Stoves – GearGuide

gearlimits-gearguide-brandersGas and fuel burners for your holiday and outdoor activities are available in many designs with different weights, packing volumes and properties. Depending on your wishes, requirements, travel destination and budget, there are a few questions that you will have to ask yourself.

Image: MSR XGK EX liquid-fuel stove

Not every burner can be used anywhere. For example, there are types of gas cartridges and cylinders that are not available worldwide. If you’re not sure what’s available, in the better outdoor shops, they can inform you about which cartridges and cylinders are used where and have adapters available for your stove system.

If you want to be sure about the availability of fuel and be able to take your stove on the plane easily, then a gasoline or multifuel stove is the best option. This kind of stove is more expensive to buy, but it does give you more independence and a lower fuel cost. The most important question you have to ask is what fuel you are going to use. Here’s a list of options with all the pro’s and con’s.

Types of stoves:

  • Gasoline
  • Natural gas
  • Diesel
  • Kerosine
  • Multifuel
  • Petroleum


One of the major advantages of gasoline is that it has a very high heat · yield (calorific value), much higher than gas, and that it is available almost anywhere at the pump. For less than one euro, you can fill your fuel bottle and you’re good to go for a few days. Most of the burners nowadays, and certainly the multifuel models, can handle the relatively dirty unleaded car gasoline. Do not burn leaded petrol as the vapor will get into your food and you will poison yourself in the long run. With some burners you should use boiling point benzine – a very pure gasoline type – because car gasoline will eventually relax the generator of the burner. This is the tube in which the liquid fuel is

With some burners, you should use boiling point gasoline – a very pure gasoline type – because car gasoline will eventually weaken the generator of the burner. This is the tube in which the liquid fuel is turned into gas by the heat of the flame.

Boiling point gasoline is, for example, refined petrol or the well-known Coleman fuel. A disadvantage of gasoline is that you need to preheat your gasoline burners to allow gasoline to gasify, which requires extra work.


If there is really nothing else available, there are burners that also do diesel. Diesel is also widely available. Diesel, however, will give a dirty sootish flame. So, Diesel is actually a last resort thing.

Gas, butane & propane

In the case of a gas stove, the opening of the valve is enough: at the top of an upright liquid gas tank is a space filled with gas. With a dial, the gas escapes, this mixes into the burner head with air and a fire does the rest. Easy peasy. Why not always use gas everywhere? Because of two reasons. Generally, butane is used as a gas for burners. This gas is already liquid at a half degree Celsius. This is very convenient because you want it to be in liquid form, but conversely, butane does not become gaseous at temperatures below zero.

For camping in early spring, late autumn or in winter it is not convenient form of fuel. This disadvantage can be largely eliminated by the use of special propane-butane mixtures. However, these are not for sale everywhere. This is also the second disadvantage for some campers: there is not just one type of gas cartridge – there are those with threads, quick couplings, and punch valves – and you, therefore, you will run the chance that the type of tank that your stove needs is not available everywhere. In addition, gas tanks cannot be taken along on a plane.


That’s jet fuel. Excellent fuel with a high caloric value and a not too long preheat time. Not widely available, but if you happen to take a water plane into the Canadian wilderness, you may stumble on kerosene as a primary source of fuel.


A certain category of stoves is called ‘multifuel’. That is, they will burn more than one fuel type. They are a little more expensive, but on the other hand, they have the great advantage of being able to burn 99% of the fuel. It is important that, depending on the fuel, the correct sprayer is used.


In some countries, petroleum is still being cooked in the countryside. A well-known example of these are the popular trekking areas in Nepal. In such areas, petroleum is much easier to come by than gasoline. Do you have a stove that can handle this fuel besides gasoline, then that’s a big advantage under those circumstances. However, if you have the option, choose gasoline. It has a cleaner flame and is easier to heat.