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  1. #1
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    Pop / Soda can stove and fuel

    Hi everyone -

    I have a question about soda can stoves. What kind of fuel can you burn in these? I see a lot of conflicting reports.

    Is gasoline (petrol) safe, or only methylated spirits and things like grain alcohol?
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

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    Methylated spirits only. Definitely not petrol.

  3. #3
    It's true, man.
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    Denatured alcohol or gas line deicer called HEET (the variety in the yellow bottle, not the red one).
    Booze like Everclear works but its expensive and there are much better things to do with that.

    Definitely not petrol, white gas, coleman stove fuel or the like.

  4. #4
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avatarworf View Post
    Hi everyone -

    I have a question about soda can stoves. What kind of fuel can you burn in these? I see a lot of conflicting reports.

    Is gasoline (petrol) safe, or only methylated spirits and things like grain alcohol?
    use gasoline (petrol) only if you have a fully paid life insurance policy...

    :-)

    only use denatured alcohol (meths); although i believe in the Euro zone, a nasty coloring is added (purple?) - do not use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol - it soots!

    here's a wrap up of a few lightweight cooksets:

    cooksets

    and a lightweight alcohol stove:

    lightweight alcohol stove

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by avatarworf View Post
    I have a question about soda can stoves. What kind of fuel can you burn in these? I see a lot of conflicting reports.
    These things will burn in a popcan stove:

    190 proof alcohol (grain alcohol)
    HEET (gas station product)
    paint thinner (methyl hydrate)
    methylated spirits
    methyl alcohol
    wood alcohol
    methyl hydrate
    methanol
    denatured alcohol
    denatured spirits

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    Quote Originally Posted by linux_author View Post
    use gasoline (petrol) only if you have a fully paid life insurance policy...
    don't fret - the policy will still do a full payout - so long as the policy is still paid to the date of incident.

    essentially you'd only want to burn ethanol and/or methanol... but since methanol is toxic if ingested (by accident or otherwise)... ethanol "spiked" with methanol (or sometimes called "denatured") will do best. iso-something is a baaaaaad choice - though i've never wanted to see sooty flames. ethanol is the alcohol that is inside alcoholic drinks... but the methanol could kill a person. best of all... both of them burn CLEAN! you'd be saving cleaning time this way...

  8. #8
    Day trip lover mr geeker's Avatar
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    i made one of those pop can stoves once. nifty things they are. i used isoprpyl alcohol. yea, it soots, but its cheap and widly available.
    instant human: just add coffee
    trek 830 mountain track - dead

  9. #9
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by avatarworf View Post
    Hi everyone -

    I have a question about soda can stoves. What kind of fuel can you burn in these? I see a lot of conflicting reports.

    Is gasoline (petrol) safe, or only methylated spirits and things like grain alcohol?
    I've found white gas to be extremely useful, especially in cold weather (and at other times as well), for priming alcohol stoves.

    Gasoline could also be used.

    You can take a small amount of white gas, in a small container. Then make a wick. One way is to twist a small piece of paper into a short, three-inch (or so) curved strand. Then dip this in the gas, or drip some gas onto it.

    Then put it in the stove along with the (cold) alcohol.

    Light.

    Instead of being a hassle, lighting the stove is very easy and quick.

    You might want to practice a couple of times in a safe place.

    It works great. No kidding.

    ***
    [Pure white gas, though, in the stove, without any alcohol, is not a good idea *at all*. Thin aluminum won't stand up to this. (Among other problems.)]

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    Thanks to all! I'm glad to get this cleared up. I was thinking gasoline probably WASN'T safe but it's good to know for sure.
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

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    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    One of the benefits of using alcohol is that it is easily extinguished using water. Gasoline and other petroleum based fuels are not.

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    wow, I just built one of these stoves in about 10 minutes. It works beautifully. I can't believe this was so easy and cheap, now I don't have to carry a stove around with me, and one fuel can will last a long time

  13. #13
    Senior Member jjciiijs's Avatar
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    good try

    I guess I was reading your post at just the right time.
    I applaud your try / work. I myself was looking to buy a Trangia stove & cookset (27-3 HA) but found that the the US distrubutor here (taken off the Trangia web) was not importing them. Now I am stuck
    Jeff
    Square wheels need not apply

  14. #14
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjciiijs View Post
    I guess I was reading your post at just the right time.
    I applaud your try / work. I myself was looking to buy a Trangia stove & cookset (27-3 HA) but found that the the US distrubutor here (taken off the Trangia web) was not importing them. Now I am stuck
    plenty of Trangia gear here or odd bits here (i like the handled box)

  15. #15
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    No Petro.

    Denatured Alcohol is best, along with gasoline antifreeze, grain alcohols, and far lower in heat output is rubbing alcohol.

    The real danger with an alcohol stove is that in daylight, it can be very hard to see the flame. I'm built about 4 different stoves to various designs, they all work very well. I now use them much more then my MSR Whisperlight and my canister stove.
    Last edited by VT_Speed_TR; 03-26-10 at 01:08 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    I'm partial to the White Box stove - $20, and the material is much heavier-duty than a regular pop can. One downside is that you should use it with wide-bottom pots because of the width of the flame area. http://www.whiteboxstoves.com/ I use yellow-bottle HEET and it works great.

  17. #17
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    How well do pop can and cat stoves work above, say, 9,000 feet above sea level? I've been using mine for years, but never at altitude. Now I"m planning a trip to the mountains, and want to be sure I'll be eating my food hot.

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