While you can purchase commercially made alcohol stoves, they remain a popular, quick and inexpensive do it yourself project (see Resources below).
Benefits of alcohol camping stoves include light weight, the ready availability of fuel, no need for extra fuel canisters and no moving parts, plastic parts, pumps or seals to wear out.
Alcohol-burning stoves have long been popular in Europe but only emerged strongly on the U.S. scene in 2003. Because of their simplicity and lack of moving parts, their failure rate is at zero or close to it.
An alcohol stove's fuel cup is open and may spill if knocked over. Boil times are still sometimes a bit slower than for other stove types. Alcohol stoves produce only about half the heat output of stoves that burn other fuel.
Use methanol or ethanol fuel for your alcohol camping stove if possible; HEET, sold in automotive stores in a bright yellow bottle, is pure methanol, is inexpensive and will burn cleanly. It's the preferred alcohol fuel for many.
Article Written By Marie Mulrooney
Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.