Camping & Survival DIY (episode 2)

DIY Camp & Survival Stove continued

Step 1:

DSC00251Step 1 includes laying out your plans (even if only a rough layout) with a sharpie onto your stove body can. Your can may be any size you choose, this one was from a 40 oz. can of green beans (I think). Remove the label and give it a good washing. The glue shit on the side of the can will eventually burn off, so don’t be too concerned.

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Step 2:

cut out the burner sectionThen I cut the bottom of the can like so, using a Dremel with a cut off wheel attachment. DSC00044This section needs to be a bit more precise. Just slightly larger than the biggest fire can you plan to use. (for the record, I was making two stoves at this time. The smaller one was intended to be a more compact, personal survival stove.)

fire can going into placeThe fire can should fit into the stove body with approx. an 1/8″ of clearance on all sides of the largest can you plan to use. I use two different size cans for this stove, one for high heat & one for lower heat. My high heat can is made from a jalapeno cheese dip can. Works great and doesn’t get too hot, plus it has a lid for when not in use. The lower heat can was in fact a sliced olive can.

* * * * *

Step 3:

bottom vent holesNext, drill some holes into the bottom around the can for ventilation. The fire cans work better if they get a little oxygen. Then of course you’ll need to drill holes for your top vents, rods (explained later), and carry handle.

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Step 4:


measuring the length of rodsRods can be cut from an old metal coat hanger. Cut & measure your rods by using the stove body can as a template so to speak. Cut them about an inch longer than the diameter of said can. This will leave enough length to bend the rod (see full set photo below).

rods in place

Next insert rods into the holes you drilled earlier around the can. Holes should be about an inch from the top so your pot cans will sit just below the top & won’t tip over.

**Note** the holes you see around the very top of this can are from a previous design that I have since improved on, just ignore them.

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Step 5:

fully assembled for storageThis step is purely for your convenience. It’s a carry handle. Made from the same metal coat hanger that I used for the rods earlier. Also, I found a good use for those holes I fucked up design modification on.

my son demonstrating how to hold itHere is photo demonstrating how the carry handle operates.

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Step 6:

ready for useFinal touches:

You will need to find at least one can to use for cooking. I used two cans here, the larger one was a can of tomatoe sauce. The other, smaller can at one time was a large can of tuna. Note how they are just slightly smaller in diameter than the actual stove body can and fit down inside on top of the rods. This places the cooking pot cans approx. 3-1/2 inches above the fire.

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The test:

fire can in use inside stoveMy Jalapeno cheese dip fire can at work.

For the purposes of this test, We used the BBQ pit for a controlled burn space. If ever we were in a survival situation again, or even just out camping there is definitely a shit load of fire safety protocol that myself/wifey & children are all proficient in. It is best to start with a daily dose of safety conscienceness in all areas, not only fire safety.

Moving on.

water boilingOnce the fire is going good and hot, it takes around 20 minutes for the water to boil from start to finish temp. using the larger of my two fire cans. This test was done with the larger pot can as well, about 3/4 full of water. Again, if out in the wilderness the stove would likely get a heftier workout than this.

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full set unassembledHere we have the full set, matches included out in full view.

storage assembly with a tray...woopy doooWhen fully put together for storage/transport there is a small space to put your multi tool or lighter. Maybe you can put your easter eggs in it. This entire kit is much like a puzzle but when put together no larger than the stove body itself. Except of course your fancy carry handle.

Over all the whole thing cost me nothing but what was already in my home. Mostly recycled items most folks tend to throw away. I spent more time figuring out what my final design was going to be, than actual build time. My hope is that this was a simple project anyone can do if the need arises. If you have any better ideas, feel free to do it your way. Enjoy.


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