Sunday, October 17, 2010

Portable fire can Updated

Something Dad showed me a few years back, it's a good and pretty waterproof way to have a small fire without having to gather wood.

Take a tuna can, or something about that size(extra points if you used one of the openers that lets you use the lid). Cleaned out, of course. Cut some strips of cardboard wide enough that a piece inside will let the lid sit in place, and coil them up so you have a can full of cardboard. Then melt some wax and pour it in; let it sit a minute or two so the cardboard can soak it up, then pour out any excess and let cool. When lit the cardboard acts as a wick for burning the wax.

It does take a flame to ignite it, no flint & steel here, but it gives a hot fire in a small area
Besides covering it up for transport, and smothering the fire, you can use the lid to control the size of the burning area
Remember, both the can and the lid will get hot, so for use it needs to be on a much better surface than what I used here(JUST long enough to take the pictures).

Update: A good tip from comments:
I learned to keep it warm and get as much wax as possible in it before allowing it to cool from Gerry. You could use the oven on warm to keep it liquid until the cardboard is saturated.

And something I remembered: you can either make a couple of the pieces a bit wider than the others or stick some small pieces in between coils; a bit that sticks up above the rest makes it easier to light.


KurtP said...

We learned about that in Boy Scouts(probably before Sterno was available).

Works pretty good.
So does C-rat peanut butter.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, we called that a "Buddy Burner" I learned to keep it warm and get as much wax as possible in it before allowing it to cool. I used these for my trail stove for several years before I got a full time job and had enough money to buy a real trail stove (Svea 123) in '69.

A tuna can buddy burner will fit a Sterno Stove as if it were designed for it. I still have my old Sterno stove that I bought for a nickle from St. Vincent DePaul in about 1956. Anyway, candle wax works lots better than parrafin wax, which is, in turn, quantum leaps better than nothing.

Buddy burners generate a lot of soot which will make your pack filthy. A half decent paper bag takes care of that problem.

Gerry N.

BobG said...

Haven't seen that one in a while; it was a common backpacker stove when I was a kid.

Firehand said...

I knew it'd been around a while, but it's one of those things you know a lot of people have never heard of. And handy.

Peanut butter? The stuff is THAT bad?

markm said...

I liked the C-rat peanut butter - but that put me in a minority of one. This was 35 or more years ago, so my memory might be a little hazy, but for sure it was as unlike American commercial peanut butter as it is possible to get while still using crushed peanuts as the main ingredient. It was extra-chunky and rather dry. Not only was no oil added, but apparently somehow they squeezed out less oil than there should be just from crushing the peanuts.