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New camping stove

Old 01-25-11, 07:33 AM
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New camping stove

I just bought my very first camping stove...a Coleman Multi-Fuel. https://www.coleman.com/coleman/colem...uct_id=550B725
I plan on using kerosene instead of Coleman Fuel because it seems to be more efficient. I have absolutely no experience with this kind of thing and was wondering if anyone has any experience using this kind of stove, using kerosene in it, or any advice about this....

I do have a couple questions.....
  1. Is the generator pre-heating paste always necessary when using kerosene?
  2. The instructions say to use 'white kerosene'. Is there a reason I shouldn't use a lower quality?

I'm pretty stuck on kerosene, but if there are reasons to not use it, I'm willing to hear them. (I'm ok with the smell)

I'm also open to general advice about using a camping stove.....as I said, I have absolutely no experience.

BTW, I do cook at home, and on a gas stove, if that counts for anything.....
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Old 01-25-11, 08:05 AM
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just guessing that it will flame up more with sooty flame until it's fully pre-heated. Those are good stoves. I had one in the garage for five years unused and filled with white gas, pulled it out for a tailgate party and it fired up with a dirty and yellow flame then settled down to a nice blue simmer for a pot of chili.
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Old 01-25-11, 08:39 AM
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Kerosene used to be the fuel of choice for mountaineering expeditions, partly because a given quantity of the stuff contained more energy.

AIUI, kerosene doesn't ignite as easily as white gas, so yes, the pre-heating paste or alcohol or something will be necessary to get the stove going.

You might find white gas easier to obtain of than kerosene, so it might be worth your while to be a little more flexible in your fuel choice.

Kerosene does not evaporate as quickly as white gas and the odor of kerosene will be harder to get rid of if your fuel container leaks inside your luggage.
If you're planning on flying anywhere with your stove it will have to be absolutely clean and odor free or you will not be allowed to keep it in your baggage, checked or carry-on. It will be harder to remove the odor of kerosene from a stove than the odor of white gas.
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Old 01-25-11, 09:01 AM
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I thought kerosene would be easier to find..and cheaper...than white gas, because most gas stations would carry kerosene.

If I use alcohol to pre-heat the generator, what alcohol would I use? Would I just pour it in the trough-like thing beneath the generator?
What would my options be?
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Old 01-25-11, 09:25 AM
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I suspect that the relative availability of white gas or kerosene would vary in different parts of the country. I've never seen kerosene available in gas stations around here, but the local Wal-Mart sells Coleman fuel for around $12/gallon. If gas stations where you plan on touring carry kerosene, and if it's easy to buy the small quantities you need for a cycle tour then that would be the way to go. If you end up in an area where white gas is the easier option, switch to white gas.

I would use denatured alcohol,in the trough under the generator. Paste might be easier to deal with.
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Old 01-25-11, 09:45 AM
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We used an earlier version of this stove crossing the country. I would just go with the Coleman Fuel/MSR Super Fuel, which is what they are calling White Gas these days. Sounds like less hastle. You can find the MSR brand in 32 oz. cans.
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Old 01-25-11, 10:22 AM
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Before you come to depend on gas stations for kerosene try filling a 1 liter fuel bottle from a gas station nozzle/pump without getting it all over the outside of the bottle. Not so easy.
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Old 01-25-11, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
We used an earlier version of this stove crossing the country. I would just go with the Coleman Fuel/MSR Super Fuel, which is what they are calling White Gas these days. Sounds like less hastle. You can find the MSR brand in 32 oz. cans.
A quart of MSR Super Fuel in the local climbing shop retails for a touch more than a gallon of Coleman fuel at the local Wal-Mart. Can somebody please explain that to me?

I agree, white gas/Coleman fuel/call it what you want is probably less aggravation than kerosene. But if the OP is happy with kerosene, who are we to complain?
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Old 01-25-11, 10:39 AM
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How long will your tours be? If you need to buy fuel along the way (most likely if touring more than a week or so) ease of restocking will be one of the biggest factors.

Regular unleaded gas is available just about anywhere you go, but a hassle to dispense into your stove or fuel bottle. You can likely drain enough to top up from the hoses on the pumps of a gas station that is not open.

White gas is most often only available in gallons in the places I have seen it while on tour in the rural US. No way I want to haul a gallon of fuel.

Kerosene seems like it would be less available.

Diesel will probably work in the stove, but will smoke and soot up the pots more. It is pretty available. But a hassle to dispense like gasoline.
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Old 01-25-11, 11:06 AM
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I will likely need to restock fuel on tour.
One reason I was going with kerosene and not Coleman fuel is I am assuming kerosene would be less expensive. I have never bought either, but my parents have bought kerosene for lanterns, and it just seems like the less refined, and more used product would be cheaper.

The reason I'm not considering gasoline is because it is incredibly flammable. I know kerosene and white gas are flammable too, but gasoline is scarily explosive. Also, it smells horrible.

Isn't white gas a kind of specialty fuel - only sold at camping supply stores (and Walmart, but I avoid Walmart like the plague )

I haven't traveled much in southern and western states.....and have never traveled when I needed to buy fuel (other than gasoline). I just assumed most gas stations would have a kerosene dispenser. That is how my Dad got kerosene for lamps....from gas stations.
Maybe it is different in other parts of the country....
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Old 01-25-11, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
How long will your tours be? If you need to buy fuel along the way (most likely if touring more than a week or so) ease of restocking will be one of the biggest factors.

Regular unleaded gas is available just about anywhere you go, but a hassle to dispense into your stove or fuel bottle. You can likely drain enough to top up from the hoses on the pumps of a gas station that is not open.

White gas is most often only available in gallons in the places I have seen it while on tour in the rural US. No way I want to haul a gallon of fuel.

Kerosene seems like it would be less available.

Diesel will probably work in the stove, but will smoke and soot up the pots more. It is pretty available. But a hassle to dispense like gasoline.
HellMart sells white gas (Coleman brand) in quarts at a lot of locations
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Old 01-25-11, 12:00 PM
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I remember seeing kerosene pumps at gas stations in the northeastern US, but that was a long time ago. The pumps looked like gasoline pumps, not something you would use to fill the 1 quart (or less) container that a cycle tourist would carry.

White gas is mostly available at camping/backpacking stores or the camping section of big box stores like Wal-Mart, but I've seen it at the local supermarket around here. The trend in camping fuels seems to be toward various compressed gas cylinders, either little disposable ones that are a good size for cycle tourists or great big refillable ones for the motor home crowd. I can understand wanting to avoid Wal-Mart, and I can understand not wanting to carry a gallon of fuel around, but a gallon can of white gas/Coleman fuel from Wal-Mart (or REI, or any other big store) will last you a long, long time and you won't have to worry about where to find fuel for a while. If you're touring with a group, you could buy a gallon can of Coleman fuel and four 1-quart or 1-liter fuel bottles, and divide the fuel bottles among the group. If you're doing repeated tours from your home, buy a gallon can of Coleman fuel (or kerosene) and a quart or liter fuel bottle, stash the gallon can at home, and bring the fuel bottle with your stove. Depending on how carefully you cook, a quart fuel bottle and a full fuel tank on your stove could keep you supplied for a week or two, maybe longer. The fuel tank on your stove looks big enough for you to cook meals for 2-3 days if you're careful. I think you can still buy kerosene in hardware stores, that's another source.
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Old 01-25-11, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by markf
A quart of MSR Super Fuel in the local climbing shop retails for a touch more than a gallon of Coleman fuel at the local Wal-Mart. Can somebody please explain that to me?

I agree, white gas/Coleman fuel/call it what you want is probably less aggravation than kerosene. But if the OP is happy with kerosene, who are we to complain?
The price difference is most likely attributable primarily to marketing. I am sure many people associate MSR with higher quality products and are willing to pay more. Indeed, read MSR's claims:

MSR® SuperFuel is the highest-performance white gas on the market, more refined and cleaner-burning than any comparable fuel and unmatched for reducing clogs and maintenance.
  • Superior Performance: Designed to improve stove performance, with fewer cleanings and less maintenance.
  • Clean-Burning: Tested to be 100% pure.
  • Reduced Clogging: No dyes or additives to solidify and cause clogs.
Made in USA


OP: I have found 32 oz. cans of Super Fuel in bike shops, outdoor stores and general sporting goods stores. There is a similar product called "Camp Fuel" that I have gotten in 32 oz. cans. I had one store offer to open a lgallon of Coleman Fuel for me and fill up my bottle for a charge, although I think this offer was extended, at least in part, because I was in an area popular with cycle tourists and backpackers. Only once have I felt concerned enough about my fuel supply to buy a gallon of Coleman Fuel. I filled up my bottle and left the rest at a campground for others.

And I think the points about availability (if you see kerosene in my neck of the woods it's only during winter) and having to fill up your stove and/or a fuel bottle using a gas station pump is a good one. The similar Coleman stoves we used were hard enough to fill from a fuel bottle using a funnel. There was frequent spillage in part because the tank opening is on an angle.


No complaints. Just my two cents.
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Old 01-25-11, 01:15 PM
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My stoves choice has been MSR and those whisperlight international, over the white gas WL, as I can run unleaded auto petrol

white gas , yes comes in Gallons , not metered out by the penny worth, so my 22oz fuel bottle
cost a buck, half Guilder , a few P, at most to fill .

Not much kerosene lamp use, for a long time, so distribution has become containerized, tins .
in hardware stores..

MSR dragonfly will also burn unleaded, and with its on-burner needle valve you can simmer
and such, so actually cook on it.

The small section of stainless cable can be removed.
so fuel tube around the preheat loop can be cleaned as can the jet.

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-25-11 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 01-25-11, 02:11 PM
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I've seen one outdoor shop that was willing to open gallon Coleman cans and sell enough to fill a fuel bottle (Pinedale, WY), and yes, that was in an area with lots of hikers/climbers/cyclists.

Dragonflys are great, simmering ability and temperature control are the wave of the future in cooking!. Mine came with a jet that lets me use kerosene (or diesel), and it will run on unleaded if I have to.
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Old 01-25-11, 02:19 PM
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I've had my current Coleman 'Peak-1' stove for 30 years and it still fires up like new with no need for any maintenance other than a drop of oil on the pump plunger every few years. Mine is white gas only so I have no experience with using kerosene. Cooking on it is pretty easy. Takes less than a minute for the generator to heat up and let the flame settle down and after that it's about the same as using a gas stove at home. It is unfortunate that the fuel is often only available in gallon containers. I carry a quart bottle plus the tank on the stove, and can go quite awhile between needing to buy fuel. It's frequently possible to spot car campers using Coleman white gas stoves or lanterns and arrange to either buy a quart from them or give them a good deal on the unused portion of a gallon that I've bought.
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Old 01-25-11, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
T
MSR® SuperFuel is the highest-performance white gas on the market, more refined and cleaner-burning than any comparable fuel and unmatched for reducing clogs and maintenance.
  • Superior Performance: Designed to improve stove performance, with fewer cleanings and less maintenance.
  • Clean-Burning: Tested to be 100% pure.
  • Reduced Clogging: No dyes or additives to solidify and cause clogs.
Made in USA
I love these kinds of claims They're as good as the "We sell only pure gasoline" signs you see all over.

Unless MSR is selling something that is all hexane (C6H6 hydrocarbon) or all heptane or any other single hydrocarbon, they can't be selling 100% pure anything...unless it's what comes out of the south end of a north bound bull White gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons that is determined by a distillation cut of petroleum. There is nothing 'pure' about it.

'Pure gasoline', by the way is a similar myth. Unless they are selling 2,2,4-trimethylpentane (isooctane) which is the very definition of an octane number of 100 and incredible expensive, they are selling a mixture of hydrocarbons that are blended for specific locations and specific climatic conditions (winter fuel is different from summer fuel).
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Old 01-25-11, 02:53 PM
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Supercat stove!
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Old 01-26-11, 07:21 AM
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The biggest reason I want to use kerosene is this:
Coleman® liquid fuel & unleaded as burns at 7,500 BTU
• Boil time is 4 min, 25 sec
• Burn time is 1 hour, 20 minutes on high, 7 hours on simmer
• Kerosene burns at 6,500 BTU
• Boil time is 4 min 36 sec
• Burn time is 2 hrs, 25 minutes on high, 9 hours on simmer

These numbers were taken from the Coleman site....kerosene seems to be more efficient than white gas.
I like the idea of buying a gallon, and dividing it up....I don't know why that hadn't crossed my mind

Does anyone have experience with kerosene? I would like to know if I can use a lower grade, or if that will have terrible consequences.

Thank you for all the advice! I really appreciate it..
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Old 01-26-11, 08:25 AM
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I think you can find one quart containers of kerosene at some hardware stores. Start with that and after you use it up try white gas. Report back.
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Old 01-26-11, 08:28 AM
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I picked up a Trangia Mini Cooking Stove -



And just use Yellow Heet fuel -



I think it's consider the redneck of stoves as it's the cheapest your going to get other then DIY.
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Old 01-26-11, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by i wish
I thought kerosene would be easier to find..and cheaper...than white gas, because most gas stations would carry kerosene.
I don't think you're going to find white gas or kerosene at many gas stations and your need to refuel will be a lot less than the number of gas stations, paint stores and sporting good stores that you'll drive by in a weeks time. Just start whatever trips you're doing with the fuel you need and see what works. You may find that the housekeeping effort of cooking meals that require a simmering stove and long cook times will involve carrying and caring for a lot of stuff while just heating up a can of soup or pint of water for oatmeal and coffee/tea might be all you really need.
In other words you may not need the large BTU capacity of a modern stove and dense fuel if your total BTU consumption isn't large. Which is what makes the little alcohol stoves attractive.
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Old 01-26-11, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
I love these kinds of claims They're as good as the "We sell only pure gasoline" signs you see all over.

Unless MSR is selling something that is all hexane (C6H6 hydrocarbon)
I certainly hope they're not selling C6H6 as stove fuel. That would be benzene - a lousy fuel and rather carcinogenic. But yes, their product is undoubtedly not 'pure' anything, but the poorly defined mix of hydrocarbons called naphtha.
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Old 01-26-11, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann
I certainly hope they're not selling C6H6 as stove fuel. That would be benzene - a lousy fuel and rather carcinogenic. But yes, their product is undoubtedly not 'pure' anything, but the poorly defined mix of hydrocarbons called naphtha.
D'oh! I should read...and engage brain... while I type

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Old 01-26-11, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
The similar Coleman stoves we used were hard enough to fill from a fuel bottle using a funnel. There was frequent spillage in part because the tank opening is on an angle.
Good point. I`ve got an older version of that stove, and it`s really been great, but I did have trouble (spilling fuel) when I filled it through a funnel. Now when I use that stove I fill it from a nalgene bottle that has a plug-type stopper/spout. The seal between the plug and the bottle dribbles a tiny bit, but much better than a funnel. I never tried with the pour ring things they make for aluminum bottles, they might work well too.

I use a cat-can alcohol stove now with HEET when I`m by myself, but still pack the Coleman when I`m with my wife.
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