The other week I posted a video on how to build an ultra-efficient wood stove for backpacking from old tin cans. I've yet to build one myself (hey, I have young babies!), but I must confess that I am increasingly enamored with video-maker Paul Osborn of BC Outdoor Survival and the content he's been putting out.
It's practical. It's well illustrated. And it walks you through the process with just enough detail that even a relatively feckless DIYer like myself isn't too intimidated. Here's another project he created on how to build a lightweight DIY alcohol stove from two energy drink cans. Besides the cans themselves, all you need is a ruler, a knife, some books and a calculator to help do the math. Oh, and a marker too.
Essentially the process involves marking and cutting out a ring on the base of the two cans at 4.3cm tall (as a Brit, I've got to say I love the fact he's using metric!), and one slightly taller ring above the first that is used to make the inner wall. You then execute a little math, and a neat origami trick—you'll have to watch the video for the details—to insert the inner wall inside the first base ring.
You then fit the second base ring, which has been perforated with holes around the side, over the top of the first to form the completed stove. (The exact placement and process for punching the holes is not 100% clear from the video - perhaps Paul can elaborate.) The result, says Paul, is a fast-priming, crazily-light weight stove that works equally well for small and large pots.
Do let us know if you try this at home. And check out BC Outdoor Survival or follow @bcoutdoor for more bushcraft and survival tips. For more DIY stove projects, you could try building a rocket stove from old cansor even a rocket stove water heater from an old oil drum and some clay.