Home » Outdoor Skills and Tips » Wild Camping Articles and Tutorials » The Beast’s Tip of the Week – Hobo Stove

The Beast’s Tip of the Week – Hobo Stove

By Dave Roberts   

on March 17, 2015    No ratings yet.

The Beast’s Tip of the Week – Hobo Stove

Hobo Stoves are  wood burning stoves made from basically any tin can or similar you can salvage.This model is based on a cutlery drainer style that’s widely available – with Ikea being typically quoted. It has plenty of air holes and can be used as is. Our example came from Amazon and is Ikea brand, but you can make your own too, depending on how handy you are.

It’s a simple matter to add feet (bolts, hinges) and to cut a fuel feeding hole in the front, but as we didn’t have any of that to hand we didn’t. The only addition we were ready to make was adding a couple of tent poles to act as pot holders if the stove was too wide for our pots.


What this provides is a simple container for your fire, with your pot going on top, and it just simply works as is. It’s a pain to have to feed the stove, but odds are that you’ll have enough wood in the burner before putting your pot onto it and it’s not exactly the end of the world if you have to remove the pot once during the boil to top up a bit.

illy_stove_108 illy_stove_111

If you’ve got any sort of DIY skills (and the tools) then you can customise this stove to make it even more effective or even make your own from a Coffee Tin:

To make your own you will need:

1 – Illy Tin or similar (you can close the lid on these afterwards which is the main advantage over the sink drainer)
2 – Drill to drill the holes
3 – Vice – to keep it steady while drilling the holes

Once you’ve got the tin with holes – or the cutlery drainer, you an then customise it as follows:

4 – Saw of some description – in order to cut the feeding hole into the bottom of the container.
5 – Three or four bolts for feet
6 – Wire or tent pegs to hold the pot (preferably steel as aluminium might melt,while Titanium is expensive and kinks)

Here’s one we prepared earlier from an Illy coffee tin.


This really is a project for the skinflint or those who really like the idea of getting something for nothing (even if the coffee will set you back £6) when it may take an hour or so to make and you could buy one ready made for £3 to £4 or so, and that’s cheaper than my time drilling umpteen holes. Put it in a stuff sac, and you’re sorted.


The only downside is the hassle of having to set it all up, get a fire going, find fuel and only then being able to get your brew on. That could also be said to be the whole point of making and owning one of these stoves in the first place, though the using chafing gel like above is a nice cheat.

Please rate this

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

More Posts By This Author