You need a stable platform to put your pots on and to lift them above the flames of your camp stove. Too low and you risk snuffing out your fire, and if the pot stand is too small, your cooking set up becomes unstable (not a good thing when dealing with hot liquids). In short, you may well need a pot stand.
You can buy them if you find the idea of making one too much hard work. It’s also worth factoring in the cost of tools. One which you can buy off the shelf (which can also be used as a mini fire box to burn twigs) is the Bushbox Outdoor Pocket Stove. This packs flat and is ideal to hold Trangia or home made drink can burners.
If you want to make your kit, or simply wish to save some money, why not make your own stove and pot stand. You’ll find Youtube videos on how to make your own stove here… we promise you’ll never view cans and tins in the same light.
For pot stands, check out the videos below. Test them at home on something concrete (not the decking or the kitchen table!) before you give them a try at your camp site. If you’re trying them out with an alcohol based burner/stove, use only a small amount of flammable liquid until you’re sure the pot stand won’t warp under heat. Think safety first! Also, please remember these stoves and holders will be hot during and after use. Let them cool before handling and never pick up a burning stove with liquid fuel inside.
Design Tip: You want your pot to sit at least an inch above your cooking flame (not much more, and not less). With wood burning stoves, you may want to give enough clearance so you can feed small twigs into the fire without lifting the pan.
Compact Cross Stand
Trangia stoves are compact alcohol burning stoves very similar to drink can stoves (yes you can make these yourself too!). Methylated spirit works well as a fuel. For these stoves, a pot stand really is essential (and we’d also recommend a wind shield for those inevitable British summer days!). In the video below, you’re shown how to make a simple but effective pot stand which will take up no room at all in your pack.
Inexpensive and again, packs incredibly small. Want a more substantial stand? Use thicker wire! In the video they’re using 2mm stainless steel wire. Struggling to find it online? Try welding wire. Coat hanger wire works too (see the video after).
Coat Hanger Stand
Nut and Bolt Stand
Adapt from the following design. Use a larger tin lid. Make the pot holder as shown, but large enough to sit a drink can burner in between the bolts. You then get a more fuel efficient fire (using the drink can design) and a wider pot stand giving you a more stable pot holder.
Wire Stand with Wind Proof Screen