Kerosene and the ghost of Y2K

Well, I think I’m pretty much done on buying kerosene for the rest of my life. Last time I bought kerosene was here. That was an awesome deal.

Was tooling through Craigslist (when? When will I learn??) and, lo and behold, a fella selling 14 5-gallon drums of kero. For those of you who went to public government schools, that’s 70 gallons. Or, if you’re in a country that never put a man on the moon, 265 liters.

20170801_101755The fella was asking way, way, too much for the stuff so I made him an offer. Wound up getting it for $200…a tad under $3/gallon. (ok, fine….$2.86/gallon).

I  love kerosene…it burns hottest of the liquid fuels, keeps forever with no special treatment, is safe to store, and has a nice market of stoves, lamps, and heaters out there.

My anticipated use? Well, it’s winter for a good chunk of the year here and it would be nice to keep the house toasty in the event of a power outage. Most likely these will go into storage with the last batch of 5-gallon drums I bought. There they will wait until the day when it’s dark, cold, and dreary and I shall have light, heat, and hot food.

Here’s the interesting part… I met the guy, a rather old gentleman who, sadly, was dying of cancer, and as I was moving the cans out of his rather neat and nicely stocked garage I asked him why he had so much of it. His reply was that it was his leftover Y2K stash. Apparently he’d gone long on Y2K stuff. I suspected as much as I looked around his garage and saw the rifle cases, cases of ammo, etc, etc. All the hallmarks of someone who is on the same page. We chatted a bit about the Y2K thing and about how we’d rather have it and not need it, etc, etc. I thanked him for the deal and assured him it was going to a home that shared his concerns and mindset.

I also told him that if he had any other Y2K leftovers he wanted to sell, to please keep me in mind.

So for those of you who wonder how you meet like-minded individuals, there’s another example.

I did the math to figure out how may gallons of kerosene I have in storage and I think I may have actually gone a tad heavier than I planned. I’m going to have to contact a few of the LMI and see if they want some…I don’t think I really need more than 100 gallons for any forseeable emergency.


10 thoughts on “Kerosene and the ghost of Y2K

  1. Extra fuel is fuels to share!

    Headline: “Local Samaritan ensures elderly stay warm through coldest winter on record”.

  2. I’m sure this is a rookie question, but how do you burn kerosene to heat an interior space without risking poisoning yourself with the exhaust?

    • A *properly* functioning kerosene heater will only produce trace amounts of carbon monoxide, meaning (exhaust-wise) it’s basically safe to use indoors & unvented. Other exhaust products from a normally-functioning kerosene heater are water vapor, carbon dioxide (neither toxic nor a ‘greenhouse gas’), and nitrogen dioxide.

      That said, you can’t really ‘see’ if your kerosene heater is functioning properly or not, so use of both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors is essential. Carbon monoxide is most commonly produced when there is insufficient ambient oxygen to completely burn carbon into carbon dioxide (2 oxygen atoms), and get get carbon monoxide (one oxygen atom), so it’s use to ensure your house is either not too tightly ‘sealed’ or you have a window ‘cracked’ for fresh O2.

      Alternative is to properly exhaust your kerosene heater through an exterior wall. And if you anticipate using your kerosene heater regularly, why wouldn’t you? Do it ‘right’ and permanently install your kerosene heater and vent that bad-boy outside. Done.

  3. We use kerosene heaters at our place. It doesn’t get terribly cold where we live, but still go through around ten gallons per year between the house, the ham shack and the barn. 100 gallons is FAR from being “too much” in a colder environment!

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