View Full Version : gas or alcohol?

02-01-2003, 19:57
im getting geared up for my 2004 thru-hike and i have yet to decide on a stove. at the moment im considering 2--the optimus nova and the trangia 27. ive never used either white gas or alcohol before so im relativeley clueless to the benifits/hindrance of using either. after alot of research i can see both the plusses and the minuses for both. i like the metal pump of the optimus and the apparent ease of simmering and i also like the relative ease and idiot-proofness of the trangia but as a complete newbie i was wondering if the more edcuated people might be able to shed some insight as to which may be a better purchace

02-02-2003, 16:15
Almost everyone ends up getting rid of their white gas stove and switching to something lighter and simpler. Most switch to an alcohol stove, usually one of the homemade versions, and carry the fuel that is widely available and cheap in a soda bottle. The only commonly used alternative, solid fuel such as Esbit, is even lighter and convenient in that it can be mailed by air, but considerably more expensive.

02-02-2003, 22:20
I'd go the alcohol route. I've used my Cat stove in all kinds of conditions and I haven't ever regretted it.

02-20-2003, 17:55
depends. White gas stoves are heavy,expensive, and have lots of parts to break. However, they heat like rokets and can simmer for extended periods of time.
Alcohol stoves are real light, simple to use, last a long time and are fun to build if you go that route. I have to recomend that you try building one before you spend any money on the trangia. This way if you decide that you need more heat output you have spent hardly any money on the alcohol. The stoves are quite simple to build and you can fidle with them. I like alcohol as I don't cook fancy meals. You can even bake on a soda can stove if you make a simmer ring. I have made coffee cakes and biscuts on mine. Home made stoves are lighter than the trangia

02-21-2003, 10:15
As someone who has tried every stove made to man, (OK, I may be exaggerating a little...) I'd recommend going with the alcohol route. You can make your own stove in a couple of hours and it will weigh next to nothing. If you're anything like me, you'll eventually end up going with an alcohol stove eventually... so if you start there, you'll save yourself some money.

-- Ivy :banana

03-04-2003, 00:21
How do I make my own alcohol stove?

03-04-2003, 00:30
All Day, here's the instructions for the Cat Food stove.


I made one of these last week(my first homebuilt stove) and I must say I was impressed. So impressed I made two.

Very easy to make.

Check Sgt Rock's Hiking HQT.

Blue Jay
03-04-2003, 08:52
I have used both alcohol and multifuel gas stoves. Alcohol is lighter and appears to be the favorite. However, I have found that it is slightly easier to find gas than alcohol on a long distance AT hike. This could be changing as the use of alcohol stoves increases.

03-04-2003, 09:54
Saturday night at Hawk Mountain shelter with around 40 March 1st thru-hikers it was around 75% alcohol stoves and 25% multi-fuel with no esbits and 1 wood stove that I observed.

We had to cook in five shifts in the table in front of the shelter and a few of the multi-fuel users were already talking about buying alcohol stoves at Neal's gap.