Introduction: Super Simple Survival Stove

About: I've always loved taking what ever I could find and making something new out of it. I love clocks, Lego, games, and computers. I'm also an active person. I ski, hike, camp ect. So making functional things has …
I started this for the Stay Warm Weekly challenge,

This step by step guide will teach you how to make a stove/warming can, which in this case, is a big candle. It's very simple and burns for an easy 45 minutes and it's waterproof!

It's essentially a big candle!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

One of the great thing about this stove is the few materials it needs. 


A tin can: Doesn't really matter what size, how ever big you think it should be
Candle Wax: You can get this form old candles, or buy a pack of tea lights, or a big tub... tons of places

Small stove: nothing special 
Big Stove: toilet paper roll


Box cutter
Actual stove

Step 2: Small Stove Set Up

Soup cans are great for smaller stoves, they are fairly think metal and a good size

You start off by cutting strips of cardboard and neatly packing them in, until most of the space is taken up by the cardboard, shown better in the pictures

I did mine in a circular design, which may have been a bad idea. Although it's neat, it didn't allow air to get to the flame.

If you do this design make sure there's a small hole in the middle, you'll see why later.

It might be better just stacking card board in a block and sticking it in

Step 3: Big Stove Set Up

The big stove can be even easier depending how you go about it. I used a big coffee tin, again a great choice. They're common and sturdy 

I used a toilet paper roll, because it's already neatly packed, flammable, and soaks up wax very well. You might be afraid of the roll burning too quickly, but it merely just acts as a wick. Since it soaks the wax up so well, it only burns as fast as the wax does. 

Place the roll in the center of the tin and neatly pack cardboard around it, filling in the gap between the tin and roll, I also stuck some in the middle of the roll and around the top. Shown in the pictures.

Step 4: Wax

This part can be a bit dangerous, so careful!

Take your wax and place it in a pot. Set the stove on Medium and slowly melt it.

I used gel wax. We had a lot of it. This particular stuff melts at above water's boiling temp. Although it may no look hot, it's extremely hot. I learned the hard way, and have a burn to prove it :l

Little Stove: Doesn't take nearly as much wax

Big stove: takes a lot of wax, I mixed some gel wax and tea light candle wax

Step 5: Pouring

Sorry the picture is sideways


I set it in the sink just after this picture

The process is the same for both stoves

Try to cover all the fillings (cardboard/toilet paper) pour until you think there's enough wax. No actual measurement. The more wax, the longer burn, but also a chance it may have some trouble burning. I filled the little one about a quarter of the way, a fair bit of wax also stuck to the cardboard as well

The second picture shows you how hot the wax really is, that is the wax boiling off the glue that was in the cardboard

For the big stove: same thing, cover all the fillings, the roll will soak up a bunch. I filled the big one about half way,

Step 6: Little Stove Starter

After the little stove stopped bubbling I stuck a piece of cardboard is the middle, slightly sticking out, then covered it in a very light coating of wax

Step 7: Making Holes

This is for both the big stove and little stove

After they both have dried and cooled take a hammer and nail and put multiple large holes around both the top and bottom and middle. A drill might work better towards the top.

This will allow oxygen into the reaction. Allowing it to actually burn. Having no holes will cause the fire to go out.

Little stove:
Although I had holes in my can, since I put the cardboard in circles, it just blocked the air anyway, it did burn for some time, but once it got below the tin, it went out.

Big Stove:
Since there was so much space in the big tin (seen in pictures) holes at the top aren't as important, but holes near the bottom are

Step 8: Lighting/Using the Stove

Little stove: I lite the center piece of card board and held it sideways for the flame to spread then set it down

Big stove: Just set it on fire everywhere in the fillings

If you want to cook on it, I wouldn't recommend putting something directly on it, it may just go out, I would make a stand and have the stove underneath.

The big stove burned happily until it ran out, which was about 45 minutes, the little stove burned for about 10 mins and went out not enough air :l

Step 9: Conclusion

These little stoves work great for keeping warm and cooking! Even if you get them wet, since they are covered in wax, the paper itself stays dry

Mostly a one time use thing, but they can act as a fire starter and emergency stoves. I know I use them quite a bit :)