I came across an Instructables on how to make a mini rocket stove, and couldn’t resist building one of my own. If I cant have my dream cob house with a full-sized rocket stove, then I can have my mini camping rocket stove made from tin cans!
A rocket stove is a fireplace designed to burn small pieces of wood, like twigs and scraps. It is insulated to redirect heat back into the fire so that it burns more efficiently than a conventional stove, often so much so that neighbours are unable to detect a wood smoke smell (apparently).
Its not just the efficient burning that makes these stoves higher on the sustainability scale though. The fact that they work well with twigs means that you can harvest small branches from trees without killing the tree, and later return to harvest the tree’s regrowth over and over. This also means less work chopping firewood!
If you are building a house with cob, it is typical to run the exhaust pipe from a stove through benches or bed platforms also made of cob which store the heat to be radiated back slowly and consistently throughout the day or night. Can you imagine how nice it would be on a cold winter’s night to curl up on a heated couch?
Anyway, building a mini rocket stove for the beach, or your emergency kit, or whatever else (your yacht?) is super easy. All you need are some tin snips and some material to insulate the chimney (for example: vermiculite, sand, pearlite), and maybe some wire clothes hangers.