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Hey CNYScouter,


pepsi can stoves are just homemade alcohol stoves...and are not prohibited by scouting...(and it is a big urban myth that white gas is forbidden by BSA, also)


Actually kind of fun to build and a bummer to really "cook" with...twice as long to boil water as even the 'cheapest' white gas back packing stove...If I remember correctly, most designs boil a small bit (say) 1-2 cups of water in about 5 1/2 - 6 minutes and run out of fuel in about 8 or 9 minutes...but for the boys its a fun project....(let parents know junior is bringing home a pocket "torch"...just to be on the safe side.... )


small and light, but also some what fragile...on boy tossed down his backpack and nearly flattened his stove, wasn't very level for the rest of the hike...has only one temperature setting...LOW....stove has no working parts to 'break down' though...


mostly for coffee, tea, instant soups, dehydrated meals and snacks rather than cooking a two quart pots of stew. or baking.


If I remember, a while back some "number cruncher type" did a piece on the efficency of backpacking stoves...from a zen like approach....interesting piece...see if I can find it again.


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Yeah, what he said!


As much as I am a BIG believer in making stuff yourself, these stoves are more of a novelty than a real tool. This version, however, is more robust and a fast cooker: http://www.hikingwebsite.com/gear/homemade/rrstove.htm


I can't find it anymore, but somewhere I saw a 'make your own Sierra Stove' plan that used an old can, a 'toy' personal fan, and a few other parts. It ran on pine cones, twigs, etc. and generated heat by blowing the air just so. Several similar stoves are here: http://zenstoves.net/Wood.htm. The www.zenstoves.net site is pretty cool as well!



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Knowledgeable adult supervision must be provided when Scouts are involved in the storage of chemical fuels, the handling of chemical fuels in the filling of stoves or lanterns, or the lighting of chemical fuels. The use of liquid fuels for starting any type of fire is prohibited.


Guidelines for Safely Using Chemical Stoves and Lanterns

Use compressed- or liquid-gas stoves or lanterns only with knowledgeable adult supervision and in Scout facilities only where and when permitted.

Operate and maintain according to manufacturers instructions included with the stove or lantern.

Both gasoline and kerosene shall be kept in well-marked, approved containers (never in a glass container) and stored in a ventilated, locked box at a safe distance (a minimum of 20 feet) from buildings and tents. Keep all chemical fuel containers away from hot stoves and campfires, and store below 100 degrees (F).

Let hot stoves and lanterns cool before changing cylinders of compressed gases or refilling from containers of liquid gas.

Refill liquid-gas stoves and lanterns a safe distance from any flames, including other stoves, campfires, and personal smoking substances. A commercial camp stove fuel should be used for safety and performance. Pour through a filter funnel. Recap both the device and the fuel container before igniting.

Never fuel a stove, heater, or lantern inside a cabin; always do this outdoors. Do not operate a stove, lantern, or charcoal grill in an unventilated structure. Provide at least two ventilation openings, one high and one low, to provide oxygen and exhaust for lethal gases. Never fuel (example: all liquid fuels, charcoal. etc.), ignite, or operate a stove, heater, or lantern in a tent.

Place the stove on a level, secure surface before operating. On snow, place insulated support under the stove to prevent melting and tipping.

Periodically check fittings on compressed-gas stoves and on pressurized liquid-gas stoves for leakage, using soap solution before lighting.

To avoid possible fires, locate gas tanks, stoves, etc., below any tents since heavy leakage of gas will flow downhill the same as water.

When lighting a stove, keep fuel containers and extra cannisters well away. Do not hover over the stove when lighting it. Keep your head and body to one side. Open the stove valve quickly for two full turns and light carefully, with head, fingers, and hands to the side of the burner. Then adjust down.

Do not leave a lighted stove or lantern unattended.

Do not overload the stovetop with heavy pots or large frying pans. If pots over 2 quarts are necessary, set up a separate grill with legs to hold the pot, and place the stove under the grill.

Bring empty fuel containers home for disposal. Do not place in or near fires. Empty fuel containers will explode if heated and should never be put in fireplaces or with burnable trash.

"Are they against the G2SS?"

No, but adult supervision is a must.


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Hey Eamonn,


"No, but adult supervision is a must."


Isn't that a great part of what we do?

Boy is my son gonna be "ticked" when I tell him he's elected to "pack" in the "locked storage box" for our next over-night hike and he has to follow us at least 20 feet behind...


and oh yes, when you strike a match to light your stove aren't you using a liquid fuel to start a fire? Do we not use stoves any longer?......

0 0



Just bustin' your chops a might...


again ...CNYScouter...training and supervision, maturity and a bit o' luck(?)


(This message has been edited by anarchist)

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when you strike a match to light your stove aren't you using a liquid fuel to start a fire? Do we not use stoves any longer?......


No, you're using a match to light a stove, not a fire. A fire uses wood for fuel, the stove uses a liquid for fuel (ignoring other types of fuel burning stoves). What you're not supposed to do, per the G2SS, is start a fire (wood burning) using liquid fuel.


Of course, as always, the G2SS is perfectly clear on this :)



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You're welcome to try it and see if your finger will burn or not. :)


Personally, I never really considered a lit candle as a fire. Of course it's burning with a flame at the wick, but it's not a fire is it? When you light a stove, it's lit and there is a flame but again, it's not really a fire is it?


Of course, if you look in the dictionary, my two examples are fire. Heck, why else would people say, "Put a kettle on the fire." So, I guess I'm wrong, but hey, what else is new. ;)


But back to your example of lighting a gas stove with a match. Of course, that is okay because you would be using the match to light the fuel, not using a match to light the liquid fuel to light the fuel for the fire (wood). But then, what do I know.



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Our Venture Patrol made these last night. I have no idea where they got the idea, but after reading this thread over the weekend imagine my surprise when I walked outside last night to see their program and they were making these dandy little soda can stoves! They had a blast making them, too.


Anarchist, thanks for the info on their functioning. To be safe, I think I'll still take my Pocket Rocket on our bacpacker next month! ;)

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  • 4 months later...

Before we got shut down by our camp director, I had a camping instructor who taught the kids in his class how to make these stoves. He usually used an altoid can. It was a lot less work but it worked just the same and looked really neat. It was also more convient because kids were willing to carry around a tin of mints rather than a full soda.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In AUstralia we use these stoves as a cheap alternative to the Trangia stoves. You should be aware however that they have some serious drawbacks that require careful management, including:


No cap so one has to burn all the fuel to prevent leaking in the pack

Kids can't simmer their food as these stoves are either "on" or "off"

One needs to make an additional stand to accommodate a pot (billy in Australia)

The fuel could leak whilst cooking meaning one could start a nice little bushfire when one leasts expects it.


Having said that, we love making them,and have a lot of joy using them but the Scouts do like to move onto other stoves after a few hikes with the pepsi can stove.





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  • 3 years later...

We made them several years ago as a Webelos II craftsman project. Yeah, it was pretty intense for webs, but I made several can cutters and jigs to make it easier for the younger guys.


The stoves are really cool to build and see work. I would strongly advise against using them for much more than a demonstration, however. Basically they are an open cup of burning alcohol. No sealed containers, no controls, no off switch. If someone kicks it over you have a BIG problem. Of course alcohol fires can be especially nasty. In the daylight, it's difficult to tell if the stove is lit or not. Besides the stove, you also have to jury rig a pot stand. Adre outlined the operational problems pretty well.


While it's a really cool project, they're not at all practical to use and I would say fairly dangerous. I would put them in the category of a survival skill that's good to know if you are ever in a survival situation, but not worth the risks otherwise.

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