Homemade camp stoves

(It can be as good as any camp stove you'll purchase…)

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I really like homemade camp stoves. They cost nothing, and you can always built another one if it breaks…
The stoves you can build are really no big deal. If you got minimal handy man abilities it's really a piece of cake. There are many options. I brought here the basics and those that I tried.

As for the stove type: don’t count on building a gas stove or a multi-fuel stove. Leave this to the professionals… This leaves us with three options: alcohol stove, wood burning camp stove and wood gas stove.

It's up to you to choose. Personally, I love building alcohol stoves. They are small, fun to make and weigh nothing.

Homemade alcohol stove

That’s a great option if you are into ultralight backpacking gear.
There are numerous homemade alcohol stoves designs. I think that the options I brought here pretty much summarize the best designs. You can choose from these basic (and popular) options:

cat-can-stove…A tuna can stove / cat can stove

Made out of two cans, one smaller then the other. Holds some fiberglass inside. Very simple to assemble. These are the best instructions I found on the web:


pepsi can stove …Pepsi can stove

Made out of two similar soda cans. Works on the same principle as Trangia (open jet). My favorite – by far!

Here is my photo plan for pepsi can alcohol homemade camp stoves...

And another two links:




…Penny stove

 Another stove that is made out of two identical soda cans. The principle here is different (Pressurized
Alcohol Stoves). Just follow the instructions in these two great links:



If you got some DIY skills, you can easily overcome all of these designs. All of them are really popular and you can find lots of design explanations in the web.

Homemade wood burning camp stove

wood-burning-camp-stove Picture Courtesy Mark Jurey
Like I've said in the wood burning camp stove page, this is actually a campfire in a can... The cool thing is that it is really easily to make one at home. This is really one of the simplest homemade camp stove to make.
You can build your own Hobo stove, or use these designs. They are the ones I liked the most:

(and take the time to read about this guy!)

Homemade wood gas stove

Personally, I'd leave this aside. But hey, go for it if you feel like. It's a valid option for a homemade camp stove, especially for the campground, Not so much for the trail.
The basic idea is described in my page about wood gas stoves. Basically, the stove turns wood into gas (gasify it) and then it burns the gas. It is much cleaner then just a regular wood burning camp stove. You should get almost no smoke out of it. The commercial wood gas stoves you'll find are with an electrical fan. They can get way too heavy. The homemade stoves are much lighter though.

That's the design I'd go for (Thanks Paul!):

This one is not exactly an instruction set. He is showing how the stoves are built. You need to add your creativity to build one.

The following video shows the full process of building a wood gas camp stove. He doesn't speak too clearly  but it is a very thorough.

What's your favorite DIY stove?

Do you know of another homemade camp stove? It would be great to hear about the DIY stove you use!

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click on the links below to read about some great stoves. They were all recommended by other visitors to this page.

Best Homemade Camp Stove 
Soda cans are easy to find lying around so it's good to know how to make the Pepsi can stove and the penny stove, but both involve fitting two halves together …

An Old-Fashioned Girl Scout "Buddy Burner" 
My favorite home-made camp stove is a bright, if distant, memory. Way back in the last century, when I was a Girl Scout, we used to make our own "Buddy …

Wooden stove Not rated yet
This is a rocket stove made out of wood. You should see it burn! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-x71X04Q7kA Campstovewizard's …

DIY wood gasifier backpacking version Not rated yet
I just wanted to post a link to another DIY for a wood gasifier stove. It is a 4" diameter version of the wood gasifier stove. It can boil 2 cups of …

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