Contributed byPaul Dryer, 1/18/03

"Dryer Altoids Stove"


Actually you can make these out of any mint tin of any size. I like the little half size tins since they are about the size of an Esbit tab and fit on and in the Esbit stoves when folded.

-mint tin
-perlite or fiberglass (perlite is much better)
-aluminum screen door/window screen

1. Start with an Altoids tin.

2. On a piece of aluminum window screen, trace out the shape of the lower part of the tin on the screen and cut out the rectangle with scissors.

3. Sift out some perlite to get the larger chunks. A lifetime supply of perlite can be had at any garden center for a couple of bucks.

4. Fill the altoids tin with perlite a little "proud" will crunch down with the next step.

5. Place the window screen rectangle over the perlite and poke the window screen edges under the rolled edge of the tin to retain the perlite. Your stove is finished.

6. Optional.....I remove the lid to the tin so it will fit neatly in an esbit stove. Also makes the stove lighter. You can also leave the lid on and use it as a wind screen if you're cooking off the ground. Make sure all fuel is consumed before closing the lid.

I use a little plastic spring water bottle as my fuel bottle and find 3 capfuls burns plenty long for most meals. Also for shorter trips, a 4 oz. nose spray bottle with the internal straw removed makes a good fuel bottle. You can squirt fuel (Alcohol Only !!) right into the stove....un-lit, of course! You can even fill the stove to the brim and be ok. To simmer simply cover part of the screen with a bit of aluminum foil. Boil times are about the same as a soda can stove. Picture also shows a larger stove made from 1/2 a small tuna can, crimped over the screen.

Principle of operation: Alcohol 'wicks' up into the perlite for initial lighting. As the perlite/stove heats, alcohol reaches vapor pressure and accelerates through the screen to the flame. Looks like an esbit tab on steroids when burning and if used in an esbit stove, the height is perfect. Good luck. Feedback appreciated.


Paul Dryer, Texas

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