Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial]

Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial]


There is something nostalgic about Dutch oven cooking over an open flame. The smell, the feel, and the taste of this experience cannot be replicated by any other method of cooking.

Sure, I’m a bit biased about the almost magical effect that the Dutch oven has on the ingredients that are placed inside of it. But as you read a bit further, you will get a better grasp on my infatuation with cast-iron Dutch ovens.

Dutch ovens bring out that warm feeling of being “home” regardless of where I may be in the world. As I huddle around the fire ring with my group, preparing our meal, the Dutch oven becomes part of my extended family.

Dutch Oven Cooking as a Part of Your Emergency Plan

 

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Coach Helder’s Dutch Oven Cooking Video Tutorial:

A lot goes into preparing a meal using a Dutch oven. We need to gather firewood, build a sustainable fire, prepare our ingredients and then actually cook the meal. Most of the time, this requires a group effort. So… not only does the Dutch oven provide a tasty and nutritious meal for us, but it also brings our group together, as one team, working towards a common goal.

There are various Dutch oven choices available to us. We have options ranging from ceramic to aluminum construction. But for my purposes, there is only one real type of dutch oven… One made of 100% cast iron.

I also require certain features from my Dutch oven. Besides the obvious cast-iron construction, I also require my Dutch oven to have:

  1. 3 legs on the bottom to hold it above the coals
  2. A lid flange or ridge to contain coals for baking purposes
  3. A lid handle to remove and replace the lid
  4. Made in the U.S.A. with U.S. materials

So now that you know the specs that I require for my Dutch oven, let’s get into why I feel that the best Dutch oven is the ideal cookware for emergency situations when weight is not an issue.

Cooking in a Dutch Oven is Safest

 Cooking in a Dutch Oven is Safest | Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial]

A lot of the cookware options that are catered to the survival minded are made from aluminum. This keeps the mess gear lightweight, and aluminum is also a great conductor of heat. However, when food is cooked at high temperatures in aluminum, some leaching can occur, and the extra aluminum ends up in our food–and bodies.

There is plenty of talk about aluminum toxicity contributing to diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Even though there are arguments on both sides of the fence, I chose to avoid cooking in aluminum cookware. There may not be any proven detrimental effects from cooking in aluminum but there certainly aren’t any health benefits either.

When we cook in our cast iron Dutch ovens, any leaching that occurs from the cooking process is actually beneficial to us. Our bodies require iron and during stressful times, we need all the benefits that we can get in order to accomplish our mission. The stronger that our immune system is, the better our chances of not only surviving but also thriving as we ride out the calamity are.

Cooking in a Dutch Oven is Convenient

Cooking in a Dutch Oven is Convenient | Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial]

Whether I am making a stew or baking a cake, the Dutch oven is the only cooking container I need. I can gather up all of my ingredients, toss them into the Dutch oven and begin my cooking process. This not only makes cooking a lot easier, but it also allows me to utilize less gear. In an SHTF scenario, I want to conserve as much energy as possible. Deploying, stowing, and cleaning only one main piece of cookware certainly lightens the workload.

The lid on a Dutch oven fits snugly when placed over the pot. Due to its heavy cast-iron construction, a sealed Dutch oven keeps the critters out. This helps to preserve any leftover food while we work on other elements needed in an emergency situation.

Dutch Oven is Ideal for Various Cooking Methods

Dutch Oven is Ideal for Various Cooking Methods | Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial]

You can deep fry, bake, sauté, boil and do pretty much any other preferred cooking method in the outdoors. The Dutch oven can even be buried for a slow cooker method. Another great feature of the Dutch oven is the fact that the lid can be inverted, placed over a flame & used as a skillet. This adds diversity to your cooking options and you can divvy up the food preparation tasks with the multiple members of your group.

The only real limitation with the Dutch oven is your imagination and skill set. You may not have all the ingredients that a certain recipe calls for but it’s the perfect opportunity to overcome and adapt! One of the benefits that I get from my Dutch oven is that it seems to add its own bit of seasoning to the meal being prepared. This more than compensates for any missing ingredients that the recipe calls for, especially in an emergency situation.

The more that you use your Dutch oven, the more that it adds to the flavoring of your meal. You can understand why the Dutch oven is so much part of the history, prompting George Washington’s significant other to include the cooking wares in her will. Take care of your Dutch oven and it will remain part of your gear for life.

Dutch Oven Cooking is Ideal for Both Bugging-In or Bugging-Out

The Dutch oven might not be the most viable choice for bugging out on foot due to its weight & dimensions. But for bugging-in at home or bugging-out in your vehicle, the Dutch oven is ideal.

In an emergency, we may not have full access to the grid. Electricity and gas utilities will not be in operation. Knowing that I can prepare a family meal, utilizing a fire and a Dutch oven, adds a bit of comfort to the current mayhem and the uncertainties that lie ahead.

Comfort Food When Comfort is Difficult to Come By

Comfort Food When Comfort is Difficult to Come By | Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial]

In an SHTF situation, you may not want to give away your location with a big, boisterous fire at night. This holds true whether you are bugging in or out. Security is key and a fire can be spotted from miles away. An added benefit of the Dutch oven is that it can be buried while cooking your meal.

Turning a Dutch oven into a slow cooker is a method that has been used for years. It was a preferred means of cooking used by our Western pioneers. They would bury their Dutch ovens in a hole with a bunch of hot coals, and head off to hunt or perform whatever work was needed. Hours later, they would return to a warm nutritious meal waiting for them. All that they had to do was to retrieve it from the hole that it was buried in.

If you choose to practice this method, remember to abide by the Leave No Trace rule. Always leave your working environment better than you found it.

The Dutch Oven Produces Better Tasting Food than Other Cookware:

The Dutch Oven Produces Better Tasting Food than Other Cookware | Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial]

OK, I realize that this is just my opinion… But I can guarantee you that I am not the only one that feels this way.

Because of the pores in the Dutch oven, the more that you cook with it, the greater the flavor of future meals become. Now, it’s not an overwhelming addition to the flavor… It is more of a special ingredient that you cannot seem to put your finger on. Think of it as your special secret spice that will keep your family and friends guessing as to what it may be.

I can use relatively plain ingredients with my Dutch oven cooking and once the meal is done, the food is infused with a richer flavor that the ingredients alone couldn’t produce. When we couple that with the fact that we are also getting some additional iron leaching… You can easily see why Dutch oven cooking is the preferred method for many who are focused on preparedness.

A Dutch Oven is Easy to Clean

A Dutch Oven is Easy to Clean | Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial]

Let’s be honest… Neither of us finds the aspect of cleaning mess gear enjoyable. Sponges, soaps and scouring pads are messy and add a plethora of unwanted chemicals. These same chemicals can end up in our bodies and cause adverse effects to the environment.

When it comes to the Dutch oven, soap is a NEGATIVE! The soap can become lodged in the pores of the cast iron. If that happens, you will need to re-season your Dutch oven and basically start from scratch. Well… there goes all that wonderful added flavoring that I mentioned earlier. I will get into seasoning your Dutch oven in a future article.

I clean my Dutch oven by scraping out the excess food, filling it with water and bringing it to a boil over an open flame. After emptying the water out, I repeat the scraping process for any stubborn food residue and apply a thin coat of oil to the interior of the oven. I also put a thin layer of oil on the underside of the Dutch oven lid.

Once the Dutch oven is fully cooled, I stow it away in a custom-built wooden box so that I do not get my other gear dirty while transporting it.

That’s it… Cleanup is nice and simple, comparatively.

The Dutch Oven is Durable Enough to Last a Lifetime

The Dutch Oven is Durable Enough to Last a Lifetime | Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial]

Due to the Dutch oven being constructed with cast-iron, it is extremely durable and holds up well when used in the field. No need to worry about dents or dings that would make the pot unserviceable. I have lost various mess gear in the past due to dings that caused the lid to no longer fit snugly on the pot. Even though this gear was made of quality stainless steel, it was still malleable enough to get destroyed by unforeseen mishaps.

However, when the Dutch oven becomes hot, it also becomes brittle. Always handle your Dutch oven with care, especially when it’s hot. If you drop it over a stone while it is hot, it will crack. Like every other piece of gear that we own… Take care of it and it will take care of you for a lifetime!

I have several pieces of cast-iron cookware that are over 100 years old. They were passed down to my parents and then handed down to me. If you invest in a quality Dutch oven, it won’t be cheap, but with the proper care its lifespan is virtually endless. Eventually, you can hand it down to a loved one to carry on the tradition.

Bottom Line:

During an emergency scenario, there are so many unknowns that we will encounter. Being able to provide not only a nutritious meal, but also a tasty one, is imperative to keep energy and morale levels up. One of the best ways that I’ve found to accomplish this is via Dutch oven cooking.

As always, you need to get out there and practice. The more that the Dutch oven becomes a part of your method… The faster you can reap the benefits.

Once you get it right and share that first Dutch oven cooking chocolate cake, made entirely in the field, you will be the HERO of your next outing or camping trip.

Is Dutch Oven Cooking A Part Of Your Emergency Plan? [Video Tutorial]

If you’re looking for products to assist in your Dutch oven cooking, check out these options:

  1. Dutch Oven Chronicled 28
  2. “Mary Washington’s Will”. Kenmore.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 17 Feb. 2017.

Did you find this post on Dutch oven cooking useful? Let us know in the comment section below.

Up Next: 20 Quick, Easy and Savory Campfire Recipes

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 19, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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25 Ways to Get Clean Drinking Water in an Emergency

25 Ways to Get Clean Drinking Water in an Emergency


If you love the outdoors or you have gone on a trip in the wilderness you know how fast you could gulp down a bottle of water. It can be the intense heat of the sun beating down on you or you’re sweating profusely from all the rigorous activities that your body has been through. What if you run out of water in the middle of nowhere? You may come across a body of water but you’re not too sure about it being clean unless you’re an extreme survivalist. You wouldn’t want to end up with diarrhea or stomach problems, would you? Whether you’re outdoors or at home, being able to get clean drinking water in an emergency is vital to quench your thirst and survive.

The following list will show you’re a number of ways to get clean drinking water should you find yourself in a pinch.

  • Rainwater

    – This can be the most basic substitute next to having a direct source of potable drinking water. You can collect them in rain barrels attached to the downspouts from your roof. The need for straining, filtering and purifying is still needed prior to consumption.

  • Hot Seat

    – The tank of your toilet seat that has a removable lid, more often than not, can be a good source of drinkable clean water. Since it comes directly from your tap then it may be good to drink. However, that would depend on the age of your toilet.

  • Water Heater Tanks

    – You will not have to boil the water taken from these tanks as it has already done that for you. Just make sure you turn off the gas or electricity before unplugging the drain at the bottom of the tank.

  • The SODIS Way

    –  SODIS or solar ultraviolet water disinfection utilizes solar energy(UV-radiation) to purify water to rid it from diarrhea-causing pathogens and other harmful microorganisms. All you need is a clear water bottle or a plastic water bag, sunlight and a short waiting time.

  • Boiling It in a Pot

    – Pour the water through a coffee filter or a piece of cloth to rid it of visible debris and dirt. Heat up the water until it starts to boil. If you have a thermometer it is best that the water temperature reaches a boiling point of 212° F or 100° C to kill all pathogens.

  • Soil/Sand Filter

    – Without the latest technology water filters, one has to go back to the basics. Using a clean empty container, place a shirt or piece of cloth over it then fill it with sand or soil which will act as your filter. Other than removing sediments and particles, there is no assurance on the presence of bacteria.

  • Use a Solar Still

    – Just by digging a 3 feet deep hole into a ground, and using a wide plastic container you’ll be good to go. It may take some time but if you really don’t have any other option then waiting for your drink can be far off better than ingesting potentially harmful water.

  • Evaporation Distillation Method

    – You can even turn salt water into drinking water through different methods. It may require a bit more energy and more complex tools. However, it may be worth the wait especially if you’re located near the beach or floating aimlessly on a boat in the ocean.

  • Filtrating Through Moss

    – Moss absorbs moisture and can give you a quick sip if water can’t be found anywhere else. The web-like structure of moss also helps sift visible dirt and debris. But this doesn’t ensure the that the water you take out of moss is 100% purified.

  • DIY Pocket Water Filter

    – A small tube-like piece of material like bamboo can be used as your base. Fill it with moss, then charcoal, then moss again in respective order. Top it with the top end of a plastic bottle sealed with pine pitch will give you an instant water filter.

  • A DIY Water Filter

    – With the use of ordinary day to day items such as a  gallon bucket and a little bit of patience you can have your own filtration system when out in the wild. Adding bleach or chlorine will give you safe drinking water to end your hydration worries.

  • Purify a la Pool Shock

    – Also known as Calcium Hypochlorite which can be a substitute for bleach in purifying water. It has a very long shelf life, occupies very little space for storage, very cheap and most of all is readily available almost everywhere.

  • Fire It Up System

    – With the use of 2 metals drum, a sheet of metal sheet and a fire you can get distilled water for drinking. Place a fire at the bottom of the drum with bad water then arrange the metal sheet in a curve-like manner in an angle where it will drip steam into the catch drum.

  • Bleach Your Way Out Of It

    – You can disinfect a gallon of water with just 16 drops of chlorine bleach or a quarter with just 4 drops. This does not substitute the boiling method though. Don’t forget to filter the water from sediments and debris.

  • Through Hydrogen Peroxide Purification

    – This household ingredient has that capacity to purify water like that of chlorine and bleach. You will have to treat the water with twice the amount than that of chlorine or bleach. Shake or stir then let it sit for half an hour. There should be a slight peroxide odor after that. Otherwise, it may not have done a significant purification effect.

  • Iodine Tablets

    – Filtering the water from sediments is still needed since all that these little wonders can do is purify your water. 1 small tablet can purify up to a liter of water. Drop it in, give it a little shake and let it stand for 30 minutes before drinking.

  • Potassium Permanganate Purification

    – KMNO4 or more commonly called Condy’s crystals is a water softener that is sold in pill or powder form. 1g or 3 to 4 crystals can purify a liter of water.

  • Combo System

    – A combination of all the basic ways to get clean water would ensure it is indeed safe to drink. Filtering, distilling, chlorinating/disinfecting water from different water sources will give you peace of mind that you’re drinking safe water.

  • Hydration Backpack System

    – You can fill the Geigerrig pack with water taken from lakes, rivers, creeks, and streams to name a few and then attach the filter. You’ll be drinking clean drinking water even on the go in no time.

  • The Berkey Light Purification Device

    – This lightweight, shatter-resistant purifier needs no electricity and is capable of filtering 4 to 8 gallons of the murkiest water. Getting clean water has never been this safe because it’s more than “just another water filter…”

  • Sucking It Up System

    – You will have to embrace the suck on this one as you will surely be sucking it up since your life will surely depend on it. All it takes for you is to pop, dip and suck then you’re good to go. This little compact tool is called the Lifestraw and it weighs only about 2 oz. you will not have to worry about a worry about bringing a bottle anymore.

  • SteriPEN It

    – This revolutionary handheld water purifier is tested and certified by the WQA against US EPA Microbiological Water Purifier Standard. It uses UV light to make your water safe to drink. You will have to filter the water from dirt and debris though as it just sterilizes your water.

  • Sweetwater Purifier System

    – With an easy-to-use lever action pump handle that can provide 1 Liter of drinkable water per minute. This system weighs only 14 oz. and can be easily stored and pack in your bag.

  • Katadyn Water Filtration System

    – This mini filter can produce one to two quarts per minute depending on the mode applied. Depending on the quality of the water source the cartridge can give up to 500 gallons of water.

  • DIY Water Storage

    – Preparation for long-term is also a must. Carefully clean containers to be used for water storage, sanitize and label according to date filled, store in a cool dark place and then rotate container every six months to a year.

  • There are a lot of other ways or methods as well as tools and equipment that one can put into good use to get clean drinking water in the event of an emergency. Making sure of the unsure should the situation call for it is the most basic survival tool that any survivalist must utilize.  You are sure to survive longer or even get through an emergency situation if you master the basic techniques above.





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