In all the camping trips that we have ever been to, there is one thing we have always observed- a source of fire is always a must. You will need heat to cook and keep yourself warm whenever you are camping. To start a fire, you will need fuel.
There are many types of fuels that are usually used by campers to create fire for cooking and providing heat. The most common camping fuel is Coleman fuel which is closely followed by propane. However, there are other substitutes that you can use as well. Do you know any Coleman fuel substitute that you can give a try? Let us find out together.
Why Do Most Campers Prefer Coleman Fuel?
The main reason why Coleman fuel is more relevant to campers as compared to other types of fuel is because it does not produce any black smoke. This is the main reason it is referred to as the “white gas.” It is, therefore, considered to be pure and environmentally friendly.
Coleman canisters are also reusable. This will save you a lot of money since you won’t have to buy new canisters. Another reason why most campers prefer Coleman fuel is that it is perfect for traveling hence suitable for use during camping.
Most campers also prefer Coleman fuel due to its longevity. One gallon of Coleman fuel can last for up to 40 hours. Since you will be using your Coleman fuel to cook and to produce light, 40 hours is, therefore, a great deal, if you consider the price.
As a regular camper, you will, therefore, enjoy using Coleman fuel for cooking, lighting and even providing heat. However, using Coleman fuel can be quite heavy in your pocket. While it’s always important to go for quality, it’s also good to consider other options that can give you equal value at a lower price. You can, therefore, consider other Coleman fuel substitutes for your next camping trip.
Here are the other fuel options that you can choose from when looking for the best Coleman fuel substitute for your forthcoming camping:
1. Unleaded Gasoline: Is Very Available
Unleaded gasoline is just not for cars alone. It can also be somehow useful when you are camping. You can use it on your stove to prepare hearty meals. You can also use it in fuel lanterns to produce light and in gas heaters to produce heat. However, it is important for us to be as honest as we can to present you with all the highs and lows of each choice of fuel that you might consider as a Coleman fuel substitute.
How to make Coleman lantern fuel at home
The first positive feature about using unleaded gasoline as a Coleman fuel substitute is that it will be a little lighter in your pocket as compared to Coleman fuel. You will, therefore, make a lot of savings on fuel if you choose gasoline. For example, the price of a gallon of gasoline is usually not more than $3. This, compared to the cost of a gallon of Coleman fuel, is very cheap.
Using unleaded gasoline will also be a very convenient option. This is because it is readily available as compared to Coleman fuel which you have to order from retail shops. Should you run out of gasoline, you can just drop by on any gas station and get it. It is, therefore cheap, quick and easy to use gasoline.
When it comes to the downside of using gasoline as Coleman fuel substitute, your equipment tubes can get clogged. This is because gasoline has a tendency of clogging your stoves, generators and lantern tubes. However, you can overcome this by ensuring that you keep your gasoline fresh by replacing it after every six months.
2. Naphtha Fuel: The Closest Substitute
This is the closest Coleman fuel substitute. Its effectiveness is close to that of Coleman fuel. It has an unmistakable pureness that makes it burn without producing any black smoke. If you have been using Coleman fuel on your equipment, then you should be assured that your equipment will function just as well when you use Naphtha fuel.
Because it is a clean fuel, it, therefore, has a low environmental impact making it good for all campers and nature lovers. It won’t also clog the fuel lines of your camping equipment like generators, stoves, and lanterns.
You can easily get it from any hardware that is close to you. You can also order it online. When it comes to the amount of savings that you will make when you choose Naphtha over Coleman fuel, then you won’t save much. This is because it is a bit pricey as compared to other fuel types. It is slightly cheaper when compared to Coleman fuel.
3. Kerosene: The Cheapest Substitute
If you think only gasoline and naphtha can function well as Coleman fuel substitutes, then you haven’t heard about kerosene. It is not a surprise that you can use kerosene instead of Coleman fuel. This is because you are already aware that kerosene is usually used on engines, lamps and other devices. It can also be a great partner for you as a cooking and lighting fuel when you are camping.
One of the biggest advantages of using kerosene as fuel is its availability in the market. Kerosene is easily available and accessible to consumers. This makes it a good option for you if you need an easily available fuel for your camping trip.
Another reason why kerosene can be a good camping fuel is that it produces a high-quality flame. Coleman fuel usually produces a yellowish flame. Kerosene on the hand produces a flame that is bright white in color. This flame is usually very hot hence is good for cooking and heating. Kerosene is also budget friendly because it is cheaper as compared to Coleman fuel.
On the other side of things, kerosene has some drawbacks. Some campers complain that they do not like the smell of kerosene campfire that is usually produced when it burns. Other campers also say that converting Coleman lanterns and stoves into using kerosene can sometimes be messy.
All in all, we consider kerosene to be a good substitute to Coleman fuel. This is because it is easily accessible, very affordable and produces quality flames.
4. Diesel: The Quickest Substitute
This is also another possible option as a substitute for Coleman fuel. Given how diesel is easily accessible, just like gasoline, it is also recommended for use as fuel for camping. Diesel is very affordable as compared to Coleman fuel.
However, replacing Coleman fuel with diesel has some negative impacts. First of all, diesel produces a bad smell when it burns. Another drawback is that it is tough to light up. It won’t, therefore, be compatible with most camping stoves.
How You Can Make Coleman Fuel at Home
If you are a “Do It Yourself” camper, then you can also make your own Coleman fuel at home. You don’t need to be a scientist to make your own Coleman fuel in your backyard before you set out to camp. All you will need are a few pieces of equipment and some basic knowledge of the distillation process.
Here are the pieces of equipment that you will need:
Gas distillation device.
Steps to Preparing Your Coleman Fuel
Transfer the unleaded gasoline to the non-breakable glass bottle. Attach the glass bottle to a distillation column. Ensure that water can enter from one side of the valve and leave through the other valve.
Heat the non-breakable container containing gasoline from underneath. You will need the thermometer to determine whether the gasoline has reached its boiling point accurately.
Connect an empty container to the free end of the distillation column. The gas that would have evaporated from the gasoline will be collected in this empty container. This is your Coleman fuel. Coleman fuel is usually made this way.
What Should You Think about When Choosing the Best fuel to Substitute Coleman Fuel?
When looking for the best choice of fuel to use instead of Coleman fuel, then there are so many factors that you will need to consider. They include:
a/ Fuel Price
Since Coleman fuel is not usually friendly to the pocket, you will need an alternative fuel type that will be friendly to your budget. You will, therefore, have to consider the prices of the different types of fuel and choose the one that will fit your budget.
b/ Full Availability
The choice of fuel that you settle on should be easily available. This is because you want a fuel that you can easily access from any nearby store. You wouldn’t want to be in a situation where you have run out of fuel while camping and you have to wait for another order to arrive.
Beyond the price and availability of the fuel, convenience is also an important factor that should be considered.
This is because as a camper, you want a fuel that will be easy to handle.
You want a fuel that will be light and one that will not produce any strange smells or smoke when it burns. You also want a fuel that will be easily compatible with your camping stoves and lanterns.
Storage tips for Extra Fuel When Camping
When going for camping, the first rule is that you should always carry extra things. Since fuel is one of the most important commodities for a camper, you are likely to carry some extra fuel, which is highly recommended. Should you run out of fuel while you are out there camping, I doubt if you will be willing to continue camping for another day.
Since fuels are usually highly flammable, it is important that you store your fuels safely to protect yourself from fire hazards. When you are using gasoline as your camping fuel of choice, you should never store it in your camping tent or camping vehicle.
The best place to store your gasoline is in a cool and shady place away from your tent or vehicle. You can, therefore, have a separate tent set aside for storing your extra fuel. You should also keep in mind that gasoline usually has a shelf-life of between 3 to 6 months.
When you are going away for camping for a long time, make sure that you get a fresh supply of gasoline. When using diesel or kerosene, you should also store them away from your tent. This is because diesel and kerosene usually produce some smell that if inhaled can cause dizziness. They are also highly flammable.
When using Naphtha fuel, you have to ensure that your cylinder is not leaking. You should never store your cylinder inside your tent. Ensure that you store your cylinder in a place where there is no direct sunlight.
Final verdict on the Best Coleman fuel Substitute
We have looked at 4 different types of fuels that you can use as substitutes for Coleman fuel. You can, therefore, pick one that will be suitable for you, both in terms of your budget and the quality of heat that you would like to have.
However, when it comes to our final take on the best Coleman fuel substitute, we would recommend Naphtha fuel. This is because it is the closest substitute to Coleman fuel. Naphtha fuel produces the best flame that does not produce any black smoke. It is, therefore, ideal for cooking and lighting. We would recommend that you choose Naphtha fuel to substitute Coleman fuel.
However, if you are looking for the cheapest Coleman fuel substitute that will give you almost similar quality as Coleman fuel, then unleaded gasoline is the best option. It is a readily available option that you can use on most of your camping equipment from your stoves, lanterns and even generator.
If you have a camping generator, then you cannot use Naphtha fuel on it. You will need to carry either gasoline or diesel for your generator. You cannot also use Naphtha fuel on your car. This is because Naphtha fuel does not contain the important additives that make it suitable for use in generators and as car fuel.