Alcohol Stoves: Myths

Alcohol stoves are lightweight, convenient and very versatile, they're also very cheap to buy and almost free to make. So naturally, they get a lot of flack from commercial stove manufacturers.

Myth 1: Alcohol Stove Don't Work

They wouldn't be so popular with thousands of hikers, backpackers, campers and tinkerers if they didn't. While these stoves have their limitations, they certainly work.

Myth 2: They Aren't Reliable

Contrary to belief they are actually the most reliable stove you can get. There are no moving or separate parts and so a well-constructed burner is difficulty to break. A home-made stove can be accidentally stepped on and crushed, there's no side-stepping that issue, but you could easily make a replacement on the fly. There are also rumours that they don't work at high altitudes or in cold weather - not true! In cold weather it can be more difficult to light the fuel and it may burn less efficiently, but it will certainly work. There's also no real evidence to show that high altitudes have negative effects of alcohol stoves.

Myth 3: They are Dangerous

Alcohol is a flammable liquid, hence why this myth takes hold. With the exception of spills, alcohol stoves are no more dangerous than any other stove. If you follow common-sense safety precautions, you'll have no issues.

This post was heavily inspired by The Soda Can Stove.

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