In a survival situation, you are going to need to cook and warm up. Why not make these tasks easier? I am going to teach you how to build your own portable lightweight stove.

You can add it to your bug-out-bag or take it with you when going camping. Either way, it is a valuable asset to have around.


  • One-gallon metal paint can
  • One-quart metal paint can
  • Platform for quart can, inside the gallon can
  • Roll of toilet paper (cotton balls or 100% cotton material works, too)
  • Bottle of isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol
  • Pathfinder Bush Pot Nesting Stove – not required but if you already own one, it fits perfectly in the grooved lip of gallon paint cans

Step 1: Stuff the Can

s1Start by removing the cardboard tube from the toilet paper roll. Grip the edge and pull the tube out of the center. To loosen the tube enough to slide it out, try smashing the roll a couple of times. After that, stuff the paper into the quart can.

Step 2: Add Fuel

s2Pour the alcohol that you chose in the stuffed quart can. However, make sure that under no circumstances you use gasoline or other highly flammable petroleum-based fuels! You’ll explode in flames in no time!

Step 3: Insert Quart Fuel Can

s3If your tin is not tall enough for the flames to breathe oxygen, there is one thing you can do. Elevate it a few inches by sitting it on a metal bowl. A large, empty tuna can work too. As an extra plus, you’ve got another useable container inside your stove.

Step 4: Ignition

s4Now you need to light the fuel can. Ferro rod sparks will ignite the fumes inside the can. If you are using a match or a lighter, be careful to keep your hand to the side of the stove opening while lighting.

If you plan to use a Pathfinder Nesting Stove to hold cook pots, now is the time to place it on top of the gallon paint can. The flames will reach a foot or more in height.

Step 5: Start Cooking


Make sure that you use the plumber’s stove only in a well-ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. There you have your own home made stove!

You never know when you will find yourself in the situation of having to cook without your regular stove around. So, why not get ready in due time? After all, you are a true prepper! Don’t be like all the others who wait for a miracle to happen. It won’t hurt having a backup plan prepared. After all, it is so much better to be ready than to regret not doing anything.

What other ways of cooking and warming up do you know? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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