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JMHawkins

Why does G2SS prohibit DIY alcohol stoves?

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I'd highly recommend having boys make wood-gas stoves, and there is nothing that outlaws those. I have one for backpacking made from a quart-size paint can and progresso soup can that is lightweight and boiled the water for a dinner for two with just part of a small branch picked up along the trail (backpacking in Shenandoah National Park). I think they are amazing.

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I have looked at wood-gas stoves for some time. I have been very interested in using them, and working with scouts to make them. Great project!

 

FWIW, when I was in scouts, we did all our cooking over a wood fire. No stoves, no charcoal. Every campout. Rain or shine. Car camping or backpack. That's just the way it was.

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I'd highly recommend having boys make wood-gas stoves...

 

Yep, I think you're right. They're a little bigger and heavier than alcohol stoves, but (depending on how much of a stickler you want to be for LNT) fuel doesn't need to be carried in many places. OTOH, though they're not prohibited by G2SS, they may be prohibited by your friendly neighborhood federal land manager.

 

FWIW, that's my next project with my son though, a "gas wick" version.

 

 

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"...but I'm not really as interested in cooking with alcohol as I am in making the stoves. It's the DIY that matters..."

 

A safety geek just might identify and quantify this tidbit of info as part of the risk associated with homemade alcohol stoves and suggest other camp gadgets as alternatives.

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A safety geek just might identify and quantify this tidbit of info as part of the risk associated with homemade alcohol stoves and suggest other camp gadgets as alternatives.

 

Yah, hmmm...

 

Let's see...

 

Make your own axes and saws. Always wanted to build my own propane-powered chainsaw.

Make your own propane lantern or gasoline-powered space heater.

Perhaps make your own PFD instead of wearin' one of those manufactured ones.

And helmets! Don't forget make your own helmet.

I know a fellow who has access to a full-on hydraulic metal press. That opens up things like making our own pots and pans. Especially when yeh figure we can mix in welding and lead solder ;).

 

Then there are merit badges. Make your own rocket engine. Make your own airplane! Wire your own high-voltage circuit.

 

Yep, Richard B is right. Lots more fun things out there that he hasn't yet prohibited! :)

 

Yeh know, alcohol stoves are actually pretty straightforward, safe, and functional compared to the other things out there. I know one young lad who just got into it on his own at home from readin' old Boys Life issues. Would rather have had him doin' it with coaching and supervision, but he did fine.

 

Da thing of it is, it's not keeping things away from kids that leads to safety, it's using reasonable tools to teach kids how to handle things. True safety depends on knowledge and experience, not on regulation, eh? And that's our mission

 

Beavah(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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A safety geek just might identify and quantify this tidbit of info as part of the risk associated with homemade alcohol stoves and suggest other camp gadgets as alternatives.

 

If you mean "geek" as in "a person obsessed with a particular subject to an unhealthy and unsociable extent" then you may be onto something. Also if by "safety" you mean "authoritarian prohibitions unsupported by evidence or data" instead of "the condition of being safe; freedom from danger, risk, or injury" I might agree.

 

Perhaps you meant "geek" as in "an expert or enthusiast" but that definition doesn't fit the facts as currently presented. And perhaps there is data supporting the decision and real thought behind it. I'm asking for the data, thought process and debate that went into prohibiting DIY stoves - the intellectual aspects of the things. So far I'm getting nothng but one story about a kid tragically misusing a first aid kit. There's something missing. Here's an opportunity to clear up the confusion. If something is too dangerous to allow even with proper training and precautions, a real safety expert would be able to explain what makes that so.

 

Perhaps you have the PHA for commercial alcohol stoves you can share? That's a place to start. Are all the PHAs done available somewhere on-line? It would be a good resource.

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1. I'm sad to see the home made pop can stoves be banned.

2. You can buy one that was made by a company, and is the exact same thing!

3. Alcohol IS dangerous: it is very hard to see the flame in conditions of direct sunlight. I've always felt that that fact is balanced by how easy it is to extinguish an alcohol fire with water.

4. I do choose to obey the Guide to Safe Scouting.(This message has been edited by Jay K)

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I think some of you are missing the point of the ban.

 

It's not that you ( everybody involved in the discussion on this forum) but those other folks.

 

You know the ones, right?

 

The ones who will build a pyre stack that is 12 foot around and 15 foot tall made out of oak pallets and will pour 3 or 4 cans of lighter fluid on before lighting..while at the same time handing out fiberglass sticks ( the ones driveway reflectors come on) for roating marshmellows on.

 

Yeah, I'm pretty sure most of us can make a home made stove that might even suit our individual needs better than manufactured stoves just in the fact we can customize them to our specific types of uses.

 

But, it's not your average scouts or scouters who have experience that the ban is targeting.

 

It's targeting ...gosh, should I even say it?....the redneck dads and uncles who spray those old cans of DDT that were found in the back of grandpa's shed...on the tomatoe plants because the stuff works fine.

 

It targets the men who do not understand why you can't scratch your manhood, then reach into the 5 gallon Igloo water cooler to get that canned beer you hid in there, because it's 95 degrees - and nothing cools you off like a nice frosty beer.

 

Simply put...the ban on alcohol stoves is not intended for people like yourselves who use things like common sense ans intelligence.

 

The ban is intended for the ( to borrow from National Lampoon's Vacation) " Uncle Eddie's " who somehow find their way into scouting.

 

And you know that the ban cannot be inhingant on an IQ test.

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I don't know Scoutfish.

 

The same logic could be used to say BSA should ban commercial stoves as well.

 

Or knives, saws and axes.

 

Or campfires.

 

Or any number of activities.

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"A safety geek just might identify and quantify this tidbit of info as part of the risk associated with homemade alcohol stoves and suggest other camp gadgets as alternatives."

 

Oh, dear Lord.

 

It's difficult to tell from your cryptic notes, Richard, but I hope you're not referring to yourself or anyone else in Irving. No one with that outlook has any business being involved with an organization known for fostering adventure and exploration in youth.

 

OHHH Noes!!! People want to invent and experiment and create!!! They're going to DIEEEEE!!! DANGER DANGER DANGER!!!(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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Jay K said:

2. You can buy one that was made by a company, and is the exact same thing!

3. Alcohol IS dangerous: it is very hard to see the flame in conditions of direct sunlight. I've always felt that that fact is balanced by how easy it is to extinguish an alcohol fire with water.

---

Regarding #2, that is true, HOWEVER, it is also possible to make an alcohol stove that is basically an open can of burning alcohol and not resemble any commercially made stove. Which directly relates to #3. By the time a Scout realizes the tuna can full of alcohol he knocked over in bright daylight was on fire, there is likely to be substantial damage to person and/or property. You cannot see an alcohol flame in bright daylight. You will not know you are on fire until you feel your skin melt away. Even us NASCAR rednecks know dat. So rather than attempt to define standards for what constitutes safe versus unsafe homemade alcohol stove designs, it is quite frankly simpler to ban them outright. Liquid alcohol commercial stoves are deemed "not recommended" because of the danger of the fuel when used in daylight. But they aren't banned I'm guessing because the manufacturer has liability for any damages caused by an unsafe design.

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