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359 The Coleman Stove 2011-03-09

Coleman Duel Fuel Stove

Growing up in the Boy Scouts the only stove we used was the Coleman, two burner stove. Our troop had a "camp" which was just a piece of land where the owner didn't mind allowing the Boy Scouts to hang out. One of our troop's camping fixtures was a Coleman stove. It got plenty of use. All of the scouts learned to operate the stove; but we were still boys, we would rather play in the fire than cook on a stove.

As I began to backpack and mountaineer, I exclusively used lightweight equipment. Coleman was not on the list of preferred equipment. Even in campgrounds I preferred the compact, lightweight stoves to the heavy Coleman version. Coleman did not make cool gear to me at that time.

Years passed, then last weekend I used a Coleman stove again. My wife and I were going car camping with thirteen of her students. The night before the trip, we spent some time choosing equipment. We needed a stove that would heat lots of water for hot chocolate. After looking through our collection of stoves I asked Amy about her Coleman stove. We pulled it out and set it up. The process was still the same as forty years ago! We then gave it a few pumps and presto we had a flame. The amazing thing about the instant flame was the fuel had been in the tank for eleven or twelve years! It still started.

On the trip it performed flawlessly. The two burners allowed us to have two large pots of water going at the same time. Anyone who has been camping with 6th graders knows the importance of cocoa and marshmallows to the overall success of the campout.

After our experience with the Coleman, the stove moved up a few steps on our favorite stove ladder. Of course the stove is the size of a suitcase, weighs ten pounds, and you would probably be thrown in jail if you tried to take it on a plane; but it has it's advantages too.

Now for a few Coleman Stove tips...

The Coleman Stove is the campground stove. None are better.

There are relatively few parts. If you keep it clean and out of the weather it should last for years.

Oil the pump every now and then to keep the seal from dry rotting.

Don't leave fuel in the fuel tank for extended periods of time (which we did and the stove still worked.)

Amy claims a big advantage of the stove is that you can actually cook on it, not just boil water.

Coleman says the stove uses 40 ounces of fuel for two hours of burn time. Two hours of cooking is actually a lot of cooking.

REI sells a quart of fuel for $8.00. Wow, that is $32.00 a gallon.

Our Coleman is a duel fuel model, it also burns unleaded fuel. With Coleman fuel at $32.00 a gallon, $5.00 for a gallon of unleaded seems pretty reasonable!

The stove is tough. It is even Boy Scout tested tough.

Coleman vs Gaz 270 Boiling water test

On my stove test it took 3 minutes and 40 seconds to bring 16 ounces of water to a boil in warm but breezy conditions.

I tested the Coleman against our old Gaz CV270 powerhouse ... it was another 35 seconds before the Gaz boiled water. Note: the fuel canister for the Gaz stove was almost empty and the stove does not have a wind screen. I left the lid off both pots (good for testing, but not the most efficient means of heating water) and used identical MSR pots.

The bulky size and weight of the stove are it's only drawbacks. In a small car the stove would take up a lot of space.

If you have never used a Coleman Stove, you are in for a treat. It is one big, tough stove. Somehow I feel like a truck commercial! Ha!


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