Alcohol stove???


Well-Known Member
Oct 16, 2008
Anyone uses alcohol stoves?
They seem to be very light weighted, and could be a good item for backpacking. I was just wondering if anyone uses them, there are a lot of video on youtube on how to make them and how to use them. Pretty interesting. Just wanted to know any personal experiences with them. Thanks.
I've been using them for a couple of years now.
Tried several different models (all diy) and settled on the SuperCat.
Regular denatured alcohol from the hardware store seems to be the best all around fuel.
Light weight and dependable.

Be sure to practice at home first as they're different in use than other stoves.
Most importantly remember, alcohol flames don't show in sun light.
Your first experiments should be at dusk, enough light to see what you're doing,
dark enough to see the flames.

Anyone uses alcohol stoves?
They seem to be very light weighted, and could be a good item for backpacking. I was just wondering if anyone uses them, there are a lot of video on youtube on how to make them and how to use them. Pretty interesting. Just wanted to know any personal experiences with them. Thanks.

Depends on where you are going to be backpacking. Many places are going to white gas only, like Denali.
I had never heard of an alcohol stove until this thread. Is this too good to be true?? I've been using the Coleman-style white gas stove but it's relatively heavy and bulky. I hate the butane stoves because if you don't have a store carrying the bottle nearby you are screwed. Do these really boil enough water for a dried meal (Mtn House) in a reasonable amount of time? What pressurizes on them to expel the gas to burn?
I have been building some the past week, just need to try the ideal alcohol-fuel for a honest try. There are many videos on youtube on how to build them. I dont have experience with them, that is the reason why I started this thread. They look like they are very light, and in the internet the info states they are a good item.
Check this website MiniBullDesign. And there are a lot of videos on youtube.
I built 2 pepsi can stoves, and never had good luck with them. Then bought a 35$ Swedish brass stove, and same thing. To long to boil water, to much hassle to deal with, and always just a bit to dicey dealing with the hot water and stove.
Bought a jet boil and love it. Boiling water in a minute, no pots to deal with or clean. I just pour the water in a mtn house packet, and its done with.,,,,,,,,,,a.b.
I'm with allen_b on this one..just too much fussing with them for my tastes. I've made the soda can versions on several occassions and while they do "work" they are not good for high altitude & wind unless you want to spend a lot of time making high-speed stoves which seems to defeat the point of them to me. The crazy for weight reduction crowds use these for long backpacking trips like the Appalachian Trail or the Continental Divide trail. I personally wouldn't have any confidence in one beyond the novelty stage. I'll stick to my trusty old scorpion stove for long backpacks and my older Peak1 400 Featherlite for the cold weather (this thing boils water in a very short order!). I gotta' have a hot cup of Joe in the back country first thing in the morning even if I eat cold and dried for everything else.

If you are looking to shave a few ounces get a new sleeping bag or pack, that's where most of your weight can be shaved. Feel free to PM me if you want more info on weight reduction...I have a running debate with a close friend of mine who is of the Ultra-lite backpacker variety...I've enjoyed watching him suffer in the woods all too often :D
check out they sell them for around $10.00 each and they work great,its not even worth making themyorself at that price

A guy in alaska did a little comparison on the top performing stoves and said the ^ gram-weenie was the most efficient with fuel and speed to boil .
As long as you have a wind screen they perform well in my expierence -just slower at high elevations .
I think they are very good all things considered.
So, after all the reading, watching the youtube videos, and the replies from this thread, I decided to make an experiment. I build two alcohol stoves from soda cans, one of them with a center hole and big holes for the jets(right in the pictures), and of them with little hole in the middle to fill the stove and little holes as jets(left in the pictures).

I looked for HEET, but couldnt find any, so I bought pure methanol at a hardware store, one liter for 1 dollar:).
And tried them out. They both produced very good fires, but the one with the little jets would turn off if I put the cooking pot immediately on top of it. The one with the big jets did very well with the pot on top of it, didnt turn off or diminished the fire at all.

With both of them I was able to make water boil in like 10 minutes, using only 20 mililiters(c.c.) of methanol. Had to use a little grill like thing to keep the stove above the small jets one so it wouldnt turn off, it worked very well also.

They are very light, and functional, looking forward to try them in the outdoors, and see if they really work and how long does it take them to boil water in field conditions.
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Thanks for your experimentation and pics. Where did you get the plans? I would like to build some myself while the weather is still cold enough for a realistic field test.
Whatch this video:

What has worked the best for me(the can in the right in my pictures) is cutting 2 soda cans in the bottom of them at 1 inch of height, you need to make a hole in the center of the one going in top, that is 1 inch wide also, it is easy to do, just mark it with a knife kind of hard, and then tapping on it with a hammer or pliers and it will come of just like in the video. Next, you need to take a piece of can, 1 3/4 inches, and make it to the same width of the circular base of the can, and you stick it together with aluminum tape (3M FOIL TAPE 3311), so that it fits in the base and in the top half also in the center of the can, in the bottom part of it you make two holes just in the base so the alcohol can pass from the center of the can to the side and burn through the jets, once that is done you mark 16 holes in the can in the top part just beneath the bend part of it(look at my pictures), dividing the can in halves until you finish up with the sixteen holes, and you can make them with a 1 hole paper punch instrument.
After that is done you insert the bottom part inside the top part(important to do just that, the bottom part inside the top part so when the alcohol is hot and vaporizing it rises up to the jet holes and it doesnt leave through the side of the junction of the two cans). And after they are together you put some more foil tape to keep them together so they last a good time. Pay close attention to the video where Tiny is making the can in 3 minutes, he doesnt explain the details but I figured them out, is it pretty basic stuff. I have used mine for several times so far here in the house for cooking and they work just fine even with heavy pots and pans.
If you need more info you can check more videos on youtube, just typing HOW TO MAKE ALCOHOL STOVES.
Wish you luck, please keep me posted on your results. Tell me how yours worked.
I'm looking forward to your field report as well. 10 mins is a long time to boil water in the field...but the cost is certainly right! :) Your boil time is consistent with what I found when I made mine too. Good luck on your hunt and field experiment!
I am going tomorrow morning for a 3 day coyote hunt in northern Mexico. Will be trying my stoves there, as soon as I am back will post results and tell you how they worked.
I hope I can hunt some yotes:D:D:D
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