This alcohol stove/twig stove hybrid is versatile, lightweight, efficient, and cheap. Best of all, you can make it yourself.
The ability to use two different fuel sources gives outdoorsmen and women an added level of versatility in the field. Rainy day dampened all the available wood? Use the alcohol stove. Camping under some pines with lots of dead branches at their bases? Save your alcohol and cook with twigs.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- One Fancy Feast cat food can alcohol stove
- 1-quart paint can. $3 from any paint store or department
- Can opener
- Permanent marker
- Tin snips, or any heavy-duty scissor
- Power drill, or other tool that can make clean holes, not rough-edged
- Heavy-duty sanpaper or metal file
- Metal wire hanger or titanium skewer stakes
Once you’ve gotten all your supplies together, you are ready to build your alcohol stove/twig stove hybrid.
With the power drill, drill four small holes near the top of the can, two on each side, into which you will slide skewers to support your mug while burning wood.
Still with the power drill, drill a row of small holes along the bottom of the can, for airflow.
Using the can opener, remove the lid from the can.
Mark a slit onto the can. The slit should be just wide enough to accommodate your mug handles, and go down to just above the row of ventilation holes you drilled on the bottom. You will also feed wood into the stove through this slit.
Using the tin snips, cut out the slit.
Use a file to clean up any sharp edges.
Using the tin snips, cut skewers out of the wire hanger and put a 90-degree bend at one end of each skewer. Alternatively, skip this step and use titanium skewer stakes.
That’s all there is to it!
As you can see in the photo above, the twig stove makes a perfect wind screen for your Fancy Feast cat food can stove or it can be used on its own with fuel found on site. The stove weighs just three ounces and you’ll be glad you have it when you run out of alcohol (or spill it all) far from the trailhead.
All images via Andrew Skurka