Creativity Gear

Build a Hobo

I explain how to make a hobo stove… It is super easy and while you are making one, why not making an alcohol stove as well? I did both at the same time, just to be on the sure side.

How to make a hobo stove

When stoves break down, often exactly when you really need them, it has you think: ‘This is not the time for you to break down’. 



When you can not make a fire because the area is highly flammable, such as dry forests or earth covered in dry grass or bone-dry leaves.

When you can not make fires because it rains, or the wood is wet, or you are in a place where you do not wish to make a fire, such as a hotel.


Then what?

Again, my stove stopped working, due to my own account as I did not clean the spindle once. I was in the assumption never to touch the spindle and so it has clogged to such an amount it doesn’t work. Just when I was about to leave the hotel premises. I needed something to replace.





The alcohol and hobo stove came to mind. The former I used before so this was easy to achieve. Now, the time had arrived to create a decent hobo stove!

Here we go. You need: a can, a can opener, an iron cutter or grinding machine and rough sandpaper.




Hobo Stove

  1. Find a can big enough to make a fire inside of it

  2. Take off the top

  3. Cut a big opening, spacious enough to be able to place twigs through

  4. Drill or cut openings smaller at the top and bottom for air circulation

  5. Smooth the edges of the holes with sand paper

A hobo stove needs small twigs and needs to be fed regularly.

Another possibility for a stove made out of a can is an alcohol stove. 


Alcohol Stove

  1. Find a can such as a condensed milk tin

  2. Take off the top

  3. Fill it with cotton-pads

  4. Pour alcohol (95% percentage) into it and its ready to burn

An alcohol stove doesn’t reach a very high temperature so it takes slightly longer and won’t be forceful enough to make crispy breads, though it is able to make delicious soft naan kind of breads.




Here is the link to an update on Optimus Nova stove. And below a video how a hobo stove works.

By Cindy

Years of traveling brought me many different insights, philosophies and countries I needed to be (over 90 in total). I lived in Pakistan, went over 15 times to India and when I stopped cycling the world, that was after 50.000 kilometer through 45 countries, I met Geo. Together we now try to be more self-sustainable, grow our own food and live off-grid. I now juggle with the logistics of being an old-fashioned housewife, cook and creative artist loving the outdoors. The pouches I create are for sale on

12 replies on “Build a Hobo”

Every day your on the road you give other people hope. …By watching you tour let’s them know maybe they could tour on a bicycle also…Blessings to you Friar Rodney. ..


Hi Harry, thank you for the reaction and compliment. I don’t like my own voice as hardly anyone likes it’s own voice but I do like the hobo stove. And perhaps more videos will appear although I’m more of an old fashioned photo person. Have a good day! Greetings Cindy

Liked by 1 person

That was the perfect ending to the video when the pot boiled over 🙂 My camp stove is still working great as always but I’d love to make one of these just for the fun of it. Thanks for the inspiration!

Liked by 1 person


It nearly always boils over as the regulation is more difficult and I always multitasking.

I think you should make a hobo stove indeed, as it gives so much more outdoor feeling, bushcraft fun and a more essential feel.

Plus, it’s so easy to create. Have fun!

Greetings Cindy


Don't just stop here, I appreciate your thoughts too : )

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