Backpacking recipe – Chicken Quinoa. 

I tried a backpacking recipe on a soda can alchohol stove On my Altoid tin stove tonight.  I rather liked it,  so I am putting it here so I can find it again if I remember to look here. 

Chicken Quinoa

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp dried chives
  • 1 packet of True Lemon
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 3-once foil packet of chicken

I used Lemon Essential oil because that is what I carry. I also used a tin can of chicken,  water and all, so it was too wet,  so I added some gelatin to thicken it a bit. Also,  parsley instead of chives.  It would have been better with the chives. 
Recipe is from http://www.wildbackpacker.com/backpacking-food/recipes/backpacking-dinner-recipes/ with more like it. 

I built an Altoids tin multi-fuel backpacking stove

I spent an hour or two on Youtube the other night, coming up with ideas for this. So, none of the ideas are original to me, but I didn't see a multi-fuel setup or a capillary action alcohol stove out of a Altoids tin. 

97 grams as it currently sits. It will gain a little bit of weight as I add a small fero rod and jigsaw blade, wind screen and protective wrap. The tin will be the handle for the small saw. I am also going to add a leather wrap around the tin. The wrap is to contain the parts and also be used for a base for keeping tinder dry when making a campfire. The leather thong will be long enough for a bow-drill.

The capillary stove is pretty cool. The fuel wicks up inside the metal wick by capillary action. The metal gets hot, vaporizes the fuel, and it burns. The X shape of the wick is to increase the amount of flame area while providing good air flow to the flame. The X is a slice of a soda can, folded down to the shape.
Currently, I have a problem with boiling of the fuel before it can vaporize, so the stove will spit little fire balls nearly a foot away! It needs work yet.

In album 2015-02-11

Capillary action alcohol stove burning. The fluid wicks up between the thin gap in the soda can wick. The hot metal vaporizes the alcohol, which then burns well. This will burn like this for 5 minutes on 6ml of denatured alcohol and then burn out in a matter of seconds.

All packed up. Everything fits into a regular Altoids tin.

This is in liquid fuel mode. The burner sits inside the tin which has the bolt stand offs to hold the pot. The mesh grate isn’t used in this form.

Wood burning mode. Small sticks can be placed between the pot stand posts. The grate allows air to get under the fire for better burning.

The pot stand is sized to work with metal water bottles.

1 gallon paint can Pocket Rocket Heater

I needed to make something today… so I decided to make a “pocket rocket heater”. These are a small sized high air flow wood stove that sounds like a rocket as they suck so much air.

I decided to make mine “right” so I used an old, dried up paint can that was in the basement when I bought the house and some speghetti sauce cans. Ok, the “doing it right” ment I went out and bought vent pipe. I got a double walled gas water heater pipe, a 3″ to 4″ reducer, a variable elbow and a length of 4″ pipe. Dang is that stuff spendy! $40! Well, a bag of perlite is in there too.

I initially wanted to make a downdraft gravity fed unit, but that’s going to be really challenging to pull off in a paint can. So I made a simpler side feed unit.

Tin snips to cut out a whole in the side of a paint can.
Tin snips to cut out a whole in the side of a paint can.
A big hole for a speghetti sauce can for the wood inlet part.
A big hole for a speghetti sauce can for the wood inlet part.
The inside of the Pocket Rocket
The inside of the Pocket Rocket
Two cans intersect, so I cut a few tabs so they interface well
Two cans intersect, so I cut a few tabs so they interface well
This bit of can gets marked, cut and bent as well
This bit of can gets marked, cut and bent as well
Looking down, you can see that the 2 cans interface cleanly.
Looking down, you can see that the 2 cans interface cleanly.

Its not done, but I decided to fire it anyhow, if only using cleaning out the paint as my excuse. It needs a fire shelf so air can flow under the wood and then up through the fire. It also needs the fire area enclosed so I can insulate the can with the perlite.

It burns even when missing the fire shelf and the burn chamber not being enclosed inside the can.
It burns even when missing the fire shelf and the burn chamber not being enclosed inside the can.
The safest place to test the Pocket Rocket heater is on my grill.
The safest place to test the Pocket Rocket heater is on my grill.
It's tedious to keep feeding the wood. It needs the fire shelf to help it burn better too.
It's tedious to keep feeding the wood. It needs the fire shelf to help it burn better too.

I guess if you can insulate the burn chamber, these things can burn so hot that they burn clean. Just carbon dioxide and water. This is my goal. If I melt the stove pipe, its all in the name of science. Maybe next time I will get the right kind of pipe.

Hopefully tomorrow I can take it apart, see where it got hot, etc. and then finish the Pocket Rocket Heater. I want to add 1 more can to complete the burn chamber, and then pack perlite around it inside the can. I also want to set it up inside the garage so I can heat the garage. I will run it out one of my windows. Stove pipe out the upper part, flexable dryer vent for an air intake coming in the lower part.

I need one of those temperature guns so I can see what the temp gradient is on the stove pipe. I want to run enough length inside the garage that I actually can heat the garage..

Winter’s coming

It’s been crazy, since we bought the house. I can’t believe winter’s almost here already!

So much to do, so little time to do it. Especially considering I was sick and knocked on my back for about the last month. That was miserable. I am finally able to do stuff, but I still wear out too quickly.

The ‘big project’ for the last month has been insulating my new attic. When the place was built over 40 years ago, it was insulated, but remodeling, age, and apparently some kids running around have re-arranged and settled the insulation down pretty bad. So I’ve had 76 bags of insulation sitting in the garage for the last month waiting on me to get it into the attic. It’s amazing all the little things that need to be done before you can blow in the insulation!

  1. Build a box around the attic access hatch so the insulation can be full depth and not fall into the room when you access the attic
  2. Close up open electrical boxes because people did a lousy job when they did the electrical
  3. Run a duct from the bathroom fan to somewhere… I don’t know where yet, but I am not allowing it to blow against my rafter anymore
  4. Cover any recessed lighting so the insulation doesn’t contact the light fixture. I am just going to use a largish cardboard box.
  5. Wrap fiberglass insulation around the stove pipe for the furnace so the cellulose bown in insulation doesn’t contact the pipe and start a fire
  6. I am also going to staple string under the roof on the rafters that follows all the electrical runs so if I ever do need to fix something, I don’t have to rut around in my insulation like a pig after truffles.

I have managed to get a few things done around the place. We changed up the wonderful kitchen a bit. There was an island that they used for the kitchen table. They had also had the fridge about as far away from the stove as you can get it. We moved the fridge, moved the island and picked it up a tad taller. There’s more room for a table now. We also have space for a pantry too!
The Kitchen

We finally got Internet at home. Hence, this blog post! A good friend of mine also gave me a ‘new’ computer. It’s 8 years old, but better than what I had. I set it up in the library for now. My dad had made his dad a Cherry Desk way back when he was in high school. It’s a beautiful piece of furniture. Not exactly designed for a computer setup, but it’s big enough that I can manage.
The desk my dad made when he was in high school.

I have a few photos up of the new house. http://picasaweb.google.com/creuzerm/NewHouseI’ve the materials to start a few other projects, but not to finish the one’s I’ve already started. But I won’t start more until I’ve finished some important ones like the insulation. The garage is going to be interesting this winter, as there is no heat in it. I just brought home some materials to address that, but I need to make some solar heat panels and duct them in. I’ve the expensive bits for free (otherwise I wouldn’t have considered doing it this way) but the cheap bits I am lacking will be expensive enough.

So much to do! I had best not be sitting here wiggling my fingers instead of working on some of it.
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