There are a number of situations in which you may find yourself without electricity and you want to be prepared all of them. Depending on the number of people in your family or group, your setup needs may vary. Here are some options to explore for making sure that you can still prepare wholesome homemade meals in the event you find yourself without power.
Small but Powerful
For something small and compact that can travel easily, consider getting a Pocket Rocket by MSR. They are a longstanding staple of backpackers all over the world and can literally be assembled with one hand and weigh mere ounces. They pack enough heat to boil a couple cups of water in a few minutes. However, their gas canisters typically do not hold more than 6 hours of burning fuel and have to be replaced frequently. If you are looking for a small but portable way to boil water in less than two minutes for your dehydrated meal, a JetBoil may be your best bet in that arena. The size of a large coffee cup, they screw into the top of a gas canister for added stability and windproofing. JetBoils also come with attachments to turn them into a French press, a frying pan and a cooking pot.
Feast or Famine
For larger groups, you are going to want a stove and cooking area that has multiple burners and a larger surface. Stoves that collapse and are easily transportable, like the classic Coleman double burner, are a great option for a family of four or small group of people. What these kinds of stoves do not offer is a cooking platform or a food preparation area. If you are going to be stationary for a while, consider getting a table with legs and a side food preparation table. Stoves, like the Camp Chef Pro Series Deluxe Three, are equipped with propane tanks that hold a large amount of gas and are refillable and the dual platforms on either side are useful for setting utensils, condiments and cutting boards.
For the sake of longevity, invest in metal, rather than plastic, utensils. Melting or breaking a plastic spatula will render it useless. Metal utensils hold up for a long time — same goes for your plates and cups. Put together a kitchen box with long lasting supplies such as reusable towels (as opposed to one time use paper towels), waterproof matches and fire starter. It is wise to stock up on gas canisters or propane to ensure that you have enough cooking fuel in the event that you lose power and have to fire up one of your cook stove substitutes. If you don't want to worry about fuel, consider getting a large griddle to turn any camp fire or heat source into a cookable surface as long as the area is flat.
Author Bio: W.M. Chandler is a Colorado native and works best with her head in the clouds. She is an avid researcher and enjoys writing about unfamiliar subjects. She writes passionately about nature and the outdoors, human connections and relationships, nutrition and politics. Twitter: @wmchandler1212