Build a Backpacking Stove for Under $10


Introduction: Build a Backpacking Stove for Under $10

About: I love being outdoors, hiking, camping, kayaking and appreciating Nature. I love figuring things out and using my head and hands in creative ways and then sharing what I've learned on Instructables and on my...

The Stealth Stove lets you build a fire that leaves no trace, burns hot and quick with only a little bit of fuel and very little smoke. At night it doesn't cast much light and is easily screened. If you're Stealth Camping, it can be quickly extinguished with water if you feel the need. I developed this stove design through 2 months of testing while Stealth Camping in the mountains of Pennsylvania. It consists of two parts you can buy at any Home Improvement store. The first part is the stove itself, which is just a piece of duct work:

Home Depot part number 100203522

And the pegs that hold the frying pan above the fire are made by cutting this 48 inch steel rod

Home Depot part number 204273971

into 3 equal lengths (16 inches each) with a hacksaw. Then take pliers and bend into an L shape with the shorter part of the L about 2 3/4 inches long. (I asked the Home Depot guys to help me cut it right there in the store and they did it for me. I wandered down to the tool section and bent the rods with a pair of Vise Grips, which I then placed back on the shelf. So I didn't have to buy a hacksaw or pliers. The whole caper took me less than 15 minutes and cost less than $10.)

That's it. You're done. Easy and fun! Be sure and watch the video I made of the Stealth Stove in action: Stealth Stove: Pancakes and Eggs

The Stealth Stove should be put in a stuff sack before you put it in your backpack because after the first use, the Stealth Stove will have soot on it and you don't want it getting your other gear all sooty. Also, you can pack your gear tighter if you fill the Stealth Stove with other gear that can get a little dirty, (if my cookware fit inside it would be good, so if you're shopping for cookware do it with that in mind).

My YouTube Channel has lots more great camping tips, so check it out. Hope you enjoy your Stealth Stove!

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    Fantastic and easy instructable, thank you! Question: Is it necessary to keep feeding fuel into the bottom of the stove, or does the initial fuel burn slow?

    1 reply

    Hey Mark! You have to keep feeding in fuel, and if you get it going with small stuff then you can add bigger, like the size of a Sharpie. Bigger pieces last longer, of course, but going much bigger than that is a pain because you have more smoke, a more uneven burn, and really big sticks are harder to break. You don't want long sticks blocking the air flow. It takes some practice but you'll soon learn what you like and how to keep the flames steady. Thanks and glad you like the Stealth Stove!

    Really great idea! I really like this Low-Tec stuff - easy to care for, no Need for Special Tools, fuel or replacement parts.

    1 reply

    Thanks Pumuggel! It is low-tech stuff, but that's my style. :)


    Great idea! Thanks for sharing. Also liked the links to the parts. Nice touch.

    1 reply

    Aaaaaaaaaabsolutely Brilliant!!!! Best I've ever seen, in every respect. Elegant & totally effective Stealth Campstove. Your video is excellent also--showing clearly every action needed, including simplicity of clean up. I especially liked the use of the spoon to direct the hot water into the paper cup! I'll use all this. Thanx so much!

    1 reply

    Thanks Sally! You're comment has me smiling. Glad you like it.