I think everyone agrees that they don’t make things like they used to do.  Coleman Camp Stoves are no exception.  The quality of the current  generation of camp stoves falls way short of the well built camp stoves of the 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s.

My family bought a Coleman model 413F back in the early 60’s.  My family wasn’t much for camping but I have fond memories of my Father pumping up the stove fuel tank for Saturday breakfast up the canyon.   When my parents passed, I  inherited the stove and now at over 50 years old it is still a great stove.

My wife was at a thrift store and saw two old Coleman camp stoves.  One was a  Coleman 413G (circa 1964) in pretty good condition, just greasy and dirty, and it was missing the fuel tank.  The price was $3.  Here is a before picture.

The other one was a Coleman 426B three burner (circa 1954) in fair shape, greasy, dirty, and some rust, and it was missing the fuel tank.  The price was $4.

She called me and asked if I wanted her to buy them.  The 413G was a for sure because it was in good condition and I decided to take a chance on the 426B, even though it wasn’t in as good of shape, because you don’t find a three burner stove that often.

What good is a stove without a fuel tank?  Those pump-up liquid fuel tanks that use Coleman Fuel or white gas are hard to find used and if you do find them, they are very pricey.  I’m pretty sure that is why these two stoves were in a thrift store for $3 or $4.


But there is an easy solution.   Stansport Propane Converter  Converts liquid gas style camp stoves to safe, convenient and dependable propane in just seconds.  Currently $16 shipped.  Stansport and Century make converters.  The Century Propane Converter is $26 currently.  Both have great reviews.   They both use a 16.4 oz propane cylinder.


With an adapter hose you can hook them up to a 5 gallon bulk cylinder (the kind BBQ grills use).  Coleman Adapter Hose is 5′ long and is $17.  Mr. Heater Adapter Hose is 12′ long and is $21.


When the stoves arrived at home I installed a propane converter into each stove and screwed on a propane cylinder, turned on the propane and WOW, both stoves lit right up.  So now it was time for some cleaning.

I decided to work on the cleanest one first.    After an hour of scrubbing with a stiff nylon brush, scotch pad and degreaser, I had the 413G looking as good as it was going to look.

Here is an after picture of my “new” Coleman Camp Stove.  Not bad for $19 ($3 for the stove and $16 for the propane converter).

Check out thrift stores and garage sales.  Look for stoves that are in good shape, a small dent or two is okay, dirty is okay because dirty cleans up.  Any 50 year old metal stove is bound to have a rust spot here or there but keep the rust to a minimum.

You can add a great camp stove to your camping or emergency supplies for not much money.  Good Luck.




Ed Rogers
Copyright “Keep It Simple” 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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