Spirit stoves, that is.
Methylated spirits are a liquid typically used as a cleaning and sterilizing agent that is commonly found in tuck shops throughout rural Zambia. Think purple rubbing alcohol. They’re also highly flammable, so they make a great fuel for small-scale cooking when you don’t care to go through the process of lighting a brazier just to make your morning coffee.
Spirits can be poured into just about any metal container and then lit on fire to generate heat, but the most efficient way to use spirits as fuel is to make a spirit stove. By repurposing old soda cans, tuna cans, or coffee cans, you can make a great little stove in about ten minutes that works perfectly for heating enough water to make coffee, oatmeal, or ramen.
A spirit stove with methylated spirits is lighter than a backpacking stove with Isopro canister at a fraction of the cost. Definitely going to take one of these with me on my next backcountry fishing trip in the States!
And because I have a bit of an addictive personality, I couldn’t stop at just making one.