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How To Turn Pop Cans Into A Portable Camper Stove

“Roughing it” while camping can be fun, but you might find yourself missing hot cooked meals on your excursions. Camping stoves aren’t practical for lugging around, or if you find yourself in an emergency situation, you might not have access to fire to cook up meals. This tutorial on how to turn pop cans into a portable camping stove uses items you might normally carry with you while backpacking! This little cook stove is small enough that you can also create one ahead of time and stow it in your pack for easy use without taking up a lot of space! Here’s how!

What You’ll Need:

1 Pop can

1 Pocket knife or any small, sharp knife

1 Container of rubbing alcohol

1 Lighter, preferably a candle lighter


1. With your cleaned out empty can right side up, take your knife and carefully cut around the inner rim of the top, making sure to leave the outer rim intact.

2. About halfway down the can, insert your knife and cut the can in half.

3. Comparing both halves, trim both sides so that the bottom half is the same height as the top of the can, measuring only up to the spot where the can begins to taper, not the whole top half of the can.

4. Using your knife, make an indent on the non-tapered part of the top half of the can. You’ll want to ensure to make the indent larger starting at the bottom, with a smaller indent at the beginning of the taper. Do this along the entire can, about a finger’s length between indents.

5. Use your knife’s tip, or any small sharp tool like a thumbtack, and puncture a small hole under the rim of the top portion. Place the upper half of the can inside the lower half.

6. Pour alcohol into your can, about one third to halfway full, depending on what you are planning to cook.

7. Using a lighter, carefully ignite the alcohol, taking great caution to avoid getting burned.

8. Place your cooking vessel carefully on top of your can, and cook!

Extinguishing And Storage

To extinguish your pop can camping stove, you can use a plastic tupperware container to smother the flames. Turn the container upside down over the stove quickly and the flames will almost instantly extinguish! Do not try to blow out the flames, as the oxygen will only make the flames burn harder! You can use the same tupperware container to store your stove! The stove will cool down quickly and then you can empty the leftover alcohol back into its bottle. Then store it in the container for future use!

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to turn pop cans into a portable camper stove! It’s simple and space-saving, so you can enjoy nicely cooked meals no matter where you go! Have you made a pop can camping stove before? Share your experiences in the comments section!

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