There are plenty of do-it-yourself camp stove ideas on the Internet. Some are new and some are classics, but few are as resourceful as the fire can. Here’s a fun little project you can do this weekend.

This simple contraption is made from any cast-off flat can (like a tuna can). You’ll also need some thin snips of cardboard, cut as wide as the can is tall (any length will work). And finally, you’ll require some candle wax, new or old. This wax component is a great way to use up candle drippings or old candle nubs.

Constructing the fire can is pretty simple. Coil up your cardboard strips inside the can until it is full of cardboard. Melt your wax over a medium heat, preferably in a disposable container like another tin can. Pour the melted wax into the fire can until the cardboard is almost covered.

Now let the fire can cool until the wax is hardened (unless you need it right away). Your fire can will need a steady open flame to light, and it will take about one minute to get part of the can lit. However, once it finally is lit, it is hard to put out.


Try this out as a wet-weather fire starter, by burning the fire can under your kindling. Just remember to remove the Fire Can as soon as the fire starts to catch so you can re-use this little stove.

You can also use this little guy to warm food; heat up tea and coffee; or make hot cocoa.