May 27, 2016

Weekend Project: Make the Ultimate DIY Wood Burning Camp Stove

created at: 09/05/2014

When I bought it ten years ago, my backpacking stove cost me more than $100, and each time I fly to a destination trip, I've got to scout a local outdoor store to get my fuel bottles filled or source some disposable canisters.

The DIY Mountain Ranger Camp Stove, on the other hand, is made from (maybe) $5 in new materials and some recyclables and relies on found fuel - small twigs, sticks, and brush, to produce a very hot flame, very quickly. 

So. As we often find on ManMade, the DIY option makes a compelling case. 

Here are few details about the Mountain Ranger Camp Stove: 

  • Named in honor of the U.S. Army Rangers. (I'm a veteran and served with some of these men.)
  • Tested and proven by veterans during a 30-day mountain wilderness adventure at 7,000+ ft.
  • Burned 4 times per day on average, and up to 10 times in a single day (150+ burns total!) - no signs of degredation aside from normal wear and tear.
  • 30 minute burn times from found fuel are common.
  • Boils 2 cups of water in a canteen cup in 7 1/2 minutes (depending on altitude) and will pasteurize a full canteen of water on a single load of fuel.
  • 1 cup of wood pellets will burn for 90 minutes and provide heat for at least another 90 minutes.
  • Can quickly and easily be converted into a heater.
  • Designed to be protected from the wind - no windscreen necessary. (natural windbreaks are recommended)
  • Easy to relight if blown out, simply throw a spark at the top of the stove.
  • Once up to full temperature (less than 2 minutes) will re-light itself if blown out under normal conditions.
  • Smokeless, hot, bluish flame from found fuel - the ONLY DIY wood burner that truly gasifies.
  • Perfect for hunters, campers, hikers, bikers and, of course, emergency preparedness.

The team behind Mountain Ranger - a group of veterans - were kind enough to share the plans in full with ManMade readers. In the free download below, you'll note the simple materials list: a tuna can, a soup can, a quart paint can, a single screw, and a plumber's pipe strap, which you can get at any hardware store.

Download the plans here: How to Build a Mountain Ranger

For some more details, check out:

BUILD VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMTUfNoJPws
PAINTING VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P1dOlV3YZE
Questions, Comments: [email protected]


Very cool. Thanks for sharing, Karl. 


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Ky Bux on Jan 03, 2016:

Thanks for the idea and instructions. One part of this project that I thought was a bit confusing was in cutting off the interior lip of the paint can to use for the base after attaching to the soup can. I was a bit unsure where to cut the lip and how much to leave when using for the base.

Also, I was interested to know, have you tried using other size soup or vegetable cans? I have a larger can that I plan on using to buld another one.

Kevin on Oct 22, 2015:

I have a biolite stove but I think I dont need to use it anymore after found your post. Very useful

KarlOS on Sep 05, 2014:

My pleasure Chris. I hope your readers enjoy it.