What Is a Primus Stove?

What Is a Primus Stove?Primus is one of the original names in camping equipment. Starting at the end of the 19th century, this line of portable stoves from Sweden developed such a sterling reputation that the name "Primus" is sometimes taken to mean "lightweight camping stove." Still in business, this company is still making portable stoves along with an extensive line of thoughtfully designed, high-quality, lightweight camping gear.


F.W. Lindqvist of Sweden invented his Primus kerosene-burning portable stove in 1892. Shortly thereafter he went into business with J.V. Svensson to manufacture the stoves out of a Stockholm blacksmithing shop.

Noteworthy Expeditions

Primus stoves have gone along as the portable cooking equipment for some of the world's most famous wilderness expeditions. When S.A. Andrée attempted to reach the North Pole by hot-air balloon in 1897, he went with a Primus stove. Likewise, Roald Amundsen's successful 1911 South Pole expedition and the first successful Mount Everest summit expedition by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953 were both outfitted with Primus stoves.

Primus Developments

Primus invented the MultiFuel portable stove in 1996, which was able to operate using propane, gasoline or kerosene. That breakthrough was followed in 2001 by the company's introduction of the world's lightest propane-fueled stove--weighing only 2 ounces--and the OmniFuel stove, which can burn any fuel commonly used by portable stoves. In 2006, Primus spearheaded portable stoves with closer attention paid to fuel efficiency and emissions control with its EtaPowerEF model.


When Primus lost its patent, its reputation for reliability, portability and durability led other stove manufacturers to market their products as "primus stoves." This combination of reputation and name recognition has caused the Primus label to become synonymous with portable stoves, whether they are made by Primus or not, especially the tower-style stoves that look similar to the core line of Primus products.

Product Line

Primus makes more than stoves these days. It also makes pots and pans, cutlery, tents, lanterns, headlamps and even its own line of fuel containers. Its modern stoves include dual-burner models that are better suited for family-style tailgate camping.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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