Spring is in the air, we are keen to go trekking again. To make your backpack lighter and avoid the heavy gas refill and the expensive camping stove, learn to DIY a pocket camping stove from two aluminum cans.
A camping stove is for (re)heating food/drinks that you decide to take during you trek between friends (or alone, it’s up to you). But if you go with friends, you can impress them with your handmade pocket stove. The method, invented in 1904 in the United-States, has variants. We chose the one that requires the less tools and will cost you almost nothing (thanks to recycling).
– two 33cl cans (recycle them!);
– scissors or a utility knife;
– a tack or a nail;
– methylated spirit (2-3€).
1) Mark the cans with a marker at roughly 4cm from the base. It is preferable to use a utility knife for the cutting. Keep the can on its side, place the utility knife on the marking and make the can spin on itself while gently pressing the utility knife. Once the can is open, beware not to cut yourself with its sharp edges.
2) Pierce several holes with a tack or a nail in one of the two bases. First, 4-5 holes at the center of the base that will be used to soak the cotton inside. Then, holes on the side through which the flames will come out, spaced 0.5 to 1cm apart (but precision is of little importance).
3) Put aside the pierced base and take the other one. With pliers, slightly bend the edges towards the inside to make assembly easier. Place cotton in the bottom and assemble both parts.
Your camping stove is ready! All you need to do is pour the methylated spirit to soak the cotton and light it. It goes without saying that it is dangerous to play with fire, so test your DIY stove outside with the necessary things to extinguish the fire should there be a problem.
It might take you a few minutes and several attempts for your camping stove to function perfectly. In fact, the spirit inside the can will get warmer and burn more easily. With a camping stove filled at its maximum, you will be able to heat and cook your food for the best of twenty minutes. Only problem: no low or medium heat…