Open fires are not allowed in some camping areas, which means cooking must happen over a portable camping stove. But you don’t have to buy a camping stove if you know how to make your own out of a couple of empty tin cans. There’s no need to buy a gas canister either as you’ll be burning materials to produce gas naturally. You will, however, need to have a few DIY tools.


Find two food cans, one smaller than the other. Remove the lids of both cans with a tin opener. Tip out the contents and save for later. Clean and dry the cans. Remove the labels.

Invert the big can on a table top and centre the smaller can on top of it. With a permanent marker, draw a ring around the diameter of the small can. Punch a hole in the bottom of the larger can with a pair of sheet metal shears. Snip away the base from the punched hole to the marked circle. Smooth the edges with a file.

Towards the other end of the large can, drill a series of holes with a small drill bit around its bottom perimeter. Drill a second lot of

holes above and in between the first row. Then enlarge all the holes with a bigger drill bit.

Using the small drill bit again, pepper the whole bottom of the small can with evenly spaced holes. Now drill a ring of small holes on the outside of the can, round the perimeter closest to the bottom.

Repeat the same procedure as with the large can – drilling a second, alternate row and then enlarging them. Then drill a ring of smaller holes round the top edge of the small can.

Fit the small can completely inside the big can, bottom to bottom, and you’re good to go! Fill it up with twigs, pine cones and other natural materials. Light with a match and start cooking straight away.

Use outside only and directly on soil, concrete or a heatproof surface as your stove will become extremely hot.

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