Alcohol Stoves

Looking at one of these to use as a backup to an aging Peak1 mini stove that runs off the butane/propane blend canisters. The little Peak1 checked out for the middle part of the last trip.

Any pros and cons or brand recommendations on the alcohol stoves would be appreciated.

The simplicity of them looks like it would outway the loss in boiling power. I’m mostly looking to boil water for coffee, tea and very simple food prep.

very nice but low power
very clean burning but if boiling water for tea and food for two hungry hikers in 5 below zero weather my partner and I will be done eating before you get a boil.

in reasonably warm decent weather for a low volume of water ther are fine. You will be able to cook in a well vented tent it works for me there.

I’ve only used the trangia kit and though I hate their politics sportsmans guide usually as a decent alcohol stove cheap.

PJC Has One
He always has it at the Rendevous’, I believe he likes his. You might e-mail him for his opinion. WW

Make your own
There is lots of info on the web about how to make your own. They are fun to make and work great. On my sailboat I use the alcohol stove to cook the omlettes because is has nice even low heat control. I use the propane camp stove to boil stuff and make coffee fast.

Jill too!
You know Jill has one too, but I’m afraid to ask her about it after I poked fun at it and her regarding fire hazards :-). She might be serving up some of that East Texas crow chili to me next time we meet.

Alcohol Stoves? LOVE 'EM!!!

– Last Updated: Jan-28-05 10:16 PM EST –

Quiet, clean, efficient. Use methanol to get more heat per ounce of fuel. Get "Heat" in the yellow containers only.

I have two good MSR Whisper gas stoves that I guess I should sell as I hate gas stoves! One has never been used. The other used for about 10 times, twice a day about 5 days of a 14 day trip. That is all I could take of that racket. Used fires the rest of the trip.

I carried one of these gas "tiny jet engine" stoves just two trips. What a bummer! Too loud, too finicky, too high tech! Carried it as a back up to alcohol a stove the second trip. Now I only carry the alcohol stove and a twig stove. I have European Army surplus and home made alcohol stoves.

Jose (jjoven) is an expert on alcohol stoves. He did a lot of comparison burns. Has several different models. Makes his own. He can tell you the good sites to visit about them.

Jill does have one. Go ahead and ask her what she thinks. I'll bet the East Texas Crow Chilli will be good and tastefully served. She is a kind soul and a good cook! ;^)

I really like the fact you can put just the amount of fuel needed for the cooking job at hand in the burner. After playing with it a bit you can guess pretty close or if you are fussy you can measure for a more exact burn. It goes out when the food, water, etc is done.

Happy Paddl'n!



use 151 rum…
…and you can drink the fuel.

Seriously, they are OK, but don’t expect to cook over them.

I knew a duck hunter who made his own with toilet

paper and an old coffee can.

He says that he cut a small hole in the middle of a plastic coffee can lib and after taking the

cardboard tube out of a roll of toilet paper, he

fed the inner end of the TP through the hole in the lid.

He apparently did not feed the TP through the hole until after he filled the can up with rubbing alcohol, throughly soaking the TP.

Pull the TP up like a wick, light it and continuing pulling it up as it burned.

I’ve not tried it, but it sounds reasonable.

i tried one once …
waiting for water to boil was like watching the grass grow … only i think the grass actually grew faster.

alcohol stove
I love mine, built it myself. Like above, good for boiling water but less good (useless) for frying.

Pepsi Can stoves
I made and experimented alot with the Pepsi can stoves (alcohol). There are so many variables, some work better than others, and some work great. It is a great weight and space saver, but you still must carry fuel and a fuel cell (which you must still carry when empty). Some use plastic water bottles for fuel cells, but I always felt more comfortable with an aluminum cell.

I designed and made a three fuel stove that weighs under 4ozs. and fits inside my Ti cup. It can use either the Pepsi can stove, esbit tabs or wood. With extensive testing the alcohol boils the 12oz. the quickest, with wood being a close second, and the esbit a distant third.

I got away from alcohol due to carrying fuel and now mainly use the esbit tabs. They are very light and when gone they are gone with nothing left to pack out. I do use wood when I am in no hurry or want to conserve esbit tabs. All three methods work well for heating water but wouldn’t expect to fry some fish or bake some bannock.


I quit using them a while back.
I was looking for something lighter weight for hiking. I started using the US military’s canteen/canteen cup/cup stand/trioxane fuel cooking system. I found that I liked it much better. They are lighter, more compact, and you dont have to worry about spilling fuel. Just carry a trioxane bar or two for every meal.

There is nothing wrong with an alcohol stove. I just found something that fit my needs better.

Alcohol stoves
the low heat and liquid fuel are major turn offs to me. I like the iso fuel stoves much better.

Cheaper than Dirt has them…
Check their website - Look for the “military 5 peice stove”… I got mine on a 3 for $15 special. But they are still only $7?? It is the stove & a complete mess kit all in one.

Paddle easy,


Swedish Military?
Anyone know if Swedish surplus kits work as well as the Trangia kits.

It looks like if a person bought a good Trangia burner (about 10$) they could fabricate the pot stand and windscreen themself. But the whole Swedish surplus kit is only a few bucks more.

Thanks for the opinions folks.


I’d wanted an MSR whisperlite type stove for years. My brother in law brought his on a BWCAW trip this past spring and cured me of need for one!

I also hace the Swedish mess kit.

The stove used in the kit is the same one used in Trianga kits:

My stove is stamped with the triple crown and “Svea”. I think we’re all talking about the same thing.


Wonderful stoves
We sell only Trangia stoves at our store and have had wonderful success. I only carry alcohol stoves anymore and have yet to have a problem.


Paddle easy,


Tons of relevant info here…
Try this very interesting site for some information about home-made stoves – there’s a terrific selection to choose from. I’ve made a few of them and they work quite well.

The Bill Jones “Photon” Stove is my favourite – it’s very easy to make, it’s small, works remarkably well, and is a great backup stove.

Caw! Caw! Caw!
I still like my alcohol stove, but as other folks have mentioned, it’s not very fast. I was only using it to boil water for coffee, and it suited me for that. The HEET in the yellow bottles can be purchased nearly anywhere, (Wal-Mart) and are cheap.

Lately I’ve gone back to using my backpacker size Snow-Peak stove that uses canisters. The big drawback is finding fuel for them. Wal-Mart does NOT carry fuel that fits my Snow-Peak, so I can’t replenish while on a camping trip.

I bought the alcohol stove/pot/windscreen combo from army/surplus. If you want to borrow it to see if you like it, let me know. I’d be happy to send some Crow Chili for you to heat up in it. :slight_smile:


Yep, that is one of the things I run into with my little canister stove. You’ve go to plan ahead to have some on hand. I was using an off brand canister when my little Coleman quit working right for a couple of days.

I hear crow tastes nothing like chicken…