View Full Version : OT: Ever made your own propane camp stove?

Your Old Dog
08-07-2006, 08:33 PM
(just curious to see what Evan will cough up!)

08-07-2006, 10:12 PM
I don't use propane. It's expensive, unrealiable in cold weather and the fuel takes up too much space for the burning time it gives. I take naptha stoves on long back country trips. I have two main stoves I use and I always take two packed separately when canoeing in case of a dump (never happened yet).

My oldest stove is a Svea Optimus 123 made by Primus. Great stove with nothing that can go wrong. It cannot clog as the fuel is fed to the jet by a wick and it will burn for over an hour on a fill in any weather.

This is it although mine looks a bit different because I silver plated it. I've been using it since the 70s.


I also have a Coleman Feather 400 Peak 1. It's nice too but not as hardy as the Svea although it does have higher output.


I have done a lot of deep wilderness camping in the past and a reliable camp stove is an absolute necessity. I have seen many people hauling around propane stoves and running out of fuel halfway through a trip. One of my favorite places to go canoeing is Bowron Lake Park as well as Murtle Lake in Wells Gray Park. It can be pretty wet in the woods up there at times. Finding burnable wood for a fire is not assured. Besides, it isn't a good idea to have a fire unless really needed. I have seen a lot of damage done by clueless numbskulls who strip every low hanging branch they can reach so they can have a fire.

When it comes to wilderness camping I follow one simple rule. It's called no trace camping. When I leave you can't tell I was ever there. Nothing pisses me off more than to see the damage people do to a pristine environment by thoughtless use of fires and leaving garbage behind.

Here is an example:

This picture of me was taken at Murtle Lake in Wells Gray Park Wilderness in the early 80s. The beach was snow white, so white it looked like snow in the distance. It is fine pure quartz sand. I have been back a number of times and to my complete dismay have seen the beach turn from white to gray.

The reason is from people burning campfires on the beach, against the regulations for a wilderness preserve. The charchol from the fires is pounded by the waves and mixes in the sand, turning it gray. While it doesn't hurt anything biologically it destroys the pristine appearance. Charchol is elemental carbon and it won't decay or go away until the sand itself does.

Don't get me started or I could really get into a rant.

Here is another pic from Murtle Lake:


08-07-2006, 10:31 PM
my vote is with evan for a primus stove when I was a caver years ago the small primus was the only way to go. and after 12/16 hours slogging thru wet and mud in a cave the primus was the only one to fire up every time as long as there was fuel in the tank.:D

08-08-2006, 02:53 AM
what kind of propane stove? like a big rafter style one or like a mini? slightly off topic... I built a zip stove that works well. it burns wood, pine cones , like a small blacksmiths "forge" that is electric powered and it is about as heavy as my peak one stove, it gets a couple hours of run time out of a "AA" battery, but it gets hot enough to burn wet stuff to once you get it going. a small handfull of wood will cook a meal.

anyone want a look? I will have to take pics


Evan , great pics ... beautiful country

08-08-2006, 03:14 AM
I have to agree with Evan as well, though I am one who has built his own camp stove, and yikes! it's propane powered. I built all the parts, including the tanks themselves, the regulator, valves, adjustable air openings, the burner, a secondary burner which is a tent heater and water pot warmer- the whole thing is basically a backpack with room for some of the usual stuff which a normal hiker/camper would carry. One problem- I can't take it camping because it's illegal to transport it (and to fill it for that matter). I had always wanted to build it however, and now that chapter is behind me.

I have done the Bowron lakes canoe trip, and I used a propane stove (store bought). I carried a honkin big 8 d cell flashlight and my mosquito repellent impregnated tent (this is not a recommendation). My canoe had to be one of the heaviest ever portaged through the loop. We had fun with bears during that trip, and some people who were doing the trip weren't having fun with bears- some lost basically all their stuff and had to be rescued.

At one point we set up a tent fly as a sail, lashed the two canoes together, and hurtled downwind on one of the lakes. I've never gone so fast in a canoe in my life. That was fun.

I've done Wells Gray as well. Beautiful.

08-08-2006, 08:51 AM
Samuel I would like to take a look at the stove you built.

This is one of the first things I made on my lathe. It is a propane jet that that has an air chuck adapter built on. Not much but I was very proud. I use it on my crawfish burner.





08-08-2006, 09:36 AM
{{one of the first things I made on my lathe}} I think you did one hellova job. Don't worry about the finish, unless you are going to display or sell your parts.

08-08-2006, 01:36 PM
{{one of the first things I made on my lathe}} I think you did one hellova job. Don't worry about the finish, unless you are going to display or sell your parts.

Not much but I was very proud. I use it on my crawfish burner.

Pretty much sums it up - not built for display, but rather, for actual use. In which case, it does exactly what it was intended to do. You should be proud.

A die-hard Harley guy once said to me, "Chrome don't get you home."


Your Old Dog
08-09-2006, 07:43 PM
Well your Coleman looks a similar to one I used in Viet Nam in 68. I tried to bring it home with me in my footlocker but it wasn't in there when my locker caught up with me at home. Used it daily for a year and half to heat up my shaving water! Cold water shaving was about as comfortable as dry shaving! If not mistaken it burned damn near anything you could pour in the opening includeing JP4.

I have a small collapsable butane Medalist Butane stove that unscrews and stores in a package about 1" thick. Works great hunting and tailgateing but sure don't like the really cold weather as it's hard to light with a lot of flare-ups. Nothing I'd want in a tent. That's not a problem, you ain't likely to find me in a tent at my age now! (We're thinking of a 26 foot push-out travel trailer with sat dish, microwave and TemperPedic bed !) :D

Samuel, would your stove fit in a ATVs trunk? I'd like to get a look at it if you have time to post it.