Choosing a Camp Stove: White Gas vs. Propane
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Choosing a Camp Stove: White Gas vs. Propane

Hi, I’m Josh, with If you are purchasing your first portable
stove for camping, you may be unsure what type of stove you should buy. There is a wide variety of camping stoves
available. In this short video, I’m going to discuss
the common fuels used for camping stoves. There are three common type of fuel used in
camping stoves: propane, white gas, and isobutane. Isobutane is primarily used for smaller one-burner
stoves for backpacking. I’m going to focus more on the types of
stoves that would be used for car camping. Most of the stoves that burn white gas can
also burn other fuels like unleaded gasoline or kerosene, but white gas should burn cleanest. This is one of their biggest advantages, and
may be important to you if you are planning to travel outside the U.S. where fuel supplies
will be limited you would probably prefer this type of stove. Some people prefer these as emergency stoves
because they can burn so many fuels. The disadvantages of white gas stoves are:
They require a bit more cleaning and maintenance, seals can go bad and valves can get plugged. Fuel is a bit more hassle to pour in to the
tanks. You have to manually pump the tank to build
pressure. It takes a minute for the generator to warm
up so you can get a good flame. In cold weather, fire paste must be used before
lighting. Propane is a good choice if you want a low-maintenance,
simple to use, stove. The tanks are pressurized, so you just need
to connect them and light the burner. Small 1 pound tanks are used by the more portable
propane stoves. And 20-30 pound tanks are used for high-output
stoves. Here in the U.S., the 1 pound tanks are available
at almost any store that sells sporting goods. Their biggest inconvenience is trying to recycle
the empty containers. I prefer the two burner stoves like this,
but my cooking is pretty simple and it’s usually for two to four people. Both fuels have been proven to work for years. I’d say it’s a kind of a choice between
versatility and convenience. Thank you for watching. If you found this video helpful, please click
the youtube “like” button and check out for more tips.


  • AZ Claimjumper

    You've overlooked/neglected to mention that liquid fuel stoves don't have heat output problems at higher altitudes or in COLD weather. MSR has an excellent article describing the pros & cons of liquid vs propane stoves:

  • Croaker

    I use a stick burner stove for cooking and white gas for lantern. Thinking about the Coleman guide series since I have the fuel. Most campgrounds have a special bins for the 1lb lpg tanks so thats not a problem. Walmart's camping section carries a wide range of coleman replacement parts for their white gas products for example a replacement pump.

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