Orders over $60 Ship Free

How to Make an Ultra Light Backpacking Stove with a Cat Food Can


by Austin Campbell March 29, 2016

CloudLine Hiking Socks are Ready for All Your Summer Adventures. Shop Now!

Is Your Expensive Backpacking Stove Worth the Weight and Price?

We love making our own gear. Sometimes DIY hiking and backpacking gear saves us money, sometimes our projects don't turn out, and then sometimes we find a project that works so well we prefer it to our store bought gear. One such project is our cat food can alcohol stove. There are countless variations and tutorials for DIY alcohol stoves, and we have experimented with many of them over the years. This cat food can stove is one of the easiest to build, most durable, and efficient versions we have tested. It works so well and weighs so little, you may ditch your expensive backpacking stove in favor of a cat food can stove on your next adventure. 

 

Video Overview of the Cat Food Stove

 

Needed Tools and Materials 

How to Make an Ultra Light Backpacking Stove from a Cat Food Can

  1. Small can of cat food
  2. Flexible measuring tape
  3. Marker
  4. Hole punch
  5. Sand Paper
  6. Foil 
  7. Denatured Alcohol

 

Step 1: Clean the Cat Food Can

Open the cat food. Remove the contents and paper label, then wash with soap and hot water. 

Pro-tip: If you don't have a cat, ask a friend to save a couple empty cat food cans for you.  

How to Make an Ultra Light Backpacking Stove with a Cat Food Can

 

Step 2: Smooth the Sharp Edge 

To ensure you don't cut your fingers while working on this project or while using your cat food can backpacking stove in the backcountry, smooth the sharp edge with a file or course sand paper. 

How to Make an Ultra Light Backpacking Stove with a Cat Food Can

 

Step 3: Mark the Rim of the Can Every 1/2"

Wrap the measuring tape around the top rim of the can and mark every 1/2" as a guide for punching the first row of holes in your cat food can backpacking stove.

How to Make an Ultralight Cat Food Can Backpacking Stove

 

Step 4: Punch the First Row of Holes

Using the marks you made in step 3 as a guide punch a row of holes just below the lip of the can. Aligning the outside edge of the hole punch with each mark will give you even distance between each hole. Don't worry if your holes aren't perfect, you can always grab another can and try again. 

How to Make an Ultra Light Backpacking Stove with a Cat Food Can

 

Step 5: Punch the Second Row of Holes

Next punch a second row of holes just below the first row. Align the second row of holes below and in between the first row of holes, as shown below. 

How to Make a Backpacking Stove with a Cat Food Can and a Hole Punch

 

Step 6: Make a Foil Windscreen

To make your cat food can stove more efficient you can us a simple foil windscreen. Customize the size based on your cooking pot, ideally you want your screen to wrap around your pot with some space for airflow. Double Layer the foil and fold over the edges for durability and then use the hole punch to make holes along the bottom edge to provide airflow to your cat food can stove. If you're carful this windscreen will last for many trips, and if it starts to tear you can easily make a new one and put the old one in the recycle bin.  

How to Make an Ultra Light Cat Food Can Backpacking Stove with a Foil Windscreen

 

How to Use Your Ultra Light Backpacking Cat Food Can Stove

One of the great things about the cat food can stove is it can use several easy to find fuels including denatured alcohol, Heet gas line anti-freeze, and high proof grain alcohol so you can easily resupply your fuel no matter where your hiking and backpacking adventures take you. 

How to Make an Ultra Light Backpacking Stove with a Cat Food Can and a Hole Punch

Warning: Use caution and common sense when lighting and using your cat food can stove to avoid burns, or starting a forest fire. 

  1. Add 1-2 ounces of fuel (depending on how much water you are boiling).
  2. Carefully light fuel. Lighters can be tricky with a cat food can stove, so try matches. 
  3. Allow the fuel and stove to heat up for about 30 seconds (in daylight the flames will be heard to see).
  4. Fill your cooking pot with water and carefully set it on the cat food can stove (be careful to center your pot so things don't tip over!).

Congratulations on building your own cat food can ultra light backpacking stove! You should have boiling water in about 5-10 minutes, and be ready to enjoy a delicious dehydrated backpacking meal! 

Pin this Article

 



Austin Campbell
Austin Campbell

Author

Austin lives in the Pacific Northwest where he enjoys hiking and backpacking in the Olympic and Cascade mountains.






2 Responses

Alison Hamilton
Alison Hamilton

January 23, 2017

Hello my name is Alison Hamilton and I just wanted to send you a quick message here instead of calling you. I came to your How to Make a Cat Food Can Backpacking Stove – CloudLine Apparel page and noticed you could have a lot more hits. I have found that the key to running a successful website is making sure the visitors you are getting are interested in your website topic. There is a company that you can get keyword targeted visitors from and they let you try the service for free for 7 days. I managed to get over 300 targeted visitors to day to my site. http://ker.li/ol
Alison Hamilton http://likes.avanimisra.com/4ox2

wedding budget
wedding budget

November 15, 2016

Hello ! check this awesome site
wedding budget http://www.wedding0venues.tk/

Leave a comment


Also in The CloudLine Hiking & Backpacking Blog

9 Practical Tips for Newbie Hikers
9 Practical Tips for Newbie Hikers

by Austin Campbell May 23, 2017

If you've never gone hiking or have never planned your own hike there are a few things you should know before hitting the trail. The last thing you want is to become a news story about an unprepared hiker who got lost or needed to be rescued. Luckily, preparing for a successful first hike is not rocket science. Just follow these tips and you will be on your way to a great first hike that is safe, fun and memorable. So keep reading, and then get out there and go hiking!

Read More

5 Moving Videos that Document Why We Need Public Lands, National Monuments, and Parks
5 Moving Videos that Document Why We Need Public Lands, National Monuments, and Parks

by Austin Campbell May 10, 2017

In our current political climate, National Parks, Monuments, and Public Lands that were once protected are now in danger of being opened to mining, drilling, logging, and development. These videos are a powerful reminder of the reasons we preserved these places. Watch them, share them, and most of all contact your elected officials and let them know how important these wild places are. 

Read More

How to Stay Safe While Hiking in Bear Country
How to Stay Safe While Hiking in Bear Country

by Austin Campbell April 20, 2017

Seeing a bear in the backcountry can be simultaneously breathtaking and terrifying. We are always hoping for a chance to see a bear from a distance while also hoping to avoid the danger of a close encounter. Over the years we've been given good and bad advice on what to do when we see a bear, like the time our Scout Master threw a rock towards a black bear and told us to drop our packs and run if it charged us (three things you should never do during a bear encounter). While bear attacks happen regularly, the number of attacks is very low in relation to the number of hikers, backpackers, and campers spending time in bear country every year. While it is impossible to completely eliminate bear danger in the backcountry, employing common sense and familiarizing yourself with these bear safety tips and resources will greatly reduce your risk. 

Read More