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fred johnson

Yearning to ditch propane and return to white gas

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We switched to whisper lights and white(Coleman) fuel full time. All the reasons stated here, waste of small canisters, storage of canisters, etc.

 

Also we only use fuel for cooking, with LED's and their low power consumption, all light is battery driven. (Well campfires too!)

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I have one of these

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/new-us-military-m1950-gas-stove?a=459602

 

My dad picked it up someplace and gave it to me years ago.  I love the versatility, and it works great....but frankly I'm a bit scared of it.  One of these days I might tear it down and give the seals a good look-see.

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That's what the G2SS states now, but what was it 10 or 15 years ago?  

 

To the best of my knowledge there has never been a "ban" on white gas / Coleman fuel, back at least 10 years, circa 2006.    

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My understanding is that the switch to propane is because it's easier and safer to use. I got a 2 burner propane stove, and I got a Whisperlight International, which burns white gas, among other things. Yes the propane is easier and  I've had some issues with it. Also one of my buddies had issues with his white gas stove. It was an interesting fireball. thankfully we had a second, propane backpacking stove.

 

be advised, it's illegal to transport those little canisters if you refill them. And you can't recycle them unless there is a whole in the canister, at least in my neck of the woods. So I got a bunch being collected for when I can arrange to have teh holes placed in them

 

As for finding white gas, in my neck of the woods it's easier to find it than the isopropyl alcohol canisters.

What are isopropyl alcohol canisters? 

I've never heard of isopropyl alcohol being used in camping, except to put on bug bites. 

Edited by perdidochas

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That sounds like a lot of propane cylinders.  I wonder how many Troops are properly transporting their propane.  My understanding is that propane cylinders should never be transported in an unventilated, enclosed vehicle.  Propane tanks are now required to have an Overfill Protection Device valve, and if the tank is too full that valve will release propane from the tank into the surrounding air.  In an enclosed vehicle like a Troop trailer, that could result in an explosion if enough propane is released.  That's why campers have the propane tanks mounted outside on the trailer tongue.  The overfill condition might not happen immediately, as temperature changes a cylinder that was fine might start to release propane.  Most reputable propane dealers know to leave propane tanks underfilled to allow room for expansion, but you're taking a chance if you fill at a gas station or retailer that only dabbles in propane.

 

Also, I believe if you transport more than five cylinders that the vehicle must have a placard.

 

So again, how many of your Troops are properly transporting it, less than five total cylinders, upright and secured, in a properly ventilated vehicle?  Watching Troops pull propane out of unventilated Troop trailers makes me think not many.

We usually carry 4, but have carried 5.   We do carry them upright and secure--we have the tank boots to assist with that. The placard is only required for more than 25 20-lb cylinders.  More than 5 aren't allowed to be carried.  The trailer tongue mount is only required for 40-lb+ tanks. 

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What are isopropyl alcohol canisters? 

I've never heard of isopropyl alcohol being used in camping, except to put on bug bites. 

 

My Bad. One rough week OK3 weeks if you include Matthew.. My brain is fried. I meant Isobutane-propane.

 

Also I know that there are alcohol stoves that are authorized if they are not hand made.One of our ASMs who is an ultralite backpacker was not happy he could not use any of his "cat food can" stoves he made, so he bought a Trangia alcohol stove. Funny thing is, he showed th DIY cans and they reminded me of the ones in tHE CUB SCOUT LEADER HOW TO BOOK.

 

That's what the G2SS states now, but what was it 10 or 15 years ago?  I know that my Troop growing up switched from white gas to propane, and I swear it was required, not optional, because it was a significant investment to replace equipment - money our Troop didn't really have at the time, so I doubt this was done on a whim.  Anyone have a hard copy G2SS from ten or fifteen years ago to see whether this was fact or myth?

 

To the best of my knowledge there has never been a "ban" on white gas / Coleman fuel, back at least 10 years, circa 2006.    

Some councils have banned white gas on their properties. My council has white gas as a prohibited item. Thankfully, the one time I took my white gas stove to a council event, it was on private property. ;)  Seriously, I didn't know about the council ban until I was reading the sumemr camp leaders' Guide.

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I have no experience with the new backpacking stoves, back when I was doing it only white gas was available.  As for static camping, we would go through white gas like crazy on a weekend campout, whereas a 20 lb propane tank lasts almost a whole season.  I haven't looked at the price of white gas in Wal-Mart lately but the last time I saw it at Cabelas I almost choked at the price.

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I have no experience with the new backpacking stoves, back when I was doing it only white gas was available.  As for static camping, we would go through white gas like crazy on a weekend campout, whereas a 20 lb propane tank lasts almost a whole season.  I haven't looked at the price of white gas in Wal-Mart lately but the last time I saw it at Cabelas I almost choked at the price.

 

Wal-mart, it's about $16 a gallon. 

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The thing I remember about using liquid fuels is the mess and trouble of dealing with it.
 

LP (or isobutane) is just clean, never get your hands dirty, never worry about spilling, funnels, etc....

 

I have been thinking of playing around with the idea of alcohol stoves on my own, considering lightening the load.... but i understand it wouldn't really be a troop thing.

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I have no experience with the new backpacking stoves, back when I was doing it only white gas was available.  As for static camping, we would go through white gas like crazy on a weekend campout, whereas a 20 lb propane tank lasts almost a whole season.  I haven't looked at the price of white gas in Wal-Mart lately but the last time I saw it at Cabelas I almost choked at the price.

 

Your experience is different than mine and probably reflects change of habits.  

 

A coleman stove may need to be refilled on a weekend campout if it did not start full, but usually not.  On the flip side, I've seen the 20lb ones go empty over a camp out or two; definitely empty after a week long camp out.

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Wal-mart, it's about $16 a gallon. 

 

$16 !!!!   Wow.  I still remember when it was about 2x to 2.5x the cost of a gallon of unleaded gas for the car.  I swear I just saw it at our walmart for $8 to $9 a gallon.  I could be wrong.

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Some councils have banned white gas on their properties. My council has white gas as a prohibited item. Thankfully, the one time I took my white gas stove to a council event, it was on private property. ;)  Seriously, I didn't know about the council ban until I was reading the sumemr camp leaders' Guide.

 

Our council has never baned it.  In fact, it's used in the winter camping program as the only real affordable option for trail cooking.  

 

White gas takes a bit more care (funnel, filling tanks) and you can spill.  But IMHO it's better than the continue hassel of the little green cans ... empty ?? ... yet another partial ?? ... more trash ... now everyone cooks next to each other to share the 20lb tank ... etc.

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The thing I remember about using liquid fuels is the mess and trouble of dealing with it.

 

LP (or isobutane) is just clean, never get your hands dirty, never worry about spilling, funnels, etc....

 

I have been thinking of playing around with the idea of alcohol stoves on my own, considering lightening the load.... but i understand it wouldn't really be a troop thing.

Alcohol does not burn as efficiently as white gas.  BTU's per weight is a lot less.  Most alcohol burners are also uncontained meaning if one tips it over, fuel will go all over the place, LIT.  Not a good idea unless the only fuel available is alcohol.

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White Gas ("Coleman Fuel") stoves were discouraged, as were all chemical stoves, in the later 1970s and early 1980s in favor of cooking over wood fires.  They were never prohibited by BSA.  Some council camps have prohibited "liquid fuel" appliances at various times.

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$16 !!!!   Wow.  I still remember when it was about 2x to 2.5x the cost of a gallon of unleaded gas for the car.  I swear I just saw it at our walmart for $8 to $9 a gallon.  I could be wrong.

 

I think the "brand name" Coleman fuel is in that range...I've the "off brand" white gas for $8-9 at Walmart and Academy

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