started using alcohol stoves when I started hiking with my kids on my
left very little room for gear, and I had to carry something lighter
smaller than usual.
Alcohol stove was the natural choice. They are really ultralight. But I
keep on using it for a
is totally silent.
thing I really like about it is that I did it myself! They
are great for DIY.
are very few serious brands, many stoves you'll see are home made or
small brands. The DIY stoves are just as good, stable and safe to
operate as the commercial stoves.
does it work?
camp stoves got few types. I'll concentrate on the most
explanations here are really in a nutshell.
Open flame type
Alcohol is held exposed to the free air.*
Once you light the alcohol, it simply
burns to the free air.
*sometimes, the stove is filled with
fiberglass to prevent
(Double walled ,Trangia-like)
The alcohol is
held in the main chamber
and in the double walls.
alcohol in the main chamber is
ignited, heating the alcohol in the walls.
Once the alcohol in the walls is heated,
it is vaporized.
is forced through the holes in the top of the walls and
it is then starts burning.
(penny stove style)
First, the stove
is preheated by burning
alcohol around it or on it.
Then, the alcohol in
the stove is
vaporizing, causing the pressure in the stove to increase. This forces
vaporized alcohol through the jets.
through the jets, it is
pros and cons
Simple to use
Clean burn, no odor
Ultralight (in most cases)
Low fuel cost
Easy to carry fuel around, no unique container
No moving parts, hence reliable.
Few significant brands
In case of most DIY versions – somewhat
Careful! In full sunlight the flame might be
Available stoves in the market
the "how it works" section I mentioned the most common types. Here
are the different stoves you can get of these types.
I already mentioned, there are very few serious brands in the alcohol
backpacking stoves field.
is another issue I want to mention here: on many cases, alcohol stoves
are sold as a
kit. The kit includes a burner, windscreen, pot stand and cookware.
– many of the stoves should be examined as a full kit rather than a
stand alone burner.
Open flame type
one and only, if you can, go get one!)
Here is the Caldera Cone boiling two cups of water:
you are a DIY freak – alcohol stove can be perfect for you.
Another reason you should consider it is if you wish to use ultralight
In case you want to buy one, I'm a a fan of Trangia, so that's what I'd recommend.
Beyond that, these
stoves are best in class in two parameters…