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The biggest advantage of these stoves are Cost and Weight. Cost because for the cost of 2 soda's you can have a stove and the fuel is very reasonable too.


Depending on actual design they maybe too dangerous to be considered for Troop or patrol usage. The flame is difficult to see in daylight and several designs use open alcohol reservoirs leading to a potential accident.


I have used alcohol stoves in non scouting backpacking outings, but not my first choice. 3 season stove I carry a jetboil, the son carry's a coleman apex, I think, it is another canister stove. For late fall and early spring I use MSR EXG or whisper light.


Back to your question here is where I got the design I used on mine.



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I'm sorry that they'll be banned. When I was a kid we made hobo stoves, these Pepsi can stoves seemed like they were along those same lines, but they won't soot up your pots.


I'd never used an alcohol stove in my life until about a year ago when I bought a Trangia stove. I was prejudiced against them early on. Colin Fletcher bad-mouthed them in The Complete Walker--the first "adult" book I ever read. All my year I'd been using MSR or gas stoves. After using the Trangia on a few hikes, I've had to revise my opinion. It's a bit slower than my MSR, but it's a lot lighter.

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It'll be a shame if they're banned. They great fun to make and experiment with, but I think only for older scouts.


I have made several from soda cans and use them on overnight backpacking trips on occasion. Very light, but I agree they're a poor choice if you will put a lot of use on the stove. I'll stick with my trusty old wisperlight for heavier use.


You can use a cut down larger can as a stand/wind screen (sand those edges).

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You might try making a wood-gas stove. Here are some general directions: http://worldstove.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/EverythingNice_Stove_Instructions.pdf


I've been working with #2.5 and #3 cans. I've found one example that is using a Trails End popcorn tin. I don't quite have it down yet, using wood chips I get a good fire for about 20 minutes and then I lose my draft and just get smoke. Lots of interesting science involved. Here is one being used to cook kangaroo:


Because they do not use liquid fuel (although I understand they work even better with oil or bacon grease on the dry fuel) they are in G2SS compliance.

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Well, until they are banned they are a really great alternative for boiling water, it's a myth that they don't work at altitude unless maybe you are breaking 20,000 ft (BTDT).

They do work when its cold but I include the caveat that they work better when they are the unpressurized version OR when the stove starts with some body heat and then is protected from being placed ON the snow or an iced surface. Not appropriate for survival gear at altitude but they will work in normal conditions with appropriate care - just like most things.

I personally like the pressurized versions as they conserve fuel better and with some you actually can create a simmering condition. And can we please READ the G2SS? Adult supervision is required but the Boys CAN use liquid fuels, at least according to BSA, your individual Troop rules may vary...


I really like these stoves:



http://www.jureystudio.com/pennystove/ a personal favorite but it's easy to lose the penny - which acts as a self-regulating valve on a properly made one.


And I can't find the link, but a Popular adult beverage comes in a can that looks kind of like a keg, with three of those cans one can make a nifty little system that includes the pot and you can actually cook pasta in. I've got one I built.

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Such is how urban legends are created.


It is not currently or specifically prohibited. And BTW I looked all over the forum over there and could no locate the thread mentioned above.


I will use my soda can stove. But I will say that it is probably safe and fine for a 17 year old to use.. but no way for a 12 year old.


What is everyone complaining about most troops are to cityfied to backpack for more than a couple of days anyhow. The active scouts we backpack with have dads that c



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Here is the quote

Lots of interesting viewpoints. At the end of the day the decision is pending at the committee level. Key factors

# Data includes several high profile burns (this is not just BSA data, GSUSA, and others who made the headlines).

# The incident data indicates lack of qualified supervision and discpline in the use and demostration of the technology. (where have we seen this?)

# There is no off switch.

# Data indicates homemade stoves are primarily demonstration pieces.


What would I predict today as a likely outcome


* Don't see elimination of alcohol as a fuel but see it not recommended.

* See elimination of homemade stoves.




Honestly I do hope it is an urban legend, but... " I got a bad feeling about this."


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what the heck happened to my post.......


Well, my point was, There is a group of us who back pack with our sons. My bear backpacks and he has about 300 miles under his boots. The group is for the most part parent son combos. So for them to prohibit something like this it will just drive us from conducting this activity as a scouting event.


For the record there are a number of manufactured aluminum can alcohol stoves. search ebay for white box stove. So what is the point???????


Ridiculous, how bout spending some money and fixing our camps.


BTW my Bear carry's and uses a jetboil or coleman apex. He asked Santa for a whisperlite. Too much for my bear. You really need to pay attention to what your doing or you will flame the shelter or picnic table.

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If they ban homemade stoves, it will be great disservice to those troops that want to backpack in a lightweight style. Sure, you can buy a commercial version, but then you have the expense without the satisfaction of making your own gear. Personally, I think cat food can stoves (http://jwbasecamp.com/Articles/SuperCat/index.html) are better suited (lower for better stability, no need for pot support and can be "turned off" with a snuffer cup) for Scouts though.

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Excuse me if I hijack this thread a little but I'm curious, those of you who use alcohol stoves, what do you use for fuel? Rubbing alcohol, denatured alcohol, or what?


I seem to remember reading somewhere about a certain brand of fuel additive that worked really well in these, burned clean, etc. but I can't seem to find where I saw that. Anyone know what I'm talking about?






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Links to minibulldesign, a home industry that makes several high quality stove using machined aluminum as well as soda or "adult beverage" cans. On this page he discusses not the quality of the fuels but several different commonly available ones.

I have used Everclear - best done when it's warm, wouldn't carry it around Scouts. Haven't used the brake line de-icer but just because I haven't needed to.

Have used all of the other products, most commonly Heet - but ONLY use the YELLOW bottle, the red is a different product you don't want the vapors around your food and I've heard there's a blue bottle you shouldn't use either.

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Hey Now, CNYScouter!


IMHO, for an individual or perhaps two people, the soda can or alky stoves work "well enough" if all you need to do is boil water. I've been able to boil about 2 liters of cold water on 2 oz of Heet on a 22F day, in about 12 mins. with an approx. 15 min. burn time. A windscreen is essential to the efficiency of any stove but especially so with alky stoves; use a windscreen or don't bother with alky stoves.


FWIW, the reason I started using an alky stove was that during shakedown hikes for this summer's Philmont crew, I carried my WhisperLite (jet engine) JUST so I could brew coffee in the morning as that was not part of the meal plan for our group... :( The alky stove and accessories are so much lighter than the jet engine. :p

I have found that the Cat stove (Google: jwbasecamp) and the UniCan stove (

)* are pretty simple to make. I have determined the Cat stove doesn't work well below about 30F for me, however the UniCan is one I can use easily down to about 18F, if I insulate the stove from a frozen surface. This is enough for me to make cowboy coffee or water for cocoa, tea, soup, et c. I keep one in my day/hunting/fishing pack for making soup when its cold and wet.


*I use a IMUSA grease pot from K-mart or Wally-World rather than the Heiny pot they make in the YouTube video. My whole kitchen fits inside the grease pot for storage.


Tinny the tinker at Minibull Design has created some intriguing stoves but it was more fun making one (or ten) myself. However, in winter nothing beats my good old jet engine; it ALWAYS works efficiently. :D


As others have opined, for real cooking there are better choices...YMMV,


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