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I trudge down the frozen mountainside, my headlamp illuminating the stinging ice crystals as they blast past my face in horizontal streaks. I hear my climbing partner's voice over the thunderous wind. I can't understand what he's saying, but as I raise my head to see him, the light from my headlamp flashes back from a reflective patch on our tent, just 10 yards away. At last!

My feet ache with cold and my hands are stiff as I undo my gaiters and over boots and slip into the noisy but still air space of our constricting tent. A barrier of paper-thin nylon protects us from the pounding gusts. Anticipating harsh conditions, we opted for a full tent instead of a floorless pyramid shelter, but in an effort to save weight, we left the vestibule at home.

I picture in my mind other snowy nights I've spent with my head and arms hanging out the tent door, fiddling with the fuel knob on my backpacking stove. Putting a pot of slush on the burner and wrapping the foil windscreen around it, then slipping back inside the tent, zipping the door up behind me. Every five minutes I'd reemerge into the white night to check the water and add more snow. A shiver runs through my body; I don't have to do that tonight!

Hanging from the apex of my tent, on three small steel cables is my friendly stove. It's suspended above the sleeping bags we've just crawled into. I light the burner as my partner clips the pot-filled with an inch of starter water-to the micro biner swinging from cable above the stove. I unzip the top of the tent door a few inches or ventilation then lay back on my sleeping pad, close my eyes, and listen to the dissonant din of the shaking tent walls and the hissing stove.

I prefer to camp with a floorless shelter. In the winter, it lets me cook on the snowy ground inside the tarp where I have a ready supply of snow for melting. However, on some trips, depending upon the anticipated conditions or the preferences of my traveling companions, I'll stay in a fully-enclosed tent. On those occasions, I've appreciated being able to cook inside my tent. There are a number of commercial hanging-stove systems available, but they are usually designed for specific stoves. The home-made designs I'd seen look too bulky for my tastes. I set out to make a system that would work with any canister stove and would be compact and relatively lightweight.

The end result is a combination of a commercially-available canister-stove base, and some 1/16 inch wire rope (steel cable) from the hardware store.

The first canister stand I tried was made by Jetboil. It has holes at the end of each leg that fit the 1/16 inch cable. It worked well, but one of the times I was took the canister off of the base, it broke.

I considered trying again with the plastic Canister Footrest made by Primus, but settled on the stainless steel MSR Universal Canister Stand. It has hooks on two of the legs for seating the canister and a spring-loaded plastic hook on the third leg to hold the canister in place.

The problem I found with this design was that if the stand gets tipped upside down, the canister has a tendency to fall off the stand. Don't worry, I figured that out before I lit the stove. To solve this problem, and for added safety, I removed the plastic slider from the stand and attached an elastic cord and cord lock to hold the canister in place.

YouTube video

Video showing how to attach a canister to the stand using the elastic cord.

Another safety feature missing from other stove systems is a way to keep the pot from dumping its contents onto your stuff if you accidently knock it off the stove. To solve this, I took another cable and crimped a loop on one end and threaded it through an aluminum ferrule, creating an adjustable loop in the middle of the cable. I crimped a stopper on the other end and clipped a micro biner through the loop in the middle. I hang the cable from the same attachment point as the other cables on the system, and then clip the pot to the biner hanging from the loop in the middle. I adjust the cable until the pot is held taut, then I slide the ferrule as close to the biner as I can. This locks it in place.

YouTube video

Hanging the system.

I wanted to be able to hang a canister stove in a liquid-feed configuration for cold-weather trips. With the canister attached to the stand, it was just a matter of turning it upside down. But how to attach the stove? I have an MSR Windpro stove. I figured out a way to attach its legs to the stand's legs using a machine screw, washer, and wing nut.

I attached the machine screw, washer, and wing nut assembly to the stand as shown below:

The video below shows how to attach the Windpro to the stand:

YouTube video

Setting up a liquid feed.


  • Make Your Own

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