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Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination?
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Michael Meiser
(mmeiser) - F

Locale: Michigan
Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/20/2009 10:28:27 MST Print View

I thought this was so cool it deserved its own thread.

I just discovered this, it excites me greatly. I did a search and saw only one reference to it on backpacking light. Must share.

A 32oz Nalgene bottle with the top cut off makes the perfect companion for the Fosters can pot.

(Unfortunately the Heineken can is a tiny bit to large.)

Prior to this discovery I thought the fosters can pot was to delicate in my pack but the Nalgene protects it perfectly plus there are tremendous other benefits.

Starting from the top.

1) combination packs extremely well

2) extremely light and yet also extremely durable when used in combination

3) Nalgene bottle has handy measures on the side and is transparent

4) Nalgene bottle can handle boiling water / hot food without melting

5) Nalgene bottle is naturally well insulated so you can fill it with boiling fluids and pick it up without burning yourself.

6) Nalgene bottle and Fosters can pot can be cut to whatever size you like (12, 16, 24, 30+ oz etc) making the set perfectly customize-able to your personal needs (not to mention easy experimenting, because nothing is ever fixed in the ultralight world. :)

7) Nalgene bottle can possibly double as a pot cozy (I must admit I haven't tried this yet, I guess there is some small potential for it to melt, but I think it unlikely.)

8) Nalgene and Fosters are the perfect width to be used as a cup or a bowl, a versatile size.

9) Even if you did destroy your fosters can they can be picked up nearly anywhere.

This may well be potentially the most compact and lightest cook kit short of a Ziplock bag.


Note: I have yet to find some fiberglass, kevlar or other insulative wrap to make sure it can fit between the can and the Nalgene, but the worst case scenario is I make a removable insulative sleeve.

My only real problem is figuring out how to add a stiffening bead or a little rigidity to the Fosters can so I can more easily pick it up off the fire and held. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Lip Guard?

I was also having a hard time finding a proper silicone band as a lip guard, but I've discovered a red silicone that is can handle heat up to 700 degrees.

Provided it has no negative health issues (and I don't see why it would once dry) it should be perfect for making a lip guard of my liking on the pot.

It occurs to me if this works I could potentially leave the bead on the top of the can and seal it well so it doesn't collect dirt... but I was hoping to shorten the fosters can to 20-24 oz.

Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Re: Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/20/2009 14:58:35 MST Print View

Check out this container -

It's made with a ziploc twist n loc (with a hole cut in the lid) and a round ziploc container that fits inside.

John Roan
(JRoan) - MLife

Locale: Vegas
Re: Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/20/2009 16:11:07 MST Print View

Nice fit, and the fosters can definitely needs some protection. Alternatively, I have found that the heineken can fairs very well without protection, resulting in lighter pack weight.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
RE: Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination on 11/20/2009 22:26:14 MST Print View

Nalgene's are pretty weighty, but I guess cutting the top and lid off would reduce the weight substantially. Otherwise, seems one would be better off to go with a sturdier pot and a lighter cup/mug.

Brady Fulton
(bfulton) - F

Locale: Phoenix Arizona
Re: Re: Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/21/2009 00:35:37 MST Print View

Yeah, I too use the Heineken can and have taken it both unprotected and more recently protected in a tall ziploc storage container that I use as my eating container.

My opinion is that Nalgene bottles are too heavy. Have you tried a Heineken can?

Which do you all think would be more prevalent on a thru hike? I'm thinking Heine, but I guess as long as either will work it doesn't really matter what you start with.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/21/2009 16:39:17 MST Print View

Sometime ago I thought along the same lines , to use it with my Caldera Cone and before that with another alcohol stove set up. The reason for it was that I cannot detect a change of taste from Lexan but I can with most other lightweight containers.
Unfortunately I was not able to find the right shape container at the time , I wanted one with a screw top because a re-hydrate my food in a separate container (I don't like the bags)
But since I have a few Nalgene type containers around, I may try to modify one of them.
What I am thinking of is to cut it where it narrows at the top and glue the tread and screw top from something else.

Rand Lindsly
(randlindsly) - MLife

Locale: Yosemite
Re: Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/21/2009 18:19:49 MST Print View


Just so you know, Trail Designs, with this exact thought and need in mind (find a plastic container to protect a Fosters Can) had a ton of containers custom built that will contain and protect the can, as well as doubling as eating containers and screw together into a self contained container. We call it the "Caddy" and ship them with every Caldera System as well as providing them "ala-carte".

To the first post, we also had a bunch of silicone bands made up custom sized to fit around the can at the top and in the skinny and one much wider. We bundle these together and call them the "Beer Bands".

Check them both out here:

We also bundle them all together into the "Caldera Keg" that includes the Fosters or Henie can, cone, stove, caddy, bands, etc etc etc. Check them out here:

I normally try not to push or "sell" our stuff on this board, but it seems like this specific information is narrowly useful to this conversation, and might save you from cutting up your Nalgenes or spending a lot of time chasing down wristbands.

Rand :-)

Edited by randlindsly on 11/21/2009 18:21:53 MST.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/21/2009 18:37:30 MST Print View

To be honest I do have that caddy and still have not tried that for the taste test. If it works, then it is ideal for the job because it is much lighter and with the screw top section you have a food container as well as a cup.
The bottom hols 4 cups (more than I eat...) the top 2 cups (just)
Caddy 2.5 oz (SML)
Nalgene 1L 61/4 oz (both on my scale...)

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/21/2009 20:50:06 MST Print View

I have used the Caddy extensively for meals.
The top as a cup and the bottom as a bowl.
No taste, cleans with a swish and a gulp.

Oh yea, it also protects the cone and can.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/21/2009 22:40:00 MST Print View

Hi Greg
I have done some extensive tests and you are correct. Thanks.
(well, OK, I had a cup of tea...)
No immediate taste but a slight aftertaste. I doubt that I will notice that in the bush.

When we visited Doug Johnson (in Seattle) he proudly displayed his cone and that caddy. So I took note of that because I immediately realised that it looked custom made for me. (not having had any joy using several types of "bags" and other "food grade" containers)
I forgot about it 5 minutes after. I can forget a lot quicker and more efficiently than remembering.
I will be trying some meals in the next few days.

And a bit thank you to Rand for the reminder.

Michael Meiser
(mmeiser) - F

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/21/2009 23:11:35 MST Print View

Randy, thanks for the response. I love your stuff. been eyeing it but have been having to much fun experimenting with gear to bother purchasing a kit. I'm sort of at that point where I'm finding out what works for me.

I love those Caldera cones btw. I've been wondering how well they'd work as an improvised wood gas stove with the addition of an inner burn can. Have been trying to develop the absolute simplest clean burning wood gas stove I can. I'm getting there. Have been promising people pics and videos for a while now. Won't be too long.

Quick question. Is the caddy safe to poor boiling water into? I could have used a 1.5L plastic container, but my problem with them is I can't put hot stuff in them without them melting. That's when it occured to me that the Nalgene bottle might work.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how Tinny at Mini Bull designs made his Eco pot (a fosters can pot) he just posted. He seems to have somehow strengthend the sides. I have quite a press, but I can't see as how the Fosters can will survive. I guess I'll have to give it a try.

That said it's occured to me I could take a scrap of aluminum, bend it in the shape of the can and cover it in Permatex high temp red silicone, thus making a pot holder I can slide ride onto the Fosters can that will not only protect my fingers but give the fosters can enough ragidity I can grab it.

Edited by mmeiser on 11/21/2009 23:13:01 MST.

Michael Meiser
(mmeiser) - F

Locale: Michigan
what besides the Nalgene can handle boiling water? on 11/21/2009 23:26:05 MST Print View

The thing that drew me to the nalgene is I can poor boiling hot water into it without it melting or burning my hands when picking it up. For me this is worth the extra weight.

The only other thing that might have this capability is the Ziplock container I see many using. Does anyone know if this can handle boiling water?

Brady Fulton
(bfulton) - F

Locale: Phoenix Arizona
Re: what besides the Nalgene can handle boiling water? on 11/21/2009 23:48:05 MST Print View

Just last weekend both my wife and I used the ziploc container for our dinners, pouring boiling water (~2cups) directly from the heine can. No problems that I could see. Also, the one that is sized to hold the heine can is tall enough that I never worry about burning my hands because there is always room in the top of the container that I can hold.

Rand Lindsly
(randlindsly) - MLife

Locale: Yosemite
Re: Re: Re: Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/22/2009 00:23:31 MST Print View


1) Re: Boiling water in the Caddy - works just fine. Before we approved the first articles we filled them up with boiling water and let them spin around in a microwave for a while with no ill affects. Boiling water is no problem.

2) Re: Insulation - There are much better and lighter insulators than heavy thick plastic. In fact, AntiGravityGear has built an "aftermarket" product for the caddy called the "Caddy Sack" that has cozys and a bag just for the Caddy. Much lighter than the Nalgene approach. Check it out here:

3) Re: Caldera Wood Gas stove - No need to improvise. The Ti-Tri titanium Caldera cone is already a wood burner....and with the Inferno insert that we are selling by "word of mouth" right now, it turns it into a gassifier. Works very well. First link is to the Ti-Tri and the second to Hendrik's video of the Inferno add-on:

There are also reviews on BPL for the Ti-Tri and the Inferno.

4) Re: Insulating the Fosters - Standard Cozys work just fine for that (reflectix) and we provide one with the Caldera Keg.....or again....AntiGravityGear makes a full line of cozys for almost every pot. But easy enough to make yourself with reflectix....lighter....cheaper....easier. Sniff around for that material....looks like bubble wrap with foil on both sides.

Rand :-)

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/22/2009 07:17:23 MST Print View

Here is an example of cozy insulation -


- and the admonition to NOT use a water bottle as a container for "cozy cooking". This plastic Shrinks when you add hot water. And I have to wonder what might leach out in the process.

Edited by greg23 on 11/22/2009 07:31:19 MST.

John Roan
(JRoan) - MLife

Locale: Vegas
Re: Re: Re: Re: Nalgene + Fosters can, the perfect ultralight combination? on 11/22/2009 08:31:23 MST Print View

I own the Ti-Tri Inferno and love it.

If you enjoy MYOG projects like I do, you can also make your own fairly easily...

Ti Goat sells the ti foil, and Trail Designs will make a custom Inferno for you at a reasonable price. Just contact them :~)>

Michael Meiser
(mmeiser) - F

Locale: Michigan
Re: Using pot cozy while cooking on 11/24/2009 12:58:27 MST Print View

Is it safe to use this on the stove while cooking?

Michael Meiser
(mmeiser) - F

Locale: Michigan
forced air wood gas? on 11/24/2009 13:14:49 MST Print View


I'd been making a wood gas stove, had made several protypes over the past few weeks simplifying and simplifying and just when I thought I'd found the perfect design I discovered you'd already done it with your Tri Tri Inferno. :)

Again, I absolutely love your products.

The only things it doesn't have are the following and I wondered if you'd ever thought about adding these features

1) Notches around the top of the cone like the Nimble Will stove allowing for stakes to be laid across the top for an improvised grill. I find this good for hot dogs, red meat, chicken, etc.

2) You have air vents all around the bottom. Have you ever made a caldera cone with a single opening to accommodate an optional computer CPU fan? I've had remarkable results with my Heineken can wood gas using optional forced air, but this requires the smaller air ports be removed or closed for maximum efficiency.

It takes remarkably little air to produce a tremendous increase in heat and reduction in smoke. Perfect for cooking or when timber is wet. I run without the fan for general heat purposes.

Plus the single large air hole allows you to strategically place the cone facing into or out of the wind... so sometimes you need no fan at all.

I have noticed that you're now making a cone with close able air ports. I guess this would work too. I may eventually just buy one of those and then cut out a large opening.

BTW, Thanks for responding! I love the way companies and entreprenuers work in this space. Very hands on. There's a nice mix of high tech / low tech. DIY/MYOG vs. purchase-able, and a huge respect for materials. It's an elemental petri dish supporting a love of elemental living. :)

Michael Meiser
(mmeiser) - F

Locale: Michigan
Fosters can tips on 11/24/2009 13:30:52 MST Print View

Have since discovered the perfect way to brace the fosters can to give it added strength.

I cut the bottom 4mm off a tuna can (and the top of course) and pressed it over the top of the fosters can. Perfect fit.

Next I trimmed the top of the fosters can off even with the tuna can.

Next as an experiment I sealed it with a 4mm bead of red High temp Permatex around the entire bead of the can inside and out.

I added a few more beads of permatex to the outside of the can to use as an insulated pot grip as well.

Red permatex worked amazingly as an insulator though it does impede the can from sliding all the way in the Nalgene bottle.

In my intitial tests even when exposed to direct flame for prolonged periods it seemed to have no affect and it never seemed to get hot to the touch. Even when water was practically jumping out of the container.

This was my first experiment with High temp permatex and I have seen no mention of it here on the forums.

My only question with it is health issues. It seems to be completely inert after drying and most durable so I don't see as it would give off any unhealthy gasses or anything else even when heated.

It is rated btw to some 650 or so degrees which appears to be way more then I'll ever hit.

BTW, I also suspect that it's a tremendous insulator against the wind.

Given there's no other issues the only thing i have to do is perfect my application technique.

I'm thinking I'll use a dipping tecnique to cover the rim. And a brush tecnique to apply the pot grip.

I may find the Fosters can pot fits all the way back in the nalgene bottle after I apply a more consistent coating without so much gloopiness.

P.S. The sindle problem with putting your pot into your bowl is if you're using wood fire. Soot. Of course I suspect most people will use this with alcohol so it's a non issue. I may end up using a thin plastic bag around the pot even after I clean it.