About White Gas
White gas, also known as Coleman Fuel, or Naphtha, is a petroleum naphtha product marketed by the Coleman Company. It is also sold generically as white gas.
It is essentially a highly refined version of unleaded gasoline that has been cleaned and modified to work well in camping equipment, specifically lanterns and camp stoves. Because it works so well for campers and backpackers, it makes a great source of fuel for lanterns and stoves stored for emergencies.
Though most camping stoves can burn both white gas and unleaded gasoline, over time, the impurities contained in unleaded gas can hurt the overall function of stove burners. White gas is by far, the better choice.
It cannot be used as a gasoline substitute.
How Does White Gas Perform?
White gas burns clean, fast, and extremely bright, and has no noticable odor. It peforms well in below-freezing temperatures, making it a very reliable fuel.
Besides burning cleaner, white gas has a higher heat output than both propane and kerosene. Less of it is required to perform the same task, requiring a shorter cook time. White gas is one-third the cost of propane cylinders. It does not give off black smoke and toxic fumes like gasoline or kerosene. Small fuel bottles are re-fillable, with no disposal considerations as there is with butane.
Brands Selling White Gas
Though white gas is known by many as Coleman Fuel, the generic form is also sold by Crown Fuel. They market this product to their customers as Crown Camp Fuel. These two are essentially the same, although Coleman Fuel contains a green dye for identification purposes and claims to have added a rust inhibitor.
How much do I need?
The burn time of white gas depends on several factors: the type of stove or lantern being used, the altitude, and the temperature.
Example: a Coleman two-burner camp stove will burn about 1.25 pints (20 ounces) of white gas per hour on high. A full tank of white gas (2.5 pints or 40 ounces) will burn for about 2 hours on high. However, if the burner is turned down to a lower setting, the fuel will last longer.
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- Ideal for small stoves and lanterns due to its refined purity and high heat output.
- Requires less fuel and burns better in higher elevations.
- Can be used at any temperature.
- It is highly flammable - handle with care.
- Must be poured into tanks attached to your equipment, not hooked up.
- Can evaporate in a closed container.
White gas should only be used outdoors.
Must be stored outside in a dry, cool, well-ventilated area away from excess heat, sparks, open flame, and oxidizing chemicals.
Store upright in its original container or a clearly labeled plastic hazardous goods container. Keep away from children and pets.
An unopened container of Coleman Fuel stored in a dry area, with no extreme changes in temperature, will remain viable for 5 to 7 years.
An opened container stored in the same area will be usable for up to 2-3 years.