The WRT has moved. If you're looking for info, entries or anything else bikepacking related try Bear Bones Bikepacking, the Bear Bones blog or the Bear Bones forum - ta.

Yea, yea, yea, but what is it?

The WRT is a 3 day and perhaps more importantly 2 night ride through and around mid Wales. You'll be expected to be self sufficient, carrying everything you need and sleeping out in or under whatever you think best. It's not elitist, entry is open to anyone who wants to try it. All the money raised by the WRT goes to the Wales Air Ambulance charity ... an organisation I hope you'll never need.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pop can stove ... part 1.

If you've decided to enter the slightly dark world of M.Y.O.G, then a pop can stove is a pretty good place to start. Do it right and it should last years (unless you stand on it), there's no moving parts to break, no jets to clog and nothing to wear out. We'll do this in a Blue Peter two part style. In part one we'll prepare our cans and in part two we'll assemble our collection of scrap aluminium in to a meths burning work of art.

The first thing you'll need is two cans, doesn't really matter what they are as long as they're the same, obviously something 'diet' will produce a lighter stove though. You'll need a sharp blade and a block of wood, book or anything else about 2" high that falls to hand ... when I say about, I do mean about ... we'll be making this with absolute minimum precision.

Start with this

The first job is to cut the bottoms off the cans. We need as 'clean' as cut as possible. If you go in there hacking and chopping then our cans won't become the butterfly we were hoping for and will remain the scruffy, hairy caterpillar for all time. This is where your blade and lump of whatever comes in. Rest the blade on your 2" high platform and LIGHTLY press the can against it and start to turn the can, keep turning (you should be able to hear the blade scratching the can) and keep turning. After what feels like far too long, your can should have a very pronounced scored line around the it.

Cut like this

Now, with the tip of your blade make a small incision on this score line. Using your thumb nail gently start to press down along the score line starting from the incision. You should find that the can splits very easily and you end up with the 'clean' cut we mentioned earlier. If the can tears or splits below the score line while your getting it apart ... put it in the bin, it's scrap. Start again with a new can and spend a little more time scoring, the deeper the scored line the easier the can will split.

I'm afraid you now need to do the same thing with your second can. This time however, either raise or lower your blade by a few mm (put a magazine under it?) ... the can bottoms want to be slightly different heights. If everything has gone to plan you should now have two can bottoms and two can tops. Put the bottoms to one side and find some scissors. Cut a line bottom to top on one of your can tops, then cut the whole top of the can off (the ring pull part). This should leave us with a split cylinder and our two can bottoms. Everything left can go in the recycling bin, we have what we need.

End up with this

We'll turn it in to a working stove next time, so you'll need, your blade, a pen, a drawing pin and a ruler ... you'll also require a FULL can, the same size as you've already used.


  1. A knife cutting up drink cans to build a meths burner, and next time I'll need a drawing pin!! No mention of sharp edges?? I need a Health & Safety review of this post ASAP!! ;o)

  2. If you're struggling or have concerns about your safety, then please get a responsible adult to help with the tricky bits ;o)