As we move into the winter months, our favorite outdoor activities can get quite cold. There are a bevy of different camp stoves on the market for keeping you warm, but the downside is many are quite expensive, and sometimes they are not quite practical for the task at hand. Leave it up to the ingenuity of the internet to find a simple and cheap solution to staying warm outdoors. We unearthed a video from WayPoint Survival that shows a simple camping hack–how to build a simple “hobo heater” from half a cinderblock, lantern wicks, and a can of Crisco.
Combine these items and a small grate from an old gas stove, and you’ve got a handy little heater that will keep you warm for hours. The video below shows just how easy it is. Simply open the can of Crisco and insert the lantern wick. Place the can in the cinder block and light it. Place the grate on the top, and there you go–instant heat source.
As a safety tip, you will want to avoid using something like this in an enclosed space. Just like any fuel-burning heater, this could create a buildup of carbon dioxide in a hunting blind, tent, or ice fishing shelter. But if you’re out in the open, this should work well and last for hours. Some people in the comments noted that a better solution to the lantern wick might be shoving a candle down into the Crisco, helping this unusual fuel source last a little longer.
It is also probably a good idea to put the Crisco can into a smaller metal can if you can find one. Today’s Crisco cans are cardboard, and there is a small chance of it melting–which is another reason we only recommend doing this outside. We also don’t recommend leaving it unattended for long periods. Still, as far as DIY heating solutions go, this one is quite clever, and worth keeping in the back of your mind for emergency situations. You just never know when this information may come in handy!
READ MORE: THE 8 BEST PROPANE CAMPING STOVES