Build A Simple, Handmade Cooking Stove

If you're camping and forgot the stove, need another cooking surface and don't want to build a fire, or (more likely) just want to show off a cool camping trick and cook a meal at the same time, go outside, take a saw with you and grab a log. That's all you'll need for this simple, handmade stove, brought to you by our friends in Russia.

English Russia (careful, ads may be NSFW) walks us through how to make a "Russian Stove", using a log, newspaper, and a chain saw. The chainsaw is optional — a normal saw would work just fine. Cut the log evenly on both sides so it stands up freely. Then cut it into vertical segments most of the way down the length of the log. Stuff in some newspaper into the cracks as deep as you can get it, leaving a wick at the bottom, and light it up.

That's all there is to it — the log burns from the inside out, and you have a simple, handmade stove. The top is flat, so you can put a frying pan or other vessel on top with food or liquid inside you'd like to heat. Practical? Absolutely not — you're far better bringing a camp stove or building a fire if you're actually going to be roughing it, and it's unlikely you'll happen to have a frying pan, a saw, newspaper and food to cook but somehow forget the camp stove. Even so, this trick wins points for being fun, unusual and a reminder that you can get the job done without modern conveniences if you're roughing it.

It might be worth a try for fun, just be careful — there's no safety guard or anything to keep you from getting singed. Check out the photos at the link below (again, fair warning: ads on the site below may be NSFW) for a step-by-step with photos. Would you give this a try, or planning to stick to the camp stove? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks to Conrad for sending in the tip!

Simple Handmade Stove [English Russia — NSFW]


    This has been called a "Bush Candle", "Swedish Candle", "Log Light" and god knows how many other names by every bush/swag/backwoods-man around the world for centuries. Very cool trick, but there are some caveats!

    Make sure the log you use isn't too big! Otherwise at best it is a huge waste of wood and at worst it's a hard to control fire hazard. The thing burns and starts to fall apart everywhere. Also, once one of these things starts, there's no way to control the heat. Steak burning? Tough: all you can do is take the pan/grill off, or put it back on... and these burn HOT.

    Secondly, if you can do this without a chainsaw, then my hat is off to you sir! The cuts need to be wide - at least 5 to 10mm - to get enough tinder/kindling in to start the wood burning (no small task for aussie hardwood), and the cuts are straight down through the hardest part of the wood, all the way down. A big ask; not worth it!

    The better option is to find two decent and evenly sized logs (around 5 inches or 12cm in diameter) or cut one in half. Light a small fire, and place the logs either side, with chocks under the outside of each log so they don't roll apart. Then you can rest your pan or pot on the logs over the fire, control the heat by taking away or adding fuel/coals.

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