Used Coleman 425. Needs some cleanup, maybe.
I’ve seen worse cooking in a camp.
If your prepping plans don’t include one of the venerable Coleman stoves, such as the classic 425, you’re missing out on one of the true bargains out there. I just took a quick look at Fakebook’s “Marketplace” and was able to find them as low as $15. Of course, that $15 stove needs a little work. OK, maybe it needs a lot of work. Still, it’s got all the parts.
The $15 well used Coleman 425. This one will likely need more
than some elbow grease to be ready to go.
There are a ton of articles and videos scattered on the Intertubz that have instructions on fixing or replacing this or that bit, and an endless supply of places to buy the bits. But it would be a PITA to find every video you need to fix up that beater stove.
Enter “SagebrushBob” on YouTube. Bob has noted this difficulty and has done a 4 (or maybe 5, I’m still watching them) part series on refurbing your 425. He starts with disassembly and cleaning and goes on from there. I’ve done things like rebuild pumps, but I’ve never seen an end-to-end restoration.
The videos are a little long. Use the “speed up” feature to keep things moving. Worth it for the information you get.
I swear, if YouTube wanted to improve things, they would give away copies of “How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck” to every content creator they have.
Personally, I prefer the propane units, but I have a 425 and a single burner that I don’t remember the model of. You can burn a lot more in them than “white gas” (naphtha). That could come in very handy someday.
(Edit, 11/27/2019: After finally watching all the videos, I’m convinced that, for my purposes, propane is the thing. Between the cleaning needs and the need to store spare parts, it’s just a lot simpler, plus the fuel is, in many ways, safer to store. But in a long-term scenario, this stove would probably be a better choice, just because of the multi-fuel capacity.
Even though I’m starting to distribute a lot of the prep goods-including 2 of these-to the kids, I’m going to keep my single burner and a few gallons of fuel (the naptha kind), “just in case”.)