Homemade Survival Stoves

Knowing how to build a stove could make the difference if you have an emergency while camping or hiking.

Wood Stoves

If you can boil water, cook food and stay warm, your chances of survival are greatly improved. Some homemade stoves are assembled from natural objects, while others require campers or hikers to pack a few specific items before starting on their trek. Educating yourself about homemade stoves could save your life.

Creating a homemade wood stove for camping is as simple as setting up a windscreen over a pile of wood and then placing rocks on top of the windscreen. Pots are placed on the rocks for heating. These stoves are cheap and easy to make, and smoke from the fire shields the campsite from many insects. When making a wood stove, give yourself time before nightfall to gather enough wood and rocks to complete the project.

Hobo Stoves

Along with wood stoves, hobo stoves are one of the most rudimentary homemade stoves. Find a tin paint or food can and cut six holes in it -- three holes at the top of the can and three near the base. The holes encourage airflow within the can, making the fire inside intensely hot. Load the can with wood, paper, leaves or anything else that’s combustible. Light a match and start the fire. Once the fire starts, the stove is ready for cooking or boiling water.

Plumber's Stove

A plumber’s stove requires planning. You need an empty 8-ounce paint or stain can, a bag of cotton balls, alcohol fuel, a radiator hose clamp, sheet metal snips and a 3-inch-wide-by-12-inch-long strip of thin gauge steel. Clean the inside of the can with paint thinner, soap and water. The cotton balls go in the can and the metal strip goes around the outside of the rim. The metal, with an area cut away to allow airflow, acts as a windscreen for the fire. The radiator hose clamp secures the metal in place. Notches can be cut into the top of the metal and the corners should be bent down so you don’t cut yourself. Soak the cotton balls with alcohol fuel and light with a match to start the fire.

Canister Stoves

Canister stoves use liquefied petroleum gas burners to create heat. These stoves produce high heat and are one of the easiest models to assemble. The stove's burner connects to the canister's pipe. Once the fitting is secure, turn the knob on the canister to start the fire. Unfortunately, these stoves perform poorly in cold weather and the canisters are not refillable.

About the Author

Skip Davis has been writing professionally since 2005. His work has appeared in "Southern Literary Magazine," on various websites and in graphic panels at the Jackson Zoological Park in Jackson, Miss. Currently living in Southern California, Davis received his Bachelor of Arts in theater at Belhaven College.