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The Primus OmniLite Ti Multi-fuel Stove: A “Top 5 Survival Tool of the Year”
If you remember the Back to the Future series, Doc shows up at the end of the first movie with an invention from the future now installed under the hood of the Delorean — an invention called “Mr. Fusion”.The Primus OmniLite Ti stove may not be quite on the same level as Mr. Fusion (for those who remember the movie), but it can still burn multiple types of liquid fuel and that is where this camp stove has other popular camp stoves beat. This Primus stove can burn Gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and even aviation fuel, just to name a few, making it an effective survival tool for:
- Cooking while on the go
- Boiling stagnant water to kill viruses and bacteria
- Starting a fire in cold or wet conditions when other fire-starting methods (e.g using one of these recommended ferro rod firestarters) won’t work
What Popular Science Had To Say
Who backs these claims? It turns out the editors at Popular Science thought a lot of the Primus OmniLite Ti stove. They named it one of the top 5 survival tools of the year for 2012. We might be in 2015 now but the unique abilities of the Primus OmniLite Ti to burn any of the above mentioned fuels may make this one of the most useful survival tools ever invented to date.Here’s why:
The Primus OmniLite Ti fuel bottles are capped in a way that allows for simple refill by pouring fuel by hand into any of the 4 available bottle sizes (so, no technician or machine required for refilling).
And again — it can run off gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and even aviation fuel.
For those of you into cold weather survival, you may already know that certain fuels gel up at temperatures below zero and equipment stops running. So, with the ability to operate the OmniLite Ti stove using Dye 1 diesel or Clear 1 diesel (common fuels used in regions of the country known for cold temperatures), you can be sure that your stove will work at temperatures well below zero.
In A Post-Apocalypse, Stay Off The Radar Of Hostiles
One other important aspect to consider for a fuel burning camp stove … A fuel stove typically minimizes or produces no smoke at all.
On the other hand, Camp stoves that burn wood not only may produce noticeable smoke, but they also generate the smell of “campfire”, and that can be a dead give away in hostile territory that you are camping out somewhere nearby.
A wood fire can have it’s place in survival, but only when you feel safe enough to use burning wood for heat, light, etc. So, if there are hostiles in the area, skip the wood fire — no need to give away your position. Choose a fuel burning stove instead.
Word of caution …. the smell of food cooking can also be an alert to nearby hostiles. In this scenario, you may want to skip on “cooking” all together, not until you can get a considerable distance away to a safer area. Now you can reach for that fuel stove.
Where To Find Fuel
Following a time of collapse, gasoline and other fuels will likely be hard to come by because no fuel stations are likely to be in operation.
Major stores closed and looted.
Mass starvation. Don’t expect your local Chevron or Texaco to be selling gas and snack food. We’re talking post-apocalypse following a massive global series of events that has taken place.
But even if gas stations are not in operation anywhere, there are a million other places a smart survivor can get fuel — for example, abandoned vehicles — which, in a post-apocalypse, you can expect to be a lot of in a number of places.
Siphoning Fuel … Safely
If a vehicle is abandoned and there’s no chance that it’s owner is coming back for it, you have two ways to get to its fuel supply. One is to siphon it from the tank with a manufactured hose and pump (that’s the safest way), and the other is to crawl underneath the vehicle with a catch-pan and poke a hole in the gas tank (just don’t use any sparking tools).
Gas (or diesel, if this is a diesel truck) will drain out of the bottom of the tank you just poked a hole in. Fill your Primus fuel bottle(s) and you now have fuel for at least a few hours of cooking or possible driving (should you get your hands on a motorbike or moped).
Be sure not to mix diesel with gasoline or you’ll dilute the burning properties of both fuels. Instead, fill your bottle with either straight gasoline, or straight diesel. (The Primus OmniLite Ti stove comes with three jets, each with a different diameter measured for the specific fuel type you are carrying that day).
A Fuel Scavenger’s Paradise
Here’s something a lot of people living in the cities and suburbs don’t understand about rural areas — there may be a lot more fuel available than meets the eye.
Areas of farming and agriculture may have large abandoned machinery like tractors and plows carrying dozens of gallons each of diesel fuel, as well as stand alone diesel tanks (and gasoline storage tanks) that you may find either lifted up on a support stand or stored horizontally on the ground or even on a pull-behind trailer. Those that are on stands do not require an electric pump for operation (electricity to the region may be down), as gravity allows fuel to be pumped easily from the bottom side of the tank and through a hose and hand held nozzle.
Those tanks that are stored on level ground do require an electric pump and if there’s no electricity, simply unscrew the pump from the top of the tank (look around and you’ll probably find a pipe wrench somewhere nearby) and now use a siphon pump, or just a cut hose, and siphon the fuel out of the tank with your mouth (get yourself a siphon pump if you’re not a fan of the taste and smell of gasoline).
In rural areas, you’ll find fuel in a lot more places than just farming operations. Outside of most towns industrial areas, construction companies, trucking yards, and any number of energy installations (coal, oil, natural gas, etc) can have fuel equipment, tanks and various vehicles parked and abandoned on site — a literal fuel scavenger’s paradise.
Find Fuel At The Bottom Of Empty Tanks
What happens if someone else gets to a fuel storage tank before you? Don’t fret. There’s still a good chance you can find fuel in what looks like an empty tank at first glance.
You see, there may be a few gallons of fuel at the bottom of each tank that you can get to with a long hose — though you may have to siphon it out.
What about an abandoned car or truck that appears out of fuel? Good news — it might not be completely empty either.
- Look inside the vehicle for a jack — if you can find a jack, jack the vehicle up so that the rear end of the vehicle (or front end) is tilted up at an angle. Gravity will now cause any remaining gasoline to pool at the bottom level of the tank.
- Now crawl underneath and poke a hole in the fuel tank at the lowest spot, where any fuel inside will collect. You might get a couple gallons easily doing that, which is more than enough to fill one of these Primus fuel bottles for supplying fuel to the Primus stove.One last tip that should go without saying. The Primus website says that smoking is not recommended when refilling a fuel bottle. Yes, it actually says that. So you have to wonder what genius forgot to put his cigarette out one day prior to fueling up one of these Primus bottles…
Another Thing To Mention About Primus Fuel Bottles
These Primus fuel bottles are used by motorcyclists to carry extra fuel when traveling in the backcountry where there may be no gas stations for hundreds of miles.
In a post-apocalypse (or “Tribulation” as also called by many — see our section titled “The Last Days” at the top of the website), expect to find the occasional abandoned motorcycle, abandoned because it ran out of fuel and it’s driver took off on foot. Good news for you if you’re carrying one of these Primus fuel bottles — you’ll have some fuel to get this motorbike started and get at least a few dozen miles further from where you are now, or simply to where you can find more fuel and refuel your new bike.
Why Not Just Carry A Gas Can?
Sure, you can take your chances carrying a large container for gas, and perhaps you’ll carry a few more gallons of fuel that day. But realistically a gas can may be a poor choice due to the fact that someone else may want your fuel and be willing to shoot you for it if they see it. Ever watch the Mad Max series?
Primus fuel bottles that are sold with the Primus OmniLite Ti stove (which also can be purchased separately) are one way to carry fuel safely, in smaller containers, and keep hidden in your pack and out of sight.
Primus OmniLite Ti Stove Is A Proven Survival Tool
To summarize, the Primus OmniLite Ti fuel stove is an extremely useful and proven survival tool. Not only can it be used to cook food and boil water (it’s primary purpose), but its unique ability to burn either gasoline, diesel, kerosene/paraffin, or even aviation fuel (you may find a lot of that at an abandoned air strip) mean that when stores and gas stations close for good, you won’t be out of fuel, not when there are so many places and abandoned vehicles to retrieve fuel out in the countryside.
Possible Out Of Stock
One word of warning. When articles like this article you are reading hit publication, I have seen some products become in short supply and suddenly there’s none in stock — anywhere. If you want one of the Primus OmniLite Ti camp stoves and a couple extra Primus fuel bottles, make your purchase now, I wouldn’t wait or when you do finally come around to buying it might not be available anywhere.
See More of Our Articles on Survival Gear and Supplies
Here at Secrets of Survival we’ve got a number of gear guides, recommendations for survival gear and supplies. If you need more inspiration when it comes to survival themed gifts, check out some of our other articles about the best survival gear you can get your hands on: