How to find meths (methylated spirits)

(Info in pink from Alice and Andoni Thanks guys!

Country Name Picture Price per litre Where to buy it Comment
UK Methylated spirit   €4

1) Hardware stores
2) Camp/outdoor stores
3) Pharmacies

Most small towns will have it.


Tastes nasty, keep your burner out of your pans

Austria Brennspiritus   €9.60    
France Alcool a bruler   €1.50 All largeish supermarkets


Does not taste bad, keep your burner in your pans.

Italy Alcool Etilico denaturato €2-3

1) All pharmacies, but beware of being offered the pure and very expensive version.
2) Many supermarkets have it in half litre bottles, where it is cheaper
3) 90% available from paint shops


Tastes really bad


Germany Brennspiritus   €2 Supermarkets and shops  

"ino - pneuma"

€1.20 All small and large general stores

Blue in half litre bottles, tastes OK.

This country is great! anywhere you can get food, you get meths.

Slovenia Etanol €3.40 96% Ethanol from petrol stations  


€1.60 In about one in five small general stores Although the bottle in the photo is blue, I have seen an orange one. Half litre glass bottles

The label says "Alcool Sanitar" but the locals refer to it as "Spirt"


Found in pretty much all general stores in any village.

Info from 2022 (thanks Derry) that it is called alcool technik but hard to find, try the larger hardware shops such as Dedeman and Brico Depot.

Various brands available, always blue.

This is only 70% or 75% alcohol, some find that this won't burn for them, we found it to take longer to boil water.

It is too slow for melting snow and needs real tender loving care to light on cold mornings.

Alcool Tehnic


€1.00 In petrol stations and the odd village store


This stuff is the business. It is 90% alcohol.

Ukraine and Russia


Very hard to get

100 ml ! €4.00 After searching widely I found one pharmacy selling 100 ml bottles. Not every pharmacy sells them. I have used solid blocks of hexy fuel as an alternative.
TABLETOK (solid hexy fuel)

€1.00 for 24 cubes. Found in hardware stores (Rospodari Tovari) Found once at a bike bits stall at the market Each cube boils 0.5 litre of water. Place the cube on a bit of tin can balanced over where the burner normally goes.
Siberia I have to admit failure here. If you are travelling the trans siberian route. The mosquitos are so numerous, cooking is onorous. The cafes do good food for 2 dollars a meal and are at 40 km intervals. This is cheaper than buying food. A thermos is nice here if you are a tea addict. They will fill it for less than 20 cents. It will keep overnight for a hot cup in the morning without opening the tent door!     I have read of friend getting meths in Irkutz with the help of a British Petroleum company. It is a by product of vodka manufacture and called spirt.  
Mongolia More bad news. Bring a petrol stove.        

Thankyou to Li of Norwich for this information


It can be found in one out of five pharmacies. Head for the ones with people having drips administered (Identified by red crosses) These sell 500 ml bottles. Any large/ medium town will have it if you search.

The upper bottle I found in a general grocery store. Also we are told in hardware stores. Less than one in 10 stores had it.

Is 95 %, burns well and does not taste bad.

The stuff from the grocery or hardware stores is less than 95%, but burns tolerably well.





The 'supplier type' pharmacy has litres for sale. Smaller places have 100 ml bottles

We bought in Udomxai, so larger places eg. Luang Prabang probably all have it.

90 %


nb. cafe food so cheap, little meths needed on main routes.



(Could not find meths, but Isopropanol burns ok in this heat)

Special care needed above 30 degrees shade temp, stove burns like a demon.

$2.10 Pharmacies have 500 ml bottles

Keep your burner seperately from the pans. I have a vague memory that Isopropanol is POISONOUS I have not tasted it!

Most people will not need trangia here, food cheap and available along the road every 3 km ish. Water heating coils on sale here are great for a hot cup.

Malaysia Methylated spirit $3.00 Sold in the pharmacy. 2 out of 3 pharmacies in Penang had it.

Clear, burns well.

Heating coil is a good way to save buying water here if in hotels.

Australia Methylated spirit, or "metho" $3 to $5 Found in most petrol stations and supermarkets.  
Spain Alcohol de Quemar Info from Steve Lord (Thanks) Cheap

Grocery shops

readily available

Turkey yspirto


Info from Alice and Andoni (thanks)


scarce, in some foodshops and supermarkets

Shop in Istanbul is here:

In recycled pop and water bottles. Burns well.
Columbia Alcohol industrial Info from Steve Tobar (thanks) $1.50 In hardware stores all over the country, called "ferreteria" Burns well and clean
South America (Guatamala to peru)   Info from Steve Tobar (thanks)   In pharmacies. No problems  
Belgium Alcool a bruler Branstof supermarket reported no problems in getting
Holland / Netherlands Spiritus     Supermarket in the house cleaning section, Outdoor shops such as Bever  
Germany Spirt Blue supermarket
Libya   Tiny bottles Info from Steve Tobar (thanks)   Pharmacys but got 1 litre from hospital in Bengasi  
Czech republic Spirt   any drugstore, sometimes supermarket very good quality
Oman Surgical spirit Info from Steve Tobar (thanks) 2.4 Rials Muscat Pharmacy in most towns 95% with camphor smells nice
United Arab Emirates   Info from Steve Tobar (thanks)   Choitram supermarkets 70% very slow to cook with
Macedonia       100ml bottles in some pharmacies  
Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania methylated spirit Info from Steve Tobar (thanks) 2 USD supermarkets and pharmacies, variety of sizes. Easy to get. Always purple. burns slowly
Croatia Etilni Alkohol Info from Simon Dunford (thanks) £6.50

96% from DIY shop

70% also available from chemists

Serbia Alkohol, Etanol Info from Simon Dunford (thanks) £1.78

96% from car accessories shop

70% also available from chemists

Bosnia and Herzegovina Etilni Alkohol €16 Only legally sold in pharmacies  
Montenegro Etilni Alkohol   €13 Only legally sold in pharmacies (apotek)  
Albania Etilni Alkohol 300 lek Cleaning products section of supermarkets  
Austria Spirit drugstores, sometimes supermarkets

For more countries and other fuels see