What is The Best Coleman Fuel Substitute?

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Coleman fuel is used for Coleman lanterns and stoves. It’s a petroleum naphtha product and is a white gas, a cleaner version of petrol or gasoline, and a few other ingredients that make it safer. You can also use it for other appliances with different brands that use liquid fuel.

However, for cost-conscious people like you and I, we want cheaper alternatives. So, what’s the best Coleman fuel substitute for your camping appliances that’s also cost-effective?

The Answer​

A cheaper alternative to Coleman fuel is either gasoline or kerosene. As for what’s best, it depends on a few different factors, such as cost, availability, safety, and efficiency.

Before you change to either of the two, you have to know that although Coleman is more expensive, it burns cleaner. It’s also designed to suit the equipment well. The disadvantage is that it is expensive compared to kerosene or gasoline.

Have a look at two different options and their pros and cons, to help you decide which is the best.

Unleaded Gasoline​

Unleaded gasoline (also known as petrol or gas) is a great alternative for Coleman fuel. As long as an appliance runs on liquid fuel, you can use gas. It works similar to Coleman fuel, but it’s a whole lot cheaper. Coleman fuel sells for around $18 for only 32 ounces, while gasoline is about $3 for a gallon. Though the price of gas often changes, it still cheaper than Coleman fuel.

​Unleaded gasoline is also very convenient. It’s easy to find gas stations so you can fill up a container before you go camping. It may not be difficult to look for Coleman fuel, but unleaded gasoline is more widely available.

​Unfortunately, there are a few disadvantages to using unleaded gasoline compared to using Coleman Fuel. First, it’s a little messy to use and will most likely leave some residue. You will need to clean your lantern or stove more often. But even with frequent cleaning, petrol can still clog up the tubes of your generators faster, so your appliance will need repair more sooner than later.

Gasoline also has a low flashpoint. It’s good in a way because it means it’s highly flammable (so it ignites well). However, it is not as safe as those with high flash points (like kerosene).

In the long run, however, you’ll be saving a lot by using gasoline. You can use what you’ve saved to replace the parts or the whole appliance. Even then it’ll still be a cheaper choice. When using gasoline, you have to remember that it has a brief shelf life. You can extend it by using a stabilizer, and that would still be a cheaper option.


​Kerosene is another alternative to white gas or Coleman fuel. It is petroleum with added hydrocarbons, and it comes with a lot of advantages. For one, it is widely available. In fact, it’s probably the most widely available fuel that you can find it even in remote places of the globe. That’s why it gets the title “World Traveler’s Choice.” It’s also inexpensive.

​Kerosene generates the most energy among other fuels, and it’s less flammable than gasoline. It has a higher flash point, which means it is less flammable or harder to ignite than the other types of fuel. On the other hand, it generates more energy. It allows things to cook faster than other fuel types. Did you know that it’s what they use jets and rockets? That’s why it’s also known as “jet fuel.”

Aside from the fact that it takes longer to ignite, kerosene also comes with a few other disadvantages. It is smelly and dirty, and the quality varies from place to place. The kerosene in, let’s say the Philippines, may be of a different quality than what you can find in the States. It can be dirtier or less refined.

Before using kerosene as a substitute for Coleman fuel, be sure to acquire more info about your equipment. The same goes for gasoline. These may leave some residue that can clog up your lantern or stove fast.

Bottom Line

​You can substitute Coleman fuel with either kerosene or gasoline, considering you check first if the equipment allows it. Usually, if it can run on Coleman fuel, it can also run on either of the two.

What’s the best Coleman fuel substitute? Our choice is kerosene. It’s widely available, affordable, and safe. It may take longer to ignite, but it is safer and cleaner than gasoline. Just don’t forget to check compatibility with your equipment. Also, always be cautious when using any fuel.

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