One of the simplest survival items you can create is the tin can stove. You will often see a tin can stove on camping trips, but they make one of the better survival stoves you can find. You will need a tin can, preferably a tin coffee can as they have the right shape and size for cooking purposes. However, you will need more items in order to make your own DIY tin can stove.
- Snip & Flat Nose Pliers
- Tape Measure & Marker
- Hammer & Chisel
- Cardboard Tube
- Can Opener
Obviously, you’ll need a large tin can and a couple of wire hangers so you can make the handles. Handles are pretty important if you want to maneuver a hot tin can stove. You’ll also need some water, a freezer, and kindling for your stove once it is ready to go.
Freeze the Can: The first step is filling the can with water until it reaches about an inch from the top and setting it in the freezer overnight. Ice inside the can prevents it from being dented when you put holes in it for ventilation.
Make the Handles: You can use store-bought handles, but making them from old wire hangers is pretty easy. Untwist the hangers using the pliers and cut a length of wire just short of three times the length of the can. Next, bend the wire using the flat nose pliers until you make a “U” shape. Make another one just like it so you have handles for both sides.
Add the Cardboard: At the part of the handle that you hold, put the piece of cardboard tube around it. You can use wood or even fabric, but cardboard is cheap and easy to replace. This makes the handles easier to use and takes the heat off of your hands.
Put Holes in the Can: When the ice has fully formed take the can out of the freezer. Grab your hammer and chisel to make ventilation holes on the bottom half of the can. Put in at least a dozen or so holes all around the bottom half, but not on the bottom itself.
Add the Handles: Once that is complete, you’ll need to punch two holes on each side of the can and run the wire inside about two to three inches. Bend the wires inside so that they stay in the can. The handles should be long enough to set on the ground when the stove is in operation.
Top Half Ventilation: Now you’ll want to add a larger opening on the top half of the can so you can add kindling when the stove is in operation. On one side away from the handles make an opening from the top that is three inches apart and goes about three inches down.
Now you are ready to test drive your tin can stove. Just add some kindling and light it up. Set a cooking pan on top and see how long it takes for your stove to boil at least three cups of water. You can always add a few more holes for ventilation if needed.