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How To Build The Most Efficient Wood Stove For Hiking

How To Build The Most Efficient Wood Stove For Hiking

Camping is the best way to relax in the lap of nature. Lying down under the stars and enjoying the hot meal is all that you need after a trail of a long day. However, setting a big fire to cook food might be a tiring task. It is the point where a portable camping stove comes into the light. A wood-burning stove is a thing that you need for cooking the dinner quickly.  

As space is the limitation for the backpackers, a portable wood stove is an ideal choice. Wood fueled camping stoves make it easy for the campers to cook food without worrying about the fuel. In case you do not have a wood camping stove, you can build your own stove. With the use of some tools and old cans, you can make a wood stove for camping. You can check out the different models given below and make a backpacking portable wood stove.  

Tips to Build Wood Fuelled Camping Stove

Everyone has a different style of making things. Therefore, the material, tools & equipment may vary from one person to another. Here are three models for building the camping wood burning stove. You can choose the model that is easier for you.

1. Model 1 for Wood Burning Stove  

The list of tools and materials required for the building wood burning stove includes

  • Large soup can
  • Jigsaw or tip spins
  • Small soup can
  • Small pineapple can
  • Drill and bits

Step 1: Cutout a Hole in the Large Soup Can

Clean all the cans thoroughly. Now take the large can and on its bottom, trace the small can. Now with the help of trace at the bottom large can, drill a hole with the help of a jigsaw or tin snips. The sharp edges on the cans can hurt you. Therefore, it is advisable to be careful while using these tools and cutting out the circle.

Step 2: Measuring and Drilling Rows

Now take the large can and make the marks at the distance of 1 inch around the top of the can for holes. Using the small drill bit make 2 rows of pilot holes over the marks made on the can. To make the holes in between the holes of the first row, offset the second row. Now take the large drill to enlarge the pilot holes.

Step 3: Make 3 Rows of Pilot Holes in Small Soup Can

Now you have to repeat the same process to make three rows of air holes in the small can. However, the only difference is that in the small can, 2 rows would be made along the bottom and 1 row around the top rim.

Step 4: Create a Small Air Hole Meshwork in the Small Can

 With the help of a small drill bit, drill a mesh work of air holes in the bottom of the can. The small holes would in holding the pine cones and twigs for fuel and provide airflow as well.

Step 5: Place the Small Can in Large Can

Now insert the small can inside the large can through the hole that made in step 1 of the process. To enlarge the hole, you might need to create small cuts. For creating small cuts, you can use the tin snips. Be careful while enlarging the hole. If the hole becomes large, the small can, would slip away.

Step 6: Using Pineapple Can Create a Windscreen

It is one of the important steps in the process of making a wood stove. In this step, you need to create a windscreen. With the help of a can opener remove the bottom of the pineapple can and create a window of 2”*3”. Through this window, you can add fuel while cooking. You can create the window by making four air holes at the window’s corner and then cutting the sides with tin snips. Once the window is made, you need to drill the pilot holes around the bottom rim of this can. This would help the pineapple can to sit on the woodstove upside down.

Step 7: Your New Wood Gas Stove is Ready for Backpacking

Now your small camping stove is ready. For using the new wood gas camping stove, you need to gather sticks as well as pine cones. For lighting convenience, you can use the small fire starter like Vaseline dipped cotton ball. It would take just a minute to heat up and once it gets the proper airflow it would create ultra-efficient combustion. You would enjoy cooking meals at the camp.    

2. Model 2 for Wood Burning Stove

Here is a list of materials as well as tools that you require for building the DIY wood burning stove

  • An empty can of 4-inch diameter
  • An empty can of 3-inch diameter
  • Ruler
  • Drill
  • Can opener
  • Punch or file
  • Tin snips
  • Drill bits (1/8” and 3/8”)

Step 1: First of all remove the lid of the bigger can and turn it into a rim that can fit around the small can easily. For creating the rime, you can punch holes and cut it. This design would create a snug fit for the outer as well as inner parts of the wood camp stove.

Step 2: Now using the punch and drill bits, drill a series of air holes around the bottom of the bigger can. Now for the smaller can repeat the same process and make the row of holes around the top as well as the bottom. You need to punch small holes in the base of the small can. With the help of the ring of upper holes, hot air would be injected into the top of the stove that is essential to reignite gases.

Step 3: Once the punching and drilling of all holes are complete, it is the time for assembling the stove. Insert the smaller can into the rim and then place it in the larger can. In this way, the small can, would hang in the larger can.

Step 4: Now your portable camp stove is ready for the use. You can insert the wooden sticks in the small can according to space. On the top place, small ball cotton dipped in the Vaseline and gain give a layer some wood. Now light the cotton using matchstick or lighter whatever you have and wait for a minute. Once the heat and fire go down, you can put the pot on it for the cooking.

3. Model 3 for Wood Burning Stove  

This model is a rocket-shaped wood burning camp stove. For building this stove, you need some leftover food cans (1 big, 2 small), marker, drill, pair of tin snips, and can opener and cutter.

Step 1: Empty the cans and clean them. Remove the top of the bigger can. Take the small can and using the marker draw a round line on side of the lager can. Drill 1/8” holes around the drawn line. With the help of tin snips cut that part and smooth down the edges so that the small can fit into the bigger can easily.

Step 2: Take the second small can and repeat the same process that you followed for bigger can. Cut the top of the small can, and place it in the bigger can in symmetry and keep it aside.

Step3: Now take the first small can and remove the top and bottom. Around the top of small can mark the line of one inch at a gap of 2 inches. Make the cuts on the marked lines. Now insert the small can in the big and small cans through the hole. Ensure that you put the cuts side inside the cans.

Step 4: Once the small can is fixed inside the big and small can, you need to make cuts in the bigger can for the airflow. With the help of marker, make lines of 2-3 inches (as per requirement) around the top of the big can at a distance of 4 inches. Make the cuts on marked lines and fold those cut outwards.

Step 5: Takes the gravels fill the empty space between the bigger and smaller can with it. Now your rocked designed wood camping stove is ready for the use.  You can insert the wooden sticks from the top, from the mouth of small can you can lit the fire, and add wood if required. It is the best portable stove as it produces little smoke and generates strong heat. The best thing is about this model is that it burns the wood efficiently and ideal for camping.


All the above DIY wood stove models are easy to make. All that you need is patience, tools, technique, and some attention to make your own wood stove for camping. The best thing is that the tools and equipment required for making the wood stove are the general items and available in the market. So, gather the necessary items and build your own backpacking wood-fueled stove.

About The Author


We are a group of friends who are passionate about camping related stuff, gym rats, Netflix subscribers and also enthusiasts of outdoor equipment and tools. "Get out there and play!" they said, and they are right!

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