I've not really dived into the whole Make Your Own Gear ethic. When we were younger it was my brother who was always the one taking things apart and tinkering. He's got a real talent for it. I had a go at some insulated pants last winter when I couldn't resist some XXL Mountain Hardware Compressor pants really cheap in a sale. I took out the side zips and shortened them. The results weren't pretty but they kept me warm.
I was given a Primus ExpressSpider remote canister stove to try out this winter and realised I would need a stove pad to keep the unit from sinking in the snow while I'm melting snow or cooking food. A quick flick to page 44 in the bible of backcountry winter camping, Allen & Mikes's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book, showed me that such a device didn't need to be expertly crafted. Perfect for my kind of ham fisted attempt at MYOG!
So what do you need? A bit of plywood or masonite for a stable base. Some CCF foam to insulate the stove from the freezing snow and some duct tape to keep the whole thing together. Check.
I measured out roughly how big I wanted the stove pad to be by drawing round a couple of plates with a Sharpie onto the piece of scrap masonite I found in the basement.
Out came the jigsaw and I followed my pattern as best I could.
Then I had the idea of adding three 'studs' to keep the feet of the Express Spider central so I marked out their position and broke out the drill. A rummage in the 'bits' drawer resulted in three short, countersink bolts that fitted perfectly.
Using the finished masonite plinth as a pattern I used the pen to draw out the shape on the scrap of CCF foam I had lying around.
A quick squitz of hot glue and I was ready to trim the whole thing in duct tape. This required a bit of snipping and folding around the curved sections of my pad. An additional wrap of tape around the middle ensures the foam won't be going anywhere and voila! I do however question my judgement on putting the 'rough' side up (for 'grip') rather than the more weather resistant smooth side...
It's all a bit ad hoc, by eye and bodged together but it should do the job of keeping my stove and pan from sinking in the snow. At a little over 300g it's not the lightest but in winter we sometimes have to make sacrifices in weight for practicalities. I'll make another stove pad for my Optimus Crux stove that will be smaller, lighter and square. I'm getting the feel of this MYOG malarkey. I'll be knocking up an Incredible Rulk next...