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Thread: Monty Alford's Yu-Can Stove

  1. #1
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    Default Monty Alford's Yu-Can Stove

    I rarely drive anywhere without a good stash of water in the back of my car or truck. In the winter though, my water bottles freeze (I usually store water in 2 liter pop bottles). However, I always keep some water in an aluminum canteen of one sort or another, with the idea that if I get stuck on the road in the middle of a snowstorm (a very real possibility here in Michigan), I could melt the ice in my canteen for water.

    Of course, another winter solution is to melt snow for water. This is common among winter campers. However, suppose you are just out for a day's hike and need to overnight? Or stuck in a car in a snowdrift for a couple days?

    Monty Alford's book,


    has some good solutions. I think I first heard about this book here at BCUK, but was recently reminded of it by a friend who lives in the Northwest Territories and spends a lot of time winter camping, so I finally got around to reading it and there is some excellent advice in his book. It's one of those no-nonsense books with simple talk and simple solutions that will keep your butt alive.

    One of his solutions is the YuCan stove, an easily made, easily carried stove powered by tea candles that will melt snow when you are stuck in a snow cave or vehicle and keep you hydrated for a day or two, until help arrives.

    It's essentially a can inside a can. The heat comes from 2-4 tea candles held in the base. Two holes are cut at the base for air to enter and so that tea candles can easily be replaced. A wire or nail or two are slipped through the can to suspend the melt-water can above the tea candles. A lid for the top and a bail chain and you are good to go.

    I also took the lid off a small altoids tin, which I found will slip inside the base as well. This can serve as a "burner" for an esbit cube which will give you a lot more heat, enough to actually boil water and cook with if needed.

    Here's some photos:

    The two cans I used:



    Cut two openings at the base, one on each side, at least 40 mm wide.



    Drill some holes to suspend a can above the tea candles. These are place about 38-40 mm above the base of the can.



    This is the finished YuCan stove. The lid was cut from the base of another can.



    As mentioned above, I think this will make a great esbit stove as well. Just add a small cup big enough to hold a cube, but small enough to slip into the base and bob's yer uncle.
    Hoodoo

    . . . deliverance will not come from the rushing, noisy centres of civilization. It will come from the lonely places. - Fridtjof Nansen

  2. #2
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    Default

    Nice work Hoodoo. Book looks good too.

    One thing to remember is that Esbit tabs give of noxious fumes so should only be burnt if in a well ventilated area, you'll get a stonking headache at least and may become nauseous.

    Moduser
    If Im uncomfortable, Im doing it wrong!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by moduser
    One thing to remember is that Esbit tabs give of noxious fumes so should only be burnt if in a well ventilated area, you'll get a stonking headache at least and may become nauseous.

    Moduser
    Yup, I should have qualified that. The esbit is more for cooking where there is good ventilation than melting water in a confined space.
    Hoodoo

    . . . deliverance will not come from the rushing, noisy centres of civilization. It will come from the lonely places. - Fridtjof Nansen

  4. #4

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    Hi Hoodoo,
    nice work mate much cleaner than mine.
    Here is mine in use, its great when you are sleeping and have the little stove as a lamp at the same time you get some warm water all night long.
    I only use tea candles.


    cheers
    Abbe

  5. #5
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    heres part of mine couldnt find other pics..
    [I[
    PLEASE POP IN FOR A VISIT..
    http://www.freewebs.com/wolf1965
    Hunt the full moon the batteries never run out..

  6. #6
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    Very cool guys! I think this will turn out to be very handy. Now I need to make one for my snowshoeing pack. This one is going into my truck.
    Hoodoo

    . . . deliverance will not come from the rushing, noisy centres of civilization. It will come from the lonely places. - Fridtjof Nansen

  7. #7
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    i made a similar one of these a while ago.. i would suggest a wooden on the lid handle so it doesnt conduct, apart from that.. nice one!
    "If fishing was all about catching we would call it catching"

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoodoo
    Very cool guys! I think this will turn out to be very handy. Now I need to make one for my snowshoeing pack. This one is going into my truck.
    Hoodoo, how did you get the lid so nice? its not the original one from the pineapple can as this one must be rolled up or?

    cheers
    Abbe

  9. #9
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    What a cool little stove. I'm going to have to make one of those

  10. #10
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    I made one from a container from NEXT, 3.50 in the sale!
    Spotted the container and noticed it was in two bits a stainless steel outer with holes in and a tight fitting but not fixed inner SS container, with no seams!
    The only catch is the lid has a clear plastic insert but I knocked up a thick foil lid from a disposable tray, and made a burner by melting candles and tipping into an old tin I had with a cardboard wick. Using two tent pegs as a pot holder I knocked up a decent stove that I tried at the northern meet.
    I think I will fit a wire handle to the pot and try it with hexamine or a gel burner I have as the candle worked but was a little slow and smoky.


    Ps it was a lot shinier when I bought it!
    Hopefully there will be photos attached if not the pics are in the gallery!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abbe Osram
    Hoodoo, how did you get the lid so nice? its not the original one from the pineapple can as this one must be rolled up or?

    cheers
    Abbe
    Abbe, I cut the lid from another can of the same diameter. I used one of those can openers that cuts along the edge of the can, not the top.
    Hoodoo

    . . . deliverance will not come from the rushing, noisy centres of civilization. It will come from the lonely places. - Fridtjof Nansen

  12. #12

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    Nice work Hoodoo!

    For all of you who dont have the book but would like to work after the blueprint from the book I have some pictures on my webpage:

    abbes page

    cheers
    Abbe

  13. #13
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    Abbe what is the fire grate contraption called at the bottom of your web page and how much do they cost??

    cheers

    LB
    What you call hell, he calls home.
    Col. Samuel Trautman
    RAMBO

  14. #14
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    I followed the link on Abbe's site then threw it into a translation package and came up with this:

    Here, you find current pinches and transporting costs on our products



    Grundmodell

    The price is 390 sek with storing bag, and 290 sek without
    storing bag.



    MaxiModell

    The price is 450 sek with storing bag, and 350 sek without
    storing bag.



    Monterbara feet

    A set if 3 feet cost 70 sek.
    Taken from http://www.tra-inventive.com/

    I'm sure Abbe will correct me if I'm wrong

    Greywolf

    P.S. 1 GBP=13.5732 SEK
    And on the eighth day God said 'O.K. Murphy. You take over'

  15. #15

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    Greywolf is right!
    I like to add something about the (Frakt) = shipment costs, and some info on the gear!

    I have the GrundModell with a bag and its a great tool, for me its enough with the Basic Modell, its not too heavy to have with you in your rucksack and it safes a lot of hussle for deep snow fire fixing. Before you had to build a plattform or shuffle the snow to the ground. You can see how I use the Modell in some of the pictures in the Gallery. In UK you dont have so deep snow and I wonder if you need such a thing. If you go to the north where there is a lot of snow its a great tool.

    You will not need the Maxi or the Feet and stuff like that, this is only for none Bushcrafters. ;-)

    Well, if you dont want to make yourself such a thing, here is the shipping cost too. Rest info read from Greywolfs post.

    If you order outside of sweden there will come shipping and something I cant translate, I believe this are the cost he has when the post pays him and the post take the money from you, its a kind of post service system to protect his interest.
    Everything together will be 180 SEK for shippment cost total including taxes.

    cheers
    Abbe

  16. #16
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    Many thanks for the info my friends. I think I might have a shot at making one of those, well adapting it for my own needs.
    Many thanks again......
    What you call hell, he calls home.
    Col. Samuel Trautman
    RAMBO

  17. #17
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    I have to say that I like the simplicity of that design, good stuff.

  18. #18
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    Abbe, I really like the looks of that fire grate. Do you know what the mesh is made of? Also, what are the dimensions? I wouldn't mind trying to "cook one up." I often carry a simple cookie sheet to build small cook fires on.
    Hoodoo

    . . . deliverance will not come from the rushing, noisy centres of civilization. It will come from the lonely places. - Fridtjof Nansen

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoodoo
    Abbe, I really like the looks of that fire grate. Do you know what the mesh is made of? Also, what are the dimensions? I wouldn't mind trying to "cook one up." I often carry a simple cookie sheet to build small cook fires on.

    Hi Hoodoo,
    I dont know what kind of steel he is using but I am sure it is one which doesnt burn through so fast. Maybe some of the knife makers here know which kind of steel takes the best heat beating.

    I am going to meassure the little thing for you but I have to find it first in my mess here. ;-)

    yours
    Abbe

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by lardbloke
    Many thanks for the info my friends. I think I might have a shot at making one of those, well adapting it for my own needs.
    .....
    Would the grate from a disposable BBQ work?

    I wished we got enough snow here to warrent me making one

  21. #21
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    That was the idea I was going to try out. At the moment the stores are still selling post Christmas stock so will be a while before I can lay my hands on one for testing purposes.
    What you call hell, he calls home.
    Col. Samuel Trautman
    RAMBO

  22. #22
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    Hmmm...well I was thinking aobout some chainlink fencing.
    Hoodoo

    . . . deliverance will not come from the rushing, noisy centres of civilization. It will come from the lonely places. - Fridtjof Nansen

  23. #23
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    Default Soft drink/beer can burners.

    I've built some of these, and while they're fiddly to make, they're well worth the effort.

    The open-ended style works just like a Trangia, while the closed-up thingy is more like an old-fashioned gas burner.

    Despite the further fiddliness to fill and light, I prefer the latter (more bang/buck).

    Also, I use only thinned alcohol, reducing soot.

    I actually used a complete setup with brazed fencing wire pot holder, can-bottom preheater pan, the works, during a blackout.

    Heck, I still wanted my dinner, didn't I?

    JIC, my Trangia rides in the back of my car.

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