Sunday, October 16, 2011

How to make a hobo heater or portable stove

Winter is just around the corner so I think its time to show you guys how to stay warm and make some warm food. This is a cheap stove that can be used as a heater/lantern as well.

Things you will need:
Empty paint can (or similar metal metal object)
Paper/cardboard (roll of toilet paper works well)
70% isopropyl alcohol
Metal/pot ban
Ceramic tile sticks or rocks

This is a very simple design that works very, but will get very hot and last a long time. So please make sure that you are using it outside, or in a place that can withstand the heat of the can.

Hobo Heater:
The first thing you need to do is pack your tin can full of toilet paper. This make take a whole roll or two depending on the can, and its okay to use really cheap TP. Next you need to add in the isopropyl. You want the toilet paper to be fairly damp. I suggest 4-5 ounces per roll that you stuffed in the paint cant. Simply pour it over the TP that is in the can. If you are using this as a heater the final step is to just light that bitch up. It will burn slow, but hot for around 3 hours.

Hobo Stove:
Do everything said above before starting here. All you really need to do now, is use ceramic pieces or rocks to hold a cooking pot/pan on top of the heater. You can't put the pot directly on the heater, or use a solid flat piece of tile because air needs to get into the top of the paint can. So tale 2-3 stick like pieces of rock/tile and place them on top of the paint can so there is a vent. Then you can put the pot/pan on top of the tile.

Here is a quick diagram of what it should look like when you cook three cheeseburgers for you and your poor college friends.


  1. Kinda like what we learned in the scouts lol. I guess it's pretty much the same thing, living out doors and being a hobo lol. Thanks for the info!

  2. So I just go down to any local store to get my 70% isopropyl alcohol without money? Hmm. Good plan. Now let's try to make the stove out of products a hobo can come up with.