Traditionally I’ve always used tuna cans, but at a recent camp we tried small individual serving cat food cans. The Guider who collected them feeds her cat the food twice a day so the cans were easy for her to collect and used less wax then tuna cans. It is easier to make buddy burners on a different day then when you want to use them.
- Small flat cans
- corrugated cardboard
- a wick or birthday candle
- paraffin wax or old candles to melt down
- cut the cardboard so it is in long strips the same width as the height of the cans.
- Tightly wind the cardboard around a wick or birthday candle until it will fill the can tightly. It may help to play with the cardboard some so it will be flexible enough to roll. You want to fill most of the can with cardboard otherwise it will take A LOT of paraffin to finish the burners.
- Melt the wax in a double boiler. It is often wise to use a can as the inside boiler otherwise clean up can be tricky.
- Fill the cans to the top with wax and allow to cool thoroughly.
Buddy burners can be used under a tin can stove or in a park bbq for some quick heat. I recommend bringing an old flat pot lid or large can top to snuff out the burners when you are done. Also pack some oven mitts. Do not under estimate how hot the cans can get. Be sure they are completely cool again before packing them away on a hike.