View Full Version : Stove and coffee banter

02-08-2007, 08:05 AM
Been getting things geared up for spring Fly Fishing and backpacking. *Other than rod and reel, one thing I NEVER forget and probably a little obscessive about is my coffee. *I like it fresh,hot,great quality,and strong enough to knock a mule down!
The other is my stove. *Many on the market, but over the years I have gone to an alcohol stove(I make my own). Extremely light,small(fits in the palm of my hand),cheap fuel and very earth friendly. *So, what about you guys and gals? *Are you a coffee-holic. *If so, how do you make your coffee and on what stove while front or backcountry camping? *As you can tell,I'm really suffering from cabin fever!!


02-08-2007, 08:58 AM
When younger, I probably drank a pot of coffee in a day. This included the mornings where I would be layered up in the waders and holding the call of nature until the fishing was complete. Needless to say, there is nothing like a kidney stone to knock a man flat on his back. I still drink the coffee, just now in more moderation.

02-08-2007, 09:52 AM
I drink one cup a day, in the morning. I carry a thermos when I hike and put some in it. Ive always wanted to brew coffee next to a trout stream...never have (better put that on THE LIST). Hey DryFly1, have you seen the coffee press that fits into a standard Nalgene bottle. $20, could be worth it (?)

As far as brewing in the "wilderness", I will take a page from my papaws "Things every trout fisherman should know" Boil your water, rolling boil. Take two palm fulls of good ground coffee, throw it in. Add a splash of cool water to settle things down and enjoy. Takes a little practice, but so does everything else.


02-08-2007, 11:48 AM

At one time or the other I have tried it all when it comes to making camp coffee.

There are many types of coffee presses and most work very well. *What you have to look at is price,packability and ease of cleanup! *$20.00 is not a bad price at all.

Your papaw is a smart man. *I however don't like grounds in my coffee and use a different system. *I carry a very light wt coffee mug and a small guage mesh strainer that sits right into the top of the mug. *I put my special blend of coffee into the strainer,boil some water on my alcohol stove(weighs 0.3 oz,with 91%alcohol or HEET),slowly pour it through the strainer and whala, a great cup of coffee streamside or in camp. It's cheap, no fuss and no major clean up. Just kick a hole with your boots,bury the grounds and enjoy.

By the way, the stand I use for my stove is made with a coat hanger. I'll post some pics of my set up when I get the chance.

* Mark...

This is my set up minus the coffee mug and strainer. *Very light and compact. *Strainer is smaller than stove. *Stove is made from 3 coke cans.


02-08-2007, 04:38 PM

I really like the idea of your stove and had a few questions. I know you said it was an alcohol stove but what exactly is that? Is it a solid or liquid and how cheap/easy is it to come by. I think I remember you posting a procedure for making one but I couldnt find it, so could you help my out with some instructions. Thnaks.

02-08-2007, 05:19 PM
You can use different kinds of alcohol- all cheap and *available in most stores and automotive sections(HEET)

1. Isopropyl ,Household(70%)- Burns well,but not as hot
2. Isopropyl,Household(91%) - Burns hotter and cleaner(less water)- I like this one because of the above and it's good in the field to keep hands clean and as a antiseptic.
3. HEET- yellow bottle( Methyl alcohol)- Burns much cleaner and hotter but keep it off your hands. Found in most automotive sections. I carry #2 and #3

4. You can also use denatured alcohol- Paint thinner section. *Harder to find and I don't use it becuse of this.

How to use- * You simple poor it into the stove,about an ounce or enough to cover the bottom. Then you simple light it. It will not blow out. I also use a windscreen made from aluminum foil. *You give it about 30 seconds to warm up and the fumes are what actually burn..

Here's the link to build one. *

02-08-2007, 11:48 PM
http://thumb13.webshots.net/t/57/757/3/16/66/2351316660098335993xbCceN_th.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2351316660098335993xbCceN)
http://thumb13.webshots.net/t/16/17/2/64/57/2747264570098335993epqfJs_th.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2747264570098335993epqfJs)
http://thumb13.webshots.net/t/59/759/0/30/48/2049030480098335993lgWQaV_th.jpg (http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/2049030480098335993lgWQaV)

Got this together in under an hour. *I thought I made it pretty precise but I had one small flame coming out of the side every once in awhile. *Is the flame supposed to be that high? *I put a cap full in and it only burned for about a minute tops, the second go around I filled it up pretty good and then got worried that I was going to set the fire alarm off in the apartment. ;D *Anyway I really love the idea and think I will hold off on purchasing a MSR Whisperlite International.

02-09-2007, 12:53 AM
Speaking of coffee...when I drove up to the Smokies back in November, I stopped at a convenience store off of I-40 (I was on my way to Cataloochee)...I was amazed that they had Community Coffee there; I've never seen it outside of Louisiana before. So, I got my coffee and chicory - the lady at the cash register said since they've started selling it, they can't keep enough of it around.

02-09-2007, 01:24 AM
if you live anywhere around downtown, please take it easy with that stove! I was awoken from my slumber at 2am wed morning by the sound of a building collapsing due to the recent downtown fire. within minutes I was evacuated from my building and sat out in the freezing cold until 5am when they finally let us back in. there were a ton of residents outside and somehow around 4:30am I ran into another evacuee wearing an RL Winston hat. so we talked about 30 minutes or so about fly fishing while breathing in large amounts of smoke and getting a little soot in my eye every couple of minutes. later they said, "oh yeah, don't turn on your HVAC because that smoke has a lot of asbestos in it" thanks guys.

02-09-2007, 08:21 AM

Congrats on your first alcohol stove! *Couple of things.

1. When building your stove the cleaner and straighter the cuts and tighter the fit the better the stove works. *The more the edges are buggered up the less efficient it works!

2. "Never" fill it more than 1/2 way full! Typically I fill it a little over the bottom of the stove.

3. *I wouldn't burn it in doors ever! *I test mine in the garage(door open) or outside always. The alcohol burns at greater than 750 degrees and the only way to extinguish is to place something flat over the top and then it can take a while. I have spent alot of time with different amounts of alcohol,burn time and have it down pat at this point.

4. The more you build the better you will get. *The pic of the stove I sent is the first stove I built. I have since then built about 50. Pepsi cans work best. You get better each time.

5. The holes I find work better if "centered" between the bottom and top rim.

6. I use about 24 holes.

7. Don't have any handy but will send a pic of my latest stove later.

8. If you fill it a little over the bottom you will get about 8-10 minutes of burn time. That is, if the stove is built and working properly

* Good job! * Stay safe.. * Mark...

02-09-2007, 08:39 AM
I think the more that I do this the better that I'll get at it. I made this one with a hammer, small finishing nail, and a small exacto knife. Not the most exact tools I would like to work with but I wanted to give it a try. I think that I'm going to have to get a small set of tin snips so that I can control it better than scoring the tin with the knife over and over again.

Ok Ok....next time I'll go down to the courtyard to test it out I promise. But I did test it in the sink so I could put copious amounts of water and use the fire extinguisher if I had to.

02-09-2007, 10:02 AM
Hey this thing is pretty cool. Dont know if I can build one though.... Is there any household item I could use for a pot out in the woods? I could buy one, but I think it would be alot cooler 8-) to use something I have.


02-09-2007, 10:08 AM
Hey mmorgan135,

I use a drill and drill bit for the holes. I use a utility knife and new blade(this is key) for my cutting. Another key thing is patience and preciseness,it really helps to make a good stove. I actually don't use tin snips,but a small sharp set of scissors for some cutting. The aluminum cuts very easy.

The top hole is the most difficult. This is where patience comes in. With a sharp utility knife I lay the blade againt the top rim and stay close to the side when scoring. I don't score that long. I then puncture the top and very slowley cut the top out. If done properly, you will cut out a nice round hole.

If the inner wall is cut well you will get much better performance.

The only time you will need a gas stove(Pocketrocket) etc.. is if you are going to do alot of cooking,extreme cold weather camping or extended backpacking trips,10 days or more. At this point you lose the wt savings because you have to carry so much alcohol. I carry this stove in my fishing pk and can have a hot lunch or coffee anytime I am fishing.

Have fun.. Mark

02-09-2007, 10:21 AM

It's no problem to build. *Give er a try!!

Most household items are too big and heavy for me. *A canteen cup is all I use. *I also carry a small plastic bowel. *I only heat water in the canteen cup,then make my food in the bowel. *Reason? The canteen cup is very hard to clean and the bowl wipes out nicely. *When backpacking, I like the minimalist approach and only carry easy to prepare foods.

GOOD LUCK! * Mark.. *

02-09-2007, 11:33 AM
At first I was trying to be as precise as I could, then a few of the burner holes werent exactly center so then I just wanted to see how well it would work. When you talk about cutting the big hole out, how close to the lip are you wanting to get. I thought at first that you would want to clip it as close as possible but then when putting it together it felt like there needed to be a lip there to help hold the inner cylinder tight.

The more I think about this idea the more I like it. Is the canteen in your picture an army canteen? That has a top and bottom and the handle keeps them from coming apart. How much are those at the surplus stores? How much fuel do you typically take with you? The only down side I dont like is having the liquid fuel but I was going to have to do that with a MSR stove anyway. I would feel better about carrying the fuel in one of their metal bottles though to protect about punturing it.

The pot holder you made is out of coat hangers, I would have guessed that they would have bent under that much weight but I guess I'm going ot have to design some of those too.

02-09-2007, 01:25 PM

When you talk about cutting the big hole out, how close to the lip are you wanting to get.

A. I get as close as possible. *The inner wall will go to the top of the can inside. *That's why a pepsi can works best...

Is the canteen in your picture an army canteen

A. Yes, *and very cheap. *I don't recall the cost,have had it a long time. Probably can find it on e-bay as well. *Don't worry about the bottle leaking. In all these years I have never had one leak. *I carry it right in the bottle that it came in. *I do wrap a little duct tape around it to protect and as a universal fix-all. *I typically carry 1/2 bottle on short trips and full bottle on extended trips.

Pot Holder- Use the heavy guage coat hangers, they work best. I push it into the ground a bit.

* *Happy Building.. * *Mark....

02-27-2007, 05:10 PM
I just made one of the pepsi can stoves. Incredible! I'm glad I looked at this thread. There are times that I want to get out of the stream, just soak in the sights and have a cup of coffee and now I can with an extremely lightweight stove that I can put in my vest and not even know that its there.


02-27-2007, 06:04 PM
ijsouth -

I discovered Community Coffee while redfishing south of New Orleans. In the morning I saw the bag across the room before I had my eyes on, thought it said "Communist Coffee." Good stuff though, brought some back home and just finished the last of it.


02-27-2007, 07:35 PM

This is great. I have a new project to make in the garage and a usefull one at that. That is the neatest little stove I have ever seen. I am still convinced that we fisherpeople love every new gadget that comes along, especially one that works and is packable.

Actually I already have an alcohol stove but it is not this neat and I did not make it. Let the brewing begin!

Happy trails to you....gary <*))))><

02-27-2007, 09:57 PM
I just test fired this little thing and WOW! This is going to be perfect for backcountry hikes and flyroddin'!

02-27-2007, 10:32 PM
Congrats guys,

Fun,cheap,light weight,and able to make one fine cup of joe!! Enjoy..


03-01-2007, 12:38 AM

I just finished my first stove, it's looks pretty good but I don't have the tape to finish it off. I'll do that tomorrow. Just a quick question, are you boiling your coffee water right out of the stream or carrying water with you? There was a thread on the board recently covering safe water practices within the park. It would seem that boiling would eliminate any bacteria and "bugs".

Thanks for sharing your "cool" stove, gary <*))))><

03-01-2007, 07:28 AM
It would seem that boiling would eliminate any bacteria and "bugs".

Hey G, You are correct!

Typically I carry enough water with me. If I run out I often boil stream water. It's a good practice and I would recommend it if you find youself in need. I also carry a couple of standard coffee filters to filter out the floaties when dipping the cup into the water. Happy fish tails and hiking trails!


03-01-2007, 07:48 AM

I figured you were using both but stream water only if necessary. Didn't think about filtering the water prior to boiling but it sure makes sense.

To those inquiring about Mark's style cup, I went to ebay last night and sure enough they are there for sale. My wife loves it when I get on ebay, NOT! I think I'll try an Army Surplus store first though. Shipping on some was crazy.

Wishin' I wuz fishin', g <*))))><

05-07-2007, 12:58 PM
I finally was able to get away from Michigan and head down there to the mountains the last weekend of April. The weather was perfect and the fishing wasn't bad either.

I brought my pepsi can stove with me and thats all I used to make my coffee.
Never did build a fire while camping.

What a great little stove.