8.5
Reviewed Stoves

A safer camping fuel but how well does it work

£2.50

Add to wishlistAdded to wishlistRemoved from wishlist 1
Add to compare
SKU: Bio-Ethanol Gel Fuel
Brand: Vango

We test out the Vango Fuel Gel, which is an eco-friendly and safer alternative to meths. But how well does it perform?

Anyone who appreciates the outdoors will be concerned with any environmental impact.

We may all follow the mantra of “Leave No Trace” but what about the wider impact? Are the things we are wearing, doing, and even the travelling to the countryside causing a negative environmental impact.

So it’s great to see that Vango has introduced an eco-friendly camping fuel.

The Vango Eco Fuel Gel

The fuel is a bio-ethanol gel.

It’s smokeless and non-toxic.

A Safer Alternative

If you are using traditional liquid fuels, such as meths, which has bean used in Trangias for decades, then there’s a risk as the stuff is very flammable, can easily leak, and it also stinks when burnt.

The Eco Bio-Ethanol fuel is much safer.

You if you get the gel on your finger, it doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t easily spill, and if it did, it can be easier to wipe up.

It’s very easy to extinguish. Just cover it up.

Oh, and it’s not toxic to the food you are cooking and eating.

These safety features has meant that this fuel is now approved by both the Scouts Association and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

But is it any good?

On a very cold winter camp, I pitted the Eco Fuel in a Trangia against a typical not-so-eco camping gas stove to boil the water for the first brew of the day.

Now it should be noted that the Trangia isn’t going to boil a kettle full of cold water in anywhere near the time it takes a modern gas stove that is designed to put out a lot of heat.

And sure enough, despite giving the Trangia a head start, the gas stove got to the boil first.

So apart from the speed, how did they compare?

Well, the gas stove got to a good rolling boil in a full kettle of water.

The Trangia never quite got that far.

I had filled the Trangia burner full of the gel, and it had burnt out before the kettle got to a rolling boil. The water was hot enough to make a good warming drink.

It also would have been easy to re-fill the fuel on the Trangia and continue, but I wanted to see just how far a burner full of fuel would go. …. and it did burn for ages, but it wasn’t enough to bring it to a rolling boil on that cold morning.

Verdict

If you use something like a Trangia, I think this Eco Fuel is a no-brainer over meths. Putting its eco credentials aside, it’s a lot safer all around.

It will be good enough to warm food and even make hot drinks, but obviously, a less eco-friendly gas burner will be quicker. 😉

8.5Expert Score
The Vango Fuel Gel is much safer to have around kids than liquid fuels.
Value for Money
7.5
Quality
8
Family Friendly
10
PROS
  • There's no doubt that this is much safer than meths. And it's good for the environment too.
CONS
  • It's not going to cook as quick as a gas burner.

Where to Buy: A safer camping fuel but how well does it work

Last updated: 2019-09-18 10:30:57

4 reviews for A safer camping fuel but how well does it work

0.0 out of 5
0
0
0
0
0
Write a review
Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating
  1. Bret

    Hello,

    From your photos, you had the simmer ring on the Trangia meths burner. This throttles down the heat output – that’s what the simmer ring’s purpose is. If you’re boiling water, you have no reason to throttle down the heat output – that’s not a fair comparison.

    And the gel will not work well when put into the Trangia spirit burner. The burner is designed for liquid denatured ethyl alcohol – “methylated spirits”. You could flip the burner and put the gel on the bottom surface, or use Trangia’s dedicated gel support to put the flame at the right height for best transmission to the pot.

    I half-expect putting the gel into the Trangia burner (instead of on the bottom where it can’t flow into the reservoir) would gum it up. It certainly won’t burn properly there.

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  2. Tailslol

    If you don’t have the new burner for gel,use a bottom of a beer can.using in the meth burner can damage the wicks.

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
    • Tireless Trekkers

      Gav Grayston

      Great tip!

      Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  3. Al Fredders

    You do need to use the special gel burner for this fuel with the Trangia – it burns much better then – it barely works if you use it in the meths burner.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  4. Steve

    I think you were putting the gel in the meths burner right ? There is a special more open container for the gel and if burns quicker , with more heat output. Worth a re- try

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
    • Tireless Trekkers

      Gav Grayston

      Yes, that’s right, there’s a new burner available.  We don’t have one yet. Definitely worth retrying with one.

      Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
    • Tireless Trekkers

      Gav Grayston

      Yes, that’s right, there’s a new burner available.  We don’t have one yet. Definitely worth retrying with one.

      Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

    Add a review

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


      Review Author

    Show full profile

    Contributor

    Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

    A safer camping fuel but how well does it work
    A safer camping fuel but how well does it work

    £2.50

    Get Out With The Kids
    Compare items
    • Total (0)
    Compare