Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Winter Preparedness: Backup Heating Alternatives


I was recently talking with someone living in a cold climate region and the topic of backup heating came up. I remembered about an incident a few years ago when our oil burner broke and needed to be replaced. I had a tank full of heating oil but no burner…  in Ireland in the middle of winter. The house did have two fireplaces, but we soon found out that these were more for show than actual heating. What saved the day was an electric radiator and the couple kerosene heaters I had bought a while back.
Depending on where you live, heating may be a matter of inconvenience or a matter of life or death. In such a place, I want no less than two alternative heating methods besides the primary one normally used, plan B and C, just in case. You just never know. The heater or burner can break, power may go out, you may even be injured, too weak or too sick to go collect firewood. Always have a backup plan.
Here are some of the best alternatives.


I personally love Kerosene heaters. I love how simple they are. Nothing electronic going on, just a wick a fuel. Read up  (start here!) and learn as much as you can about them. Light them outdoors and give it about 30-60 minutes or so until it heats up very well for the first time so as to avoid any smells. Once its going though, its my favorite low tech heating method. You can get these on Amazon (and the radiant model shown is excellent) but honestly its just fun to go hunting for one in garage sales as well. Prices on these things when sold used is also very low (check the wick though, it probably needs a new one). Get one, keep a few gallons of kerosene and you'll be warm during storms and blackouts.

Also very simple and handy, preppers love these Buddy heaters and the larger Big Buddy units. They are portable and simple, and for those that dont like do mess around with kerosene, they do have less of a scent which even if minimal, it bothers some people. Here you are just burning propane and you dont have to light it outdoors. Make sure you have enough fuel. Better yet, get the adapter for it so as to use larger propane bottles.

DeLonghi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater, Quiet 1500W
Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater. Your tipical electric radiator. They are simple and safe to use, not much can go wrong with these and as long as you have electricity you’ve got heat. Excellent for when something goes wrong with your main heating but you still have power.

Cheap and compact little units. Not as nice as radiators but handy as long as you have electricity.

HotHands Body & Hand Super Warmers
These are great for your kits, keeping in your car and BOB or even in your jacket, just in case.

 FerFAL

Check out my new Book “Street Survival Skills” . Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

1 comment:

John Batzel said...

Quick note on the propane: it's dangerous, in some places illegal, to have larger than the smallest bottles of propane inside your house. Not only can they leak or outgas and cause problems, they're basically bombs in a house fire. Whatever method you use, be safe -- too many people set their houses aflame with candles during blackouts, and here you're dealing with real heat.