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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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  #1  
Old 27 May 2006
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Is parraffin obsolete?

I've read a lot about multi - fuel stoves,petrol,diesel,white gas and coleman fuel.What happened to parraffin?Am I so out of touch or has it been remarketed(heating solutions....etc)Would be good to know what it is called in E.europe if anyone can help.................
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Old 28 May 2006
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Is kerosene not the modern term used for what was known as paraffin?
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Old 28 May 2006
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Yes, Kerosene=Paraffin... and Kerosene is still very much a preferable fuel.

As for multifules, all the different fuels have their pros and cons, as do different burners.

Gas: this is the best fuel. It is clean. Also, it doesn't produce a lot of smoke, poisonous fumes, or any significant ammount of deposits that will require lots of maintenance of your burner. Also, no worries about the fuel contaminating you, your food, or anything else for that matter. The drawback is that gas containers may not be readily available, and for the ammount of burn time you get, they are a bit bulky. Although they normally don't require preheating or manual pumping, they will need preheating in sub zero temperatures. And what will you use to preheat??? Not gas obviously. So in these instances you will need to carry some other type of fuel in adition to gas, just to get it burning, which defeats some of its purpose... and preheating can also be an explosive feat. Gas is very efficient. It is truely awesome when you have it.

Industrial cleaned gasoline: Excellent stuff which doesn't require a lot of maintenance of the burner, and burns pretty clean. A draw back is that the fuel may not be readily available.

Unleded gasoline (the kind you put in your car): This contains aditives which creates deposits in your burner, requiering a lot of maintenance and frequent servicing. Also, it creates posionous fumes, is extremely flamable (dangerous), smells bad, and is generally pretty messy). The pros with gasoline is that it is readily available.

Leaded gasoline: Should under no circumstance be used as it contains seriously health hazardious toxins (but I still use it). Besides that, pretty much like unleaded. Readily available where unleaded is not, and vice versa.

Diesel: Creates a lot of soot, smokes, smells, and is in general much more messy than any other type of fuel. You will have a lot of maintenance, servicing and discomfort with this fuel. Diesel should not be used if other fuel is available.

Kerosene: Readily available all over the world, but share much of the same characteristis as gasolene. It is however not as dangerous as it has a higher flash point. It is also a little cleaner and better than non-industrial gasolene. It is the preferred choice after gas and industrial gasolene... if they are available. But, as it is so much more readily available than for instane industrial gasolene, it beats it hands down in terms of practicalities... and in many instances also gas. Another good thing about kerosene is that it is really cheap, compared to lets say industrial gasolene.

Red Rubbing Alcohol: In multifuel burners, the alcohol will make all rubber brittle, requiering replacement after only a few usages. It should not be used in these burners. There are however specially designed burners for alcohol, such as the familiar "storm kitchen". It does however take forever to cook on these things, and are very inefficient.

Log wood Fire: Nothing can beat it for its cozyness!


In general, for trekking my favourite is gas, if I can get it, if not, then kerosene... but for my Africa trip, it is all leaded fuel as I carry it on my bike anyways. Multifuel burners are great as they offer versatility, but where available, you will likely use gas every time, with kerosene as a close second (except maybe on a motorcycle, of which many will opt for whatever is on the tank).





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Old 29 May 2006
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Fuel efficiencies

I got the following figures from a very good article on fuel/stove efficiencies at www.bushwalking.org.au under the FAQ section.

Butane/propane mix 11.9 Kcal/gm
Petrol (gasoline) 10.2 Kcal/gm
Kerosene (parafin) 10.1 Kcal/gm
Metho (meths) 5.0 Kcal/gm

The author makes some interesting comparisons, including costs. For myself, I would always use a multifuel type of stove which uses the bike fuel but could if required, use kerosene. With 32 litres of fuel available, adequate quantity isn't an issue. Obtaining the correct type of gas cartridges is unless you're in Europe.
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Old 29 May 2006
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Thanks all for the feedback,well informative.Do I presume kerosene is non poisonous(I'm going with a veggie P.C.type mate)also is kerosene the name to ask for in the outback of eastern europe?
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Old 30 May 2006
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If you get kerosine/parraffin in your food, even small ammounts, you will get the runs, but you won't die or anything. Store your fuel separate from your food and you will be ok.

A well serviced and maintained burner shouldn't create a lot of smoke with kerosene. In the army we used the jet plane version of Parraffin, called F35. It is not as clean as regular parraffin, or the superior "smoke/soot free" lamp parraffin. We still used it inside even the smallest of tents, no problems. Manufacturers allways insist that their burners should not be used inside, both from a fire precaution point of view, and from a CO2 point of view. I've been cooking/heating inside the tent with both alcohol burners, paraffin and gas, no problem. I have no experience with Diesel, but I'm guessing I would keep it outdoors if I had to resort to it, as would I with leaded gasolene.

As for what to ask for, I'd bet paraffin. That is atleast the name it goes by in Norway. I think the name Kerosine is only really used in English native speaking countries.

As for the post regarding weight/effect of fuel, this may be a bit misleading. Weight is ofcourse an issue, but so is volume. I'm not sure what the volume to effect ratio would be, but I bet those small gas canisters wouldn't make it to the top of the list... anybody know?
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Old 30 May 2006
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I can't fault my good old MSR - the fact that I just unclip the fuel hose and fill the bottle off the tank saves any worries about running out of fuel to cook. If you don't have enough petrol to boil a few litres of water and you're in the middle of nowhere then you're screwed anyway!

never had any problems with getting ill or contaminated food etc. Some friends of mine had an incident with their MSR when they deregulated the pump, over-pressurised the bottle and the hose burst out, igniting a jet of fuel that was coming out of the bottle. The bottle was spinning round fast as the jet was coming out sideways, creating an exciting catherine-wheel meets flamethrower affair which took out one tent and a pair of jeans (being worn by my friend at the time). Don't dick around with the pump and they are as safe as houses.

As far as concerns froma veggie type/slash tree hugger point of view I don't see why there would be a problem, but all the stoves mentioned use fossil fuels! To be safe you could cook using wood marked from a sustainable forest......
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Old 30 May 2006
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Parrafine is an old saying nowadays, though kerosene is not used much also around (at least in Türkiye) and hard to find except industry.
I faced the same problems mentioned above with my MSR. But wood makes your metals black and it is very hard to clean.
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Old 30 May 2006
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Thanks again for all the info.Much chuffed - I'm off to dig out the old Primus('69vintage) to see how many days it takes to boil I litre of water.Next step meths...... Prob use petrol soaked bit of paper to preheat.Cheers for all the help
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Old 30 May 2006
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Talking

Stove comparison at the UK Travellers Meeting - bring your stove!

See you there, Grant
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Old 30 May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzo
I've read a lot about multi - fuel stoves,petrol,diesel,white gas and coleman fuel.What happened to parraffin?Am I so out of touch or has it been remarketed(heating solutions....etc)Would be good to know what it is called in E.europe if anyone can help.................
In France it is known as Mazout and can be had pre packed in 1 5 and 20 litre containers from most supermarkets. ( try to pick one witha diy section. also hidden away in the shelves will be 'huile lampant' which is lamp oil, a smokeless paraffin. Usually in 1 litre containers only.
personally I use a little back packers camping gaz stove that packs down to teh size of a mug, always carry a spare cannister and keep one on the stove. they may not be cost efficient for long trips but are certainly handy. Note a windsheild helps to save a lot of gas.
I have found the best places in the UK for parafin to be little 'arkwrights stores' rather than the supermarkets.
Whilst on this subject has anyone any experience using a 'kelly kettle' ?
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  #12  
Old 31 May 2006
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Ace stuff.Thanks again - Grant,would be there but(unless the wheels come off big time)We'll be in E.europe then.
Cheers for the supply info also,sorry can't help on the kelly kettle front,good luck
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