DIY Camp Stove

March 27, 2014 § 2 Comments

diy camp stoveWhen it comes to camping, I’m the best amateur out there. I car camp like a champ, have bike camped in places with easy access to modern amenities (car campers love to give you all of your food when they find out that you biked there), and have only properly backpacked a few times – and then with seasoned backpackers who made sure we didn’t go hungry or attract any bears.

I’ve been planning for a bike trip and getting flashbacks of standing next to a giant fire, waiting forever for it to cook a can of beans, and then cleaning the can out and doing the same again the next morning with oatmeal. This all seemed too hard to me (age comes with slightly higher standards, apparently), so I added “proper camp stove” to my list of items and biked to Eastern Mountain sports.

Camp stoves, it turns out, run from $39.99 to over $100 not including fuel.


cost to functionalityDIY camp stoves, it turns out, are only slightly less functional but much much cheaper. A lot of DIY projects out there are cheaper than off the shelf options (see DIY panniers), but aren’t a real functional alternative. If I’m going to DIY, it has to be in zone D – cost effective without sacrificing practicality.

There’s an entire Pinterest on DIY camp stoves, and after poking around there and other places on the internet, I decided on this high efficiency stove from Paul over at the Outdoor Adventure.

The nice thing about this DIY project is that it didn’t take much to scrounge up the materials necessary – I asked folks in the office if they had any tin cans lying around and all I had to purchase was a pair of all purpose snips. If you don’t have a drill, no worries, neither did I. The bottom of the inner can will just take a few hours of hammering a nail repeatedly. I did this while watching War of the Worlds (really terrible movie, good for hammering).

Securing the ring that the inner can rests on was also a challenge without a drill (couldn’t figure out how to hammer a nail through the inside of the can), so I made a hole from the outside and then put the nail in from the inside and bent it around the rim with some pliers (bottom left photo above).

My first trial boiled water in 16 minutes. Not bad.


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