Minimal stove design

by Peter Berrecloth
9th April 2015

I needed a lightweight, windshield that would work for all stove types (alcohol, wood, or gas burner). I was inspired by a Canadian stove design shown to me by Ray Mears while on the Woodlore Tracking course: The Littlbug Stove.

I liked the fact it folds flat, or can be coiled in a billy can. With its strong, rigid and simple design it is an instant classic to me. The problem that this windshield retails at around £60 in the UK and I wasn’t prepared to pay that for something I could build in ten minutes.

I wanted to make a similar design without infringing upon the copyright. In fact I made it a little simpler.

I had an old toaster lying around so I took the stainless steel shell from that and flattened it out.  I used a ‘step’ drill bit to make the ventilation holes and a rotary tool with cutting disc to shape the outline. This didn’t take any time at all.


Drilling holes with a step drill bit
After drilling, the other side must be drilled from reverse to remove splinters and burrs.
Completed windshield, steel has been bent by hand around a bottle.
Bolts hold the interlocking teeth together, while lightweight tent pegs provide support for the pot.

Overall, it’s a simple dovetail design which locks together with a couple of small bolts. The tent pegs make the stove more sturdy but aren’t always necessary. The pictures are shown with an MSR Seagull pot, which is my preferred steel cooking pot.

I have so far used the stove on backpacking trips in Czech Republic, Scotland and England, and have successfully taken it onboard planes as hand luggage.

With this stove, you can use it as a windshield for a discreet wood fire – useful if you’re making fires during a stealth camp in the woods. It’s great to chuck pine cones into. Or, you can stick a trangia underneath it.