A Dual-Fuel Backpacking Stove

Dr. Terry M. Trier
 

In my never ending quest to find the perfect lightweight backpacking stove, I came up with this concoction. It is based on a similar stove made from an Altoids tin that I once saw. This is a very simple stove to make. It is made from a Frutay candy tin (www.frutay.com).
 
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Fill the base of the tin with vermiculite. This will serve as a wicking agent for the alcohol and help in lighting. Drill some holes around the edge. You can experiment with this part. I'm not sure what the ideal size or number of holes should be. I follow the little black line around the picture as a guide for drilling. Smaller seems to be better.
 
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For the base, I used a safety can opener to remove the bottom of a tin can that is slightly larger in diameter than the Frutay tin.
 
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I used a handy-dandy Tupperware cup to measure out 1.5 oz of reagent grade ethanol and poured it in the stove.
 
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To prime the stove, I use a poly eyedropper to pour a small amount of alcohol around the edge. The alcohol lights easier if you push the stove to one side of the base.
 
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This is what it looks like right after you fire 'er up.
 
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Now we're cookin'! I don't have any statistics but my general impression is that it's pretty comparable to most other alcohol stoves I've used.
 
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Now here's the fun part. The bottom of the Frutay tin is concave and if you turn the tin over, it makes a dandy Esbit burner. The top of the tin is rounded but the base plate of the can has a raised circle on it that nestles the Frutay tin perfectly.
 
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Hmmm...is it soup yet?

To make it effective, don't forget to add a close-fitting windscreen.
 

2004 Terry M. Trier


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