Alcohol stoves, why do backpackers love these things? There are several benefits: they’re super light weight (1 ounce or less), they’re inexpensive, efficiency of the fuel and readily available fuel.
If you’ve ever considered making anything to use in the outdoors, this is it! Save your next Red Bull or Coke can and make a stove yourself! They’re super easy to make. Here are some instructions on how to make an alcohol stove from The Soda Can Stove.
If making a stove is not your thing then $16 + shipping will get you a Fancee Feest Alcohol Stove. It’s an alcohol stove made from a cat food can. Gotta cat? Make it yourself! The Fancee Feest stove only weights .85 oz (24 grams).
If you are a “canister stove” person give the Lixada Titanium Pocket Stove (Amazon link) a look. It’s gotten LOTS of great reviews and weighs in at a meager 1 oz!
“What about the smell of the fuel?” There is none. Really!
Which fuel should I use? There are a couple of choices. HEET (auto gas line antifreeze in the yellow bottle) and denatured alcohol. Both are readily available and pretty inexpensive.
HEET: HEET Fuel Line Antifreeze, in the yellow bottle, which is basically methanol. You can find this stuff just about anywhere (Walmart, auto parts stores, Amazon) and it’s super cheap at ~$2.00 for a 12 ounce bottle. One 12 ounce bottle will last you about 7 days if you’re boiling 2 cups of water for your breakfast meal and 2 more cups for your dinner meal.
NOTE: Make sure that it’s the yellow bottle! The red bottle of HEET contains isopropyl alcohol which has a very sooty burn.
Denatured Alcohol: This stuff burns more efficiently than HEET. This is because it’s ethanol. REI sells it as does Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowes and a few other places. Cost for 32 ounces is ~$8.
To keep in line with many, lets compare stove and pot weights (with no consumables). What about fuel? Whether you’re using a canister stove or alcohol stove the weight of fuel is ~8 to 12 ounces. A benefit of using alcohol is that your load gets lighter with each use, more so than when using a canister fuel.
Swap out your pot for something super light and you can shave 3/4 of a pound off your gear.
|Item||Fancee Feest Alcohol Stove|
w/ TOAKS 550 ml Pot
w/ GSI Minimalist Pot
|JetBoil (original model)|
|Stove||0.85 oz||3.2 oz||15 oz|
|Pot||2.6 oz||6.3 oz||0 oz|
|Total Wt||3.45 oz||9.5 oz||15 oz|
I’ll see you on the mountain!