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.
- Large aluminum coffee can with plastic lid
- Wire hanger
- Can opener
- Needle-nose pliers with wire cutters
- Tin snips
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.
Step 2: Use pliers to untwist the wire hanger.
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.
Step 4: Bend the ends of the shorter piece down to they can fit into the can’s lip.
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.
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.
Step 7: Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the longer, notched piece of wire.
Step 8: Measure your can and the height of your stove. Adjust the height of the can accordingly by cutting to desired height.
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.
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.
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.