Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Camping It Up => Topic started by: Charlotte on April 08, 2008, 11:46:27 am

Title: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Charlotte on April 08, 2008, 11:46:27 am
Having been quite fired up* by the thoughts of doing some summer S24O (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=549.0) rides this year, my mind has turned to the thought of the kit I'll need.  Fortunately, I own pretty much everything necessary to ride somewhere, camp and ride home.  But you know what it's like, as soon as you start contemplating some new endeavor, you start savoring the thought of what new lovely, shiny things you can justify buying...

One of the the good things about the S24O though, is that it forces you to pack light and really get the best usefulness/weight ratio going on.  Where cooking equipment is concerned, this would appear to mean the combination of hideously expensive titanium cookware, pitted against a lightweight Portable stove (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_stove) of some kind.

You don't really need the Ti lovliness, though.  Steel, ally and plastic will suffice.  And you can make your cooker yourself - witness the humble Beverage-can stove (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverage-can_stove).  Apparently, most of the walkers on the Appalachian Trail choose one of these for their light weight, simplicity and cheapness.

I've tried to make one and it's not as easy as it sounds.  Although there are how-to videos on YouTube and posts all over camping and survival forums (as well as Zombie Squad (http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25169&highlight=heet), natch...) I'm beginning to see why people still buy them from eBay, ready made.  I've yet to take my eyebrows off, but playing with meths (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methylated_spirit) is never going to end well, is it?

Anyhoo, what I wanted to ask was whether anyone's built one of these babies?  And if you haven't, do you use a Trangia or a gas system?  I rather like the look of the MSR gear (to go with the blingy Ti pots and cups) but I'm really sold on the low weight and simplicity of alcohol stoves.

Apparently, from the reviews I've read, if you're not wanting a Trangia, all the ready made ultralight Ti alcohol stoves are pants and you're better off with a pop-can stove.   Of course, you'll need a pot rest anna wind shield an' stuff as well.

What do you use?



*Badoom-tish!
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: pcolbeck on April 08, 2008, 11:51:08 am
I love my Coleman petrol stove but it's probably a bit on the large side for a cycling trip, good for motorbike camping though. I had it for years in fact it went all round Europe with me once.
I really want one of these Bushbuddy (http://www.andyhowell.info/trek-blog/?p=337) ultra light wood burners.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Becky on April 08, 2008, 11:51:17 am
You could try getting in touch with this guy:

http://juniperstove.wordpress.com/

He builds tin can stoves all the time.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Charlotte on April 08, 2008, 11:57:49 am
Oddly, I have a Coleman stove as well, Pat.  Stranger still, I used to take it on motorbike trips, too - it's ideal to sling on your bike for cups of tea at rallies!

You could try getting in touch with this guy:

http://juniperstove.wordpress.com/

He builds tin can stoves all the time.

Mmm - fascinating idea, Becky.  Not what I'm after (too heavy, too slow and too mucky) but I like the look of them anyway.  I can see the advantages for disaster relief, definitely.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: David Martin on April 08, 2008, 12:02:57 pm
Oddly, I have a Coleman stove as well, Pat.  Stranger still, I used to take it on motorbike trips, too - it's ideal to sling on your bike for cups of tea at rallies!

You could try getting in touch with this guy:

http://juniperstove.wordpress.com/

He builds tin can stoves all the time.

Mmm - fascinating idea, Becky.  Not what I'm after (too heavy, too slow and too mucky) but I like the look of them anyway.  I can see the advantages for disaster relief, definitely.

If you could put a coleman stove or similar inside instead of the wood fire it would make a fantastic wind shield.

Or an XGK II or Whisperlite.

I do like the idea of that stove. Neat and reasonably elegant.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: clarion on April 08, 2008, 12:03:58 pm
I'd go for gas rather than a Trangia, unless you want to be waiting a long time for your tea... ;D

MSR (http://www.msrgear.com/stoves/) do some lovely gadget-y goodness ;)

Or you could do what the old boys did - leave tea-making stuff hidden at points on their club runs so you don't have to carry stove, mug etc...  ;D
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: bikenerd on April 08, 2008, 12:05:31 pm
I use a full size Trangia 27-2 when car camping with my girlfriend.  Just about big enough to do porridge for two or a pasta meal for two (quick cook pasta).

But when I'm on my lonesome I have used a mini Trangia and a Coleman F1 lite gas stove with the mini Trangia cookware.  I looked at building one of those DIY meths stoves but decided they were too unrefined.  Some notes based on what I read about DIY stoves and my experiences with the above two stoves last year.


My conclusion: I didn't bother making my own when such a product as the Trangia mini exists for £20.  For compactness and lightness the Coleman F1 lite stove (or MSR Pocket Rocket - they are nearly identical) plus mini Trangia cookware is hard to beat and reasonably cheap as well.
I'd recommend you buy a mini Trangia and see how you go.  They really weigh next to nothing (350grams including burner, pot stand, pot, lid / frying pan and pot holder IIRC)
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Polar Bear on April 08, 2008, 12:06:42 pm
Mini Trangia (http://www.stormoutdoors.co.uk/product/6.html)

The wait isn't that long for your tea. 

<edit>

I have a 500ml Trangia fuel bottle.  Fullof meths weights 540grams - just weighed it.   Very safe way to transport your fuel though.

</edit>
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: David Martin on April 08, 2008, 12:07:01 pm
I'd go for gas rather than a Trangia, unless you want to be waiting a long time for your tea... ;D

Why does it have to be either/or? (http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/review/reviewproduct/mps/RGN/4/RCN/76/RPN/200/v/1/sp/)

Trangia with gas is really quick, very efficient and clean. Love it myself.

..d
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: clarion on April 08, 2008, 12:08:18 pm
Fair point, but my stove cost a lot less than that converter....
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: hellymedic on April 08, 2008, 12:08:52 pm
Coleman petrol every time for me too...
It's nice not to wait all day for the coffee/tea...
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: David Martin on April 08, 2008, 12:19:51 pm
Coleman petrol every time for me too...
It's nice not to wait all day for the coffee/tea...

Bivvy rules apply.

Arrive.
Set up stove.
Put up tent/lay out bivvy gear
Stove is now boiling.

It's all about planning.

How about people with their stoves performing a standard cooking time test and post the results?

The test would be to raise 250ml water from 4 degrees (ie from the fridge)  to boiling.

I'll do that with a trangia gas stove. Standard duosal pan (large).

..d
 
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Polar Bear on April 08, 2008, 12:23:22 pm
I'd like to join your test David but I only have a Trangia 25 and a Trangia 27 to hand at the moment, not a mini.  I'd use the 27 being smaller and with the pan lid on boiling will be quicker.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: bikenerd on April 08, 2008, 12:25:56 pm
Coleman petrol every time for me too...
It's nice not to wait all day for the coffee/tea...

Bivvy rules apply.

Arrive.
Set up stove.
Put up tent/lay out bivvy gear
Stove is now boiling.

It's all about planning.

How about people with their stoves performing a standard cooking time test and post the results?

The test would be to raise 250ml water from 4 degrees (ie from the fridge)  to boiling.

I'll do that with a trangia gas stove. Standard duosal pan (large).

..d
 

It should be done out in the garden for a real world test! :)
The Trangia mini is reasonably quick in still conditions but takes an age in wind as the flame gets blown around a lot.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Polar Bear on April 08, 2008, 12:31:12 pm
Coleman petrol every time for me too...
It's nice not to wait all day for the coffee/tea...

Bivvy rules apply.

Arrive.
Set up stove.
Put up tent/lay out bivvy gear
Stove is now boiling.

It's all about planning.

How about people with their stoves performing a standard cooking time test and post the results?

The test would be to raise 250ml water from 4 degrees (ie from the fridge)  to boiling.

I'll do that with a trangia gas stove. Standard duosal pan (large).

..d
 

It should be done out in the garden for a real world test! :)
The Trangia mini is reasonably quick in still conditions but takes an age in wind as the flame gets blown around a lot.


Unless you use one of these (http://www.ronniesunshines.com/product_info.php?products_id=399)  Or even just the judicious placement of pannier / rucksack, barbag, etc upwind of the stove.

I have also cut a beer can lengthways, taken out the top and bottom and used it pressed into the soil to act as a windshield.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: bikenerd on April 08, 2008, 12:31:39 pm
Here are some pictures (seeing as I'm working from home today)
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3064/2398526526_7da274aa62_m.jpg)(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3169/2398526412_2c45683b81_m.jpg)(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3208/2397694569_16c27027d5_m.jpg)
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: hellymedic on April 08, 2008, 12:37:59 pm

Unless you use one of these (http://www.ronniesunshines.com/product_info.php?products_id=399)  Or even just the judicious placement of pannier / rucksack, barbag, etc upwind of the stove.

I have also cut a beer can lengthways, taken out the top and bottom and used it pressed into the soil to act as a windshield.

I had one just like that I've just passed on to juliet. I use it the other way up, so that the hinge pins peg it into the ground.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: David Martin on April 08, 2008, 12:45:13 pm
Windshields are a key bit of kit for efficient cooking. How you make them is up to you.

I'll start a testing thread shortly.

..d
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Charlotte on April 08, 2008, 12:58:51 pm
Nice one, David!  Any excuse for some fun with fire  :D

If nobody else has one, I can do the big ol' Coleman stove if needs be.  I'll have to get some fresh fuel or siphon some petrol out of Bertha, though.  At least my old motorbike would give up her fuel at the petrol tap.

Although I only have the smaller, packable one, our Liz is something of an expert at firing up the the duel-burner superheavyweight Coleman stove.  Another skill learned at Camp Cameltoe on PBP...
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: David Martin on April 08, 2008, 01:02:16 pm
Nice one, David!  Any excuse for some fun with fire  :D

If nobody else has one, I can do the big ol' Coleman stove if needs be.  I'll have to get some fresh fuel or siphon some petrol out of Bertha, though.  At least my old motorbike would give up her fuel at the petrol tap.

Although I only have the smaller, packable one, our Liz is something of an expert at firing up the the duel-burner superheavyweight Coleman stove.  Another skill learned at Camp Cameltoe on PBP...

I used an optimus 22B - twin burner petrol stove to great effect. Very powerful and very loud. 7 litre pans boiled in fairly short order. Did I mention it was loud? You had to SHOUT at the cook.

..d
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: andygates on April 08, 2008, 01:19:08 pm
I'm the anti-Ray: anything I set fire to goes out.  Sparks and tinder?  Pff.  Sticks?  Chortle.  It's not until you get to petrol and straw that I can be sure of a flame.  So the hobo stove, while intriguing, isn't on my personal list of things to rely on.

Try, sure, because who doesn't want to savage a bean can with their Gert Knife and make a stove?  But not rely on.  Not use for, say, morning coffee.

These days I have a Snow Peak Giga Power folding stovette.  It's only good for boiling water and heating stuff from not-hot to hot - no Trangia simmer here - but it'll do a litre in two minutes and then fold up small enough to be confused with your FAK and GPS.  Mostly I travel light with heatables or dehydrated stuff, so it's ideal.

The jet-propelled NAAFI - a twin burner Coleman suitcase petrol jobbie - lives in the van...  The Trangia Mini is a waste of space and is gathering dust, but the pots it came with are great.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Polar Bear on April 08, 2008, 01:25:53 pm
The Trangia Mini is a waste of space and is gathering dust,

Sorry to thread hijack but can I relieve you of it then please?
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: andrew_s on April 08, 2008, 01:33:25 pm
I usually use a gas stove - cannister top usually, or remote burner if I anticipate coldish weather.
However I'm in the experimenting stage with a pepsi can stove - a version of the Penny Stove (http://www.csun.edu/~mjurey/penny.html).
Experimentation was stopped by running out of meths, and I really need another go to get proper sealing.

When I'm satisifed with it, I'll get a MyTiMug or similar, and see if I can get weekend cooking kit incliding fuel into the mug.

Performance numbers to follow, when I'm at home and the water has chilled off in the fridge.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: David Martin on April 08, 2008, 01:51:19 pm
I usually use a gas stove - cannister top usually, or remote burner if I anticipate coldish weather.
However I'm in the experimenting stage with a pepsi can stove - a version of the Penny Stove (http://www.csun.edu/~mjurey/penny.html).
Experimentation was stopped by running out of meths, and I really need another go to get proper sealing.

When I'm satisifed with it, I'll get a MyTiMug or similar, and see if I can get weekend cooking kit incliding fuel into the mug.

Performance numbers to follow, when I'm at home and the water has chilled off in the fridge.

Just take the water straight from teh mains after it has run for a wee while.

..d
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Phil on April 08, 2008, 03:41:54 pm
Well, I've just built a pepsi can stove.  I only had white spirit to hand as a gas though, and it just burnt with a yellow flame out the top.  The occasional burst of flame from the sides, but nothing more.  I'll try another with more vents and using some proper alcohol next time.  It was promising though - sooty, but able to warm a can of water quite easily. 
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: nuttycyclist on April 08, 2008, 03:42:05 pm
... And you can make your cooker yourself - witness the humble Beverage-can stove (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverage-can_stove).  ...  I've tried to make one and it's not as easy as it sounds.  ...  Anyhoo, what I wanted to ask was whether anyone's built one of these babies?  ...

I guess it's no surprise to hear that in a moment of fettling I knocked up one of those from three lager cans I had lying around, just with a swiss army knife.  Wasn't a problem to make as far as I recall.

It fired up and ran "ok". 



I'll dig it out for photos when I get home, and maybe even try to boil a thimblefull of water.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: TimO on April 08, 2008, 03:51:37 pm
I've always used a small gas cooker with a remote pipe.  I've never been that happy with pots balanced on top of a gas canister, whereas with my cooker, it has reasonably wide legs that make it very stable.

It'll also take different sized cannisters from huge down to dinky.  The dinky ones are expensive, but when you want to drop the weight, they're worth using.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: andrew_s on April 08, 2008, 07:27:24 pm
I've always used a small gas cooker with a remote pipe.  I've never been that happy with pots balanced on top of a gas canister, whereas with my cooker, it has reasonably wide legs that make it very stable.
As well as the better stability, remote burner stoves can be a lot better in cold weather.

If the stove has a pre-heat loop and sufficiently good control on the valve, you can run it with the cannister upside down so that you are feeding liquid gas to the burner. Then, if your cannister is 80% butane, 20% propane, that's what gets used and performance is maintained until the cannister runs out.

If you use an upright cannister, you are burning the gas that vaporizes in the cannister. Butane boils at -0.5C, so pure butane would be unusable in the winter. To avoid this, they add propane (boiling point -42C). The trouble is that the propane boils off faster than the butane, so by the time the cannister is half used, there isn't enough left, and the stove performance drops right off. You might boil half a litre in a couple of minutes in the summer on a fresh cylinder, but in the winter on a 3/4 used one it could be more like 10 minutes.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: PH on April 08, 2008, 08:18:22 pm
If you’re going for gas, have a look at the Jetboil.  I’ve had mine for around three years and I’m as impressed now as when I bought it.  It’s not the lightest or fastest, it’s just such a neat and easy package. As well as camping I use mine on day rides, when I used to take a flask.  It works fine without a windshield, though better out of a direct gale.  Because of the insulated cup/pan and it locking together, you can move it around or hold it, it’s brilliant for warming the hands as it boils on a cold day.  I couldn’t recommend it for cooking, the pan’s the wrong shape, for heating stuff up I haven’t seen anything I’d swap it for.  For coffee lovers you can get a cafetiere attachment.  There’s now a few other heat exchanger type stoves, the MSR one is apparently quicker and more efficient, it doesn’t look as compact though.

http://www.jetboil.com/Products/Cooking-Systems/Personal-(PCS)
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: nuttycyclist on April 09, 2008, 12:23:12 am
... And you can make your cooker yourself - witness the humble Beverage-can stove (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverage-can_stove).  ...  I've tried to make one and it's not as easy as it sounds.  ...  Anyhoo, what I wanted to ask was whether anyone's built one of these babies?  ...

I guess it's no surprise to hear that in a moment of fettling I knocked up one of those from three lager cans I had lying around, just with a swiss army knife.  Wasn't a problem to make as far as I recall.

It fired up and ran "ok". 



I'll dig it out for photos when I get home, and maybe even try to boil a thimblefull of water.

ok.  Lesson one.  If building a stove out of three cans of lager (having just emptied them) and without bothering about fire-proofing joints etc, don't then kick the stove around the garage for five months and expect it to work as well.


The stove.
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/misc/IMG_4209.jpg)

In situ.  (Yes that is Mrs Nutty's best saucepan on the lawn... I'm soooo going to die**)
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/misc/IMG_4210.jpg)

And on fire!
(http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q273/nuttycyclist/misc/IMG_4211.jpg)

Considering that fire shot is a hand held 2 second exposure, I'm pretty chuffed.  I'm also annoyed that it missed the random flame out of the side of the cans.



From application of match to the "proper" ignition of the jets etc was nearly 5 minutes. >:(  I suppose this would be quicker had I bothered taping joints with fireproof tape.

From application of match to the saucepan of 250ml of water boiling furiously (I was going to try to follow David's criteria) was 15 minutes.    :-[

But I suspect that the time would be nearer 5 to 7 minutes had I used:-
 - Water starting at 10C instead of nearly 0C
 - A wind shield
 - A summer's night instead of a frosty one
 - starting from a hot stove instead of a cold one (i.e. repeated the experiment but by just changing the boiling pan for a fresh cold one)







** Amazingly there were no soot marks.  I might get away with this.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Jaded on April 09, 2008, 01:08:35 am
Nutty!!

Watch out - I saw a puff of black smoke from the joint between the tins - I think the o-ring is faulty!

Oh No!

I can see a small flame now...

(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/o-ring.jpg)

Arrghh! Too late


(http://www.alfiecat.co.uk/yetacf/too_late.jpg)
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Charlotte on April 09, 2008, 08:29:37 am
 ;D

Nutty - that's great work!  For a five minute job, that's impressive.  Can I ask a few questions?

1. Is it just two bits of can with the holes punched in?  Or did you use a third piece inside the stove?

2. How did you get one inside the other like that?  I couldn't seem to get them to fit together without crumpling the inner one a bit and buggering up the seal.

3. What fuel did you use?  Just meths?

And by way of suggestions/observations...

(a) Did you score the cans whilst they were full or just cut them up when they were empty?  Apparently the former makes a neater job and reduces sharp edges.

(b) Did you use a pot lid or boil the water with an open top pot?  This could make a lot of difference to boiling times. 

(c) what about a wind shield/heat reflector?  Again, this can make a big difference I'm told.


Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: nuttycyclist on April 09, 2008, 10:50:08 am
Jaded.  That's great  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


;D

Nutty - that's great work!  For a five minute job, that's impressive.  Can I ask a few questions?

1. Is it just two bits of can with the holes punched in?  Or did you use a third piece inside the stove?
Yes there's a third strip of can inside there, cut from the middle of a third can.  It doesn't have a slot cut in it to allow it to cross over and interlock (as per many websites) cos I couldn't be bothered.  It's just held in place by being too long and dropping into the lips top and bottom of the cans (if that makes sense).   One problem is that when I put compression on the cans to lock in place that inner sleeve bowed outwards, reducing capacity of the supposed pressure chamber.  Mark II will have something else in there to stop that.

2. How did you get one inside the other like that?  I couldn't seem to get them to fit together without crumpling the inner one a bit and buggering up the seal.
Skill and patience  :P   Oh, and maybe a couple of offcuts to help guide it ;)


3. What fuel did you use?  Just meths?

Yup.  Tasted nasty so I burnt it.

And by way of suggestions/observations...

(a) Did you score the cans whilst they were full or just cut them up when they were empty?  Apparently the former makes a neater job and reduces sharp edges.
Ok, I know it's Grolsch cans, but wasting a full can???  Contents were consumed prior to fettling.

Holes were punched in a cmoplte can, and base removed from a complete can (so the structural integrity was sound) then the cans were cut down to size.


(b) Did you use a pot lid or boil the water with an open top pot?  This could make a lot of difference to boiling times. 
There was a lid on that pan :-[    I was hoping to have found the camping kettle (thin base) but instead had to use that pan, so a lot of heat would have gone into the pan base instead of the water.



(c) what about a wind shield/heat reflector?  Again, this can make a big difference I'm told.


Yeah, I know, but I couldn't be bothered as I wanted to bike fettle last night ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Tom B on April 09, 2008, 12:24:55 pm
I bought some alcohol-based gel in a tin from Cotswold a couple of years back.

Simply remove the lid, fit into the slot in your Trangia (same diameter), or on the ground and light. Afterwards, re-fit the lid, shove in a plastic bag and back in the pannier. Worked fine  - don't know if it's still available, tho.

 I've also used a Trangia burner succesfully with pan mounts supplied with solid fuel tablets. I never leave unspent fuel inside: one leak and everything stinks  :(.
you soon get to know how much to pour in for what you're cooking
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Phil on April 09, 2008, 04:36:51 pm
Success! And I still have my eyebrows! :D

My third attempt at a can stove has worked.  It burns very hot, and blooms out nicely into a 20-hole burner.  I shall post pictures when I can get at a camera. 
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: redshift on April 09, 2008, 08:20:24 pm
...reading with interest, and looking at the Trangia, and thinking about the C2C I'm doing in June...

Carry on chaps, I obviously have some catching-up to do.   ;D
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: David Martin on April 09, 2008, 08:47:03 pm
I'd go for gas rather than a Trangia, unless you want to be waiting a long time for your tea... ;D


Hmm.. Trangia with gas conversion currently winning the 'how quick can I get a cup of tea?' trials..

And losing in the 'how much weight do you really wan't to lug up all those hills in your panniers?' trials.

..d
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: andygates on April 09, 2008, 09:24:13 pm
Two coke cans, one knife, and ten minutes later... feck, that's ugly but it WON'T GO OUT! And scores a 4:30 boil - not bad at all, aunty C, and as the MIT guys said, "a neat hack".

(http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h95/andygates/gear/uglybob.jpg)
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: redshift on April 09, 2008, 09:28:01 pm
Yebbut - you have to drink two cans of coke...
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: andrew_s on April 09, 2008, 09:40:14 pm
(http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t207/andrew_sw/pennystove2.jpg)
3:50 boil, with windshield and lid

(http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t207/andrew_sw/pennystove.jpg)

Constructed from 2 soft drinks cans scavenged from the side of the road (so I didn't have to actually drink the stuff).

1) On can 1, drill 6 small holes (0.5mm ish) around the edge of the base and 3 4mm holes in the centre of the base (under the penny in the photo).
2) cut off the base of can 1 with about half an inch of vertical can wall. Done by clamping a stanley knife horizontally against a suitable block of wood, and rotating the can against the blade until it's sufficiently scored through to just pull off the base section.
3) drill about 12 4-5mm holes evenly spaced around the top of the sidewall section of can 1 (as in the instructions). Using a pair of needle nosed pliers, bend the bits with the holes inwards to give a fluted edge to the section.
4) cut off the base of can 2 with about 1" of vertical can wall
5) put the can 1 section inside the can 2 section (the flutings allow this as a starter) and press down firmly. I used a whisky tumbler (Esso petrol station freebie, circa 1985) to do the pressing as it was reasonably robust and just the right size (about 1mm clearance all round inside the can2 section. Due encouragement with a block of wood and the gentle use of a mallet was required.

The general idea is that you cover the 2 central holes with the penny, and fill the top with meths and light it. Once the stove has heated up enough, the penny then lifts to allow the bulk of meths to drain into the inside, and falls back to seal the big holes enough to generate a little extra pressure to get decent jets out of the small holes.
In practice, I don't get enough heat transfer back into the base, so this version works better if I prime it with a little meths in a tray underneath and ensure there's a decent windshield to keep the heat in. I'll put the 6 jets a little closer to the edge in version 2 when I get round to making it.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: donpedro on April 09, 2008, 11:59:07 pm
The issue I have with gas is that it's very hard to know how much is left in the canister and if I should bring a extra. Sure I could weigh it but then I have to get new scale so the pile of half full canisters is growing.
Petrol and MFS are great as fuel are available everywhere. But they cost much more and would be overkill for this type of trips if you don't chare one.
I have stoves of all kinds but for weekend's I think a light DIY alcohol stove would be perfect.
Build your own, try it out before, learn it's drawbacks and be done with it!

Stove Tests that include DIY stoves:
http://www.thru-hiker.com/articles.asp?subcat=2&cid=38
http://hikinghq.net/stoves/weight_time_compare.html
http://www.bicycletouring101.com/CampStoveOlympics.htm
With a alcohol stove that have holes on the side there is no need for a potstand:
http://zenstoves.net/Stoves.htm
DIY Woodgasifier stove are fast once set up:
http://www.garlington.biz/Ray/WoodGasStove/
My all time favourite stove:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svea_123
Fits with a cookiepan windshield in this pot:
http://www.campersgear.com/Primus-Solo-Stainless-Cookset.html

[img height=480 width=640]http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mrwizard/object/svea123.jpg[/img]
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: nuttycyclist on April 10, 2008, 12:19:21 am
With those boil times you have posted, I see Mark II needs to be fettled asap.


I have no lager in the house.




Shall I try it with scotch bottles?
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: OliverBendix on April 10, 2008, 04:37:24 am
I made one a couple of years ago, almost exactly the same as Andrew S's. It works, burns with nice jets for ages but I've never cooked with it as I usually camp with three kids so we need much more power. I may post photos if I get sufficiently motivated this evening, but I can't light it for testing as I gave all my remaining meths to my neighbour to light his barbeque.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Charlotte on June 10, 2008, 02:09:44 pm
I've done it!!!

After a good few awful attempts, I finally built a stove worth keeping.  It's a two-piece penny stove; the most basic design you can make.

I discovered some interesting things with the previous version:

1. Both cans must fit together really tightly or you loose pressure and hot meths pisses out the sides.
2. If you have the outside can over the top, any meths that does come out, goes into the priming tray
3. More jets = more of a blue flame

Here's the experimental model:

(http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b187/vicechair/P5100742.jpg)

And here's the one I shall be bugging out with at the weekend:

(http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b187/vicechair/P5100739.jpg)

It boiled two cups of water, one after the other and burned for 12 minutes on 30ml of meths.  Dead impressive, I thought.

(http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b187/vicechair/P5100740.jpg)

And here's the evidence.  Ver' nice  :)

(http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b187/vicechair/P5100743.jpg)

(spot the geeky MSR Ti mug...)


Tonight I shall be building a pot stand out of a coat hanger and a wind shield out of a heavy duty tinfoil turkey roasting dish.

Later on, I shall experiment with more efficient ones to take to America this summer.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Phil on June 10, 2008, 07:19:23 pm
Nice stove! I like the flame size as well - mine burns with a rather large flame.  And I love the silver polishedness too. 

What are you using as fuel? Methylated spirit is £2.15 for 500ml at my local handyman supermarket, which is expensive and smells horrible.  I've been experimenting today with screenwash, but despite all the 'flamable' warnings it won't even catch fire. 
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: drossall on June 10, 2008, 10:01:39 pm
I've got a paraffin stove (http://www.base-camp.co.uk/instructions%202.htm) that my grandfather made at home ;D

My own commercial version is brilliant - would knock 4 mins 30 into a cocked hat.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: andrew_s on June 11, 2008, 12:24:00 am
(http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b187/vicechair/P5100740.jpg)
So is this Bavaria 0.0% alcohol stuff drinkable then?
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Wowbagger on June 11, 2008, 12:28:39 am
Well you can clearly burn it...
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: David Martin on June 11, 2008, 08:57:29 am
I've got a paraffin stove (http://www.base-camp.co.uk/instructions%202.htm) that my grandfather made at home ;D

My own commercial version is brilliant - would knock 4 mins 30 into a cocked hat.

Maybe I should rephrase the challenge.

From packed and cold, heat 200ml of water to boiling point from ambient.

Paraffin would take a wee bit longer then.

..d
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: drossall on June 11, 2008, 09:13:58 am
Happy to give it a go. Confused about the rules though - 250 or 200ml and ambient or 4 degC? In the garden, obviously.

I'd expect a paraffin pressure stove ("Primus") to be much faster than a Trangia. Where it loses out is time to assemble the stove, and the need to carry two fuels, but those aren't counted in your challenge ;D
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Charlotte on June 11, 2008, 09:38:57 am
Nice stove! I like the flame size as well - mine burns with a rather large flame.  And I love the silver polishedness too. 

What are you using as fuel? Methylated spirit is £2.15 for 500ml at my local handyman supermarket, which is expensive and smells horrible.  I've been experimenting today with screenwash, but despite all the 'flamable' warnings it won't even catch fire. 

I'm using Meths - it's pretty much the default choice in the UK.  Ideally, you'd run such a stove off denatured ethanol, but you can't really get it here. 

If you want your stove to have that polished look, take a brillo pad to it before you empty the can.  You can rub off the very thin coating quite easily.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: David Martin on June 11, 2008, 11:40:29 am
Happy to give it a go. Confused about the rules though - 250 or 200ml and ambient or 4 degC? In the garden, obviously.

I'd expect a paraffin pressure stove ("Primus") to be much faster than a Trangia. Where it loses out is time to assemble the stove, and the need to carry two fuels, but those aren't counted in your challenge ;D

My thinking is that is should be the 'how long to make a cup of tea' so should include the setup time. But raw boil time would be good to add to the great cooker test..

..d
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: donpedro on June 11, 2008, 03:58:38 pm
Not sure but I think that the methylated spirit sold in the UK contain Methanol witch is very toxic:

"Methanol is toxic by two mechanisms. Firstly, methanol (whether it enters the body by ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin) can be fatal due to its CNS depressant properties in the same manner as ethanol poisoning. Secondly, it is toxic by its breakdown (toxication) by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase in the liver by forming formic acid and formaldehyde which cause permanent blindness by destruction of the optic nerve.[2] Fetal tissue will not tolerate methanol. Dangerous doses will build up if a person is regularly exposed to vapors or handles liquid without skin protection. If methanol has been ingested, a doctor should be contacted immediately."

Methanol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanol)

Even though production of ethanol fuel for cars is up it is not certain this finds it's way onto the shelf's as methylated spirit. As the process use quite a lot of energy and is most commonly made from natural gas I doubt that there is any environmental gain to be made choosing meths over a petroleum based fuel:

"Today, synthesis gas is most commonly produced from the methane component in natural gas rather than from coal."
"Although natural gas is the most economical and widely used feedstock for methanol production, other feedstocks can be used. Where natural gas is unavailable, light petroleum products can be used in its place."


There is also a reason why the commercially available alcohol-stoves are made from brass or stainless steel:

"One of the drawbacks of methanol as a fuel is its corrosivity to some metals, including aluminium. Methanol, although a weak acid, attacks the oxide coating that normally protects the aluminium from corrosion"

In Scandinavia and I believe Germany, where Trangia stoves are common, denaturalised Ethanol that doesn't contain Methanol is easy to find. Recently a big firm in Sweden had to withdraw and warn the public of their cheaper version (from UK?) as they found traces of Methanol and were worried that kids or addicts would get poisoned and blind!

Methanol has slightly lower energy content than Ethanol but it could be hard to compare as some fuels aren't 100% alcohol! Alcohol has roughly half the energy content of white gas witch should be of interest for longer journeys!:
Liquid fuels - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_fuel)
Alcohol fuel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_fuel)

I like the simplicity and dependability of alcohol-stoves. But my petrol fueled Optimus Svea and Nova stoves are the choice if I'm gone for a week and longer or outside of Europe. Faster (yes I have tried!), more compact and easy to source fuel and with 2-3 times the wattage than that of a alcohol as well as easily controlled with a flick of the wrist. So as a chef by trade I can cook a meal pretty much the way I do at home or work!  :thumbsup:

But it can be sourced world over and here's a good "how to find it" link:
Where to get meths (methylated spirits) (http://www.mark-ju.net/juliette/meths.htm)
Be ware though! I was chased for two blocks by an angry chemist in northern Italy shouting insults. He thought I was an addict and the two bottles of 100% pure Ethanol I bought was for my own consumption. Did actualy make some tasty, but rather strong, screwdrivers... ::-)
If you were drinking METHYLATED SPIRIT what would you mix it with? - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers (http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070309093551AAQJ19e)
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Phil on June 11, 2008, 04:12:04 pm
It does, that's why it's called methylated spirit.  It's not good for you to breathe in but is fine to cook with. 

I was wondering if anybody knew where I could buy mostly-pure ethanol cheaply - for instance, in America there's an antifreeze called Heet which is widely used as a stove fuel.  Is British antifreeze usable, does anybody know?
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: andygates on June 11, 2008, 04:50:56 pm
Surgical spirit?

I think you're missing the point, though.  These stoves are meagre sippers, they don't consume much at all.  If you buy a bottle a season, you're going some.  I think you're spending a lot of time chasing a very small saving.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: marna on June 11, 2008, 05:13:45 pm
Surgical spirit?

Also contains a smidge of methanol to discourage glugging, iirc. If you can get yr paws on it, rubbing alcohol might be better, but it's very difficult to get hold of here. If you *really* want pure ethanol, a lab supplier will have buckets of the stuff.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: TimO on June 11, 2008, 05:27:52 pm
We have 99.7%-100% pure Ethanol in large bottles, we use it in an ultrasonic cleaner to degrease components, so I presume it's relatively easy to get hold of.  As far as I know we don't have to fill in any special paperwork, we just order it.  I also suspect that it would be a lot more expensive than a bottle of Meths from wherever you buy Meths these days.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Greenbank on June 11, 2008, 05:40:16 pm
We have 99.7%-100% pure Ethanol in large bottles, we use it in an ultrasonic cleaner to degrease components, so I presume it's relatively easy to get hold of.  As far as I know we don't have to fill in any special paperwork, we just order it.  I also suspect that it would be a lot more expensive than a bottle of Meths from wherever you buy Meths these days.

If it's that pure it's beyond the normal realms of distillation as it forms an azeotrope with water at 96.4%.

There are many ways to get purer ethanol but since they're more complicated (or involve chemicals like benzene) they'll be much more expensive.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Phil on June 11, 2008, 06:26:10 pm
Surgical spirit?

I think you're missing the point, though.  These stoves are meagre sippers, they don't consume much at all.  If you buy a bottle a season, you're going some.  I think you're spending a lot of time chasing a very small saving.

I've already used up a litre of meths testing them, but I guess you're right. 
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: TimO on June 11, 2008, 06:37:51 pm
If it's that pure it's beyond the normal realms of distillation as it forms an azeotrope with water at 96.4%.

Interesting.  I don't know why we need it that pure, as far as I know we use it to remove grease from small mechanical components, otherwise it would likely outgas when the instrument is put into vacuum, and cause damage to particle detectors, or deposit onto optical surfaces, both of which are no-nos on spacecraft.  A bit of water probably wouldn't matter, since it's going to be contaminated by atmospheric water anyway (we don't store the instruments in dry nitrogen, which is what we would probably have to do to avoid that).

The purity could be an issue with other contaminants, which may also outgas.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: bobajobrob on June 15, 2008, 03:39:38 pm
How are we supposed to light our coke can stoves? I tried to light it via the small holes, but it wouldn't light. I lit it via the big hole in the middle and it went WOOF! and blew the top up about an inch, then went out :P

Edit: got it working now, I didn't realise I had to fill the top with meths :P It works really well  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: andygates on June 15, 2008, 08:16:07 pm
Surgical spirit?

I think you're missing the point, though.  These stoves are meagre sippers, they don't consume much at all.  If you buy a bottle a season, you're going some.  I think you're spending a lot of time chasing a very small saving.

I've already used up a litre of meths testing them, but I guess you're right. 

Having seen Charlotte's in action over the weekend, I can amend my comment: A perfectly made, clean and well-used Trangia is a meagre sipper.  A homebrew hobo stove is somewhat less efficient!

Trangia burners are sealable (you can just cap 'em to extinguish and then close up and ride off) and cheap.

Trangia Spirit Burner - £7.20 - from GO Outdoors.co.uk (http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/7315086025001)

(http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/Images/Products/42919_633435262387702500.jpg)
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: andrewc on June 15, 2008, 10:28:18 pm
I'm a long term Trangia user but am quite tempted by the Caldera Cone. http://www.traildesigns.com/products01.html (http://www.traildesigns.com/products01.html)  it looks to have the stability & windproofing of the Trangia for much less weight.

Reviews here http://www.backpackgeartest.org/traildesigns/ (http://www.backpackgeartest.org/traildesigns/)

Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: woollypigs on June 28, 2011, 08:50:29 pm
I have been playing with this idea and after some clicking about. I found this link
    YouTube
        - ‪How to make a wood gas stove‬&rlm;
   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfrBdp11pyE&feature=related) and it hit me I had the right tins.

I managed to build one with a Swiss army knife, screw driver, Stanley knife, can opener and a big adjustable spanner as a knockometre.

I forgot to take photos of the build and have no wood to do a test burn, can't wait for the first burn.

Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: donpedro on June 28, 2011, 10:35:19 pm
Lo and behold! Woolly, what have you done!!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS7Og1zvdy8)   :o
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: woollypigs on June 28, 2011, 10:45:08 pm
Hehehe if I had something to burn then I would have done just that :)

The best part it just fits inside the little pot set I have and there is room for my fire iron too.

So there will be a lot of "man made fire, man eat" and some grunting, on our next camping trip.
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: Ashaman42 on July 04, 2011, 04:05:43 pm
I have been playing with this idea and after some clicking about. I found this link
    YouTube
        - ‪How to make a wood gas stove‬&rlm;
   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfrBdp11pyE&feature=related) and it hit me I had the right tins.

I managed to build one with a Swiss army knife, screw driver, Stanley knife, can opener and a big adjustable spanner as a knockometre.

I forgot to take photos of the build and have no wood to do a test burn, can't wait for the first burn.



Made one of these stoves. Well, made a two can stove, wasn't very clear what to do with the third can so left it out.

Got some gassification going on but don't think the air flow is right. Not helped by the top of the outer can splitting a bit so it's not an airtight seal with the inner tin. And I rushed into it and opened the outer tin with a tin opener so it has not bottom, was hoping the the ground would stop too much air coming in but I'm not sure if it does.

I smell somewhat of smoke but will have another go after I've eaten something. Try to not put too much green wood in this time :D
Title: Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
Post by: woollypigs on July 04, 2011, 04:30:38 pm
Yeah I need to make some more holes in mine, I had a good little burn and gassification too. I too wasn't sure what to do with the third tin. Though I think it is to make a little stand for your pot on top, which is what made out of the third can.