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fred johnson

Yearning to ditch propane and return to white gas

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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.

 

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.

 

do you use one 20 lb canister per patrol, or per troop?  We use a canister per patrol, and we refill our canisters about once a year--we have about 6, but usually carry 4 to a campout (one for adults, one for each patrol (usually two patrols) and an extra.)  I remember using white gas as a youth--propane is much safer    and less messy.

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do you use one 20 lb canister per patrol, or per troop?  We use a canister per patrol, and we refill our canisters about once a year--we have about 6, but usually carry 4 to a campout (one for adults, one for each patrol (usually two patrols) and an extra.)  I remember using white gas as a youth--propane is much safer    and less messy.

We found 5 lb tanks that are much easier for the scouts.

 

While white gas might be messy, I'm not so sure it's any more dangerous than cooking over a fire. Think about it, every camp fire starts with a fire ball. The difference is we train the scouts to safely make a fire.

 

We are also constantly fighting with the hoses and regulator that accompany the larger propane tanks. They get dirt in them or water or the regulator sticks or the tip over valve in the tank sticks or .... The 1 lb tanks don't have these issues but they are worthless in cold weather. So, as for reliability I'd vote for white gas.

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We found 5 lb tanks that are much easier for the scouts.

 

While white gas might be messy, I'm not so sure it's any more dangerous than cooking over a fire. Think about it, every camp fire starts with a fire ball. The difference is we train the scouts to safely make a fire.

 

We are also constantly fighting with the hoses and regulator that accompany the larger propane tanks. They get dirt in them or water or the regulator sticks or the tip over valve in the tank sticks or .... The 1 lb tanks don't have these issues but they are worthless in cold weather. So, as for reliability I'd vote for white gas.

I would like 5 lb tanks--I'd actually like one for personal camping. the problem is they are expensive.

 

Camp fire starts with a fireball?  Unless using liquid accelerants, I haven't seen that.

 

We use a propane tree on the tank--the lantern on top of the tree (the tree has fittings that fit the same thread as the disposable tanks), and then a hose for the stove.  Never have had the problems with dirt in the hoses or regulators.  We have had problems with Scouts leaving adaptors and hoses in the quartermasters shack (our storage area).  They then use fire or borrow a hose. 

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I would like 5 lb tanks--I'd actually like one for personal camping. the problem is they are expensive.

 

Camp fire starts with a fireball?  Unless using liquid accelerants, I haven't seen that.

 

We use a propane tree on the tank--the lantern on top of the tree (the tree has fittings that fit the same thread as the disposable tanks), and then a hose for the stove.  Never have had the problems with dirt in the hoses or regulators.  We have had problems with Scouts leaving adaptors and hoses in the quartermasters shack (our storage area).  They then use fire or borrow a hose. 

Maybe we have a different definition of fire ball. When starting a fire it can easily get to be a foot or two high. Not instantly but it gets there. I'd say it's just about as dangerous as the scout that pumps up the tank, opens the valve and lights the fuel. If the stove is treated like a fire and nothing nearby is flammable then there likely won't be more problems. The only time I've ever seen big flames from a stove is when a scout is learning how to use the stove. Once he knows he won't make that mistake again.

 

Maybe our problem is moisture in the hoses along with cold weather. Or maybe the hoses get kinked and that restricts the flow.  Whatever it is we have more problems with the hoses than anything else. A common problem is there's gas flowing but very little. It's as if the regulator is over restricting.  Anyway, once they get the stove running full tilt they turn everything off but don't disconnect anything until Sunday. Once they get it working there are no problems.

 

I agree the little tanks are expensive. I think we found a deal and got them for $30 apiece. That was something like half off but, yes, still expensive. It's worth it to us as for saving space and making it easier for patrols to spread out. When I first started, the adults had a really efficient setup where two patrols would share one big tank. I had to fight with the committee to get them to understand that I wanted the patrols away from each other.

 

When they forget the hoses? Sounds like we have the same issues and solutions with the scouts. ;)

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Maybe we have a different definition of fire ball. When starting a fire it can easily get to be a foot or two high. Not instantly but it gets there. I'd say it's just about as dangerous as the scout that pumps up the tank, opens the valve and lights the fuel. If the stove is treated like a fire and nothing nearby is flammable then there likely won't be more problems. The only time I've ever seen big flames from a stove is when a scout is learning how to use the stove. Once he knows he won't make that mistake again.

 

Maybe our problem is moisture in the hoses along with cold weather. Or maybe the hoses get kinked and that restricts the flow.  Whatever it is we have more problems with the hoses than anything else. A common problem is there's gas flowing but very little. It's as if the regulator is over restricting.  Anyway, once they get the stove running full tilt they turn everything off but don't disconnect anything until Sunday. Once they get it working there are no problems.

 

I agree the little tanks are expensive. I think we found a deal and got them for $30 apiece. That was something like half off but, yes, still expensive. It's worth it to us as for saving space and making it easier for patrols to spread out. When I first started, the adults had a really efficient setup where two patrols would share one big tank. I had to fight with the committee to get them to understand that I wanted the patrols away from each other.

 

When they forget the hoses? Sounds like we have the same issues and solutions with the scouts. ;)

 

 

Well, if you're trying to do boy-led, things like that happen.  It's good training.  I forgot my camp stove once while camping with my family.  Managed to cook just fine on the fire.  A little more cleanup on the pans, harder to control temps, but still managed to make good food. 

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If a wood fire is allowed, why would we encourage the use of chemical fuel stoves? As was stated, with practice a wood fire can cook up great food. Plus it is fun. A stove can be used at home. Adventuring in the out of doors is not about trying to make outside into inside any more than is necessary. Sure there are times when a stove is appropriate, but I see many troops always using them (even when fire is allowed and more appropriate). This goes along with the trailer thread. Everything gets hauled to the roadside, and that ends up being the only camping the boys ever really experience.

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If a wood fire is allowed, why would we encourage the use of chemical fuel stoves? As was stated, with practice a wood fire can cook up great food. Plus it is fun. A stove can be used at home. Adventuring in the out of doors is not about trying to make outside into inside any more than is necessary. Sure there are times when a stove is appropriate, but I see many troops always using them (even when fire is allowed and more appropriate). This goes along with the trailer thread. Everything gets hauled to the roadside, and that ends up being the only camping the boys ever really experience.

 

Well, the boys need to learn all of the above. Around here, it's seasonal. In the fall, we often have a few weeks (that invariably fall when we are camping) when no fire is allowed.  Also, my observation is that the great majority of scouts aren't trusted with the stove at home (of course, not all).  Thinking about that, I need to start encouraging some dutch oven cooking of entrees by the scouts. 

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If a wood fire is allowed, why would we encourage the use of chemical fuel stoves? .....

 because, after a hard day of sitting behind the desk in MB classes, the scouts will be rolling back into camp just a few minutes before dinner.  No time to get a good bed of coals going.

 

Then, after dinner, they'll soon be rushing off to do more sitting around the campfire program circle.... and a fire would burden someone to have to stay behind and tend to it....

 

This is a push-button culture now, and LP fits right in with that.... :blink:

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I hate to say it, I was at a camporee that only 1 patrol was able to start a fire. ONE. FREAKING. PATROL!  One patrol, an NSP, had no clue on how to build a fire, and everything they needed to build one was there: saw, axe, tinder, kindling, fuel, matches. The event judges even showed them how to build one, and they still had a deer in the headlights look.

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I hate to say it, I was at a camporee that only 1 patrol was able to start a fire. ONE. FREAKING. PATROL!  One patrol, an NSP, had no clue on how to build a fire, and everything they needed to build one was there: saw, axe, tinder, kindling, fuel, matches. The event judges even showed them how to build one, and they still had a deer in the headlights look.

Wow.   My troop was running a "boil water over a fire you make using a ferro rod to starte it" event at a camporee, and most patrols did it in less than 15 minutes.

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Yes, I  was shocked. The excuse an ASM gave for his NSP was that we've been in a fire ban since they joined the troop. Yes we had a long period of fire bans, heck we secured special permission from the local FD to have the event IF the fire ban was in effect at the time of camporee (helps if a FD Lieutenant is running the event ;) ) But most New Scouts I know go to that section and start learning form the book as soon as they get it.

 

But the rest of the patrols?

 

What's interesting was the patrol that got the fire going was the one that doesn't use stoves UNLESS there is a fire ban or they are backpacking. And the only stoves they have are backpacking ones. Unfortunately they went to Trails Life. Oldest wanted to join that troop first.

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Wow.   My troop was running a "boil water over a fire you make using a ferro rod to starte it" event at a camporee, and most patrols did it in less than 15 minutes.

Do you recall what you had available for tinder?  I'd imagine that makes a HUGE difference.

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Even with fire bans in effect, in my neck of the woods, cooking fires, barbeques, fire-rings, etc. are allowed.

 

I was sitting around a campfire at a state park with my family when the forest ranger approached (he is legal law enforcement in the park). He informed me that campfires were banned.  I inquired whether that included cook fires.  He said, "No, cook fires were okay."  I offered him a S'more and he smiled and moved on to the next site.  There were two buckets of water, a bucket of sand and a 5 gallon water jug sitting there with me.  The area had been raked clean of leaves 10' radius and all the bases were covered.  It wasn't a bonfire, just a modest campfire.....with marshmallows.

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Do you recall what you had available for tinder?  I'd imagine that makes a HUGE difference.

 

Some kind of natural fiber.  Don't remember exactly. 

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