Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Re-Lighting The Great Camp Stove Debate

 I have had great sport tormenting fags like M and Jack with my yuppie-compliant, soyboy approved Jetboil camp stove. I used to do some motorcycle touring and liked the convenience and utility of the thing. All it ever had to do was make coffee and heat up MREs.

$139.00 at MEC. I have a bigger one
for a little more money.

It's advantage over the old school Coleman Pumper Upper stoves is that it is a tad smaller to pack up and space is a bit of a concern on motorcycles and backpacks. And it will boil water faster than anything else out there. In Canada, we can get two sizes of butane bottles - the little one goes for about 6 bucks, and the big one goes for about $8.00. 

But like M and Jack, I really prefer the pumpers and naptha stoves. Most of that is nostalgia - all the cool guys camped with them so I had to too. I suppose I might tolerate the faggy MSR stoves... but my heart belonged then, as now, to the big green Coleman fatties. Mine ran in everything from -30C to +30C and it did get cranky and difficult at the low temps... but all stoves will. Otherwise it ran like a top for years and made for many fond memories. I did a couple parts kits on it and threw it out when it just flat out refused to work. It was a foolish mistake on my part; the guys tell me that you just have to tear the thing right down to the last nut and bolt and start cleaning. Damn - I still regret making that mistake 10 years later!

Where do you buy the little single burners now?
Neither MEC nor Cabelas carry them....
A four litre can of naptha goes for about 25 bucks.

I have taken a lot of much-deserved flak for the Fartboil stove; as M notes, the old green ones are more economical, more robust (I think), and have the comforting nostalgia of being around in better days when we were better people.

But that is us old farts talking, isn't it? Over on YouTube Corporal Kelly is probably one of the best bushcrafting campers out there. If you are a father looking for better ways to engage with your kids, you really need to spend about 20 minutes with this guy on his channel. This is how camping with kids should be done! He does most of his serious camp cooking over the campfire which is right and proper; but when he wakes up hung over and pished at the world as old men do everyday - he goes straight for the medicinal coffee and he doesn't piddle about with campfires, pumping up camp stoves or pouring fuel.

When guys like the Corporal are recommending gear choices - I perk up and take notice. I like the Corporal because he doesn't push the expensive, overpriced yuppie market garbage favoured by the metrosexuals and flimps at MEC. He pushes good, low priced equipment you can stake your life on. To him the camp stove is basically a throw away item - once the seals go you may as well just pitch it and buy a new one. I wonder what the service life is on them? It has to be up there. In any event, he has well made, low priced gear that would be perfect for the ultralight bush camper. I think he could set you up for a couple hundred bucks at the outside.

I wonder if the kids will remember these new stoves with the same nostalgia and fondness that we old stubfarts do with our old gear? 


  1. I only use a jet boil these days. It makes a pot of coffee quick and easy. My wood cabin stove is for heat and heating water only.

  2. Coleman "white gas" and dual fuel pump stoves get my vote, Glen. I have never had one fail. I've got one of the munchkins you picture here, plus 2-burner and 3-burner "suitcases." My mom left a Coleman propane 2-burner stove, a propane 2-mantle lantern, and one of those adapter kits to connect them to a barbecue bottle in my garage when she fled California to help Washington go Left Wing. I've never used either one. Why do I have so many stoves? The popular theory is that I do yard sales in a Jeep. The stoves see the Jeep, yell "DADDY!!!" and jump in... I've got around eleven renditions of the Coleman pumper-upper lanterns as well... Same theory... Honesd'God, Dear. I have NO IDEA where those came from!...

    Nothin' works like em, nothin' smells like 'em, and nothin' sounds like 'em! Then again, I guess the same could be said for me...

  3. Optimus Svea 123. The design dates from 1895 or so. The only downside is lighing a sealed vessel of white gas on fire from the outside.

  4. Gasoline burns much hotter than any LP gas. That's why it's much better for cooking, and gets my vote.

  5. When we got caught with our pants down in the big freeze in Texas last February, the only working stove I had on hand was my alcohol backpacking stove. The only alcohol I had was rubbing alcohol, not denatured like you are supposed to use. That little stove heated our soup and made coffee for eight days until the power came back on. Sure blackened up momma's pots, but it worked!

  6. Like I said on my new post, the propane/butane bunsen burners are compact but have limitations. If you are looking at the gasoline pumpers the old green 502 Coleman is no longer in production but you can buy them fully restored like new condition on Fleabay. Yea they tend to be steep.
    Best bang for your buck is the newer Coleman 533. I bought mine a couple years ago for about $75 American.

  7. My 1980's vintage Coleman Sportster single burner is a nostalgia rolled in one. Back then, I was in my 20's and going camping without any attachments (i.e. girls) was far more common than today. A lot of early deer hunt breakfasts and dusk coffee was eaten and drank. I have the dual burner 'suitcase' stove too, but that was mainly confined to cooking inside the ranch house. Tail gating stoves in the wild don't do it for me.

    Don't forget the true old timers, the Optimus white gas models. They are very fun to cook on too. A couple of years ago, got a burr in my saddle blanket and purchased a few of those, just for fun.

    Thanks for the topic sir - have a pleasant weekend.

  8. I have a Coleman dual fuel dual burner campstove plus an LP adapter. I also have a single burner MILSPEC coleman that can burn diesel under certain conditions. I also have one of those compact stoves that use the butane, I think anyways. I like all of them but the dual fuel dual burner gets used all the time. The LP adapter makes it very indoor friendly for having an additional burner when cooking or when the power is out. I also have 3 pump up coleman lanterns that are for emergencies....Coleman fuel goes a lot farther per dollar than anything else and especially if you use unleaded in the dual fuel equipment. I used to camp a lot but have not for years and still find a use for some of my stuff.

  9. I have owned the Green Coleman 502 since the mid 60's. Eventually the gas generator burns out. Coleman will completely refurbish them for a small fee. Originally there was an accessory available that turned the stove into a heater. Worked great but would burn the absolute shit out of you if you touched it. Naturally the lawyers made them quit offering it.
    I own three of these little gems as well as an assortment of other "backpacking" stoves. I always gravitate back to the Coleman. Fuel efficient, stable, bulletproof.

  10. Small enough for your saddlebags and runs on white gas & actual gas, the SVEA 123. Nothing to pump, just prime it with an eye dropper and it runs until it runs out of fuel. All brass, formerly made in Sweden

  11. I bought one in Anchorage, AK in the 90s when in the U.S. Army and it still works. Easily fit in the outside pocket of an issue ruck sack.