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696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The most simple, but most dangerous.
We used to make these all the time when riding motorcycles all around the country.
Super simple, Super easy to make, and VERY DANGEROUS if you are an idiot with flammable liquids!

I've used them 100's of times with no problems, but if you are a klutz or have problems with dangerous things, DO TRY THIS ONE!

Start out with beverage can...
I prefer 'Tall Boys', they actually work better than the 'Standard' size cans...

If you want to cook for more than about 20 minutes, you might want to make more than one and have the next one waiting since it's VERY dangerous to try and refill a hot can!

Cut the top out, and punch some holes in it like this.
Top holes are the 'Burner' holes, bottom holes are the air vents.

Add about 2 Oz. to 2.5 Oz. of fuel, in this case GASOLINE to the bottom of the can...
Most of the time I fill them up to the vent holes, but if you do, be careful when you light it!

Set your food warming/cooking tray on top once lit and cook away.
I suggest you use a covered cooking platform otherwise you will get a gasoline taste in the food.

2 to 2.5 ounces of gasoline will give you 20 to 30 minutes of good hot burn time.

Be SURE to put this thing on something that won't burn!

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696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
My most favorite 'Home Brew' PERSONAL SIZE camp warmer/stove takes a little preparation at home.

This is just SUPER SIMPLE to make that any kid can do it, and it works pretty well!

Nothing more than cotton balls and Petroleum Jelly,
A breath mint tin and a quart 'Zip Lock' sandwich bag.

A hand full of Petroleum Jelly into the baggie, then stuff in a hand full of cotton balls.

Kneed the baggie until the cotton balls are saturated, Then remove them and put them in the breath mint 'Tin'.

Load up the baggie with another batch of petroleum jelly and cotton balls for starting fires or for reloading your personal warmer/camp stove....

Burns for about 30 minutes, VERY easy to light, virtually water proof (Can't water saturate petroleum grease!)

This particular kind of can comes with it's own 'Snuffer' lid and reloads in a snap if you want more than 30 Minutes of burn time!

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696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The one that burns the best for me, I can actually COOK over it rather than just heat stuff up,

Corrugated Cardboard from packing boxes,
Paraffin wax from candles, tops of preserves or jelly jars, ect.
Used tuna or cat food can.

You will need a 'Dutch Oven' or boiling pan to prepare this, but it's worth the effort!

Cut your strips of Cardboard wide enough to fill the tuna or cat food can.

Roll them up so the fit fairly tightly in the can...

Pour some MELTED paraffin or natural candle wax into the can, you will notice it likes to dry very quickly without penetrating the cardboard very well.

Sit the can in a hot water bath (Dutch oven style) and when it gets hot enough to accept more paraffin, add it until it's brimming full.
(will shrink as it dries)

This stuff will burn good and hot for up to an hour!
It's virtually water proof, an costs pennies, weights virtually nothing and just generally does a GREAT job!


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696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Personal Convection Stove...

This one is NATIVE FUEL Personal Convection camp stove.
Really easy, but you need to pay attention to what you are doing...

Starting with canned food, or you can use a 'Trash' can you pick up somewhere, really doesn't matter.

If you start with a can that already has one end cut out of it, make SURE you put that end down, and MAKE SURE what you put it on is FIRE PROOF!

I'm using a coat hanger here, but you can use nails or about anything air will flow through and will keep the fire up off the floor of the can.

Notice the air vents at the bottom!
Without these, you are having a cold dinner!

These are holes for the coat hanger, bailing wire, nails or what ever you scrounge up.
This holds the NATIVE FUEL up so the air can get under it.
This creates a draft and it really makes a small amount of fuel go a long way!

Insert wires or nails or whatever, and secure them.
Here all I did was bend the ends...

Now you are ready for some sticks as fuel and a cotton ball with petroleum jelly for a tender light, and you are off to the races!

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696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bent ends on the wires,

View from the top,

This makes a VERY effective Convection Draft stove for field cooking, it's very easy to make in the field, and can be up-sized to any scale you need!

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696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Just something handy to know if you are trying to use everything (recycle) two or three times...

I'm not very successful, but I 'TRY' to reuse EVERYTHING...
The cotton from the tops of pill bottles, paraffin from canning jars and candle left-overs...

The top stove is the most simple, but by far the most dangerous!
When I was Young, we took two months leave from the military (right after the Marine barracks bombing) and rode Harleys all the way around the country,
Down US 1 on the east coast, Along the Gulf Coast, went through all the little border towns, then up 101 on the west coast, then along the Canadian border, then back down US 1 on the east coast to Paris Island.

That little gas/can stove (usually made from a 'Bud' tall boy!) cooked my dinner or breakfast many a time on that trip!

I still carry a baggie of cotton/petroleum jelly to this day when I'm in the woods...
NEVER fails to get a fire started in a flash!

The little breath mint tin and cotton/petroleum jelly makes for a GREAT way to warm up soup or coffee/tea on chilly days when you don't want to start a real camp fire!

Dirt cheap, compact, self storing, weights nothing, costs nothing and will blaze up with nothing more than a few sparks!

'Survival' is an attitude, not really a physical act,
And chance favors the prepared mind!
Something to consider if you are into making your life easier!

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696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Pop cans heater.

This one has been around almost as long as cans have been!
I've updated it with more modern cans and materials, but it's still the same old 'Beer Can' heater my grandpa showed me how to make when I was about 10...

Start with two cans and a sharp blade,
I try and sand one or both of the can bottoms before I cut,
Use sand paper, a hand full of sand, or scrap with blade.

Cut the can off about 2" up from bottom, you need to cut off two cans.
I used a cat food can here to make a nice even cut around the can, but if you are steady, you can even do it by hand.

Once both cans are cut off, you will need some 'Vermiculite' or fiberglass insulation to put in the cans.
Not entirely necessary, but keeps the fuel from sloshing around...

Now, before you press the two halves together, you will need to cut a 'Slip Tab' to get them to mate,
You will have to punch a vent hole in the can designated as the 'Top'...
The 'Slip Tab' helps get the two cans to slip into one-another. Other wise this is virtually impossible!

Continued in next post...

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696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Now, DO NOT press the two halves together too tightly!
Just bottom them out, but DO NOT try and compress them!

Otherwise, this will happen!

This REALLY sucks! All you can do is start over with a new can and remake the bottom.

NOW, give yourself some nice vent/fill holes in the middle, and give yourself some burner holes around the outside edge...

Fill with Grain Alcohol (Everclear!) or lighter fluid, or even charcoal starter fluid.
(I've used gasoline, but it doesn't work very well...)

Personally, I don't like this heater very much.

It's involved to make, it takes liquid fuel which is a pain to pack when hunting/camping, and it only burns for about 10 or 15 minutes.

You can't refill it when hot, so if you have the time to kill, make more than one so you can switch them out when the are empty and you still need to make heat.

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696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Breath Mint Tin Heater...

This one is about the same, but uses a breath mint tin...
DO NOT use the tins that have a hinged lid!
The flames will seek, and the hinge will leak fuel!

This one is REAL easy for a liquid fuel heater...
Just punch some holes in the lid, and fill the inside with Vermiculite or Fiberglass Insulation...
(keeps the fuel from sloshing around)

Use liquid fuel, Grain Alcohol, Lighter fluid, Charcoal Starter, ect.
Lasts about 10 to 15 minutes depending on how many small holes you punched, and how large those holes are.

Personally, I prefer NOT to carry liquid fuel stoves or heaters.
I don't know of any liquid fuel that won't blister the skin if it leaks in your pack or pocket...
(guys old enough to have carried 'Zippo' lighters know what I'm talking about!)

I don't care for the 'Slosh' of the fuel bottle, I don't care for the mess, smell, danger of fire, ect.

I'd MUCH rather use a Petroleum Jelly/cotton or Paraffin heater than a liquid fuel heater.

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696 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
What club, GPER?


I find the Cardboard/Paraffin works the best for me when I'm into serious trail hiking or staying out overnight (unplanned) hunting or something.
They are light, waterproof, and with one vasoline/cotton ball (which I almost always carry) fire right up with nothing but sparks, you don't even need an open flame.

This would be a REAL LIFE SAVER if you were wounded and one handed or if you were well into frost bite and couldn't move your hands well enough to coordinate flint & steel or match and striker.
(If I'm that far gone, I pop a pull string flair! I can do that will my teeth!)

I have actually modified my canteen cup stove to accept them and they work great for that.

I have NOTHING against any of the sold fuel tabs,
But the liquid or jelly fuel leaks, and believe me, it WILL take the skin off when it does!
(Will make you wish you had some cotton balls with vasoline on them to tend to the wound they inflicted!)

Anyway, working on some 'Quick Stoves', as in full size stoves, large enough for iron skillets and such...
Not exactly 'Survival' gear, but defiantly 'Field' gear!

· ke4sky
190 Posts
Anyway, working on some 'Quick Stoves', as in full size stoves, large enough for iron skillets and such...Not exactly 'Survival' gear, but defiantly 'Field' gear!
Field expedient stove I have used successfully is the "dirt and ammo can" stove. Use a metal container with large enough opening to support your mess tin, cook pot or grill, with high enough sides to enable a 4 to 6 inch stand off distance. A cal. .50 ammo box works well. Otherwise use a No. 10 or larger food service food can. Punch a dozen or more 1/4 inch or larger holes through both sides of the can for air draft. Shovel the ammo can 1/4 to 1/3 full of dirt. Pour a pint of gasoline or diesel over the dirt, give it a minute to soak in, then light your fire.

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63 Posts
If you're out back and run out of vaseline or other fuel, don't forget pine tree sap. You can usually find a glob oozing out of the bark. You can always just nick a few trees a day and keep collecting the sap.

I made torches in boy scouts this way. We double boiled the sap like you would parafin then soaked rags in it and wrapped them around sticks. Be carefull they drip!!

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1 Posts
Be aware of chemical hazards!!


These are some great ideas if your trying to survive.

But please be aware of the chemical hazards of what you might be doing.

If you cook your food over burning gasoline, you're going to be ingesting complex hydrocarbons - the products of incomplete combustion. Not good for you.

Even more unhealthy would be the combustion products of the cans with the white liner - that's teflon. And burning teflon is death, maybe not now, maybe not next month, but that's a nasty one.

Even the soda cans are coated with a urethane substance, but that'll burn off pretty quick.

Sorry to be the wet blanket, but the teflon I saw on one of those cans was cause for concern on my part.
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