How To Prime A Backpacking Stove

I've been asked in the past, what is the difference between a liquid fuel stove and a canister fuel stove?  Both have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to hiking and backpacking.  When describing the difference, some people are a little apprehensive about the idea of "priming" a liquid fuel stove.  The process is actually very easy, it just takes a couple minutes and you can do it as you are getting your pots ready for dinner.

Here is a quick video I made that describes and demonstrates the priming process:

The video is with a MSR Dragonfly, burning white gas.  The process is similar for other liquid fuel stoves and with different fuels.  For example, I have used ordinary unleaded fuel in the Dragonfly before.  Replacement fuel pump: from MSR

MSR Whisperlite stove

Are there any other how to videos you would like to see?  Let me know in the comment section below.


  1. Hi,
    wow! very nice. I have watch your video clip. I did not know this method. camping stove is very useful for backpacking. Thanks for sharing.

  2. relay helpful post. We love camping. We either take the full on experience with a tent or hit a cabin, mobile home. I found this post to be very informative and helpful. I will have to recommend you to my friends. We would be camping year round if we could. We never really have a plan when we decide to go either so that makes it all the more fun. It is awesome unplugging from the high speeds of life to be able to unwind with outdoor life. Thank's for advice.

  3. Thank you for taking some time to write this post. When backpacking for your next hiking or camping trip, you don’t just pack a bit of food, clothes and a sleeping bag. Hikers and campers almost always need to boil water or cook some easy meal. This means that they need a camping or backpacking stove. See more


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