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Yearning to ditch propane and return to white gas


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#21 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 05:22 PM

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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#22 Eagle69

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 08:17 AM

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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#23 perdidochas

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 08:21 AM

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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#24 blw2

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 10:21 AM

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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#25 fred johnson

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 12:31 PM

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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#26 fred johnson

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 12:33 PM

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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#27 fred johnson

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 12:42 PM

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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#28 Stosh

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 12:43 PM

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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#29 TAHAWK

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 04:27 PM

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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#30 Chisos

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 05:35 PM

$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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#31 TAHAWK

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 05:40 PM

IIRC, "coleman fuel" is naptha with some small amount of lubricant/corrosion protectant.


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#32 perdidochas

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 11:57 AM

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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#33 MattR

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 05:33 PM

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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#34 perdidochas

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 10:08 AM

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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#35 MattR

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 11:32 AM

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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#36 perdidochas

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 02:23 PM

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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#37 DuctTape

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 02:54 PM

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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#38 perdidochas

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 03:39 PM

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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#39 blw2

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 07:25 AM

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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#40 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 04:31 PM

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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