What is a Buddy Burner?

A Buddy Burner is an emergency source of heat which can be used by anyone who has been prepared enough to make a supply of them. They are very easy to use and are helpful to have particularly if you are a Guide, Scout, camping or just stuck in a difficult situation. Some charities also make them to give to homeless people in the winter.

What You Need to Make a Buddy Burner

You need:

How to Make a Buddy Burner

  • Cut a strip of corrugated card the same depth as your food tin.
  • Lay the wick down the short end of the card.
  • Roll the strip card tightly around the wick until it fills an empty food tin.
  • Melt the wax over hot water.
  • Pour the melted wax into the tin over the cardboard until the tin is full.
  • Leave the wax to set.

How to Use a Buddy Burner

Place the buddy burner onto a solid surface such as a concrete block and light the wick. This flame may be up to 8 inches high and should spread across the width of the tin giving a source of heat which can be used for cooking as well as keeping warm. To cook on the buddy burner, smaller tins such as tuna cans or foil baking cases can be used as minature baking tins over the flame with handles fashioned out of wire which can be held using a oven glove made from a scrap of material which is not synthetic. A pair of pliers can also be used as an improvised pan handle. This improvised saucepan can be held over the buddy burner until the contents are cooked, or it can be rested on top of metal skewers which can be placed onto the burner itself. This has to be watched continuously to avoid accidents.

An alternative way to use a buddy burner is to cover the wax filled container with a larger tin which has small V shaped notches cut out from its rim. On top of this can be placed a smaller tins, such as a tuna tin which when filled with water can be used to cook ramen noodles adequately.

How to Refill a Buddy Burner

If the Buddy Burner is to be used for a length of time, additional wax chips can be added to the tin can to keep the flame burning.

The Guide Handbook 1973