In my buddy burner post, I showed how I made one of these clever little burners and then took it for a test drive. Seeing potential in the design, I decided to make a stove/pot stand to hold the burner. I wanted something that would also be able to burn other fuels, especially wood, so I opted for the classic hobo stove design. The can I used is smaller than the standard coffee can and is about the size of a large fruit can. I poked three three rows of holes close to the bottom and then made a row of larger holes at the top.
When the stove was complete, I put the burner inside and lit it up. This time, it took about half a minute for the burner to be fully lit. I lit the cardboard in three different places, which I’m sure helped to speed it up.
I filled my cook pot about half full of water (650 mL/2.75 cups) and placed it on the stove. It took about 6 minutes until the water started to boil. The air temperature was -1*C/30*F. I usually don’t pay too much attention to boil time in general, because I’m usually not in a hurry in the woods, but it is nice to know that it does work reasonably quickly.
After taking the water off, I put two tea light candles on the burner. The wax melted quickly and soaked into the stove. There was no change in the burner flame at any time.
When it came time to put the burner out, I found that I could not blow it out! This wasn’t a problem the first time I used the burner, but this time the hobo stove around it was preventing me from blowing it out. I used a wet cloth to put out the flame, but I needed to find a better solution than this. I wrapped a few newspaper pages and then three layers of aluminum foil around another can of the same size and then covered this aluminum foil with duct tape to make an “extinguisher” (the newspaper was used to help me make the extinguisher big enough so it would not be too tight on the can, and it did not become part of the extinguisher itself). I’m happy to say that this extinguisher worked perfectly (I tried it twice to make sure). All I have to do is quickly and carefully put it over the stove when I want to put out the flame and it prevents oxygen from entering the stove. What’s nice about the extinguisher is that it also functions as a cover for the whole setup during transport.
So I’ll probably be incorporating this stove into my kit and will use it, either with wax or wood, whenever it isn’t possible or practical to cook over a camp fire. Besides being highly functional and simple, what I really like about this setup is that it’s easy to make from things around the house (two cans, cardboard, wax, aluminum foil and duct tape), and therefore cheap!