An Ultralite Alcohol Stove: Beer Can Style
A few weeks ago I wrote about editing down my current camp stove (MSR Whisperlite) to a new, homemade alcohol stove. So, with many empty beer cans and a little ingenuity, I have created my own alcohol stove.
This stove is totally legit… do you see how the blue and gold paint has been burned off around the individual puncture holes? This means that the flame was successfully distributed out of the jets and allowed for an even dispersal of heat. It was a lot of fun to make and very easy to replicate (refer to Editing Down: Camp Stoves for step-by-step instructions). Easy replication is very important to me because if the stove is damaged or lost, I will have no issues making another one. And with so many thru-hikers around there will ALWAYS be a wealth of empty beer cans to choose from. Oh, did I forget to mention that this stove was FREE. It cost nothing to make, which is a large difference from the $70 I spent on my Whisperlite.
Nonetheless, the stove itself was a success; however, I realized that I was lacking a very important element to make this totally legit. A pot stand is needed to allow oxygen to flow into the stove, as well as, to support that full pot of boiling water.
I was rooting around the kitchen and found a can of pineapple. After eating the delicious pineapple I used a can opener to remove the bottom . I liked this particular can because of its weight-to-strength ratio. This can is ultra light weight, but rigid enough to support a full pot of water. The height of the can is just right, allowing for oxygen to feed the flame.
Those triangular shaped holes, you may notice, were made very easily with the assistance of a special tool called a “church key.”
I want you all to understand just how easy it is to make and use these stoves. I have very week hands, having broken each of them. My dexterity is not-so-great, but I had no problems making this alcohol stove. Anybody can do it!
Viola! Below is the camp stove setup and with a hot pot of boiling water atop it.
My first meal was a delicious bowl of shrimp Top Ramen. I know you are wondering how much alcohol it used to cook this… only 1/8 of a cup or roughly 3/4 of a shot glass.
The final weigh in for both stove and pot holder… 0.3 of an ounce. How is that for ultra light hiking and efficiency? I will take 0.3 ounces over my 11 ounce Whisperlite any day.
The best part of this stove is that is required no maintenance or tweaking. Just pour the alcohol and light!