A canteen cup as used by the military is very useful to prepare a meal or boil water for coffee and tea.
A very efficient cooking setup is the Swedish army ”Trangia” system. This is a cooking pot nested in a special designed windscreen. Inside this windscreen is a folding pot stand. The heat source is a alcohol burner. The cooking pot has a cover lid that can also be used as a pan on its own.
The cooking pot stands inside the windscreen. By enclosing the bottom from the pot by the windscreen the heat from the flames is transferred more efficiently into the pot. Also the flames stay inside the windshield instead of going everywhere. It also makes sure that rain and wind have almost no effect on the burner. This windscreen stays around the pot when carried. It acts as a storage container. Big advantage is that the black soot that will be formed on the pot cannot easily be transferred to other equipment and your hands. Alcohol burns relatively clean compared to petrol based liquids. The smell is less and the formation of black soot is also lesser. Alcohol is widely available and you can bring it in a small bottle for a day hike or a big bottle for a multiple days. With gas burners you need to bring a whole canister. If running out of Alcohol you can also burn some wood twigs in this stove.
A video from Dutch Bushcraft on YouTube demonstrated that the Dutch Army canteen cup can hang on its handles on the side of another canteen cup. And that it is a stable fit.
These two things combined leaded to a ”home made” stainless steel Swedish Army cooking set. But then smaller and lighter.
This setup is made from the following components:
- Mil-Tec Alcohol burner
- (Replica) US Army canteen cup
- Dutch Army canteen cup
- Aftermarket US Army canteen-cup lid
Alcohol stoves are sold with a variety of diameters and heights. The one made by Mil-Tec happens to fit exactly (with a little force) inside a (Replica) US Army canteen-cup. The alcohol burner has the same design as the ones that the Swedish army uses but then smaller and much lighter. Since the US Army canteen-cup is slightly bigger than the canteen-cup from the Dutch Army they fit in each other. The shape of both cups is almost identical. The after market cover lid fits exactly on the (Replica) US Arm canteen cup. The canteen cup lid is al little too wide for the Dutch Army canteen cup. Therefore it will rest loosely on top of the Dutch Army canteen cup. The only modification that needs to be done is drilling a few small holes in the sides of the US Army canteen cup. This allows for air intake. Without these holes the alcohol burner can not burn.
Note 1) When boiling water it is important to keep the lid loosely on the cup. Otherwise pressure might be build up the lid can be blown of !
Note 2) Its very likely that the after market canteen cup lids will only fit on the imitation canteen cup made by the same company. Trying to fit it on a original US GI Canteen cup might be a struggle. Demonstration of the Rothco canteen cup lid.
Note 3) Ethanol is normal alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. Methanol however is highly toxic. This is the stuff that makes people blind after drinking it. So be aware of spirits with a high Methanol percentage.
Another approach of a canteen cup stove made out of another canteen cup is a canteen cup with holes in the bottom and turned upside down.
Several armies including the US Army (NSN#8465-01-250-3632) issued canteen cup stands. These were intended to use with solid fuel tablets like Hexamine. Using a alcohol burner in combination withe these canteen cup stands can be difficult. This is because the canteen cup fits tight inside the stand. Therefore it is difficult for hot air to leave the stand and alow for fresh air (oxygen) intake.