Priming our MSR Whisperlite Internationale with Denatured Ethyl Alcohol

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This is just a note for other bike tourists and people who travel with their MSR Whisperlite stoves. The wonderful thing about the Whisperlite is that it will burn plain old gasoline. The terrible thing about it is that (if you use the gasoline to prime the stove) it makes a mess every time. You're always dealing with ugly black soot on the stove.

Well, we've started using regular denatured ethyl alcohol to prime the stove, and we never have to clean it, and rarely sense any kind of fumes. Ethyl alcohol has been easy to get in Mexico and Central America - you just go to the drugstore and ask for Alcohol Etílico in a high percentage (88 or 90 grados). It's cheap and wonderful. Our stove is more reliable, but most important, I don't get dirty all the time from it. (And we can surrepticiously run it in a ventilated room because it doesn't make any smells.)

Here is a great writeup on all types of fuels and where you can get them around the world.