It is common knowledge that every backpacker needs a reliable backpacking stove, but sometimes backpacking stoves can be really expensive. What if we told you that you could build a backpacking stove of your own? Building one would enable you to create a simple, ultralight backpacking stove while keeping costs to an absolute minimum. This one even runs on a type of fuel that is really easy to access. So, in this article we will be discussing on how to make a backpacking stove and what materials are going to be needed.
The only material that you will need to complete this build will be a single aluminum can. A typical soda can will work just fine. You can also use aluminum tape, but only if you want to.
The tools that you are going to need are a little bit more complicated. You will need a versatile cutting knife with a round head, a standard blade knife, a cutting wheel, a vice, a pair of needle-nose pliers, a ruler and a marker pen.
Firstly, you need to concentrate on the top half of the aluminum can. Put a ruler up against the aluminum can and choose a measurement that you will stick to throughout your build. Just several centimeters would work perfectly for this.
You then need to cut along the line using the blade of your knife. Remember that you are just cutting the top of the aluminum can off and it should only be a few centimeters in, meaning that most of the can will still be left intact. If you do not want to use a knife, then you could consider using a tin opener.
After you have done that, you need to put the section that you have cut off to one side and focus your attention on the bottom half of the can. Remember to stick to the measurement that you chose for the top half and measure up from the base of the can. Once again, you need to cut along your line.
Take the base that you have just cut off and your pliers. You need to use your pliers to crimp along the edge that you have just cut. Ideally, you should aim to use your pliers every ¼ or ½ inch.
You then need to create an inner wall by using the piece that you had left over. This inner wall is important because it is responsible for separating both of the fuel jets. Take your separate piece and measure out the measurement that you chose. You want to cut this piece so that you are left with a ring that is the same width as the top of the can and the base.
After you have done, you need to carefully place the ring along the inside edge of the top half of your aluminum can. Once you have placed it inside, you need to use the knife to make a small notch in it where the two pieces overlap. You then need to use your knife to cut directly down the line where you made your notch.
You should then go on to cut three separate holes on the new ring that you have created that are evenly spaced out. These are responsible for letting the fuel flow directly towards the fuel jets.
You can now place the inner wall that you have created around the lip of the aluminum can inside of the first half that you cut out. Make sure that your three holes are pointing up.
Next comes the fun bit—you get to put everything together. Take the base of the aluminum can and put it inside of the upside-down top half. It should go around the outside of the inner wall that you made. This is also where the vice comes in, you might need to use it if the fit is not correct.
Your aluminum can should have a little ridge just below the top. You should now poke as many holes into this ridge as you can, going around the can in a circular motion. Guess what? Your work is done!
Getting your new backpacking stove to work is the easy bit of this adventure. You simply have to find a fuel that you like and add it to your aluminum can. Make sure that you only fill it to a halfway mark. You can then use either a lighter or a match to light your backpacking stove. Note that it does take a few minutes for flames to come out of the jets (holes) that you poked into the can.