View Full Version : Military Space Heaters

03-06-2006, 08:53 AM
I've been considering small oil burners for use in tipis and tents in wood-free areas, or during fire restrictions that prohibit the use of wood stoves. I see that in recent years the military has been issuing a Space Heater Small (SHS) and Arctic (SHA). They may not be an option for civilian / industrial purchase since the manufacturer (Hunter Manufacturing) hasn't returned calls, but I wonder if any of the board participants have had experience with the heaters. If so, what do you think?

03-06-2006, 09:47 AM
They work great, if you know how to use them. Try Twin Cities Surplus--they had some in stock the last time I looked. Roughly 150.00, all told.

The Artic, or Yukon stove is one I'd avoid, unless you're really cramped for space. It's a lot flimsier, more prone to tipping over, and a lot more dangerous to operate. The latest generation of space heaters (pot belly stoves, to most of us)are multi-fuel, and a lot more user-friendly.

03-06-2006, 10:33 AM
Wouldn't one of those propane heaters be a little lighter and easier than lugging a bunch of diesel/oil?

I used a diesel heater for quite a while overseas and found that a bit of chopped up tire created a real blast of heat. Might also be lighter to carry (and cheaper) than oil.

03-06-2006, 11:47 AM
thekirk - Thanks for the lead but I don't see them listed at TCS. I too have heard bad things about the old "Yukon" style and it is the newer type I'm interested in.

P.S. Just found what you referred to but they are the old kind. Thanks, but I'll avoid those.

Ben - I'm looking for a heating system that vents outside to provide dry heat, and I don't see any portable propane setups of that type that are designed for serious use. One Swedish surplus unit turned up but it looks cumbersome from the pics and the connections and operations are total unknowns. Heating oil and diesel are interchangeable in some uses, though diesel doesn't burn as cleanly in many stoves. Supposedly, the newer military stoves are designed to run primarily on diesel though they are multi-fuel and have pre-heaters which vaporize the fuel before burning. Both diesel and oil are actually a lot lighter than propane when you consider tank weights, and oil has more BTUs per gallon. Diesel, Jet A and heating oil are typically more available in remote areas.

03-06-2006, 12:48 PM
Never mind.

Hunter Manufacturing just called back and said they don't sell to anyone but the military. Odd that they promote them on their web site as if you COULD buy them. So that issue is moot. The NordicStove still appears to be the best option.

Woods Walker
03-06-2006, 05:49 PM

Propane heat is just not as comfortable as other heating sources as I believe that H20 is a by product of propane combustion.

Poel. Did you check out that pellets stove add on in the other thread?

03-06-2006, 06:00 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/USED-WASTE-OIL-HEATE...1QQcmdZViewItem (http://cgi.ebay.com/USED-WASTE-OIL-HEATER-PLAN-FURNACE-PLANS-SHOP-GARAGE_W0QQitemZ5673441930QQcategoryZ47103QQssPage NameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

03-06-2006, 06:08 PM

03-06-2006, 07:08 PM
WW - I did check that out. The pellet feeder looks neat. I think it was Bushcraft who suggested that one of those might be fitted to a Kifaru stove, though you'd likely need some sort of rack to support it. Much of my zeal for an oil burner is fuel availability, plus being legal during fire restrictions. But I can see where pellets would be more appealing to pack around than a plastic jerry can.

Anthracitic - Thanks for the links. Those things look neat too, though probably heavier than my current fantasy. What I really want is a titanium wonder that folds down to the size of a medium Kifaru stove, puts out 20k BTUs and has 95% efficiency. Fuel would go in a bladder like a big hydration system.... :p

03-06-2006, 07:16 PM
So, build it- Copy the burner in a light weight version.
Herter's (once upon a time) sold an oil-fired version of the Mighty Midget stove.10"x12"x12".
I'm a stove tinkerer myself, although my efforts are in developing a stove in the form of a collapsible fabric sleeve.

03-06-2006, 08:52 PM
Anthracitic - "...a collapsible fabric sleeve." An interesting idea indeed.

At one point I was thinking about adapting a Kifaru stove but after some research, that seemed like a real stretch. Do you remember how the old Herters stove controlled fuel? Stove tinkering is fun but, like most of life's better things, it can be a black hole for time and money.

03-06-2006, 09:00 PM
It had a one gallon fuel can on the back, and if memory serves it dribbled oil through a petcock on or between a heated steel plate(s) inside the stove. Pretty basic-
I don't think it would be difficult at all to fab a burner unit that would work inside the Kifaru stove. Fuel supply with gravity feed, some type of bulkhead fitting/petcock to transition the tygon fuel line into the firebox proper, and then your burner unit mounted with a couple of bolts through the bottom of the stove.

03-06-2006, 09:06 PM
Poel, WW - You're both quite right; I was thinking of those cheap and simple propane heaters I've seen at Costco, but I completely forgot about the water issue. I'd forgotten why I hate propane! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

You know, the diesel stoves we used overseas were rather simple. A basic stove with a small door and a reservoir/tank that was placed like a copper IV bag to the side of the vent pipe! We just filled the reservoir tank up and adjusted the drip rate on connecting copper tube by turning a wing-nut valve.

Poel - Perhaps a Kifaru stove could be adapted and give you what you desire? It might not take much and give you a true multi-fuel stove. I wouldn't want to try anything more volatile than diesel however.

03-07-2006, 06:32 AM
Poel, I didn't realize this was something you'd be packing on your back. That fellow at Cylinder Stoves does not skimp on the use of steel in his products, so packing the pellet feeder would be a no go. He also makes an oil burning conversion kit for use in his stoves. I imagine you could pluck some ideas from that setup and miniaturize it for use in the Kifaru stoves. It looked really simple. As I recall, you still have to have an ash base for the oil/diesel to saturate into, preheat, and then combust. So, this may not work for you since you are wanting to get away from the firemaking aspect of the stove.

03-07-2006, 07:44 AM
Bushcraft - Well..... I don't really plan to backpack an oil stove any distance. At least not the type that can be had off the shelf. Still, the lighter the better to move in light aircraft, or maybe a pulk or cart, even some unsuspecting mule. I'll try again to get info on the CS oil burner kit. The web page lacks detail. Called them last year and got no response, then got distracted with other things. I'd imagine you could use a sandy soil or some twigs as a wicking agent in the burner without inviting trouble.

My initial thinking was for a simple drip tube with a burner cup in a Kifaru stove, similar to what Ben and Anthracitic described. Experience with home brew stoves like that (old Coleman fuel can) was that they were tricky to control without a carburetor. But compared to what? A wood stove is not fire and forget either. A Ti baffle plate fixed on the inside with bolts and wing nuts might give some thermal inertia and diffuse heat. You guys may be talking me back into this....