How Lightweight is your Backcountry Cooking Stove?

Post by blogger | August 30, 2005      
Home made lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking.

Home made lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking.

Home made alcohol stove is the ticket to lightweight travel!

One of the best gear items we used for our Wind Rivers, Wyoming backpacking was a homebrew alcohol stove my son made from a Guinness beer can. The stove weighs .4 ounce! It’s not quite as efficient as an MSR, but by our calcs it saves weight ’till you’re out for more than about 8 days — after that the greater efficiency of the MSR makes up for the weight of the MSR stove. More, no matter how many days you are out, it is a joy on that last day when you’re marching (or skiing) 20 miles to the nearest trailhead and want the lightest pack possible. Thanks goes to Scott Henderson for the design and excellent instructions.

I highly recommend this homebrew, but make sure you’ve got time to fiddle as the two can halves are tough to fit together (hint, we sandpapered one ’till it fit in the other.) The stove is more wind resistant than I thought it would be, and would work fine for backcountry skiing provided you used it in a windbreak and on some sort of stove pad so you could set it on the snow. Not only was this stove fun to make, but the can of Guinness tasted swell (thanks Louie)!


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