Packing to heavy??? Try homemade gear to lighten the load

Old 11-09-03, 05:13 AM
Mobile Home Man
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Lightbulb Packing to heavy??? Try homemade gear to lighten the load

After to failed attempts at The Appalachian Trail I found some info on making home made light weight gear.

Just using one home made piece of gear can drop 2-3 pounds off your pack.
Heres one of my fav. tricks

Cat Food Can Stove


1 5.5oz cat food can (empty & clean)

1 12oz soda can (empty & clean)

1 Scrap piece of metal screen (atlease 4"x4" inches)

1 small handfull of fiberglass insulation


Razor knife or snips to cut soda can and screen

Old style can opener to punch holes thru the cat food can.
Drill can also be used however a vice is a good idea.

Ok basicly I'll let pictures do the talking I think most can figure it out.

Soda can cut down with insulation packed into it.
Screen is then cut to slip down inside the soda can to hold everything together.

Cat food can punched for air holes. This is the stove base.

Finished stove. Soda can burner sits inside the cat food base.

Stove will burn around 10-15 mins on 5cc of Alcohol.
Mine boils water in about 5 mins in summer and about 10 in winter.

You might need to make a small wind screen out of thin metal flashing just incase it gets really windy.
Old 11-09-03, 06:38 AM
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Thanks for the tip MH Man.

Did your Appalachian trip not work out because of too heavy a load?

I havn't done any light-weight camping but worked with a Boy Scout leader that made most of his camping equipment .
He would make a kit box that would take two to carry and in the box would be a lot of homemade items that had very little weight.
Travelling like pack mules, he would take a group of about 12 boys 5 - 10 miles into the bush to set up camp.
A tiring trip, but once they got there his boxes would open up to become a kitchen, food stash, washing facility, etc and the light weight of his inventions would allow them to carry stuff to set up tarp shelters, latrines and even a long rope and pulley with a handle for the boys to suspend the rope and slide into the water.
I went to join them on one of their camp outings and arrived late.
When I rounded the bend just before the camp, they had a set-up that looked like was carried in by a couple of half tons.
This allowed a group of inexperienced young boys to enjoy being away from civilization while still enjoying some comforts.
Old 11-10-03, 04:47 AM
Mobile Home Man
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Well the main reason for failing on the Appalachian trail is getting hurt or causing a injury.

When you hike the AT theres shelter areas and then theres trail towns.

Being you can have a week worth of hiking between trail towns you have to keep a pace due to resupplys.

If you slow down or stop theres a chance your going to run out of supplys.

Main reason for my failure was as follows

1 My pack was not the best pack I should have gotten for a 7-8 month hiking trip.
(causes back soreness)

2 Packing to heavy
(this will cause you to burn alot more enegy it also puts a huge load on your legs.

3 Buying hiking boots and not breaking them in b4 leaving for the start of the trip.
(sore ankles and maybe a few blisters.

If you like hiking the AT is the big daddy of them all.
Lots of fun and some really cool stuff along the way.

Don't let my failure make you think you can't make it.......

I'll be back there next spring down in GA trying again.
I figure 3rd times a charm.
Old 09-09-05, 06:42 PM
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Thumbs up leave the catfood alone and get a real stove

If you want a stove made from a can check this out. The pot is a beer can also. This is a short video clip of a homemade stove that will rival a jetboil and weighs a full pound less!!

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