camp stove fuel type

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camp stove fuel type

Postby tk » Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:17 am

I'm thinking of buying a camp stove and am pondering the question of propane vs. white gas AKA Coleman fuel. My prejudice is towards the white gas just because I'm familiar with it from Scouting days and because I don't like the hassle of replacing propane bottle in mid-cook. Any thoughts?

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Postby asianflava » Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:32 am

White gas works well, it's been used for decades. I don't like it because I don't like transporting liquids (in general), especially flammable liquids. The potential for spillage is just too great. When it spills it can be a big hassle.

There are also butane stoves. I've never used one but I've heard that they are very nice.
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Postby Steve_Cox » Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:53 am

Hmmm..... :thinking:

Changing propane bottles is too much of a hassle? YOU sound like a guy that needs an electric hot plate :lol:
I use a 20# propane bottle and so far have only used about 1/2 of it in over a year.
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Postby Miriam C. » Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:21 am

I used my single burner butane for a week this winter and it worked great. Heat better than my electric stove. Only used one small bottle of butane. I am thinking propane would be better because it is easier to find and comes in bigger bottles.

:thumbdown: ditto on the white gas. There are better choices.
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Postby apratt » Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:38 am

I have used both. The white gas I would have to fill my stove up every other day. My propane stove I have a 5# tank, I might be lucky if I have to have it filled more than twice a year. I think propane is easier!!
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Postby Dale M. » Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:07 pm

Propane is simpler and cleaner (in many ways).... There are #4.5, #11, #14.5 and #20 (BBQ size) tanks available.... Have camped for a bout 5 weeks on a #11 cylinder using it to heat water for washing and cook everything on a 2 burner stove....

See this thread for getting connected up to appliances...

http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=15233

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Postby madjack » Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:30 pm

..a one # propane cylinder will last anywhere for 2.5 to 5 hours, depending on the BTUs of the stove and how high you run it...to me, dealing with them is a whole lot easier than dealing with gasoline or as Dale stated, there are many different sizes of propane tanks that will allow you to cook the whole year before changing them out...
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Postby halfdome, Danny » Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:42 pm

Hey... you could always take some of these on your trips and you won't have the hassle of changing any fuel :lol: Danny
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Postby caseydog » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:04 pm

I used to do camp cooking classes at REI, and here was the basic pros/cons stuff I mentioned.

White Gas: Good heat, and worked at wide range of temperatures and elevations. But, liquid fuel is not as safe to handle -- gases disperse imediately, while liquid fuel saturates and evaporates slowly. Some white gas stoves can also burn unleaded gasoline, which is available everywhere.

Propane: Not as hot as white gas stoves, but safer. It does not have the weather and altitude range of white gas, but it is pretty darn good. Being a gas, if it leaks, the gas dissipates into the air very quickly.

Butane: Often used for very compact stoves, such as for backpakers. Not as hot as Propane, and not good for very cold weather or high altitudes. Safe to use, for the same reasons as propane.

All types of stoves require occassional maintenance for best performance and safety. Liquid fuel stoves require considerably more maintenance than the propane and butane stoves.

My own stoves include a Coleman propane camp stove for my TD, and a tiny MSR butane stove for backpacking. I have seen to many camp stove fires with white gas. Some people love them, but they make me nervous.

That's my 2-cents worth.
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Postby tk » Sat Apr 14, 2007 2:47 pm

Thanks for the replies. As usual I stuck my foot in my mouth re: "the hassle. . . " I didn't mean the hassle of changing a gas bottle; I meant the hassle of interupting cooking of a meal to change a bottle (I mis-spoke--thinking of butane rather than propane). I do all the cooking at home and take my cooking quite seriously. My wife fails to understand that putting the several elements of a meal on the table at the same time is not just an exercise in making a dish but an orchestration of dishes each with different prep and cooking times. Having a fuel bottle run out in the middle of preparing a meal would really p.o. me. My thought is that filling a white gas tank before each meal would avoid that problem. Propane would I know solve that problem because of the larger tanks available. Guess I'll go back and research prices for propane.

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Postby halfdome, Danny » Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:17 pm

You could use a fresh 1 # bottle when you cook a large meal and then use the partially emptied bottles in the lantern. We do that all the time and it works well. ImageDanny
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Postby dmb90260 » Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:33 pm

If you go with the large propane tank, let me suggest that you stick with Coleman for a distribution tree and hoses. I had two fires near my teardrop. Fortunately I was cooking on a table, not the tear. Both were caused by a bad non-Coleman hose. After I replaced it I had no problems at all.
The fires were contained in the stove the first time and the gas BBQ the next time but both were while using the same bad hose. The first time I thought it was due to a poor connection I made, I found the right answer with the second fire.

The funny part, there are always funny parts, is fire #1 melted a hole in my canopy side curtain. I was at a dog show in a remote area with no facilities. I had set up my PETT porta for emergency use. Later in the evening I needed to use it and ended up sitting there and stacking everything I could to block the accidental viewing hole.
I need not have bothered. Some of my senior female friends were chatting and one complained that her condo layout was bad. People standing on an adjacent hill could look into her shower. Her good friend said "Don't worry Dear, they will only look once." :shock: :lol:
Any one looking in my accidental window very long either.:R :? :o
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Postby madjack » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:14 pm

Dennis, good point...both Coleman and Century have good reps...all others are just??????
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Postby caseydog » Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:29 pm

I do know the frustration of running out of propane in the middle of cooking, but as long as you have another tank ready to hook up and in position, it is not a huge problem. It's when they run out and the other tank is tucked away in the wrong plane that panic kicks in.

You can also prepare by weighing your tank empty and full, and after every use, weigh it again, and mark down the weight with a china marker right on the tank. When you get down close to empty, you know you better stick to something quick, like a couple of eggs, or start with a fresh tank.

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BTW, can anyone explain to me why typos never show up until after you hit the "Submit" button. :thinking:
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Postby Boodro » Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:20 pm

Nobody has said any thing about pricing . I have used white gas for years. 20 years ago it was about 2 bucks a gallon. I have seen anywhere from 4.50 to over 10 bucks a gallon. Even Wallyworld is high , & the price does fluctuate a lot. Hac anyone seen prices change alot where you live ? How bout propane prices ? :thinking:
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