Paul Sheehan’s ultimate Wood / Esbit stove


I developed this stove as an alternative to the larger wood stoves that weigh more and take up more space in my pack. This stove is as small as you can get for an effective wood stove. It cannot boil huge pots of water like the bigger ones but it can bring 2 to 2.1/2 cups to a boil with just one load of wood. You can feed it more wood and stoke the fire but it takes work. I can throw half an Esbit tab in as the fire is dieing down and after it ignites I can add a lot more wood and have it reliably burn. This can get 4 cups of water boiling. This set up is also designed to burn Esbit, Trioxen or other Hex Tabs when there is no wood or it is to wet.

StoveReflector/TrapPot StabilizerAir IntakeStove Stabilizer


Step one

I used a “26 and ½ oz” Hunts can. Save the lid you cut out. Using a church key and a drill make like holes. I cut a 2 and 38th hole on the opposite side from the seam on the can. Again using the church key I put four holes on the bottom. Two on each side of the seam for air.


The Magic Heat cylinder comes with two

dents spaced 2/3rds around. I added a third. I messed up and had to put two in the same spot. This will help lock your stove in place


Obtain a Magic Heat Kit. I obtained this one for 6.99. You are after the two bars with notches and metal cylinder with holes. Dispose of the fuel.

Step two

Step three


Step four

Punch four holes in the lid so that they sit as they do in the picture when it rests on the erected stove stabilizer feet. This part allows air and at the same time traps hot coals from falling out of the stove on to the ground. You will need to grind the edges of the lid so it falls freely in to the stove for packing and yet falls out easy when unpacking.



Step five

Cut thick wire screen so it extends over the edge of the can. This will help you stabilize pots and cups on the stove that are to small or odd shape to fit on top of the can. Clip off the extra ends but leave the ones in the center so you can bend them down so that they fit the can snug. This will help hold it in place when in use.










You Are Done!

Use leaf or paper as a starter and set can firmly in to the   cylinder locking it in place.



Fill the stove with leaf or paper and small sticks. Then set fire to the starter. In the picture of boiling water there is about four cups of water. It took two loads of sticks and some stoking. 20 minutes


You can flip the can over and reverse the cylinder setup to stabilize a large pot or the simple set up will work too.


Now for the Esbit version


This photo was taken before I punched all four holes. But using a tube blow in to these holes to stoke the fire.


You can flip over the cylinder and store the feet, screen and reflector / trap inside. I rubber band the screen and feet together so they don’t rattle around. The bag I store the stove in is rubberized so it won’t let ash get on my stuff in my pack. I got the bag in a three-bag ditty set from Wal-Mart for 3.00


Submited by Paul Sheehan, on 7/20/2005


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