Collapsible Camping/emergency Stove.




About: I love tinkering with stuff, namely electronics. However just because I am not scared to take something apart to see how it works doesn't mean I can always put it back together like it was. Oh well...nothing...

A collapsible, and lightweight emergency/camping/survival stove that uses wood OR alcohol. It also utilizes a 3-leg design for stability and the walls work as a wind block when pushed lower into the ground.

Step 1: Supplies and Tools.

About a year ago I decided to make a wind block/stove for a penny stove I made. I wanted to have the stove on a more stable platform and off of the ground. So I came up with this design. Also, let me apologize for not having very many actual build pics as it never crossed my mind to make an -ible back then.

I used what I had on hand only for this -ible, hence the use of four (4) hinges (2 larger, and 2 smaller) when I could have just used 3 larger hinges and made this totally collapsible. So it made sense to use aluminum for this project making it lighter to pack, yet strong enough to take a little abuse. You will need the following, but note that some of this material is optional.
- 1/8" aluminum sheet
- 2" brass hinges (2), 3 if available.
- 3/4" brass hinges (2), see previous
- wire clothes hanger (for hinge pins)
- aluminum can (optional)
- alcohol stove (optional)
- metal lathe (optional)

- pencil and ruler
- utility knife or scoring knife
- drill and drill bits
- screwdrivers
- jig saw
- wire cutters
- metal file
- sandpaper
- hack saw
- sheet metal cutters

Step 2: Layout of Parts for Cutting.

Layout your pieces for the door and two sides on your sheet of aluminum. Your sheet should be big enough to get one (1) 6" X 4" piece and two (2) 6" X 5" pieces as shown in pic (apologies in advance for the picture quality). If you are going to be using a penny stove as well as burning wood, you will want to layout 2 clips plus the stove holder platform to elevate said stove. Those clips are about 1¾" x ⅜" (l x w). The stove holder is about 7" x ⅞" (l x w).

Step 3: Score, Then Cut Parts.

Sorry, no pic for this step but anyway score your lines with a utility knife so as to make the cutting of your pieces easier. After scoring each line repeatedly, you can throw the dice, take your chances and bend the aluminum on the scored lines to break off the parts or you can use a hack saw or a jig saw to cut your pieces. If you are really lucky you can use a scroll saw to cut out all your parts.

Step 4: File and Sand All Your Parts.

Use a file of your choice to smooth away any sharp edges on all your parts. Follow that with some sandpaper (grit of your choice) to further smooth the edges. I used some wet/dry fine sandpaper because that's all I had at the time.

Step 5: Attach the Hinges.

Okay, so to me this next step was the hardest. It was harder because you will have to align all the hinges to make sure all the parts fit together. I started with the 2 smaller hinges to join the sides. Again, had I had a larger hinge I would have used 1 instead of going with 2 smaller hinges. Mark the holes, then drill the holes , then install the screws. I used a small hack saw to cut the screws once they were tightened as to allow the sides to collapse flat. Then move on to installing the hinges to the front panel or door as I call it. You will follow the same steps as the other hinges except instead of the screws being driven from outside in, you should drive them from inside out. Because I used nuts in this step this allows the door to close properly. Note in one picture that I slid the door down about a ¼" when installing the hinges to allow the door to open when there is a pot on the stove. Once installed you can then remove the hinge pins and install removable pins made from a wire clothes hanger. I simply cut two (2) 2½" pieces of wire with the wire cutters and bent them into shape. Now the door can be opened from the right or left and the stove is fully collapsible.

Step 6: Installing Penny Stove Platform Clips Clips (optional).

Okay, because I wanted to be able to use a penny stove or wood to heat/cook with I added clips to the inside walls for a removable platform. If you think are going to use wood only to heat/cook with then you may skip these next two steps entirely and are finished! This platform would both elevate the penny stove and hold it more stable at the same time. I laid out and cut the strips and the stove platform according to where I thought center of the triangular stove to be. To do this I drew an over head mock up of the stove with the penny stove sitting centered in it as well and took my measurements from this. I cut 2 clips each being about 1¾" x ⅜", drilled two holes on them and drilled the holes on the stove sides and installed the clips about 2" from the bottom of the wall. Next I cut the penny stove platform piece and bent down the ends so they would slide into the clips. I cut the bottom of a soda can and and used a screw to attach it to the platform piece. The penny stove would sit in this making it more stable and elevating it off the ground.

Step 7: Adding an Optional Grill.

I figured a grill of some sort would be a good idea in case I wanted to grill some meat or heat some canned food up. I had a piece of metal lathe that I had sitting around so I utilized that. I marked and cut a triangular shape out measuring about 6½" on all three sides. It's not shown in the pictures but I bent the sides down a bit so as to keep the grill in place and not let it slide around. Make sure you burn the grill and stove once or twice before cooking anything so as to burn off any residue/chemicals on the surfaces.

Step 8: Finished.

That's it, you are finished. I hope that this was not too confusing a build. Thanks for reading!



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    8 Discussions


    2 years ago


    I have some suggestions, for those attempting this, to consider:
    rivets for the hinge attachments
    moving hinges up and down alternately for a flatter stack (would need experimentation - cardboard is your friend)
    alternately integrating the hinges into the walls (some fancy work required, i know but if you weld, then replacing part of the wall with the hinge plate would accomplish this)
    giving the removable hinge pin(s) leashes (hate to have extra fiddly bits to track)
    adding a "binding" trim around that grill so it does not snag other gear.
    If the penny stove is part of the plan then consider bending the walls such that, when they are stacked/packed, they can contain/protect the stove(s) in transit. Less flat but the penny stoves have to go somewhere and having the sides create a box for them would give them that place. The other advantage of a bend in the walls is the contact points on a pot would be farther apart. The stability of three feet below, but the security of more, wider contacts up toward the circle of the pot

    4 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Very good points you make. I will definitely keep those ideas in mind on my next Instructible. I do not have a rivet gun but should definitely consider getting one. As far as welding or spot welding that would really be the way to go. Thanks for your advice.
    I should also remind everyone to NEVER directly grill any food over a penny stove as the alcohol fumes may contaminate your food and make you sick.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I had not thought about the vapors from an alcohol stove and their food safeness. Interesting. I'll look into that (I'll see, but it seems _likely_ to be safe to use everclear - the pure drinkable alcohol.)


    Reply 2 years ago

    I never thought about Everclear. I'll have to give it a try. It would serve at least two purposes: cooking/heating fuel and a first aid antiseptic.


    I don't know if the fumes from Everclear are dangerous or not, but I do know that the fumes from galvanized metal are - so the metal lathe used for a grill cannot be galvanized (stainless steel or titanium would be fine).

    You can also use the commonly-available and easy to find fuel line antifreeze (in the yellow bottle, not the red/orange) as a fuel, but again probably not for grilling.


    2 years ago

    Nice design. I would add the idea of a fourth side that you could optionally add if needed. This design makes this addition pretty easy!


    2 years ago

    Thank you very much. Tried not to drone on and on and not confuse anyone.


    2 years ago

    This is a nice flat-pack backpacking stove. Very nicely explained.