View Full Version : coke can stoves?
What are these beverage can stoves ive been hearing about? How do they work?
Hi Coaster --
I love my little Pepsi can stove -- it works pretty well (I haven't perfected the art of making these quite yet thought) and is super light. Plus, it's a great little project for a non-hiking weekend.
You can find instructions for making a soda can stove at Sgt Rock's site -- www.hikinghq.net
In their most basic form, they are simply a cup for holding alcohol. You light the alcohol and that is your heat source for cooking. One usually needs something to set a pot on, so a pot stand is usually made as well. These can be fashionned out of old wire coat hangers, coffee cans, etc. Think of a sterno pot for alcohol. You can make fancier designs which improve efficiency and heat level (although not usually both). SGT. Rock's website is the best reference I know of for making fancier stoves. Another is the Pacific Crest Trail hikers website, www.pcthiker.com
For your first model, though, you may just want to cut the bottom third of can off, make up some sort of pot stand (cut off a section of a coffee can or a large bean can), pour in some amount of fuel (try a 2-3 Tbs), and see if you can boil a pint of water.
You can get very clear and detailed directions for making one of these stoves at www.pcthiker.com
The stove is more than just a cup for alcohol--it actually has a little ring of holes where the fire shoots out--it looks almost like a gas stove when it's burning.
I made one in about 15 minutes and have used it for about 200 miles of the Long Trail, and love it--have made several more for friends. They work great, weigh a fraction of an ounce, and burn almost any alcohol. Denatured alcohol is best because it burns the cleanest, but you can also use isopropyl alcohol (found at all pharmacies). It leaves a black residue on your pot, but will cook fine in a pinch. I've heard you can also use high-proof liquor, but have not tried that.
These stoves work best with pots that are very conductive--I use mine with a titanium pot and it boils water in 5 minutes. I've heard that stainless steel pots take longer. I figure with the money I saved on buying a stove, I could afford the titanium pot (on sale).
I have a little flint-and-steel that I use to start the stove--just flick a spark into the filled stove and it lights. No need for matches, and it will light even in the wind.
yeah, I got it figured out now, wow! Love it, no more noise, no more maintence on the trail, less parts and it weighs so much less! Alkeehall rooles! smiley face here
I wonder how much money MSR has lost since the widespread popularity of the Pepsi-Can stove exploded?
Coaster, I also reccomend using JB Weld, an epoxy puddy available at walmart. It seals the inner wall better, and bonds the upper and lower parts of the can, rather than taping them. It doesn't look as pretty, but I feel that its much more durable.
just my opinion though :D
thanks raginghampster, ill look into that. Im proud of my homemade gear, sorry MSR. Sure they make cool stuff, but the pure enjoyment of creating something yourself and watch it boil water...mmmm! Now my hiking experience can be enjoyed at home on days off, a full blown hobbie! I have a sewing machine (that I got off the street in San Francisco, it had a sign on it that said- Free, work good!) and am going to learn how to sew my own gear, I hope this is as fun as making the stoves! Next project is a pack! wooh, im blathering, sorry-coaster