There’s one item that I don’t want to live without in case SHTF and society suddenly passes matters into our own hands.


You might not guess what item I’m referring to, but here are a few tips: it has a broad circular mouth, it’s made of various alloys, and serves multiple purposes (from sanitation to chicken grazing).

If you haven’t guessed this multipurpose item by now, well, it’s the 5-gallon bucket.

If you are unaware of the numerous functionalities of buckets, here’s an article describing just that.

Today I’ll pass you through one of my favorite bucket DIY – the rocket stove.

Why I like this so much? Because:

  • You save a decent amount of money by doing this yourself, and it comes with extra advantages that we’ll review in a few. Consider that you’ll spend anything between $60 and $100 on a smaller retail version of the rocket stove.
  • You’ll have a broader, more solid version of the stove, and it will still remain easy to convey.
  • It runs on twigs and mostly any small combustibles. Due to its insulation, the stove will retain much of the heat.
  • It’s excellent for frying or boiling, and it comes as a great addition when you are out camping or during an end-days scenario.
  • It takes one hour or less to assemble, making it extremely time and cost efficient.

Let’s move on to the next step and see what are the materials required for the rocket stove:

  • 1 five-gallon metal bucket with lid (use metal paint can as an alternative)
  • 1 foot of 4” metal vent pipe
  • 1 metal 90 degrees angled vent pipe elbow
  • 1 round barbeque grill (13” is ideal)
  • 1 tin can

For insulation, you’ll need 5 gallons of vermiculite and 5 gallons of wood ash. Use about Â½ gallon of clay soil as a substitute for the wood ash.

Tools required: Jig saw or tin snips.

I’ve made the rocket stove after this 1-page detailed e-book made by the guys at Root Simple.

Since it only contains technical details, below you will find pictures and extra instructions with the entire building process.

Join together the 4” vent pipe and 90 degrees vent pipe elbow to obtain the chimney of your stove. Check the pdf for the exact measurements.

Grab the lid, place the vent pipe in the middle and draw a line around it, then cut out the outlined bit using a jig saw or tin snips.

Place the vent pipe on the bottom of the bucket, outline, and cut out a 4” hole again.

Now for the insulation. Mix 6/7 vermiculite with 1/7 dry wood ash or clay soil. Water the mix and place it into the bucket.

Let dry for a few days until the mixture binds and hardens. After the insulation is ready, you can put on the lid.

Use any spare barbeque grill you may have laying around your household or purchase a new one.

The last step requires you to place the tin can inside the vent opening.

First, you’ll have to adjust the tin can: cut off both its ends and flatten it using the tin spins.

Snip a piece to turn it into a shelf and place it inside the pipe mouth. It will fit accordingly if it’s 4” long. Otherwise just adjust it by bending it a bit.

Now that you have this in place, you’ll want to fit the twigs on the upper shelf of the vent, while the lower portion will allow the air to enter the stove to fuel and maintain the fire.

The rocket stove is now complete. You can test it in your backyard or the next time you go camping.

Before you go, here are a few tips to make sure you will always get the best results out of your stove.

  • Light the fire using a piece of paper or cardboard placed under the shelf towards the back of the vent. Add slim twigs on the shelf to fuel the fire.
  • Twigs are consumed fast, so make sure to keep them coming. You’ll also have to shove the unburned twig parts to the rear once the fire consumes their other half.
  • Use only tiny twigs to fuel the fire, don’t use anything which surpasses the thickness of a finger.
  • If you’re doing everything right, the rocket stove will generate no smoke, or close to nothing.
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1 Comment

  1. thanks, good info.

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