It was a cold morning in the Cascades, and I’d underestimated the amount of fuel we’d need to melt snow for drinks and meals on our five-day trip. As I stared at the boiling water on the stove, realizing we were about to eat
our last hot meal for the next day and a half, the pot toppled. The snow under one leg had melted.
Returning home hungry and mad, I set to work designing a stove platform that would provide a stable base on snow, loose rock, and other unsteady surfaces. With a few household scraps and 20 minutes of labor, I created a lightweight platform that fits most backpacking stoves. Here’s how it’s done.
Step 1: Find a rust-free lid from an old paint or coffee can, roughly 8 to 10 inches in diameter. Using pliers, fold the lid into a triangle (for three-legged stoves) or a square (for four-legged stoves). Note: If minimizing bulk isn’t important to you, skip this step and keep the larger, round platform.
Step 2: Place your stove on the platform, and mark where the legs rest. Drill two small holes at each spot to create attachment points. To reduce the overall weight, drill additional holes into the middle of the platform.
Step 3: Apply a coat of rust-inhibiting paint (e.g. Rustoleum) and allow your platform to dry overnight. Wrap duct tape around the sharp edges of the platform to protect your fingers and your pack.
Step 4: Thread hose clamps or heavy-duty twist ties through the leg holes; use these in camp to secure the stove legs to the platform.
- Coffee or paint can lid
- Duct tape
- Rust-inhibiting paint
- Plastic hose clamps or twist ties
- Drill or metal auger