Gas Stove vs Liquid Stove | Which Camping Stove To Carry? | How Long It Last?

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In this post, I will compare Liquid Stove with a Gas Stove. For a liquid Stove, I am having MSR Whisperlite International which I bought in 2014. The pump is one year old. Last year I tried to fix it when the fuel leaked. Then I broke the valve. For a gas stove, I am having Coleman peak1 which I bought last year


500ml(16oz) Boiling Time & Burn Time

I’ve tested for boiling time of 500ml and also burning time how long it lasts. The result will vary as depending on altitude, temperature, wind, and products.

For the gas stove, when there was wind it took 4 minutes 30 seconds to boil 500ml water. When I tested indoor, it took 2 minutes 50 seconds. Burning time was 2 hours and 15 minutes.

For 98 unleaded petrol, I stroked 30 times at the beginning as manual said like that. It took 5 minutes and 40 seconds to boil 500ml of water. For the burning time, I thought it was about to die after two and half hours. So I stroked to use all the remaining fuel. But it gets stronger. I realized I was testing with the low-medium heat for two and half hours. So I decided to test 500ml boiling time again with more strokes. This time, it only takes 2 minutes and 45 seconds. I kept the heat high and it lasted one hour more. So the total burning time was 2.5 hours with low-medium heat and 1 hour with high heat. There was no pressure left when I opened the cap. This is different from when there is fuel left. And the bottle was totally empty.

When I tested with the white gas, I decided to keep high heat. So, from the beginning I stroked a lot. 500 ml boiling water takes 2 minutes and 35 seconds. I kept giving a stroke at every 10 to 15 minutes to keep high heat and it lasted 2 hours and 24 minutes. Official website says 2 hours and 16 minutes for the burning time of white gas. So, this was 8 minutes longer. Let’s not forget I used this stove for over 7 years with only petrol that it still works well. Burning time was all similar.


Make a plan for your trip

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You can make a plan of how much fuel you need to take.


Preparing Time

Preparing time is around 20 seconds for a gas stove. Preparing a liquid stove takes around 4 minutes that it takes more time because it needs preheat to turn from liquid to gas



Simmering is very simple for a gas stove. Whisperlite doesn’t have such a flame control. It’s more like on and off. If you don’t want strong flame, then just stroke a few times in the beginning. Or you can just lift up your pot during cooking. Some product has a flame control such as MSR Dragonfly. But it’s very loud. One time when I was cycling with bunch of other cyclists, I saw one guy had this stove. We really thanked him when he finished cooking.


Clean Burning

Gas Stove has very clean burning that there is no soot coming out. But for the liquid stove, there is always soot. So your hand and pot get always dirty. White gas has less soot coming out though.



Gas stove doesn’t need any maintain. But for the liquid stove, sometimes you have to clean when the orange flame doesn’t turn to the blue flame. Because of the soot, I have to separate well and also pack with extra plastic bag not to make dirty any other things. There is smell remaining. I’ve never mixed the stove with the clothes. I always put it on the camping bag with extra plastic bag.


Checking Left Fuel

Checking left fuel for the gas canister is not easy. You shake the gas canister to guess or measure it on the scale. You can put it on the water to see how it floats. (Tip to release air bubble underneath the canister when you do it) For the liquid stove, it’s easy. You just open and see it.



Gas canister company do not recommend refilling although there is an adapter to do it. Because the accident can happen. For the liquid stove, it’s simple. You just open and pour.


Freezing Winter

If you are using a gas stove in the very freezing cold winter, the performance would be not that good. And also it depends on the product. Butane gas would not work below -0.5C (32.9F). And Iso/Butane+Propane wouldn’t work around -12c(10f). There is some special canister that will work around -27c(-16f). But MSR official website recommends to use a liquid stove if you go to a high mountain or very cold places because no matter what situation is liquid stove will still work. But a gas canister is depending.


Fuel Availability

To get a simple butane gas canister is easier than to get a camping gas canister. If you decide to travel with a gas stove, you might consider to carry adapter to use different kind of gas canisters. It might be difficult to find a gas canister, when there is no camping or outdoor culture.

Unleaded Petrol is everywhere all around the world that it’s simple and easy to get. But in some country like New Zealand, Australia, and China, I had a problem to get it. So, I always prepared the picture of MSR Stove that I was proving that this is just for cooking not for anything other else. You can get the white gas easily in North America. In some countries, they have different name. MSR official website has these this list of different name of each countries. It might be difficult to find white gas in some countries. Then you can just use unleaded petrol.

Actually MSR website says ‘Consider petrol a last resort due to the additives and impurities causing clogging.’ But I recommend world cycling trip using MSR Whisperlite because of using petrol which you can find all around the world. To be honest, I’ve never used white gas. I always used petrol last 7 years and it’s still working. Sometimes, orange flame doesn’t turn to the blue flame. Then it makes only soot. It’s not easy to cook because it’s weak. And I just open and clean it. Then, it works fine. So, I think it’s not a big problem to use a petrol.


My Experience with different stoves

I will talk about my traveling experience with different stoves. Before starting, one of my friends gave me beer can stove. So, I traveled with this beer can stove in North America, Latin America, and Africa over for two and half years. Once I got out of North America, I usually found the fuel at the pharmacy which was very weak. So, it took 20~30 minutes to cook noodle. But in those places, food was affordable price. So I didn’t cook much that it was not a big problem. Once time when I was in Africa, I really wanted to cook. But I didn’t find any fuel. So I used candle. Everything is possible if you want. When I was starting Europe trip, one of my hosts gave me pocket stove as a gift. And since then, I started cooking more often. When I was preparing winter trip in Europe, I bought MSR Whisperlite. And I’ve used 7 years and I like it because of easy fuel availability.



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So here is the conclusion. Gas stove is very comfortable with simple setting, easy simmering, and clean burning. So, this is good for short trip or weekend trip, or trip to the country where camping or outdoor cooking is common. Liquid stove is not that comfortable with a bit complicated setting and soot making your hand and pot dirty and smell remaining. However, this works fine at high mountains and cold temperature. So, this is good for Alpine climbing or world cycling trip where you don’t need to worry about getting fuel.

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1 Comment
  1. Would n’t you like to travel India Jin?

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