Sunday, March 29, 2009

DIY Starlyte

The Starlyte (designed by Zelph) is my favorite alcohol stove. It is easy to make so long as you can get the right containers. It's one of the safest alcohol stoves around (nearly spill proof). It works in the cold where pressurized alcohol stoves fail. And most of all, it is a K.I.S.S. stove (Keep It Simple Stupid). Just add fuel and fire it up. There is no priming, no "bloom" time, no hassle. In decent conditions you should be able to boil 2 cups of water in 6min. with under 1 oz of fuel.

If you'd like to make your own, I can email you some pretty thorough build instructions (leave me a note in the comments with your email address). I'll just mention briefly what you need to build your own.
1. Aluminum Wedding Favor Tin (Target had them on clearance recently)
2. Fiberglass Insulation (Home Depot, Lowes, any Lumberyard)
3. Fiberglass Cloth (Walmart in the Auto supply section, or most any autobody or marine shop)
4. Aluminum Window Screen (Same place you find the Insulation)
5. Hardware Cloth (for the pot stand, same as insulation and screen)

Top view. Inside the tin are layered, from bottom to top:
Fiberglass Insulation, Fiberglass Cloth, Window Screen

Side view.

You can experiment with different sizes. I bought the aluminum containers here. The largest is a small catfood can and it will hold enough fuel to boil a gallon of water - good for group camping.


  1. Where can I buy the Starlyte stove? Since I'm also in the stove building business I like to support fellow builders of camping equipment when ever possible.


  2. Zelph (Dan) over at sells them. Here is a direct link to the post where you can buy one:

    He's a pretty dedicated stovie himself, and always coming up with new ideas.

  3. Hi Scott, I would be interested in seeing your detailed instructions. Great website by the way.


    Casey.hunter at

  4. Thanks. Instructions sent, sorry they're so old and a bit outdated with the links.

  5. kerflop AT gmail DOT com... I would love a set of instructions...

    Thanks, just found the blog and your business. Might be upgrading my tarp in the next few months. I love some of your winter designs.

  6. Hello: Would love plans for building the stove. Email or via Thanks, Bob

  7. Great looking KISS stove! Would love to have plans and try to build a couple of different sizes.

  8. This looks awesome! I would absolutely love to have a try at making one. I could use it as soon as this weekend if it's not too complicated, so please send me your instructions at

    Thanks very much! I've just discovered your blog and it is great!


    Patrick Vinson

  9. where can I get "starlyte" fiberglass

  10. Hi there,

    I just found the blog. I already have everything except fiberglass cloth to build a Starlyte stove.
    I would appreciate if you can send me your build instructions at

    Thanks very much.
    Your blog is great.
    Keep on the good work.

    Sylvain Pothier
    Montreal, QC

  11. Would very much like your build instructions. I'm looking to build a stove that can do real cooking for 4-6 people and I noticed mention of using a cat food can to boil a gallon of water. Thanks! David McKenna,

  12. Hey there,
    I recently have been making some supercat stoves and have been having trouble with spillage - this seems like the perfect solution! Think you could email me the instructions?

  13. Hi,
    We are getting to the rainy season here and I would really appreciate a set of instruction on building your stove! Please email them to me at

    All the best,
    Jay in Oregon

  14. I do more tinkering than hiking over the winter months. Id like to build a lighter better stove this year. Your instructions would be a huge help.

  15. Hi scott, I'd love to see your instructions on the starlyte stove. Best regards, david
    david DOT franzen AT gmx DOT net

  16. If you still check and send out instructions I'd like a copy.

    Nismofun at yahoo.

  17. Hi, could you send me the instructions? thanks
    ronkos AT yahoo DOT com

  18. Interesting. I would like to give building my own a crack...

    info AT prickeared DOT com.

  19. Hey guys! Just stumbled upon your blog and it seems great! Could you send me the info for the DIY Starlyte? I'm curious to give it a try. My email is Cheers

  20. I'd be very interested in seeing your instructions! If you could, please send to bpgumball (at) aol dot com. Thanks!