Friday, April 20, 2007

Tips: Homemade Camping Stoves

When camping with kids you have to bring a lot of extra equipment. If you can’t afford the latest ultralight REI gear, or a Sherpa, you have to stick with car camping or find creative ways to reduce pack weight. Getting rid of bulky stoves is one way.

In the past, I have used homemade hiking stoves. They tend to be cheap and light weight, while being rugged enough for kid-friendly trips. Plus you get the extra bonus of building one with your kids, because that’s what being a dad is all about.

This summer I am planning (there is that word again) to build an alcohol “cat stove”. I have been wanting to for a while and I think this year is going to be the year.

There are other homemade stoves out there. William and I have had good times with Hobo stove. It doesn’t get easier than that. It’s a converted number 10 can that uses paraffin and cardboard as fuel.

If you really want to get serious Backpacker Magazine had a contest to see who could make the best alcohol stove. The results are really interesting with some stoves performing like a high-end mountaineering stove.

As the summer goes by, I will keep posting updates on the stove project.

The photograph is brought to you by Jim Wood’s website which also has excellent instructions.

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