updated home-made alcohol stove w collapsible “Caldera Cone” style windscreen/pot stand

finally posted. My stove system for the entire 2011 PCT thru-hike


About wanderingdot

Thru-hiking the PCT 2011, CT 2014, Ice Age Trail 2017 Artist/sculptor, professor, master fabricator
This entry was posted in Backcountry Kitchen/Cooking, Gear. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to updated home-made alcohol stove w collapsible “Caldera Cone” style windscreen/pot stand

  1. wanderingdot says:

    HEET (yellow bottle ONLY) burns faster, hotter, and non-smelly. You use a tad more fuel.
    DENATURED ALCOHOL burns slower, is a bit smelly

    stuck with limited fuel options? OKAY. You can try isopropyl alcohol. Hard to light apparently.
    I tried the RED bottle of HEET. It worked okay but stank like hell and was viscous. yucko.

    I prefer the home-made alcohol stove because it is 100% recyclable and uses fuel that lets you gauge how much is left. (canister stoves teach you the zen of intuiting how much fuel is left, often leaving you totally screwed).

    It is a bit slower, but more reliable in the long run. And cheap as hell.

  2. Nicki says:

    nice video 🙂
    I was wondering what material did you us for the caldera cone? Is there a how to with all the dimensions etc. available?

  3. Hey WD – What did you make the cone out of? I’m not finding material light enough that retains it shape like yours did – thanks

    • wanderingdot says:

      I used aluminum roof flashing from Home Depot. It comes in several different widths, and is quite thin, perhaps 20 gauge. Really all I did was slightly alter the DIY Caldera cone in this excellent video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VerP7-aiEBw

      You should be able to figure out what I did. Just make two arcs that overlap each other 1/2″, then in one of the arcs make slits 1/2″ to insert the other one into the full height.

  4. Dan says:

    Thanks WD – I just found the video waiting for your reply.

  5. Pingback: MYOG – Windscreen Magic | Lady on a Rock

  6. Sara Fry says:

    Loved it! Thank you so much!

  7. Whirlpool (john) says:

    Calderas have been a great innovation for many people. They are probably thee most efficient way to go about cooking on the trail. I love the idea of it and how one can easily make one for yourself. There is a philosopy amongst many people in the hiking community that believe ‘ultralight backpacking’ is too expensive to get into, and they would be right, to a large extent, ‘if’ you bought all your gear from some of the venders out there. What I’ve always tried to get through to people is how cheap and light it can be to backpack if you simply make a lot of your own gear. This is a great idea here. Thanks for posting it so we can all share the knowledge.

    • wanderingdot says:

      Totally. I’m a cheapo. I painstakingly researched all my gear choices- weighing pros and cons of quality and clearance-sale price. My GoLite Jam pack was on clearance for $75 and has over 3,000 miles. It’s small and not fancy, but works for me.

      I’m considering making my own snowshoes, as I’ve been getting into it lately, but can’t afford the $100-200 price tag! We’ll see.

      Price wise, thrift stores offer a few solutions. For starters, my ultimate hiking skirt! Also, I buy thin silk shirts for a base layer, I have lots of them I wear everyday. Even the ill-fitting REI brand silk base layer is about $60. I actually chose a Danskin thermal turtleneck from Wal-Mart for my thru-hike, it cost me TWO dollars and lasted till I forgot it at Pooh’s Corner, Donner Pass. Of course I had to replace it with a new $80 Smartwool. Funny, huh.

      As far as my stove system, the Walmart grease pot is a larger volume than I require (1.5L) so I’m on the lookout for a slightly smaller, taller titanium pot/mug. The Snowpeak soloist has a real nice big fold-out handle that would be super to remove it from the caldera/potstand. Check back in a month or so to see if I’ve posted the new system!

      Of course some things can not be skimped on. Shoes and sleeping bag are big ticket items, and the most important.

  8. Coach K says:

    Can I borrow those home made snow shoes for my 2012 CDT hike? HA! Looks like a late snow event on the northern terminus this year. How’s the snow in NM this year?


    • wanderingdot says:

      Coach K! Erin (Wired) told me you’re doing the CDT. I’m in for 2013 SoBo. Not much snow in NM. Been a desperate chase for snowboarding. We are currently having a super warm week in the 60’s. I hike every weekend to 9,200′ only about 3-4″ snow in shade none in sun and all that melting fast. We lucked out with a snowstorm the past 2 weekends so I could go boarding. I see brown spots on Baldy which is about 12,300′ I think. If you’re considering going NoBo, I’d say NM is no problem. But we get freak storms till may. It ain’t no Sierras 1011 though for sure!

  9. Coach K says:

    That’s what I hear this year…so little snow in NM…Think it will be to dry? My summer schedule doesn’t work with going NOBO in April anyway. july works better….besides..I went SOBO on the PCT…and didn’t have the dry hot desert conditions late in nov to deal with. It’s so much easier to hike in cooler weather with less water available.

    2013 seems to be a big year for the 2011 PCT hikers to do the CDT. But the world is supposed to end Dec 21,2012…..the trail may be under water by then…LOL But seriously..the trees in CO are dieing off quickly to bugs and they are just waiting for a forest fire to burn down half the state forests. I want to go before the trail closures and reroutes kick in I hiked the Colorado trail in 2008 and went back to ASPEN 2010 to do a lacrosse camp and took the short cut over Independance Pass from Twin Lakes…What a difference. Miles and miles of dead pines. So sad to see.

    I did try to convince Wired to hike the CDT this year. But I think she wants to go with all you 2011 PCT’ers.

    Didn’t you get enough snow in 2011 to play in? HA! Glad your making the adjustment back to civilization nicely. Hope ya’ll are still in NM when we get there around November. We will see how YOUR BBQ Ribs recipe taste!!!!

  10. Pingback: Gear List- Ice Age Trail | wandering dot

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