Liquid fuel vs. propane bottles for lanterns and cook stoves

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Illini Warrior

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Cost analysis said it's cheaper to use Coleman fuel than propane. Been collecting Coleman for quite a while and have accumulated a lot of USA made. Parts are still easy to find and available though prices are going up. Check flea markets and yard sales for older Coleman stoves and lanterns. If nothing else keep it for parts for other projects.

if you can get them cheap enough - even the crapped out lanterns are worth the parts salvage - the globes are selling for a pretty penny $$$ these days - watch for any cracks but most are universal to many models - unfortunately globes are the most vulnerable part ....
 

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regular fuel is perfectly OK - just takes more maintenance than using the napha fuel >>> you want as many choices for cooking, lighting and heating as you can acquire - when it's below freezing the non-propane is the way to go for reliability .....

Kerosene is the way to go if it's sub zero temperatures or mixed with diesel. I use wood for those extreme cold temps.
 

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if you can get them cheap enough - even the crapped out lanterns are worth the parts salvage - the globes are selling for a pretty penny $$$ these days - watch for any cracks but most are universal to many models - unfortunately globes are the most vulnerable part ....
Some years ago I scored 4 Coleman lanterns at a yard sale for $25. All had good globes. That was worth it right there.
 

Illini Warrior

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Some years ago I scored 4 Coleman lanterns at a yard sale for $25. All had good globes. That was worth it right there.

these days the fuel caps are expensive $$$$ to warrant the spare parts buy - nice thing about Coleman is their engineering - the caps fit the oldest lanterns around & conveniently cross over to the stove fuel tanks - hard to believe that people are so careless - but they keep a spare cap inside their lanterns & stoves just in case .....
 

Schattentarn

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When I was a child my parents had a three burner Coleman (white gas) stove. I gave it away but now, years later, I wish I had kept it as a symbol of our time together camping.

When propane stoves became popular in the 1970s there really was no decision to make. They are far superior.
 

GaRp58

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I have diversified a bit, a Coleman gasoline lantern with mantle, two butane with mantles, two propane with mantles, a petromax, two petroleum and one alcohol latern. I also have a battery powered light which I can charge over my solar system about a thousand times before I need to start to use my supplies of gas, butane, propane and oils.
 
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I have no idea if this is true. I thought I read somewhere that the new 1lb propane bottles have a new style valve that prevents filling off of a larger bulk propane tank.. Can anyone confirm that is true? Would be very helpful for propane users.

Cant say I've heard about this.
I still fill my 1lb canisters and havent ran across any I cant refill. You do have to check the needle valve after filling,they sometimes leak and you have to fiddle with them to get em to stop. A little spit will tell you real quick if it's leaking.
I've started going away from the 1lb canisters and just getting the tree for the large propane tanks that have multiple connection points.
It makes it easy when it comes time for cooking and having light to do so.
When you need to roam around I just use a headlamp with rechargeable batteries.
 

MNwr786

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I have no idea if this is true. I thought I read somewhere that the new 1lb propane bottles have a new style valve that prevents filling off of a larger bulk propane tank.. Can anyone confirm that is true? Would be very helpful for propane users.
I refill mine all the time. There are a couple tricks to it though. For one, put your empty in the freezer for a while before refilling. Then, while filling, have a forcep or needle nose ready because if you pull on that little shrader valve to release gas vapor, it makes it easier for the liquid to enter. You will be surrounded by flammable gas doing it this way, so be very careful to not be around open flame. Also, as TexPrep said, they will often leak. Both valves... Sometimes rust or debris gets in the valve seat, and sometimes the propane ices them up. With debris, its as simple as venting a little gas to blow it clear, but the ice problem (moisture will get in there, don't ask me how), a wet rag will often thaw it to the point venting will make it seat properly. Just triple check for leaks and never store them in your house. Also, keep those little plastic caps too because the main valve likes to rust quickly beyond one use and dust also screw up the valve. Keep that valve clean!
 

Illini Warrior

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Cant say I've heard about this.
I still fill my 1lb canisters and havent ran across any I cant refill. You do have to check the needle valve after filling,they sometimes leak and you have to fiddle with them to get em to stop. A little spit will tell you real quick if it's leaking.
I've started going away from the 1lb canisters and just getting the tree for the large propane tanks that have multiple connection points.
It makes it easy when it comes time for cooking and having light to do so.
When you need to roam around I just use a headlamp with rechargeable batteries.

the 1lb bottles "ice up" the neoprene gasket and Schrader valve during re-filling - if you have a little warm water you can usually get the whole unit to re-set and quit leaking - age and the number re-fills also tends to influence the problem ....
 

MNwr786

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I still have my grandma's 3-burner white gas stove. I even have a new replacement pump for it when that goes bad (technically, two, as I have another tank with a pump too). I used it last year when the power failed (before we got a propane range). I really don't care for the propane ones. They work good and are slimmer, but being able to run gasoline if needed is a huge bonus and I like the fuel tank in front rather than hanging off the side. I recently cleaned ours out because it was not burning properly. Turned out, the problem was modern stupidity and the pooling of white gas in the base of the burners and piping.. The convenience of my last propane camp stove (which was stolen) had me forget to keep the middle burner on (which keeps the fuel tube heated and vaporizes the liquid fuel). After that refresher on how they are supposed to work, it was cooking like I remember it working for grandma! I even pre-heat that fuel tube with a butane torch before starting it and I haven't had a single issue since. No more sooty flame, she burns blue again :) That thing will outlast my children's children (if I ever have any)!
 
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If you use a propane camp stove you might want to stop purchasing the 1 Lb. Canisters as they are too
expensive. You can cook for 1/9th of the canister cost by purchasing a $14
adapter hose and use
currently owned 20 Lb. (max) Propane tanks.


48. Fuel Storage For Cooking.

To begin with, before taking economic advise about stove fuels it must be recognized that you must
first consider your expected future group size, months of activation, if you will be staying in one
location, what equipment you have to start with and if you will be doing group cooking. You have to
consider this before you can begin, otherwise you may paint yourself into a corner.

The cheapest cooking fuel is twigs gathered for a homemade Rocket stove. But cooking for 50 persons
many months may expose you to danger in your daily search away from camp for twigs.

That brings us to Propane and liquid gasoline. So lets get to the bottom line – the costs (when
compared in BTUs).

If you use a propane camp stove you might want to stop purchasing the 1 Lb. Canisters as they are too
expensive. You can cook for 1/9th of the canister cost by purchasing a $14 adapter hose and use
currently owned 20 Lb. (max) Propane tanks.

Or you can have the same savings by using a $88 Coleman liquid Gasoline stove and using unleaded
gasoline.


Why Use liquid gasoline? A 50 Gallon storage drum costs $30 and will store up to 6,250,000 BTUs
of energy. That amount of BTUs would require (23) 20 Gal. Propane tanks ($750), thus a savings of
$720 in storage costs using new tanks. Plus the gasoline can also be used for engines.

Therefore, you might consider using Rocket stoves, Propane and liquid Gasoline for stove fuel, but use
the canisters sparingly.
If in a large group for a long time, then lean heavily on liquid gasoline.
Note: A 30 Lb. tank can use a $8 adapter to refill 1 Lb. Canisters. Then when the tank is down to 20
lbs, the $14 hose adopter can be hooked to the stove.


Rate of BTU Consumption. That will be a most difficult job for you to determine. Just boiling water
for freeze dried food or cooking dried beans for two hours? Will some members be leaving when they
run out of food early? Cooking three or two meals per day? One pot meals?
The only real way you may get this accurate is to monitor fuel usage after one week of activation and
then adjust as factors change.

Note: It takes about 1,180 BTUs to raise water to boiling temperature.
Page 49 of 60

Source: Systematic Approach To Group Survival (Page 49)

P.S. I wrote this article around 2019. I only updated the $14 hose cost today.
All other costs may need to be revised. But in the long run, all numbers will have the same relationship to each other so there is no need to revise the costs in your decision making. Happy hunting!
 
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Jim’s Rant For The Day. Prepper Prices Doubled In Three Years?

In 2019 I did a cost analysis of cooking fuels for Preppers. One discovery was that a 90% savings could be had by using a propane tank instead of the cute 1 Lb. Propane canisters. The article I wrote about this can be seen here as I re-posted it today. Link

In posting it I decided to check on the equipment prices I used in my calculations. This is what I found:

1651846711157.png

As can be seen, the costs have doubled in just three years. Welcome to the world of inflation.
 
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I have the ability to run both. Some of my Coleman is duel fuel and some are propane. I do have a small wood stove as back up. Redundancy is the key here.

I thinks it's best to use propane or liquid fuel very sparingly if things get to the point that you cant replace them.
Personally I'm going to use those for cooking only,or even better use a stick burner to cook with.
Candles work well enough to light a small area and they're cheap so you can stock up on em.
I think it's going to be like the very old days when you went to bed at dark.
 

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