For a long time, I have been cooking on a Fancy Feast stove in combination with a conical cone windshield/pot stand made from a turkey roasting tin. It is not the world’s most attractive set-up, but it works.
One concern with this set-up was, however, the amount of fuel it took to heat things up. Evidence enough that my stove was nothing like as efficient as the commercially available offerings out there.For my West Highland Way walk, I decided it was time for to try out something new – my DIY version of a Flat Cat Gear Snow Leopard stove.
Part 1 – The Burner
I started off with a cat food can (Felix with real turkey if I recall) and marked a line 10 mm up from the bottom.
Next, it was time to empty the can and clean it up.
Off with his head, as Alice would say.
We now drill sixteen 3 mm holes equally spaced along the line 10 mm form the can’s base.
Using sharp scissors, slits are now cut from down to these 3 mm holes.
The flaps of aluminium are now pushed down into the centre of the can, each over-lapping one of its neighbours and “under-lapping” the other.
Pressing down close to the perimeter of the cans creates a knuckle to keep things in place.
Finally, it was time to smooth down all of the rough edges of the can with emery cloth.
Part 2 – The Windshield
I made the windshield from a piece of titanium foil I bought off eBay for £9.99. I first cut the foil to a length, which means that the windshield encircles the pot with a 10mm gap all the way round, overlapping by 25%. The height was cut to internal height of the pot, plus 10mm. I haven’t explained that very well, have I?
Next, I cut a series of tabs into the top of the foil. These are folded over to reduce the amount of heat that will escape out of the gap between the pot and the windshield.
Finally, I tried to drill some holes through the windshield to provide air-flow to the burner and to locate two tent pegs that will serve as the pot stand. This was a disaster as the drill bit kept on tearing the foil. In the end, I restored to using a paper punch which could just about reach far enough, so this has been a compromise.
Nevertheless, I am quite pleased with the result.
I have now used the stove on a few occasions and overall am very happy with it. It is most definitely an improvement on my previous system.
A single fill of the burner (approximately 10 mls of meths) will heat enough water for a big cup of coffee or a dehydrated meal in about six minutes. OK, its not quite as fast as a JetBoil, but this that just gives me extra time to commune with nature.
The pot is stable in the pot-stand and it packs up to a very compact bundle, packing in my mug.
And finally, how much does it weigh. Not a lot!