Trangia stove saves lizards during blizzard

Written by Malin Bergman


On Sunday the 14th of February 2021, Dallas resident Jorma got surprised by a very unusual winter storm that brought both snow and freezing temperatures to the subtropical state of Texas.

Jorma’s apartment was one out of nearly 500,000 homes and businesses that were out of power and water for several days after the storm.

Temperatures below -20C degrees can be difficult to manage at the best of times, but even more so when you share your apartment with two chameleons and a pacman frog. Waking up in his freezing apartment the next day, Jorma discovered that his reptiles were not doing so well. They appeared lifeless and on the edge of freezing to death and so Jorma had to quickly think of an emergency solution to warm up his cold-blooded friends.

“They appeared lifeless and on the edge of freezing to death”

Having grown up in from Finland in a family who did a lot of hiking, Jorma quickly thought of his old Trangia stove as an emergency heat source. He put the kettle on and soaked a couple of t-shirts in the hot water and put the bags in the containers with the reptiles. He then gathered the reptile containers around the Trangia set while he cooked bacon and potatoes for breakfast.

When the reptiles started to wake up, Jorma decided to transfer them to a friend’s house who still had power, as he didn’t know how long the power outage was going to last for. It ended up being almost 3 days without power, but he didn’t lose water as he kept the water dripping to prevent the pipes from bursting. Thankfully both the lizards and the frog survived and are now safely back home and happy.

Thanks to this experience Jorma will be more prepared next time, and make sure he has enough fuel for the Trangia stove to last him at least three days. He is also a very experienced Trangia stove user and knows that the Trangia should not be used indoors. As this was an emergency, he took safety precautions and had wet towels around to prevent a fire.

“I gathered the reptile containers around the Trangia set while I was cooking bacon and potatoes for breakfast.”

Thank you Jorma sharing your story!