How to Build Your Own Wood Burning Tent Stove

How to Build Your Own Wood Burning Tent StoveIn most wilderness areas, it makes sense that if you are about to set out on a protracted camping trip you will rely primarily on wood as your source of fuel for heating and cooking. It behooves you, therefore, to know how to make a sturdy, reliable wood-burning stove. Especially if you'll be dealing with frigid temperatures, a wood-burning stove that is reasonably safe inside a large tent would be helpful, too. Making a wood-burning tent stove is relatively simple.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • 26-oz metal coffee can
  • Unibit
  • Water
  • Lighter fluid
Step 1
Obtain a 26-oz. metal coffee can. This will not be entirely rust-proof. If you are looking for something lighter and, more importantly, rust-proof, you may want to consider a more costly but longer lasting titanium pot.
Step 2
Use a unibit to drill six 1/3-inch diameter holes around the bottom of the coffee can. Try to space the six holes out evenly. The holes should be situated about 1/2-inch from the bottom of the can. These holes provide bottom ventilation.
Step 3
Pack the bottom quarter of the coffee can with twigs and light tinder.
Step 4
Add another quarter-can full of larger sticks and wood blocks. Leave about half of the can empty. Pack the wood-and-twig contents of the can tightly.
Step 5
Set a large bottle of water within reach in the event that something were to catch fire. You'll be able to quickly extinguish it with this.
Step 6
Use lighter fluid to light the fire. The holes in the bottom of the coffee can will keep your fire healthy with ventilation, and the high walls of the coffee can will somewhat control any smoke plume that may initially develop, forcing it to travel upward.

Tips & Warnings

Consider lighting the stove outside and allowing it to mostly burn to coals before moving it inside for warmth or cooking purposes. this will keep any initial smoke out of the tent.
It's best not to light a wood-burning tent stove with your rain fly on. The smoke needs somewhere to escape and that is usually through the top center, where the netting of the canvas tent is thin.

Article Written By William Jackson

William Jackson has written, reported and edited professionally for more than 10 years. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, high-level government reports, books and online. He holds a master's degree in humanities from Pennsylvania State University.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.