Preparedness Fuel Sources – Coal

What are the fuel sources on your preparedness list?

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Have you ever considered coal?

Black coal or charcoal for cooking

Black coal or charcoal for cooking (Photo credit: epSos.de)

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Have you got a few extra yards of space in your landscaping?

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Consider adding a random hill or a few mounds of grassy noll with a stash of coal hidden under it.

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When it comes time to heat your home or add something to your fire pit for warmth in a major SHTF situation digging up this fuel source will make you glad you did it.

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***NOTE!! BE VERY careful when using coal. It smokes heavy and needs to be exhausted correctly. Not following a safe burn outline can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning! Please, use extreme caution and safe practices when burning coal. Burn ONLY in approved VENTED places.

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From the blog: Coal in the Home

About using, not mining coal

By Andrew Alden

When I was a kid in the mid-1960s, we moved to a house that had a pile of coal in the cellar—lump coal, nice big chunks with a clean cleavage and little dust. Who knows how long it had been there, perhaps 20 or 30 years. The current heating system was a fuel-oil furnace, and all trace of the coal furnace was long gone. It seemed a shame to throw it away. So for a while, my family revisited the 1800s, days of King Coal, and burned coal at home.
We had to get a cast-iron coal grate for the fireplace, then we had to learn to kindle and burn coal correctly. As I recall, we started with paper and kindling to get a hot start, then put smaller coal chips on it that would ignite quickly. Then we would pile larger lumps on, taking care not to smother or overload the fire, until we had built up a good pile of evenly burning coal. That would minimize smoke. You had to arrange things so that blowing on the fire wasn’t necessary—blowing on it just spread coal smoke through the house.

Once ignited, coal burns slowly with little flame and high heat, occasionally making gentle ticking sounds. Coal smoke is less aromatic than wood smoke and has a dirtier smell, like cigar smoke compared to a pipe mixture. But like tobacco, it was not unpleasant in small, dilute doses. High-quality anthracite makes almost no smoke at all.

A grate full of burning coal would easily go all night without any attention. We had glass doors on the fireplace to help modulate the draft, which allowed us to burn more slowly at a lower temperature and also greatly reduce the risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Looking around the Web, I can see that we didn’t do anything badly wrong. The two main things to be sure of are having a sound chimney that can take the hotter fire and regular chimneysweeping. For my family, burning that old coal was just fun, but with good equipment and careful operation coal can be as good a heating solution as anything else.

Today very few Americans burn coal at home any more, just 143,000 homes in the...(read more)

Demo Video on how to use coal in an iron stove:

Hand Feed Anthracite Coal Stove, Burning Nut Coal

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If you are into “green energy” you certainly aren’t going to condone burning coal. But, then again, if you are facing a 20 degree or lower winter temperatures, I doubt you’ll argue it’s benefits, then…

I know folks that have this added to their emergency supply. Catch a pile of it before it’s price gets crazy.

Related ArticleThe war over coal is personal – CNN.com.

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