Introduction: Girl Scout Vagabond Stove and Buddy Burner
I'm not going to lie, this was way harder than I thought it would be. This is a vagabond stove and buddy burner for girl scouts who are doing backpacking or just for preparing single meals. This is a great way to pack your stove and materials for on the go cooking.
Step 1: Gathering Your Supplies and Tools
First you are going to need tools - lots of tools! I would suggest gloves for the metal cutting portion, but I did it without and didn't hurt myself. Please note that I am very clumsy.
You need a #10 can first and foremost. You also need 1 tune can, the other is for the actual cooking, but you can use any type of can or metal vessel. The can opener you see by pictured itself was the can opener I ended up using, the white one in the other photo broke because of the density of the #10 can. So make sure you have a sturdy can opener. Get metal sand paper to soften your edges. There will still be sharp spots, but less of them. You will also need tin snips of metal scissors, regular scissors, wire cutters, pliers, a box knife, metal hole punch, and some bailing wire. For the Buddy burner you will need a can to melt wax and some parafin wax or old scentsy wax. You will also need cardboard you can cut up into strips.
Step 2: Buddy Burner
I would start with the buddy burner since it takes a while to cool and if you plan to cook on this right away, you will need the maximum amount of cooling time. Start off by removing the label from you tuna can. The you will need to take your cardboard and cut it into strips with the corrugated part going parallel to the short part of the strips as shown in the photos. Measure the height of the can so your strips are just lower than the top of the can. Save the lid to make a fire damper if you want to put out your fire quickly. Use the strips of cardboard to infill the can. Once you get to the middle, try to squeeze in a good amount since this will mean you need less wax to infill your can. I purchased parafin wax, but you can use any old wax from around the house - partial old candles, scentsy, etc. Dealer's choice. The wax burns more quickly and at a lower temp than the cardboard, so just keep an eye on your burner and refill the wax as needed. At this point you need to add a wick. I used a wood match that I cut down to just above the height of the cardboard. Pour the melted wax over the cardboard until the cardboard is completely soaked and then tap it a bit to get the extra air out. You will need to let this sit and cool for a while. You can flash cool, but putting this in your cooler.
Step 3: Make a Fire Damper
You need to keep the top of the tuna or fruit can for this step. Get a long nail or screw that is sharp. Use the hammer to punch a small hole in the center of the lid. Use a small tack nail to hold the lid onto a cork. This will keep your hands safe and it is easy to pack. Use this to cut off the oxygen to your buddy burner to it stops burning quickly. This step is completely optional!!!
Step 4: The Vagabond Stove
This was super hard and took a long time. First you need to measure the buddy burner to make sure you can fit it through the opening. Usually you just put the burner on a concrete area and put the vagabond stove over the top, but you need a window to see how your burner is fairing. After this you will have to use the metal cutting tools to cut out the square. Some people try to cut only two sides and leave the piece attached as a door. I wasn't skilled enough nor were my tools awesome enough to perform this task, so I just cut out the hole. It takes a bit of time to get the cuts right and get the pieces removed, but just sand away or use the pliers to correct any errors at the end. After this use the metal hole punch to punch two holes in the can. You will use this for the oven handle. Cut about a foot of wire to use. Use the pliers to make a small loop at the very end of the wire. Thread it through, so the metal loop is on the inside of the can. Thread the end through the other loop and use the pliers to make a stop at the other end thus making a metal handle for your oven.
Next you have to punch four holes in the top of the can where the lid is still attached. Use a heavy duty puncture can opener to add four triangle shaped holes at the top of the can. They should be about 1 apart on one area of the can. These are for venting and will be releasing lots of heat. When cooking try to have these holes facing away from you.
Step 5: Cooking
This oven will get VERY HOT!!! You should position your buddy burner on a concrete block or somewhere this can't catch anything else on fire. You can cook directly on top of the can in the case of frying eggs or something like that. You can also use a smaller can to cook on top of your oven. Please use potholders and take care when touching parts of the oven.
2 years ago
What meals did you do? Which ones should we stay away from?
7 years ago
Be prepared for smoke.
7 years ago
I worked on my buddy burner and I have a few tips. When you put the cardboard in the container, try to make it level with the can. Also, extra wax will not help, try to use enough wax to saturate the cardboard, but not so much that the buddy burner looks like a candle. This needs a cotton wick to make it burn and light easier. I used a wooden match, but it is hard to relight each time. Lastly, this burner gets HOT HOT HOT, please use caution when using this stove. I would highly recommend making a fire damper. This worked great. Just make sure to remove the damper before the extra wax cools and hardens the damper to the burner.
7 years ago
Jenga, my wife works for gsa here in central Texas. It makes me happy to see Girl Scouts putting 'ibles up and marking them Girl Scout projects like this. Keep up the good work.
7 years ago
I remember making one of these for hobo day when i was in grade school. we all dress up like hobos (complete with bindles) cooked our breakfast on these and then spent the day playing games .. ahhh good times
7 years ago
Although a little O.T., when I was involved in Boy Scouts with my sons, I had an official Girl Scout mess kit instead of the B.S.A. type, surprisingly it was a better- built one than the official scout kit, being made of heavier gauge metal, I liked it a lot but never let 'em see the logo on it. ☺