Optimus Hunter 8R

After my last camping trip where I carried a coleman stove with multiple gas bottles, I decided to lighten my load and dug out my old Optimus 8R Hunter stove. The ‘Old Box’. The entire thing is the size of my Coleman burner.

After rereading the instructions and doing some on-line research, I found soemthing contradicting.

To prime, you either use white/Coleman gas or alcohol. Depending on what you read, either works.

Anyone here have any experience they would care to pass on?

Optimus 8R
I prime mine with alcohol, it’s much cleaner and burns quite hot. I’ve had the 8R for approx. 15 years with absolutely no problems. As far as overheating is concerned if you use a pan no larger than 6 inches in diameter you should have no problems. I did buy a Whisperlite on sale recently and will probably make the 8R my backup.


They also used to sell
a “burning paste” that could be used to prime the 8r and its contemporaries. I have not looked for it in stores lately, but it was much easier to carry around in a backpack than that little plastic squeeze bottle that used to come with it to put your alcohol in.

I use
an eyedropper to take some fuel from the tank and squirt it in the pan under the burner.

The advise about the large pans is right on, don’t use a 10 or 12 inch skillet.

Git de little pump an’ filler cap
dat comes as an accessory. Fits either de 8R or de Svea 123 so yer dun’t need ta prime.



Only one blow torch in 20 years
I probably used an 8R as my primary stove for close to 20 years of backpacking and camping. (Is it still sold?)

I only created the tornado-like blow torch once! After that, I never let anybody stand/sit in the potential line of fire.

It was pretty awesome but was caused by putting a way too large pot on the thing.

Oh, and the alternate top the other poster mentioned is a must for easy starting.

For car camping, we went luxury and use a Coleman propane camping stove.

If I were to break down and buy one today, I would look seriously at the MSR products and maybe the Jet Boil.