Alcohol Stove Setup





Introduction: Alcohol Stove Setup

Following my last instructable detailing how to make an alcohol stove from old drinks cans I thought it would be good to share my full setup. I have read numerous comparisons for home made stoves like these to shop brought
stoves such as Jet Boil ect mainly discussing boil times and weight.


Yes the boil time when using something like a Jet Boil will always be quicker, especially when you start taking extreme weather conditions such as strong winds and sub zero temps in to consideration. However for my use
(general backpacking) the sheer difference in cost far outweighs the additional couple of minutes it takes to boil.


Now the weight, my total setup, including everything I need (100ml of fuel, stove, windshield, cook pot, lighter, everything you see in the photo actually) weighs in at a fraction under 440g with enough fuel to use the stove 3 times to boil 500ml water and have a tiny bit left in reserve.


I don’t have any exact weights for the full setup of stoves such as the Jet Boil however the specs on their official site for the Sol shows "300 g* (System weight does not include pot support and fuel stabilizer)" my assumption would also be that this does not include the fuel canister also. If anyone can provide me with some real world figures in the comments that would be great.


Other stoves such as the MSR pocket rocket come in at 85g without fuel, a cook pot, windshield etc.

Step 1:

Here is an exploded photo of the full setup, the only thing missing from this photo is a penny for the top of the stove.

Everything except the windshield fits nicely in to the cook pot with plenty of room to spare, if needed I have enough space to add an additional 75ml of fuel inside, some tea bags, powdered milk and sugar. For any longer trips fuel will need to be carried in an additional container.

Step 2:

This is the GSI Outdoors cook set, it will hold 600ml of water easily, comes with everything you can see in the first photo, it’s a great light weight setup that sits on the stove nicely and does not use up too much room in my pack.

For lighing the stove Bic Mini lighters are a pretty safe bet so I have included one of these and some waterproof matches as a backup in case the worst happens.

Step 3:

This is the container I use to hold the fuel (meths for the penny stove) It is an old cosmetics bottle I have pinched from my wife, it holds 100ml of fuel.

Penny stove and stand/base (for priming) See my guide with full details of how this is made here

Step 4:

Last thing to add to the setup is the windshield, it's a Vango shield I found on ebay, it only measures 14cm high which is the perfect height for the stove, most others I found were a lot taller, it is slightly too long and wraps around more than needed, I may modify it at a later stage to get rid of a couple of panels and reduce it's weight a fraction.

And that it, a full break down of my full stove setup. I welcome any feedback anyone has good or bad, if anyone has any suggestions for improvements that will also be great.



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    9 Discussions

    Can you tell me more about the shield? I take it that Vango is a trade name because searching didn't turn up anything. I tried and found a site shell indicating they will sell camping gear.

    Nothing turned up on ebay or Amazon for me. Are you located in the US? Is the shield available for sale? Any sources?

    3 replies

    I am based in the UK and found this one on ebay, Vango is the brand name I believe they also make tents and other camping equipment. I had a quick look on Google in the US (if you are in the US) and found one outlet SurfMountain a search for "Vango windshield" brought this up but there does not seem to be
    any other suppliers state side.

    Thank you for the response, Dan. Yes, I'm in the US - in Texas. After I gave up on the Vango brand name I was able to find stove windscreens on eBay. I bought one for less than 8USD delivered. From the specs and the pics it is very much like yours but not painted orange, being an aluminum (aluminium) color (colour).

    Again, thank you for the response. Your Instructables are AWESOME!

    Thanks Cueball, these are my first few Instructables but I have some more planned. Glad you managed to find an alternative windshield.

    as a packable and light windshield I use oven bags. I cut them open, fold over the edges to make a sleeve. I tape this up with foil tape..they oven bags and tape are heat resistant. then using 3 sticks or tent pegs I can angle it to shield my stove. works well and packs down tiny. great instructible btw easy to follow.

    2 replies

    I used a thick foil shield for a while. After a while, when it started gaining creases, it picked up soot and oils from cooking and became tacky. I like the kind shown (I have one similar) as they are a cinch to set up, and are easily washed.

    And dan, you could probably lose three of those panels on the shield. Mine had nine, now six.

    Thats another good idea, I had considered using cooking foil in a similar way but didnt have any light weight pegs spare, standard pegs are not a lot of difference in weight to the windshield.

    Check out my backpacking kitchen. Many of the same things, but a bit more full featured.

    1 reply