Steel Wool And A Battery

One of my hobbies is trying as much possible options to make a fire. Today I made fire with some Steel Wool (Wire Wool) and a 9 Volts battery.

First of all you make sure you’ll have enough tinder. In this case it’s only a demonstration, so I took some cotton. Loosen some steel wool and touch it with the battery. You’re actually short circuiting the battery, that’s where the energy is coming from. You’ll see the steel wool starts to burn. Hold you tinder against it while you are blowing on the burning parts.

Be cautions when putting away the steel wool. Due to the blowing into the steel wool, the fire might have moved into the middle of the steel wool. It can smolder for a long time. So before you throw it away: dip it in a bucket of water. Safety first!

Portable Wood Stove II – DIY

Like I mentioned yesterday, my portable wood stove wasn’t burning that well. I used an extra piece of chicken mesh to (theoretically) improve it.

Below you can see my extended woodstove, placed on a solid surface and already filled with tinder.
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Filled with wood, ready to ignite.
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The goal of the evening was to boil a liter of water in my mess tin, and to make some tea. In order to save as much energy as possible I used my big mess tin as a lid on top of the small one. Let it burn! As it was pretty cold, and I didn’t use a windshield, I had to add lots of wood.
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Only after 40 minutes the water was almost boiling…
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The tea I made had a strong taste of mess tin and thermos. In other words: yak! Before you will like this, you’ll have to hike another 40 km. Sitting on the freezing soil for 40 minutes was not enough to appreciate it.

So what went wrong? To much heat got lost because of the lack of a windshield and because the mess tin stood to high above the fire. The opening in the wood stove was not big enough for easy refueling. So I had to use a windshield and probably also a lot less water. The wood stove is being recycled now and I’m already looking for a new container to build another one.

Portable Wood Stove – DIY

It’s cold outside and I’m bored of sitting inside. I want to go for a hike! But no hike without a nice warm cup of tea. And therefore I need a portable cooker. This time I tried to make a portable wood stove.

You can find lots of DIY wood stoves at Zen Backpacking Stoves. From very simple to very ingenious models complete with solar panels and micro waves.

What I wanted to do was to make a very simple wood stove from materials that can be found everywhere. Here you can see the result:

In the bottom I made small ventilation holes. I also inserted a piece of chicken mesh to prevent the wood to fall on to bottom. This way there is plenty of ventilation, something you need for having a good fire.

At the top I’ve cut out two big rectangles, those are needed to add extra wood and also for good ventilation. The pot or cup can be place right on top of the burner. When testing this setup I noticed that the holes are not big enough, and that I need something to make a spacing between the can and the cup. That can be a bigger can, or some nails.

Back to the drawing table 🙂