I'm jealous of his collection! I own a lot of alcohol stoves but not that many!
I'm also jealous of anyone whose homemade stoves work.
Hi, "Stove Geek," er, Hikin' Jim here. That's my collection we're deriding/being jealous of.
Lot's of good comments on the topic here. My perspective for what it's worth: If someone's just starting out, then a stove made from a cat food can is really cheap and easy to make. It's not the world's greatest stove, but it's not bad, weighs 7g, and your cat will thank you.
On my blog, I have a post that might be of more interest to a beginner: Getting Started With Alcohol
. On it, I have some general thoughts for someone starting out as well as a video from long distance hiker Andrew Skurka that goes through how to make a stove from a Cat Food can (it's really easy).
My latest post is Basic Tips for DIY Alcohol Stove Makers
which is about turning aluminum drink cans into stoves, pretty good ones at that. My latest post is more about underlying principles. The "Getting Started" post is more of a step by step of how to make a specific stove.
I noticed mention of the Trangia. If you want a complete set, go for it, but you can buy the burner alone if you've already got a pan and windscreen that you're happy with. And, yes, I do have a review of the Trangia burner
on my blog. I've got a whole bunch of other stuff on there, so geek to your heart's content.
Now, you'll have to pardon me. Apparently there are a couple of types of stoves still out there that I don't