Types of stoves

Stoves generally can be classified by the type of fuel that they use, and by whether the fuel is burned under pressure or not. Liquid fuels are most commonly used – solid fuel stoves are not satisfactory for longer trips. Liquid fuel stoves that operate at normal air pressure use either methylated spirits or liquid petroleum gas such as propane or butane. Liquid fuel stoves that operate under pressure use petroleum in some form, such as white spirit or white gas (often sold under the brand ‘Shellite’), kerosene or petrol. Some stoves have pumps to increase pressure, while others generate the necessary pressure as the fuel warms in a tank. These stoves can be subdivided into those with a ported burner (rather like domestic gas stoves) and those that are unported, which have a flame spreading plate, and make a loud roaring or ‘chooffing’ noise when operating.

There are advantages and disadvantages in all the different types of stoves available, and it is well worth considering these before you buy a stove. You should consider all options and all likely uses before purchase, as stoves are expensive, but with proper care will last a very long time.