Coleman manufactures the best heat-production equipment that is ideal for camping. They have everything you need – from gas lanterns, stoves, and catalytic heaters to tents, coolers and sleeping bags. If you need a one-stop shop for your camping necessities, Coleman is there to help you out.
Experienced campers prefer Coleman lanterns and heaters to other brands. They’re very functional and durable. Even the old models I purchased a long time ago still work at the time of writing. However, the special Coleman propane fuels which are bought separately from the equipment are a bit expensive. Coleman’s premium blend fuel is a bit pricey.
Being a cheapskate that I always was, I scouted and tried other fuel substitutes that will work well for my Coleman lantern (Disclaimer: Not all products listed are cheap).
Read on below for my review.
3 Of The Coleman Fuel Substitutes
1. SUNNYSIDE CORPORATION 1-Gallon Kerosene Fuel
Many agree that Kerosene is a better substitute than any fuel alternatives in the market. They are cheaper, relatively pure, cleaner (doesn’t clog up your lantern that quickly) and safer (propane gas is more likely to be explosive).
Another noticeable thing about using this kerosene fuel for my lantern is the increased illumination of the flame. With the Coleman propane gas, the light was somewhat yellowish, but with kerosene, it’s a bright white.
However, it will require some effort and a risky attitude (for those anxious about starting explosions and such) to convert your Coleman lantern that runs on gas to kerosene. Most professionals replace the generators of the lanterns while some just add a primer cup.
The process will definitely add to the cost, and since I don’t want to shed another good money for that, I just made do of an alcohol-soaked cotton ball, wrapped it around the generator, lit it, and turn the lever of the lantern “on”. This is safe, I promise. But if you’re not brave enough to do that, better proceed with other fuel alternatives that wouldn’t need converting.
2. MSR Super Fuel White Gas
If you don’t want to use Kerosene and do all the necessary system conversions, then the MSR Super Fuel White Gas will serve you well. All stoves and lanterns that utilize Coleman fuel will also work when on White Gas. Pretty convenient, huh?
The Naphtha or white gas is another great Coleman fuel substitute. The reason why it’s called a “white gas” is because of its unparalleled purity which makes the fuel appear colorless.
There’s not much difference when it comes to the price of the Coleman gas and this gas. But, you can use it as an alternative if you run out of the Coleman one. It works exactly the same as the Coleman gas, only better.
The perks of using white gas include a clean burn, reduced clogging, burns well, and effortless for switching your appliance on.
I used my 5-yr old MSR super fuel on my Coleman portable gas stove and it worked flawlessly. I cooked a ton of food for 2 nights and 3 days while figuring my way out of the wilderness. Mind you, there’s still a lot left when I finally made my way home.
A good choice it is!
3. Unleaded Gasoline
Yes, you heard it right. Unleaded gas works alright too. You can buy it at your nearest gasoline stations.
Unleaded gasoline can also be used for stoves, lanterns, heaters, etc. Quite obviously, it is highly qualified to be used as a Coleman gas substitute too. It is substantially cheaper than the White Gas and the Coleman fuel.
However, most gas lanterns won’t work run well if you use unleaded gas. It doesn’t burn longer than the other fuel substitutes in our list. Furthermore, it can clog your equipment’s generator.
This is how it works: the equipment’s generator sits beneath the flame producer and the liquid fuel enters the generator, gets vaporized thereby creating pressure to push the vapor through the ring burner, igniting the flame. In the case of unleaded gasoline, the dissolved substances in the gasoline are not easily vaporized, thus they are left in the generator and will eventually be a cause of clogging.
If you want to prolong your equipment’s life, avoid using unleaded gasoline to power it up, if possible. I only use it for emergency purposes such as typhoons and storm surges, when I can’t go out to purchase a kerosene or white gas.
Read More: 5 Of The Best Camping Games For Adults
If you’re planning to use an alternative to the Coleman premium fuel, you should take some things into consideration such as the condition of your equipment and appliances (a very, very old one might react badly to your fuel substitute), how often will you be using your equipment, and what are you expecting from using the fuel substitute.
How about you? What Coleman fuel substitutes do you usually use? Weird suggestions are gladly accepted. Comment your tips below!
Did you find this article useful? If so, share this article to help our fellow cheapskates find a good fuel alternative.
I’m Cindy, a free-spirited outdoor enthusiast. Since childhood, Our family frequently goes on weekend camps and my father, who was a skilled hunter, used to teach my siblings and me valuable things about wildlife survival. I made this blog to share my knowledge, experiences, and tips.