Caution: use all types of burning fuel only in a well-ventilated space
Make the tin can stove by turning a 1-gallon metal can (#10 can) upside-down and inserting a heating unit. An old metal bucket of any kind will serve the same purpose. A small tuna can (1.5 inches tall) with a rolled-up section of newspaper soaked with paraffin wax coiled tightly in it will provide heat for cooking (and a little warmth).
- How to make an emergency tin can stove: cut one end from a 1-gallon tin can or #10 can and discard. Punch 4-6 holes in side of can, both at the top and bottom (near the seam), to allow the heat to draft upward more efficiently. Place heating source unit on a non-flammable surface, start fire, set tin can stove over the burning heat source and use as a camp stove. Bricks, rocks, or any heat-safe material will hold flame at appropriate height for cooking purposes.
- How to make the tin can stove heating unit: fold a double-size newspaper page length-wise, accordion-style, and force-fit into a tuna can. Pour paraffin or wax over the folded paper in the can. The paper acts as a wick. The wax burns hot and clean, providing adequate heat for emergency cooking, if positioned properly. This heat source will burn approximately 1-2 hours.
Alternate method for making the heat unit: cut corrugated paper cardboard into strips the height of the can, roll tightly, push into the can, then soak with wax and use as described.
Republished with permission from: Making the Best of Basics. Chapter 17: Energy and Fuels Storage. By James Stevens.