Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Alcohol Stoves - An Alternate Source

The popularity of alcohol stoves by backpackers and campers is due mainly to their light weight, portability and ease of construction. Another advantage to alcohol stoves is the ready availability of alcohol for fuel. Unfortunately not everyone is as adept at making their own alcohol stove, but there is an alternate source of ready-made alcohol stoves that everyone can obtain at a relatively low cost that are lightweight and portable.

In my opinion, one of the best alcohol stoves ever made was the Jiffy Heat model. Unfortunately, these haven’t been manufactured in quite some time and are now considered antiques. Being almost an antique myself, it seems quite fitting that I would be the proud owner of one. It is an excellent little stove. Lightweight and compact with its own stand to hold the stove off the ground, it comes in its own self-contained box which makes it extremely portable. The main problem is that they are no longer being made and therefore the chances of finding another one that is intact and in good working condition is very low. Having a back-up is considered to be of utmost importance to me. You can never have enough back-ups. Things break, get lost, quit working for unexplained reasons or get hauled off by little gremlins that are lurking about. An alternate source for a good back-up to my Jiffy Heat alcohol stove was therefore required.

My efforts at making my own alcohol stove failed to produce a satisfactory and efficient alcohol stove. With limited success at making my own alcohol stove, a source of ready-made alcohol stoves that were inexpensive and could be found virtually anywhere was needed. Then came the solution and a source of inexpensive and ready-made alcohol stoves was found. The source was the old favorite of everyone – the fondue set fuel burner!

Not only do they come with a neat little alcohol stove, complete with cover and adjustable vents, you also get a pot stand (with built-in stove holder), a pot (with lid), and an insulated base on which to set everything. You also get those cute little fork things to stick in your food. They can also be used to warm or heat your food during a power outage and they’re portable!

The best part is they are extremely cheap. I have purchased several fondue sets at garage and yard sale for only a buck! Several were new in the box and had never been used. You may even have a fondue set with a good little alcohol stove in it that you weren’t even aware that you had! No hassle at making your own and cheap enough for what is actually a high quality, usually stainless steel alcohol stove that can be used outdoors or even indoors with proper ventilation.

Need an alcohol stove? Check the yard sales, garage sales, and flea markets! Find a fondue set and you’re ready to cook! New replacement fuel burners can be found for as little as $15.

Staying above the water line!



Bitmap said...

Garage sales are great. I wish I had time for more of them.

Speaking of antiques my dad has an old Coleman gasoline camping stove that he bought in 1968 before a hurricane hit. The power never went out and he never opened the cardboard box. It still has the price tag sticker with the name of the store on the box.

riverwalker said...

To: bitmap

I try to hit the garage sales when possible. I usually have to go to a dozen or more before finding a bargain, but it's worth it. Saved lots of money on my preps that way.


Marie said...

I know what I'll be looking for next at the thrift store--camping cookware and a fondue set! (Too bad garage sale season is pretty much over around here). Thanks for the great idea--and enjoyed your tips yesterday as well!

riverwalker said...

To: marie

Although I don't use them for fondue - they are great for emergency cooking if the power is out! Thanks Marie!


gott_cha said...

the Army surplus stores here carry the NATO German made alcohol stoves......they work great and sell for $10

riverwalker said...

To: gott_cha

Will have to check those out as another backup. Never have enough backups! My backups have backups!


Anonymous said...

Another cheap source for a alcohol stove are those Swedish Trangias that are often sold with 40 oz. pot and skillet - might give those a ebay search as well. They used to be sold very inexpensively, $10 could buy you three sets at Sportsmans Guide at one time. Stove, pot stand, and the above - not bad at all.

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