Coffee Can Stove

by James C West
(Chatham County North Carolina)

Coffee Can Stove

Coffee Can Stove

I have submitted some tips concerning using ones hiking stick as a means to carry items one might need. I have not seen in this section, however, concerning a method of containing a fire once started. A light weight container can come in handy, I'm sure everyone has heard of the hobo stove or volcano stove, and this is a take on that innovation made out of necessity during hard times of the past (we can learn a lot from the past).

I used a coffee can and cut the bottom off then drilled holes around the can. I then took a stove top element ring (the metal bowl that the element sits over) and turned it over and cut two slits on each side.

I then took and cut two tabs out on the sides of the can to slide into the slots on the ring. After doing this, I took the bottom of the can I cut off and hammered it into a bowl using my towing ball of my vehicle to shape it. (I found that by crimping the edge a little will help it fit in side the can). Holes should be drilled into this before you place it inside the can.

Save the plastic lid to cover the stove, and you can carry your tender, lighter, inside the can. By adding screws around the rim of the can you have a stable place to set your cup or pot.

I have used this light weight stove several times on hikes and found it puts out a lot of heat! The hole where the element fits through acts like a funnel for air causing a chimney effect, increasing the amount of air helps to produce more heat.

Happy Camping

James C West

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Old School Fire Technique

by Todd Owen

If you are ever in need of light, fire, heat, or all three, remember this simple idea that can be a life saver. Take an empty coffee can ( METAL of course ), a roll of toilet paper that will either fit inside it or can be made too, and a standard 16 oz bottle of rubbing alcohol.

Squeeze and knead the paper to loosen up the cardboard center, until you can pull it out. Then squeeze again and collapse the role tightly. Slip the toilet paper inside the can and slowly pour the alcohol over the paper till it is totally swollen and absorbed by it.

Then light or spark it. (In a ventilated area, it still emits CO2 like any fire). The paper/alcohol mix will burn a nice bright hot flame from 18 to 24 hours or so depending on how steady you keep it going. You can snuff it with cloth and relight it again anytime before the alcohol dries up. (Be careful the can is extremely hot).

The fuel is running low when the paper edges start to turn brown. When it runs out completely you can add another bottle of alcohol and still get an additional 12 hours or so before it's used up.

On a side note: I have a small plastic tube that holds my alcohol in it, its the same tubing as i have on my Camel Pack H2O system. I fill the spare tube with the fuel and it stores nice and neat in my Survival pack.

One roll of T.P. 89.cents
One bottle Rubbing Alcohol - 1.00

Not freezing to death or unable to cook your food.


Make sure you have the basic wilderness skills to safely enjoy your trip.

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