How bad is Kerosene stove?

10:12 p.m. on June 27, 2009 (EDT)
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Hello there

i have endless supply of kerosene (jet fuel) from work that i can use for camping, i was looking to get a multi-fuel stove for a camping use.

But i read about Kerosene stove is pretty bad.

Any advice about Multi-fuel stove?

and any suggestion on what model would be good????


12:44 a.m. on June 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Welcome to Trailspace leung19


The only multi-fuel burner that I know of that burns kerosene is the TRANGIA MULTI-FUEL BURNER it also burns white gas, regular unleaded gas & diesel fuel. I have a few Trangia products and from what I have seen from there products they are bullet proof. I am sure there is more that do burn kerosene but I don't know of them.

10:00 a.m. on June 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Thanks for the reply, coleman and MRS both has multi-fuel burner too. i was reading on some website, kerosene burner is bad for your food, and smell really bad. i dont know if that is true or not.........

11:34 a.m. on June 28, 2009 (EDT)
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I have used kero and if its clean and the stove is well maintained no its just fine if it was a dirty burner the EPA or DEC would prohibit the use of it. As far as making the food tast funny I have never had that problem (maybe if you were to cook directly on the flame with out a pot or pan lol) As far as the Coleman and MRS multi-fuel burner they only burn white gas or unleaded gas the Trangia burns just about any thing you put in it.

5:04 p.m. on June 28, 2009 (EDT)
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MSR makes the XGK, Dragonfly, and Whisperlite International that burn kerosene, diesel or jet (A and A-1) fuel. I have an Optimus 111T, and a 111C that both burn kerosene, and jet (A and A-1) fuel, and a 111 that burns only kerosene(and jet (etc.)fuel. Check out:

6:55 p.m. on June 28, 2009 (EDT)
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MSR (Mountain Safety Research) multi fuel stoves do burn kerosene, but the XGK model does the best job. The International will clog after some use, the Dragonfly is a little better and has good simmering abilities, but as I said the XGK is the cat's meow (of MSR) for kerosene.

7:42 p.m. on June 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Leung19 the Primus Omnifuel also burns kerosene, it burns virtually anything. I have this stove and I'm very satisfied with it. Only drawback is the noise, but I can live with that. I like the long flexible hose and the sturdy metal pump in the bottle.

Anyway, whatever stove you choose, go for a rep-kit and have this with you on all trips. Contains essential parts that may break or wear out after some time. Too bad to be in the middle of nowhere and the stove does not work due to a small flange leaking or something else.

8:04 p.m. on June 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Otto the Primus Omnifuel burns gas, diesel & kero with out changing anything on the stove?

If so ill have to look into getting one of thous a true multi-fuel cool.

9:34 p.m. on June 28, 2009 (EDT)
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At present, I have 5 stoves which are multifuel - MSR XGK, Primus MFS (current version is called Omni), MSR Whisperlite International, MSR Dragonfly, Coleman Peak One International. In the courses I teach, I see lots of other stoves, ranging from home-made to specialized stoves, ranging in fuels from various compressed gases to alcohol to a variety of petroleum-based liquid fuels (plus various wood-burning stoves). In all cases, you have to change the jet to go between the light liquid fuels ("coleman" fuel, "white gas", autogas, avgas - the quotes indicate common names, though the names themselves are somewhat inaccurate and can be misleading if you take the stove to other countries) and the heavy fuels (kerosene, jet fuel (JP4 is not used anymore, and the current Jet A is a bit different formulation now than it was 20 years ago), autodiesel - I have not tried biodiesel, but suspect it will have the same problem that the pure biodiesels have in vehicles, particularly the coagulation problem at low temperatures). Do not use marine diesel, particularly in 3rd World countries - it tends to be very dirty and clog the stove quickly).

The reason for the different jet is that the light fuels and heavy fuels are cifferent molecular weights - the stoves will not behave properly with the wrong jet. There is one stove on the market that is an exception to the general rule of removing one jet and screwing in the alternate one, but that stove has other problems. The Primus MFS and Omni also will burn the compressed butane mixes (the standard-threaded canisters), using the light-liquid-fuel jet. Historically, there have been multifuel stoves that burn alcohol (marine stove fuel), but since alcohol is an oxygenated fuel, it may or may not work in other stoves and can actually explode in many of the "white gas" stoves.

To answer your kerosene question directly, the big advantages of kerosene are (1) ready availability all over the world (no other stove fuel is as widely available) (2) flammable rather than inflammable or explosive (hence safer in a spill, and the reason it is preferred by sailors on long-distance voyages, (3) lower cost per heat output (usually!). The big disadvantages are (1) smelly (stinks up eveything if you spill it, even the "deodorized" variety, (2) really hard to clean up when you spill it (it is very oily and usually requires a de-greasing detergent to completly remove it, and (3) if you do not maintain your stove properly, use the wrong jet, or just don't use the stove right, it can be very sooty, blackening all your pots and pans.

Otto commented that the Omni is noisy. That is because it uses a "roarer" or "plate" burner. This is actually the most efficient burner design and requires much less maintenance than the "silent" burner. It is the design used in serious expedition stoves. The "roarer" nickname comes from the very loud noise - like standing next to a jet engine.

Given all that, for most campers, there is no compelling reason to use kerosene. Your "endless supply" of jet fuel is another story - nothing beats "free" fuel. In my experience, the MSR XGK is the best and most durable, least maintenance of the multifuel stoves, with my Primus MFS a close second (being able to also use compressed gas canisters makes the MFS my favorite and most-used stove, except for expeditions, where I use the XGK). The Coleman International gave lots of trouble when using anything other than Coleman stove fuel (by brand name) and a couple of generic copies of Coleman fuel.

Alternatively, if the only thing you will burn is kerosene (or your free jet fuel), you would be better off getting one of Primus or Optimus pure kerosene stoves (not a multifuel) These two companies have been making kerosene backpacking stoves for well over 100 years (including the roughly 20 years when both were part of the same company). These are really dependable stoves with all the mistreatment they typically get on expeditions.

12:49 a.m. on June 30, 2009 (EDT)
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thanks for the great advice, i'm really looking into the coleman international. Do you think i have all kind of problem if i only use jet fuel with the coleman???

i'm trying to save some money get a cheaper stove, Do you have any suggestion beside coleman that is not too pricey?

November 29, 2015
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