Best DIY Camping Stove in 2020

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outdoors DIY camping stove

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The beauty of backpacking or camping is that you get to be one with nature. But, none of that is fun when you can’t get food on the table. That’s why you need to pack a DIY camping stove along with the rest of your gear so you can enjoy a variety of delicious meals while outdoors with your crew.

A lot of backpackers enjoy camping stoves for their ability to create a nice temperate environment and a lot of these stoves have a nice rustic look to them that adds to the overall ambiance of having them around.

Of course, you could always create a DIY camping stove from a number of items from tuna cans to beer cans, and tin cans. There are also different designs for DIY wood stoves for you to choose from.

DIY Backpack Stove Reviews

In the following guide, we’re going to help you find the best DIY camping stove for your needs while sharing some tips and tricks on how to know when you’ve found “the one.” Read on for more.

1. US Stove BSK1000 Camp Stove Kit

A list of the best DIY camping stoves wouldn’t be enough without this stove kit from US Stove.

This one is super easy to assemble and create yourself with the basic materials that are included. It comes with a lot of advantages for outdoor enthusiasts.

For one thing, it has the ability to convert 30 or 55-gallon oil drums effortlessly and it offers way more economical space heating compared to other similar stoves.

If you don’t feel like purchasing it separately, you can easily construct the stovepipe by hand on your own if you’re up for the challenge.

Pros
  • Offers economical space heating
  • Unique design
  • Very DIY
  • Lightweight and easy to assemble
  • Made of cast iron
Cons
  • It doesn’t come with a stovepipe and barrel

2. Solo Stove Solo Alcohol Burner

Next on our list we have this Solo Stove alcohol burner.

This lightweight and portable model is optimized to provide enough airflow to have oxygen flowing into the burner so that it works quickly and effectively.

It’s super easy to boil water in this burner in just a matter of minutes. You can even use the included simmer lid for slower recipes that require a simmer.

It’s worth noting that the simmer lid comes with a fold-out handle. This takes the flame out whenever you place it atop the stove which is a great safety feature that puts you fully in control. Another gamechanger with this stove is the easy to use twist-on cap.

Pros
  • Conveniently portable thanks to the included handle and simmer lid
  • Lightweight
  • Offers quick boil time
  • Airflow design for long burn time
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with a pot stand
  • No larger stove attachment as would be expected

3. REDCAMP Mini Alcohol Stove

This alcohol stove is made from REDCAMP, one of the most well-known brands when it comes to the manufacture of camping gear.

It’s made with durable aluminum alloy which can take quite a bit of abuse while staving off the dirt. This is a useful feature considering how rugged the surfaces are that you need to place your camping stove on.

At the base of this stove is a windscreen that’s designed to keep the wind away from the open flame so that it doesn’t get snuffed out while keeping the stove itself pretty stable. Despite its durability, this is a lightweight alcohol stove that even comes with a velvet carrying case.

We also enjoyed the stove’s foldable handle which is right on the flame regulator in a genius design that makes it easy to control the open flame and/or extinguish it if need be. This makes it the perfect stove to use with outdoor cookware.

Pros
  • Comes with windscreen
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a foldable handle
  • Durable and well-made
  • It has a long burn time
Cons
  • Takes quite a while to boil water on this stove
  • It offers limited stability

4. Marsh Kettles Mini Rocket Stove

This is a great DIY camping wood stove from Marsh Kettles that’s made for outdoor survival situations.

That means that they’re sturdy and easy to carry and use compared to alcohol or wood stoves. Just take the fact that it packs flat for instance and you’ll realize just how convenient it is to transport. It’s just as simple to assemble and break-down thereafter.

Survivalists and preppers are huge fans of this rocket stove because it takes different types of fuel including twigs, paper, cardboard, pinecones, and even tree branches. Basically, you can use pretty much anything you can think of to light this stove.

Speaking of light, it’s super lightweight and easy to move around in whether you’re backpacking, hiking, or climbing. When it comes to light it, there’s no need to worry. This is because gravity does most of the work for you. It really is one of the best DIY backpack stoves out there.

Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to install and disassemble
  • It doesn’t require alcohol fuels
  • Versatile
Cons
  • There’s some assembly required with this stove

5. Esbit Brass Alcohol Burner Camping Stove

The Esbit Brass alcohol burner camping stove is lightweight and easy to pack into a rucksack for an impromptu trip to the woods.

It comes with features like a rubber-seal coated leak-proof screw and a flame regulator to help prevent fires, as well as a convenient fold-away handle. The stove’s brass body is durable, scratch-resistant, and stylish.

It’s resistant to leaks as well, thanks to the rubber seal. The flame regulator is designed in the form of a flame snuffer which is useful for preventing leaks. It’s worth noting that this camping stove has been designed to prevent open flames with a feature known as a flame regulator.

However, if you plan on powering it with an isopropyl solution then you might end up causing the flame to turn yellow. But, you can easily fix this problem by using HEET fuel instead which you can easily purchase from your local hardware store.

Pros
  • Durable and well-made
  • Offers temperature and flame control features
  • Leak-proof screw top
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Not suitable for isopropyl solutions

6. Lofekea Mini Alcohol Burner Stove

This is a great homemade camping stove from Lofekea. It isn’t only budget-friendly and easy to travel with but is optimized for use with alcohol as fuel.

This mini cooking stove is made from durable stainless steel and employs a unique and clever design that helps it to maintain long-term structural integrity. Not only that, but this stove is actually resistant to rust and corrosion which is great news.

What makes the Lofekea Mini Alcohol Burner Stove even more awesome is its stability which is courtesy of its sturdy stand design. This stand also comes with a cross-like style that makes it easy to keep the pot in place to ensure that it’s able to heat up efficiently.

Not only that, but it’s also easy for you to fill up the fuel tank for added practicality and convenience.

Pros
  • It’s budget-friendly
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comes with fire extinguishing covers and cross-stand for extra balance
  • Sturdy and stable
Cons
  • It can be difficult to refill

7. Alocs Alcohol Stove

The versatile Alocs Portable Camping Stove is great for making coffee or tea infusions, stewing food or simply just boiling water.

It’s very well-made from durable and quality materials that make it a safe and stable product. Despite its simple design, this stove is a mean powerful machine.

It works for a number of applications and its heating process is both eco-friendly and energy-efficient.

This stove can use different types of fuel such as charcoal, dry wood, and alcohol. This makes it ideal for survival situations and it burns clean which means it doesn’t produce any chemical emissions.

Pros
  • It has a user-friendly design
  • Durable and well-made
  • Eco friendly and energy-efficient
  • Versatile
Cons
  • It’s a bit pricey

8. EVERNEW Titanium Alcohol Stove

With its lightweight and minimalist design, the EVERNEW titanium alcohol stove is portable and easy to pack into your backpack for hiking or climbing purposes. You’ll definitely thank yourself for bringing it along once you realize just how large its 70ml fuel capacity really is.

It’s powered by a stable flame that comes from two levels of jets, making it more effective and reliable compared to other camping stoves.

If you like, you may purchase the separate cross-stand and use it as a windscreen so you can use different types of fuel with it. The great thing about the DX stand is that it enables you to use all types of different alcohol fuels. This includes isopropyl and HEET as well as wood.

The only downside with this model is that you can’t switch it off manually. You have to wait for it to burn off on its own.

Pros
  • Comes with windscreen
  • Features two levels of jets
  • Lightweight
  • Wrapped with fiberglass cloth for quiet burn
Cons
  • The cross stand is only sold separately
  • It has a lower fuel capacity compared to others
  • You can’t put out the flame manually

How to Find the Best DIY Camping Stove

The next step in finding the best DIY camping stove or camping grill is to keep in mind the following considerations:

Design

The key to finding the best alcohol stove is to make sure that it’s lightweight and has a simple design. 

You want something with only a few parts to deal with.

Surface Area

Surface area refers to the amount of cooking flame that’s available as well as the surface area that you have available to place your pot on.

Each model has a different surface area. Some stoves are narrower than others.

This makes it easier for them to accommodate something like a small pot, while others are designed more for larger pots since they have a wider base design.

Stand

Most alcohol stoves can only work if they have a stand to place them on.

Stoves like Whitebox and Vargo Triad are good examples of this because they come with the stand already attached to the stove, while Trangia Spirit comes with a separate stand.

Weight

Ideally, you want your alcohol stove to weigh an ounce or less. While larger stoves can take and store more fuel, they do weight more.

Advantages of DIY Camping Stoves

Here are just a few of the advantages that come with using a DIY camping stove:

Affordable

DIY camping stoves are popular because they’re so cheap.

You can easily find one for about $20 or less and the fuel required is just as cheap. You can purchase it from outdoor stores, Walmart, and hardware stores and you won’t need to get rid of campfire smell afterward.

DIY soda stoves are the most affordable overall.

Can Boil Water

Alcohol stoves work great at boiling water, although you wouldn’t think so considering how small they are.

A lot of them can boil water within 6 minutes at the most and can keep the boil going for up to 20 minutes.

It’s a real time and cost-effective way to boil water on the go.

Lightweight

Alcohol stoves are usually super lightweight, compact, and easy to travel with. That’s why they’re commonly utilized by backpackers and thru-hikers.

Reliable

Alcohol stoves are arguably the most reliable type of DIY stove because they don’t come with a lot of moving parts. All you have to do is fill them up and light them to start cooking!

Types and Designs

Alcohol stoves come in different designs which might cause variations in how they’re used.

Open Flame

An open flame is great because it’s easy to work with. It’s almost similar to a bowl because all you have to do is take your open vessel and put fuel of your choice into it before you light up the stove.

Open flame stoves come with non-flammable material to help prevent the fuel from leaking during storage or while cooking outdoors.

Side Flame

A side flame stove is made with holes on the side so that the flames can come out on the sides.

You don’t have to get another stand for this type of stove. You can just put the pot right above the stove. No need to worry that it’s going to burn. They’re known as DIY cat stoves as well.

Vertical Flame

Vertical flame stoves look more like a chimney in appearance because the flame goes straight up to the pot for more efficient heating.

There are two vented and nested cans on the stove which help to increase efficiency.

Keep in mind that these stoves come with two layers. This means that they might be heavier and more difficult to operate than a straight-out open stove.

Pressure Flame

Pressure flame stoves are probably the most difficult to operate and make out of all the other options. That’s because they operate on vapor pressure which comes out from the center fuel port.

Under that is an internal chamber which you need to fill up and then once you light it up the heat comes out on the sides or the top.

This stove works by shooting the fuel out through the top while shooting out combustion through the side burner holes. This camping stove is also known for creating a flame that’s similar to a gas burner.

Yes, they might be difficult to light and there’s a learning curve involved at first. But once you get the hang of things, you’ll find that they’re relatively easy to use over time.

Final Thoughts

Well, here you go! That’s all you need to know to help you find a good DIY camping stove.

But, which option takes the cake, you ask? In our opinion, it’s the US Stove BSK1000 Barrel Camp Stove Kit.

We love this homemade camping stove because it’s easy to set up and use. It offers economical space heating and it has the ability to convert 30 or 55-gallon oil drums effortlessly. What’s not to like?

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