Cook your food while on the move with this DIY portable can stove
05/19/2020 // Arsenio Toledo // Views

If you're out camping and you need to cook your next meal, you will need a portable stove. However, if a disaster or an accident happens and you either don't have a stove or have one that isn't functioning properly, you can fashion a portable stove yourself -- all you need are a bunch of supplies that you can find in your garage. Here's what you will need and how to build it. (h/t to

Items you will need:

  • A small paint can
  • Denatured alcohol
  • A hammer
  • A nail
  • A pair of pliers
  • Four zip ties
  • Four long metal rods or screws

How to make a portable DIY can stove

Once you have your small paint can, clean out the outside, the inside and the lid. Afterward, take your hammer and your nail and begin putting tiny holes into the lip at the top of the can. These holes should be between 1 to 2 cm – or a little under 1 inch – apart. You should do this for the whole lip of the can, and depending on the size, you should end up with between 20 to 30 holes.

Afterward, turn your attention to your pliers and your metal rods or screws. Bend these rods or screws into wide U shapes. Next, use your four zip ties to tie the four wide U-shaped pieces of metal together into something resembling a square shape. This is your stand. You will place the pot or pan on top of these pieces of metal. (Related: The 5 types of stoves you need to know how to use for cooking preparedness.)

As soon as you've finished the can and the stand, you are all done. All that's left is assembling the DIY portable can stove once you're out camping or during an emergency situation.


Once you're ready to use your stove, take out your small paint can, take off the lid and fill it up with denatured alcohol. Then, put the lid back on the small paint can and pour a small bit of the denatured alcohol into it.

Using a match, a lighter or any other ignition implement you have, safely light the alcohol that you poured into the lid. Once the fire is up, place your stand over it and begin cooking your healthy and delicious meal.

You can make different kinds of DIY portable stoves

This DIY small paint can stove can be made in the field if you happen to find yourself without a proper stove. However, it may require a little bit of time to do. If you are in a bit of a rush, or if you have fewer materials to build with, you can find other kinds of portable DIY can stoves with a quick search on the internet.

There are stoves that can be made out of soda cans that use up fewer materials. However, this also takes some time and denatured alcohol to use. If you really have nothing on you but a metal can and a sharp tool, such as a punch can opener, you can still just as easily make a portable can stove. This kind of can, however, uses twigs and other small flammable pieces of material you can find out in the wilderness as its fuel.

As a prepper, ideally you should invest in a proper portable stove for your camping needs. However, if the need suddenly arises, learning how to make a stove out of a paint, soup or soda can help, especially if you don't want to go hungry.

Sources include: 1 2

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