MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen

What's better than a communal, one-pot meal between hiking buddies under the stars? Learn how to make a pot stand/windscreen that's sturdy enough to hold a large pot filled with dinner and light enough to not bow your backpack.

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by Benjamin Roode | 2011-05-17 00:00:00-06

As backcountry hiking becomes more popular, more groups are hitting the trail for long weekends or week-long trips.

What’s better than a communal, one-pot meal between hiking buddies under the stars? Problem is, you need a pot big enough to hold whatever noodles or stew you’re whipping up. And if the pot’s too big, your stove won’t hold it.

It’s easy to make a pot stand/wind screen that’s sturdy enough to hold a large pot filled with dinner and light enough to not bow your back. If you drink coffee, it’s practically free and a great way to recycle your used packaging.

MYOG: Group Pot Stand & Windscreen - 1

Supplies:

MYOG: Group Pot Stand & Windscreen - 2

  • Large aluminum coffee can with plastic lid
  • Wire hanger

Tools:

  • Can opener
  • Needle-nose pliers with wire cutters
  • Tin snips
  • Hammer
  • Punch

Steps

MYOG: Group Pot Stand & Windscreen - 3
Step 1: Use the can opener to take the bottom off of the coffee can. Using a newer can opener that prevents sharp edges can help you avoid ragged metal cuts.

MYOG: Group Pot Stand & Windscreen - 4
Step 2: Use pliers to untwist the wire hanger.

MYOG: Group Pot Stand & Windscreen - 5
Step 3: Measure the wire hanger across the top part of the coffee can, leaving a little room to remove the twisted wire end of the hanger. Cut the hanger so the wire part goes from can edge to can edge. Cut another section about 2-3 cm longer than the first.

MYOG: Group Pot Stand & Windscreen - 6
Step 4: Bend the ends of the shorter piece down to they can fit into the can’s lip.

MYOG: Group Pot Stand & Windscreen - 7
Step 5: Use the hammer to pound the wire into the lip of the can. If it doesn’t go in, use the punch to punch a hole in the lip. Once your holes are punched on the same diameter, use the pliers to twist one of the ends of the wire in on itself, preventing the wire from slipping out of the hole. Do same to the other end once it’s punched into the lip.

MYOG: Group Pot Stand & Windscreen - 8
Step 6: Take the second, longer wire piece and bend it sharply in the middle using the pliers. Bend both sides back to horizontal to form a small notch into which the first wire will fit once both wires are installing on the can’s lip.

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Step 7: Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the longer, notched piece of wire.

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Step 8: Measure your can and the height of your stove. Adjust the height of the can accordingly by cutting to desired height.

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Step 9: Using tin snips, cut square notches into the sides of the can at the bottom (where you just shortened the can’s height) for airflow.

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Step 10: Put the lid on the bottom of the can to protect skin and other gear from snagging or tearing. Keeping the lid allows you to use the windscreen as a basic storage container for small but bulky items because the wire hanger grill crosshairs stay in.

Results

MYOG: Group Pot Stand & Windscreen - 1

The group pot/kettle stand/windscreen can easily support a full two-liter pot (hopefully lighter than what I used for display purposes!). The wire hanger crosshairs let you use almost any size pot or pan, making the stand an excellent wind screen for smaller vessels. Its sturdy sides make it ideal for storing sensitive and fragile gear when in transit, and the reuse/recycling aspect of the stand keeps your costs and environmental impact down.


Citation

"MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen," by Benjamin Roode. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/myog_group_pot_stand_and_windscreen.html, 2011-05-17 00:00:00-06.

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Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen


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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen on 05/17/2011 18:02:35 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
making it lighter on 05/18/2011 07:29:38 MDT Print View

Great photo's and narrative.

Instead of folding the air cut-outs out of the way, why not remove them altogether? Get rid of a few grams of steel.

Edited by herman666 on 05/18/2011 07:30:42 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen on 05/18/2011 11:25:14 MDT Print View

Nice! A simple solution for a common problem. Good work.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen on 05/18/2011 11:45:06 MDT Print View

Erm, maybe i'm missing something obvious, but is this a woodburning stove? If so how does the smoke escape if you use a pot that big? For that matter, if it's just a pot stand to be used with a propane or gas stove, how does the top vent waste gasses and won't it overheat a canister stove if it's enclosed like that?

D Heisley
(dheisley) - MLife
Re: Re: MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen on 05/18/2011 12:17:14 MDT Print View

@Tohru: Bingo

Edited by dheisley on 05/18/2011 12:18:20 MDT.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen on 05/18/2011 15:10:09 MDT Print View

*Danger Will Robinson* ?

I'm certainly no expert, but aren't coat hangers coated with metals and coatings that are toxic when burned? Contamination of food with things like zinc are pretty dangerous, that's why hardware cloth shouldn't be used next to flame (although I see plenty of DIY systems that do so it).

If we're talking pure brass or steel, it should be fine, but I don't think modern coat hangers are 100% brass.

Edited by slacklinejoe on 05/18/2011 15:13:13 MDT.

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen on 05/18/2011 16:43:34 MDT Print View

How much does a coffee can like this weigh and what is the completed project weight?

Scott Glenn
(Skidsteer) - MLife

Locale: North Georgia
Re: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen on 05/18/2011 17:31:16 MDT Print View

That is not an aluminum can as indicated in the list of supplies. It's steel.

I don't see combustion happening with this design if used with wood, esbit, or alcohol. There doesn't appear to be enough space between the top of the potstand and the bottom of the pot to allow it if the photos are accurate.

Using it over a canister stove would be exciting.

Edited by Skidsteer on 05/18/2011 21:13:24 MDT.

Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Re: MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen on 05/19/2011 10:51:14 MDT Print View

@Joe: Doesn't brass contain lead that can leach out? I was experimenting with alternative materials to titanium and aluminum for wind screens, and brass foil was one of the options (among shim steel and copper foil), but I nixed it because of the possibility of lead oozing out, vaporizing, and condensing in my pot of water. Just sayin'...

In the end I went with the cheapest: shim steel.

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: MYOG: Group Pot Stand and Windscreen on 05/27/2011 20:16:43 MDT Print View

Has this even been tested? No replies from the author. Kinda lame.