Easy Single-Can Backpacking Stove

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70$ for a simple stove? That’s outrageous! Well, here is a simple stove design made from only a single can. This stove is ultra-light, has a 0% failure rate in normal to extreme conditions, is dirt cheap, and runs on readily available fuel. Don’t empty your wallet for something worse than what you can make at home! Without further ado, here is your stove.

Step 1: 1. Materials

Picture of 1. Materials

To make the stove, you will need a few things.

MATERIALS
-Soda can (Doesn’t matter what brand, as long as it’s aluminum.)
-Optional: Aluminum tape (Not pictured)
TOOLS
-Dremel OR X-acto (or similar)
-Dremel cutting wheel attachment
-Vise
-Needle nose pliers
-Marker

Step 2: 2. Cut the Top Half

Picture of 2. Cut the Top Half
Picture of 2. Cut the Top Half
Picture of 2. Cut the Top Half

2 More Images

To begin, You must start with the top half.
PICTURE 1
Choose a measurement to be used throughout your build. We used 3.5 cm. Draw a line around your can. This is the cut line.

PICTURE 2
Cut along this line as neatly as possible using your Dremel or knife.

PICTURE 3
Result.

PICTURE 4
Using a knife (a Dremel would be hard to use here), cut out the top of the can around the inside.
EDIT: According to SpinWard, you can also use a can-opener to cut it out (Which would be smoother). Thanks!

PICTURE 5
End result of entire step 2.

Step 3: 3. the Bottom Half

Picture of 3. the Bottom Half
Picture of 3. the Bottom Half
Picture of 3. the Bottom Half

Now, you must cut the bottom half from the leftover can. For demonstration purposes, I have shown how to cut with an x-acto blade, but a Dremel will also work. Be sure to draw a line around the 3.5 cm (or whatever measurement you choose) line.

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PICTURE 2
Demonstrating how to set up the blade by clamping the blade in the vise.

PICTURE 3
Cut around the line you drew by rotating the can around the blade.

PICTURE 4
Result of Picture 3.

PICTURE 5
Crimp the edge of the can by grabbing the edge of the can with your pliers and twist every 1/2 inch of so.

PICTURE 6
Result of entire step 3.

Step 4: 4. the Inner Wall

Picture of 4. the Inner Wall
Picture of 4. the Inner Wall
Picture of 4. the Inner Wall
Picture of 4. the Inner Wall

This inner wall is used to separate the fuel jets (where the fuel vaporises and cooks your food) from the inner chamber, where you put in the fuel.

PICTURE 1
This is what you are making.

PICTURE 2
Measure the same distance from the edge as you did the other parts and cut, as shown in picture 3. We use 3.5 cm.

PICTURE 4
Cut picture 4 in a straight line any where on the ring.

PICTURE 5
Fit the ring around the inside edge of the top half and mark a spot where the two sides overlap on either side of the ring, as in picture 6.

PICTURE 7
Cut halfway up each place where you marked the overlap, and fit them together, like in picture 8.

PICTURE 9
Cut three holes on the ring about 120 degrees apart from each other. These allow the fuel to flow to the fuel jets.

PICTURE 10
Place the inner wall around the lip on the inside of the top half with the holes facing up.

Step 5: 5. Put It Together

Picture of 5. Put It Together
Picture of 5. Put It Together
Picture of 5. Put It Together
Picture of 5. Put It Together

To complete the stove as shown in picture 1, put the bottom half inside of the upside down top half sub-assembly, around the outside of the inner wall. If the fit is not perfect, squeeze it together overnight using the vise. After you take it out, don’t forget to poke holes! 18 holes is a good number to start with, but you can poke more or less depending on what results you want.

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CONGRATULATIONS! You now have a fully functional, lightweight backpacking stove! Proceed to the next step to find out how to use it.

Step 6: 6. How to Use Your Stove

Picture of 6. How to Use Your Stove
Picture of 6. How to Use Your Stove
Picture of 6. How to Use Your Stove

To use your stove, first fill it with the flammable fuel of your choice. I used 70% Isopropyl alcohol. I fill it about halfway so I don’t flood it. Next, Use a barbecue-style lighter to light the alcohol. After you light it, it will look more like the last picture, with nothing coming out of the jets. After a few minutes, it will get hot enough to vaporize to fuel and look like the first picture.

EDIT: To make a wind shield/Pot stand, go to http://zenstoves.net/PotStands.htm.

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