The self Contained Portable Stove, “A How to”Feb 17th, 2011 | By admin | Category: D.I.Y.
This easy to make unit has been in my inventory for 30 plus years. It has come in handy while camping as a scout, serving in the Marine Corps and even on the ground in the Gulf Coast as a First Responder after Hurricane Katrina and during Hurricane Rita.
Once assembled it is primarily a stove, but a bit of its contents can be cut away and used as a fire starter, and if the area is ventilated a heating device. That’s right, a single, self contained, water proof unit consisting of just 3 materials of which many of us have and throw away.
Let’s get to it!
What you will need:
1) Dryer Lint (Approx. a One (1) pound coffee can full)
2) Empty 12 oz. Tuna can (Clean and dry)
3) Wax (Approx. 12 oz)
1) Fry Pan
2) Small Pot
5) Small stick (Pop sickle type. I use my fingers but the wax is obviously hot!)
1) Place an inch or so of water in the fry pan and bring to a mild boil.
2) Break or cut wax into small pieces and place into the pot.
3) Place Pot into the water and allow the wax to melt.
4) Pack as much lint into the tuna can as possible.
5) Slowly pour wax over the lint. The lint is going to absorb the wax and contract.
6) Continually add lint. One tuna can, will hold almost all of the lint that you have collected.
7) Once the tuna can is almost full, top off with just a bit of wax.
8) Let the wax cool and harden. I place it in the fridge to expedite the process. Even in the fridge it will take several hours to cool thoroughly.
Once assembled the total weight will be approximately 12.5 oz’s.
How to use
Acting as a wick the lint burns the wax just like a candle. The Flame base is wide, almost the circumference of the can used, so it’s large enough to make quick work of a plate of food or a pot of snow. Take your utility knife and pierce the contents about a quarter of an inch and gently pry up creating little peaks you can easily light.
If you are having trouble getting that fire started, just grab your handy knife and carve a bit of the lint and wax away and place it under your kindling.
With wax as the fuel source once this handy item cools it is also water proof. I will admit it is a bit heavy however for 3 days in the field about half a can will work.
Different containers, i.e. Empty shoe polish can, will make a smaller stove with a lid. A larger can will burn much longer allowing for larger items to be heated. You get the idea.
Keep in mind that once ignited, you are dealing with liquid paraffin, so it will create a burning puddle of wax. If the stove is tipped over this start a fire. So show great caution when using your stove. Once you are done cooking, snuff it out by covering it with a lid. And of course let everything cool down completely before moving the stove. Once the wax hardens and cools, you can pack it.