The Lynx can alcohol stove is an alcohol or methylated spirit burning stove which is self starting and doesn’t need a pot stand because of the side burning flames. Many national parks and public areas don’t want you to light fires and fires are often not practical for short stops when you are on the move. That’s where a lightweight camping stove comes in. Alcohol stoves are very reliable and light enough to carry anywhere. This particular stove is make from a recycled lynx can and is stronger and more durable than similar coke can stoves.
On long hikes, especially on cold days, a freshly made hot cup of coffee or soup boosts moral and is a real mental a physical boost. This alcohol stove is homemade and allows a pit-stop pretty much anywhere.
• Side burning. The gas burns on from the side of the stove so you can put your pot right on the stove without putting it out; there’s no need for a pot stand.
• Self priming. Liquid alcohol doesn’t burn – the vapor does. To get the stove going you need the meths to boil and push the vapor out of the holes in the side. The design allows you to light the meths in the middle of the stove until it boils and you can light the side burners.
Where do you get one from? All you need to build your alcohol stove is an empty can of lynx, a hacksaw and a fine drill. I copied the instructions on this page to build mine but I added fiberglass insulation around the bottom of the cup and some thick wire wool to help the meths boil smoothly. The wire wool also gives the flame some color in the sunlight which is important for safety.
If you want to buy one of these ready made then send us a message on twitter because we sometimes sell brand new ones on ebay.
So how does an alcohol stove work? Liquid ethanol doesn’t burn; the vapor does. The flash point for ethanol is 13–14°C so this is the lowest temperature at which the stove will work without some help from a flame. Above this temperature the ethanol will take any small spark. On the plus side, ethanol freezes at -114°C so that shouldn’t be much of a problem.
The stove works by taking some of the heat from the flame and transferring it through the metal to the meths. At 78°C the meths boils releasing large amounts of vapor which get pushed through the holes in the stove where it is ignited just like a normal gas hob.
As with anything involving flammable liquids be really careful!
Keep walking the line…