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Alternative Energy

Twin Tin Can Survival Stove?




There are a lot of ways to eat food if the grid goes down, but almost without fail the best way is hot.

Oh, sure you can swallow a lot if you are on the run.

MRE’s were designed to be eaten cold.

Canned food is edible right from the can, but I haven’t met a meal yet that didn’t taste better with a little doctoring.

Maybe its some spices or cheese, but heating almost anything up makes it taste better.

The warmer your meal is, especially in colder months, the better you feel when you are eating it.

A warm MRE meal can actually taste great… OK, it can taste pretty good if you heat it up.

With the need for warm meals you are looking at some type of system for getting that food warmed up.

We have discussed how if the grid goes down how you might find yourself where there is no kitchen to cook your meals.

Yes, you can use a fireplace, but what if you don’t have any wood?

What if you want to keep your fire smaller to help avoid detection?

This is when a stove system can come in handy.

There are hundreds of examples of stoves out there. I have a jet-boil, which isn’t really a stove, but I can boil water for soup or cook foods quickly with just a little gas.

There is always the rocket stove if you have the time and wood available, but I just found a great tutorial for how to make a small alcohol stove out of two coke cans. If you can’t find two coke cans laying around somewhere you are hurting.

Alcohol stoves use denatured alcohol for fuel and are very common with ultralight backpackers because of the huge weight savings.

You can pay a pretty high amount for these stoves, but that isn’t necessary if you have some time and a willingness to try your hand at creating something.

These can be made simply using just a couple of tools you may already have and give you an excellent source for cooking or even heat in a pinch.

via How to Make A Survival Stove with Two Soda Cans | The Prepper Journal.

Want to know more? Check out these related articles from our site:

DIY Wood Gas Stove

Make Your Own Hobo Stove From Scrap

The Ecozoom Versa Stove… Is it worth it?

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  1. Quester55

    July 22, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    I agree with the story, Cooked, or Cold food always taste better when served Warm or Hot.
    But rather than trying to make your own stove(That may Blow up in your Face)I prefer using my G.I. Mess Kit with Stove Assembly attached. It Heats quite well on the Triax. Burning tabs that comes with it,& the fuel tabs are waterproof! You can pick up a good supply, on the cheep side, at Amazon., also look for the mess kit while your at it.

  2. chris g.

    July 22, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    although not totally on topic…I recently got a great deal on a case of hand-sanitizer. (which we don’t use- heard rumors about this compromising our natural immune system.) Thought it’d make good fire starter/accelerant. Now I’m wondering if this could be used as a stove fuel, also…sure it’s not the same viscosity, maybe enlarging the 5 center fueling holes, within the penny size cover/lid? Hand sanitizer is mostly alcohol, also. So, what do you think?

  3. Marius

    July 23, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Did you ever heard about a thing called “Primus”? I know actually Primus is the name of the guy, or company who invented the stuff, but now is reffering to any device which can run on alcohol,kerosene, and, most importantly, GASOLINE!Why that’s most importantly? Because if you try to do your stunts with two cans of Coke,using gasoline, you’re about to find out how highly explosive it is! A Primus stuff still can handle it safely. And in a crisis, I can bet you, gasoline can be found much easyer than alcohol or kerosene – if nowhere else – on the bottom of abandoned cars’ tanks!
    And if you think that primus thing will cost you an arm and a leg,I just checked out at Academy, and they have on the shelfes three different versions ranging from 50$ to 80$.Anyway, I bought mine from a county store for 30$, and fits in it’s own metalic box of 6X6X3 inches.Yes,inches!
    Disaster strikes, or you just forget the alcohol when go camping, just go to your car or truck, pull out 1/20th of a gallon of gasoline from your tank, and you’re done!…

  4. Debra DeKerlegand

    July 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    You are reminding me of something! Years ago (I’m getting pretty long in the tooth now) when I was in the Campfire girls organization, we made a little stove out of a tuna can with rolled up corrugated cardboard in it. We put a wick in the middle and poured melted paraffin in it to keep it burning for a while. It worked great! I’m gonna make me some of those now that I remember! They keep forever, and we also used to dip our kitchen matches in a little melted paraffin to waterproof them…..Wow! I’ve gotta get to work!

  5. richard1941

    July 23, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    A long time ago I borrowed my sister’s coleman camp stove and went to Lassen National Park. I tried to make breakfast, and something went wrong. The liquid fuel kept squirting into the base of the stove and eventually it caught fire. The flames were about ten feet high, just short of the tree I was under.

    Now I use a MSR stove. Starting it can be just as hairy!

    Butane, sterno, and hexamine stoves are a lot safer than the ones that use camp fuel.

    So here is the question: how does this alcohol stove do with coleman camp fuel?

    I am interested in Vick’s Vaporub. Can that be used as a stove fuel? Cook your food and cure your cough with the same stuff!

    And… an ongoing problem with all small stoves is that with a pot they become very top-heavy and are easily tipped over… even when on a hard surface like a picnic table. I would use silicone goop to attach some kind of flat base to this one.

    My two cents worth.

    • Nick

      July 25, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      Using anything but alcohol in an alcohol stove is an explosive circumstance

  6. richard

    July 24, 2013 at 12:11 AM

    I go to the dollar store ,buy the fuel for a chaffing dish $ 1.00 ea. I get a large tuna can or chunk chicken can .remove top eat tuna or chunk chicken. drill hole in bottom of can in center about 1 and a half in.drill holes 1/8to 1/4inch all around the bottom ,one hole low one hole higher staggered all around the can deburr holes .take cap off fuel can. put can on with holes in it upside down put lid back on and tighten.when you need to use the stovetake lid off turn can around,light fuelput pot on and cook .fuel will last about two can refill with 90%rubbing alcohol works well.

    • aaron

      July 26, 2013 at 9:44 PM

      Nice idea. Can you send over more detailed instructions and/or pictures or video. I’d really like to give this stove a try.

  7. Nick

    July 25, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    I’ve made an even simpler stove out of a Vienne Sausage can. Staring around 1/2 inch from the top make two lines of holes one size bigger than 1/8 in on a Unibit. Put one ounce of alcohol in the can and light. Once the can warms a little put your pot down on top of the can, which is quite sturdy, and the flame will come out the holes like a gas range. I have timed this little stove getting a tea kettle to boil in 6 minutes. The beauty of this design is that its one piece and the can is much more sturdy than soda cans

  8. Joe

    August 2, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    NEVER use gasoline or “white gas” in the penny stove. Use denatured alcohol, high proof vodka, “HEET” brand gas line dryer in the yellow bottle only, not the red bottle. (the red bottle HEET is a different alcohol.) An alcohol fire is very hard to see, so mix in a little table salt, it will give the flame a more visible yellow flame.
    Rubbing alcohol doesnt work.
    These little alcohol stoves are not meant to be
    used with large cooking pots. They are for heating a small vessel with 2 or 3 cups of water. Many people use a large Fosters beer can
    for cooking pot. There are dozens of “how to”
    videos for these on YOUTUBE. These are simple
    make and only cost you the value of the deposit
    you lost cutting the cans up. And lots more fun
    than just going to the store and spending $50,
    or more, for a commercial camp stove.
    I have been using one of these “penny stoves”
    for the last 4 or 5 years. Works great, light
    to carry, easy to use. I made a small pot stand/wind screen to make it even better.

  9. Scott J

    October 26, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    I have 3 questions. 1) How long is the stove good for? Meaning how many times can you use it before it time to start over? 2) How long does it burn for before the alcohol burn out? And 3) does the insulation ever get worn out ? Thanks for this great idea.

  10. Wrangler

    November 6, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Why not just get some Sterno and use that?

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  13. Dan

    August 30, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    I would imagine that a fold up sterno stove I have would work to hod a pot or cup with one of these ?

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