How Do Multi Fuel Camping Stoves Work

How Do Multi Fuel Camping Stoves Work

Multi fuel camping stoves are lightweight stoves that burn liquid fuel such as butane, kerosene or petrol. Liquid fuel is mixed with air and channeled through the jet towards the burner. Because the fuel is mixed with air, priming is required. Unlike portable camping stoves with operate using butane gas cylinders, the effectiveness of multi fuel camping stoves aren't affected by the cold weather.


With many parts of Australia reaching close to zero degree temperatures overnight, you'll find your normal butane cooker won't work. Multi fuel camping stoves are a great alternative to ensure you can still enjoy a hot cuppa and bacon and eggs in the morning!

VIDEO: How to light a Multi Fuel Stove using Unleaded Fuel


How to prime the multi fuel camping stove-

To start, you need to prime the unit by pumping the valve about 15 times which puts pressure into the cylinder for initial combustion. While you can use a whole range of fuels, the one I tend to use is unleaded fuel. Next you open the value up the top to literally squirt fuel over the top of the stove burners. Once the fuel is on top of the stove burners, use a long necked fire starter to ignite the fuel.


Initially there will be a large burst of flame, hence why you use a long necked fire starter not matches! Once this fuel burns off after around 30 seconds, the element will be hot and ready for use. You’ll see that vaporization has started and the flame will now draw fuel that it needs from the canister. There is no need to presurise the canister once lit. The other advantage of mixing fuel and air are that the flame will burn much hotter providing much quicker cooking times. Under good conditions and dependent on cooking equipment it is said that you can boil water in around 3 minutes. We've tested this and found it to be around 5-6 minutes with no lid, which was about 3 minutes quicker than using a butane stove.

Once you have finished cooking, you need to turn off your multi fuel camping stove.

The way to do this is to turn canister over so that instead of pulling in fuel, it is sucking in air. This stove is designed so that when the hose is turned up it no longer draws in fuel and instead draws in air. What then happens is that the excess fuel that is in the fuel line burns out. This will take around 10-15 seconds.

This is an important point to reinforce why you always need to have the hose standing up the right way when starting the oven. If you try to start the stove when the hose is in the down position, it will not work.   

While multi fuel camping stoves are a bit more expensive than your standard cooker which runs of a butane cylinder, I can personally attest to their effectiveness to continue to work in really cold conditions. There have been times while everyone else has been struggling to cook a hot brekky in the morning, I have been calming making a cup of tea and cooking up bacon!


 by: Rhiannon Peterson