not heard CO alarms going off.
 
Will Carter
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F Styles wrote:I do have to point out that the topic is "Theoretical Survival Rocket Stove Space Heater" and in a survival situation, I dont know about you but what i can imagine survival i am not thinking of a modern air tight heavy insulated house... im thinking of a very drafty survival TIPI, log cabin or leantoo and gas build up does not seem to be as big of a problem as a modern air tight heavy insulated home. not saying that you can but im thinking down in the dirt wild crafting survival.

the outer clay bell i would mix with sand and some kind of fiber straw or such to give it strength and it should stand up to the lower temps since the bell is the cooling area and not the internal burn chamber or heat riser.


Well F Styles, I'll come clean on the survival situation. I'm going to be doing a casting video in May for ALONE Season 3 on History, and I have been pondering this type of fire heating system for the shelter (which will be 4-8 inch wide dual walls with moss between as insulation, then mud daub on the inside wall surface and shedding foliage on the outside surface. So there will be no drafty shelter. The top will be canvas A frame with an under skeleton framing 4 inches away...once again filled in with moss for insulation. That's plan A anyhow. I always keep plan B and C ready. The drawing I had earlier was my train of thought to get the flue and chimney outside the shelter as to not incur a leaking problem were I have to go through the roof.
 
F Styles
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like i said why would anyone take my advice? i just ask questions and put logic together in a critical way along with research and experience. if natives and pioneers can live with open fires smoking up their tipis, cabins and caves i am sure you are smart enough to regulate a draft so you dont poison your self and heat comfortably at the same time. i hate ninnys and hair splitters for the sake of looking intelligent so i say go for it and test what you want to build now so when the time comes you got it in the bag... do it!
 
allen lumley
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- A Major world wide problem, with proven links to poor air quality and disease and the loss of habitat from increasing De-forestation, is caused by the 40%

of the Worlds Population Who are still using 3-Rock Fires for heating and cooking . See link below :


http://cleantechnica.com/2014/10/29/saving-lives-global-alliance-clean-cookstoves-interview/?utm


Rocket Stoves and rocket mass heaters RMHs, are major improvements on 3-rock fires, one of the greatest benefits is the RMHs ability to perform as an

Air - to - Air Heat Exchanger actually removing or greatly reducing indoor air pollution, while drawing in cleaner outside air, the tighter the house and the better

the Final Vertical Chimney the more pronounced that effect will be !

However a leaky wood stove of any type is a potential source of Carbon Monoxide, though in fairness I most share that most Carbon Monoxide poisonings here

in the 1st world are related to running I.C.E.s in poorly vented locations !

So if my 30+ years as a paid/volunteer Fire fighter / EMT has made me a ninnie I can live with that. When there is more than one possible position on an issue

We owe it to newbe members to make sure potentially dangerous conditions are at least mentioned - I Think this too is important !

For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL
 
John McDoodle
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I agree completely with Roberto pokachinni,

The best way to make a survival real rocket and a smokeless fire in the wilderness, without clay, as the OP mentioned, is the DAKOTA FIRE HOLE. It uses the earth as a mass and insulation, and it channels all the heat to one spot where there is often zero smoke and optimum cooking. You can place an elevated flat rock over the exhaust for a seconday mass, of even a makeshift griddle. You can even build the clean feed side into a teepee or a hill side shelter, no smoke in the shelter!

This idea is older than this website. Infact older than the internet, and older than modern technology, but its a pleaure to discuss it with people who seem to have separated from nature and the basics in life, the essentials.

When you tell people what it is they think often think you are crazy, or genius, and I admit, that's a fine line
 
John McDoodle
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Also in africa, the women make rocket stoves from clay and ashes, ashes can make a good insulating material in an emergency situation, they actually use this style to cook on and heat with, but I'm suggesting the ashes more than the clay, since the OP mentioned clay may not be available. But I still believe the dakota fire hole is the way to go
IMG-20151229-01860.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG-20151229-01860.jpg]
 
F Styles
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John McDoodle wrote: But I still believe the dakota fire hole is the way to go


i agree the D-hole looks like the best idea. good it was created in Dakota and not the Appalachians. i think people have no idea how to connect to the simple things and over complicate and split hairs... keep it simple.
 
Will Carter
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F Styles wrote:
John McDoodle wrote: But I still believe the dakota fire hole is the way to go


i agree the D-hole looks like the best idea. good it was created in Dakota and not the Appalachians. i think people have no idea how to connect to the simple things and over complicate and split hairs... keep it simple.


Well Styles...like you said...I've got time to test my sketch out...I think its exactly what I'm going to do. I live in an area where I can't test it, however my father's house about an hour away, is in the country and he's retired construction super intendent (much materials) I'll probably see if it works around March or April once weather is on the good side.
 
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