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Alcohol stove for melting snow.
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Locale: Northern California
Alcohol stove for melting snow. on 10/28/2011 11:04:29 MDT Print View

Looking to build an alcohol stove with high capacity to melt snow. Anyone have any suggestions. To be used on weekend trips.

Brad Walker

Locale: SoCal
Cat Can on 10/28/2011 11:57:03 MDT Print View

You can make a cat can stove out of a bigger can of cat food, like I did by accident the first time :)

They're about the size of a normal can of tuna, 5oz or so as opposed to the 3oz Fancy Feast cans.


Locale: Northern California
flat cat stove? on 10/28/2011 12:04:05 MDT Print View

Anyone have any experience with a Flat Cat Stove? Seems easy to make.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Alcohol stove for melting snow on 10/28/2011 18:28:16 MDT Print View

Melting snow works better with wider pots than some use here. So I would avoid anything smaller than 5"-6" in diameter and 1.3 to 1.5 L minimum capacity.
So that eliminates several of the stoves that hold a pot on top.( too tippy)
I did try a wider Cat Stove type burner but cannot remember the results, however I don't see why it would not work.
So as Brad suggested , that would be my starting point too.
I had a look at the Flat Cat stove and that will probably also work but a bit trickier to make or to put it another way the Super Cat is about as easy as it gets...
You will need a base of some sort, some use a thin piece of wood we call plywood (thin laminated stuff) and a good windshield.
Just in case... always try to start with some water.
Because the Cat Stoves needs to "bloom" before you put the pot on top, you can hold the pot over the flame for those 30-50 sec so you don't waste that fuel.


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Alcohol stove for melting snow on 10/28/2011 20:06:28 MDT Print View

For melting snow over a burner like that, you need a base. The standard base is a piece of Masonite, at least 8" square or larger, and covered by aluminum foil. The ultralightweight base is cardboard of the same size, and covered by aluminum foil, but it doesn't last for too many days.

The issue is that most of your burner heat hits the melt pot, and then some heat is reflected back down. If all that is there is surface snow, then it is going to melt and tip the burner. If you can get a reflective base in there, then the burner will not tip so easily.