Step 6: Fuel

Picture of Fuel
There are a number of fuels that can be used in these stoves, but they are specifically designed to use alcohol based fuels.

The most common fuels seen are:

"Heet" Gas-Line Antifreeze and Water Remover - Easily found in the U.S. at virtually any gas station, this is mostly Methyl Alcohol. It burns well in alcohol stoves, but does have a small amount of petroleum additives, and leaves a bit of an odor behind. Great in a pinch, but not my favorite.

Denatured Alcohol - Denatured alcohol is the best choice for most alcohol based camp stoves. This can usually be found in the paint section (as a paint thinner) of a hardware store, and seems to burn slightly hotter and cleaner than Heet. I don't know if this is found under this name outside of the U.S. In the U.S. "denatured" means "poisoned." This is regular alcohol that has had poison added to it so people can't drink it, thus it does not get the alcohol tax, making it cheaper. (Still runs roughly the same price as Heet though.)
User Tips: telboyo - in the UK denatured lcohol is called Methylated Spirits and is colo(u)red purple

Transportation of Fuel - Many people have mentioned they prefer squirt bottles to take their fuel on hikes with them. My personal favorite container are old "5-hour energy drink" bottles. These are easily cleaned out, and hold almost exactly 30 minutes worth of fuel for me.
what kind of alcohol is in the denatured alc.? my mom is a chemist so she can get me some without the poison!
do that, then you don't have to bring whiskey for drinking.
it's methylated spirits in the uk fyi.
90%ethanol with 10% methanol to make it poisonous so no tax has to be paid on the ethanol.
thanks so much!
denatured = poisoned so people cant drink it
Javin007 (author)  Ben_the_Sci_Kid4 years ago
Chemist or no, there would be no point in having her get the stuff "without the poison." The entire reason the poison is added is so that you don't drink it. If your intention is to drink it, then just get regular alcohol. Otherwise, the addition of the "poison" (which is also a flammable liquid) makes no difference at all.
telboyo5 years ago
in the UK denatured lcohol is called Methylated Spirits and is colo(u)red purple. If you can get hold of the industrial version it is clear and does not have the additive that makes it unpalatable, it will still make you blind if you drink it
winster2445 years ago
can you use lighter fluid?
Javin007 (author)  winster2445 years ago
To clarify, by "lighter fluids" I'm assuming you mean the kind you'd put on charcoal, or even Bic lighter fluid.  Obviously anything more volatile would be a major no-no in any situation.
Javin007 (author)  winster2445 years ago
I would strongly recommend against using lighter fluid, kerosene, gasoline, etc.  MOST lighter fluids won't burn without a catalyst (ie: a wick) and anything else just increases the danger exponentially.  You could, however, create a wick-style stove to replace the penny stove and still use the same rig, though my experience has been that they don't burn particularly efficiently, leaving soot on your pots and not getting as hot.
TarzanJr5 years ago
How old do you have to be to buy denatured alchol cause if their is an age limit then i need to know lol
Javin007 (author)  TarzanJr5 years ago
I'm not sure that there's an age limit with it, but if you have to ask the question, you'd most likely want your parents to give you a hand with it.  This stuff can be INCREDIBLY dangerous if not handled right.  Do keep in mind that it has poison added to it so people don't drink it.  I can't imagine getting it into your mouth, or long-term exposure to the skin is too healthy.  Then there's the flames.  They can do bad things, too.  Fortunately, you don't have the drastic danger of kerosene or gasoline.
no i was going to ask my son to get it but i  didn't feel like sending him down their for no reason if he couldnt pick it up...

Briguy96 years ago
Now it's not 5-hour energy, but 30 minute energy.