There are loads of stoves on the market and more every year, but if you are arriving in Turkey by air, you can’t bring fuel with you. So you have to decide which stove to bring by the fuel options you can find in Turkey.
Here is a list, with info about where you can get them:
- Unleaded petrol (Kurşunsuz benzin) from any gas station. Cheap and easy, BUT many stoves using petrol require priming with meths (see below).
- Meths/white gas (İspirto). Meths in Turkey is coloured purple or blue and is not as pure as American white gas. In plastic or glass bottles from hunting or hardware stores and some butchers (for barbecues!). Medium price.
- Gas cylinders (Gaz kartuş). Three types of fixing – pierce top, screw top and valve top. Gas dealers, hunting stores, Migros. Pierce top (ana gövde) are easy to find, medium price; valve top (kitlemeli) rare and not cheap; screw top (Vidalı) are still pretty rare and expensive. Edelrid makes an adaptor – get it before you come (Amazon). All come in two sizes – about 180gm and 500gm – the latter is used mainly in the Kaçkar. Cylinders can be mail ordered before you arrive and delivered to your hotel or any other address (including to us).
- Ethanol Gel fuel (reşo yakıtı jel, jel yak), also known as chafing fuel. Comes either in a metal tub, which you just open and light, or a plastic bottle (for refills). Tub lasts about 2.5-4 hours. Hardware stores, but not common; cheap.
4. Denatured alcohol fuel (Denatüre alkol yakıtı), or methylated spirits, can be used in a beer or soda can stove. It can be bought at any hardware or paint store, outdoor stores (ie. REI, EMS, Cabelas), and occasionally in the camping section of general stores. As a rule, the alcohol content should be 90% or higher in order to burn hot enough for cooking. For a more through explanation, click here.
The stove types that use these fuels are endless, and range from cheap and easy to complicated, versatile and expensive.
- Ethanol – no stove required – just set up a ring of stones which keeps your pot about 2cm above the flame. Cooking speed – slow. Poor at altitude. Clean.
- Meths stove (or white gas) (Trangia, Makalu) – light, easy, old-fashioned, with some more modern versions now available. Cooking speed – slow. Poor at altitude. Dirty.
- Gas stoves – ranging from cheap to expensive, small and light (Ultralight) to heavy (Coleman). Cooking speed – medium. Medium at altitude. Cleanest.
- Liquid fuel stoves (MSR, Coleman, etc) – ranging from medium to expensive, clumsy and heavy (you have to keep the fuel bottles half-filled or they perform poorly). Cooking speed – fastest. Good at altitude. Dirtiest.
- Soda/beer can stove – an easy and cheap option for the casual trekker. Cooking speed – slow. Clean. The main drawback is that you can’t shut if off when you are done with the meal, you will have to wait for the fuel to burn out completely. The main advantage is that if any of your stove equipment breaks, it can be replaced easily. For information on how to make your own soda/beer can stove, click here.
Useful links. None of these have English language option. Click on mağaralarımız or İletişim to find the store addresses.
http://www.decathlon.com.tr/ (about 6 in Turkey)
http://www.k2outdoor.com.tr – one store in İstanbul
http://www.adrenalinoutdoor.com – 2 shops in Istanbul, one in Adana.
Finally, every Turkish shepherd carries around a piece of çıra (resin-soaked wood from the core of a pine tree) and a cigarette lighter. With these, they can light a fire and cook anywhere, even after rain. DON’T TRY IT YOURSELF – ASK A LOCAL!