Re: liquid fuels
David D. Miller +49 6221 404415 (DDM@DHDIBM1.BITNET)
Wed, 20 May 1992 11:23:34 CST
I have to agree with Lou Briscoe on using pressure stoves for High Adventure
activities. What we need to remember is that different people have different
For a base camp situation, or a traditional Boy Scout summer camp, propane gas
is the most suitable. It is clean, easy to store and transport, and easy to
use. Given some help setting up and tearing down, a double burner gas
stove can be used by most Scouts without being dangerous. In the UK, gas is
a popular fuel for cooking in the home, and many Scouts are far happier
with gas than with electric stoves or open fires.
As soon as there is a move away from a safe campsite to a more wild and mobile
life, there must be a change of stove. The standard European backpacking stove
is the Camping Gaz S206. It's lightweight, and can take a lot of punishment,
but performs badly in the cold and wind, and is dangerous when the cylinder
is being changed. For accompanied Scouts, it's ideal. Incidentally, my early
experience of butane stoves was that they were poor at altitude; more recent
use in the French and Italian Alps has shown me that they are ideal in the
still conditions often found on the higher trails. Temperature is the critical
factor, with shelter a close second.
However, for getting things done, nothing beats a real pressure stove.
My choice was the MSR, and it is really effective in severe conditions.
Where weight is not as important, or where I'm cooking for a dozen people
I still use an old brass-tanked 5" Primus (when my father's not using it!).
Note: "My choice" and "I still use". These stoves don't get used unless
I'm there to use them. I'm content to let younger Scouts light an S206
or another butane/propane stove, but they don't touch the pressure stoves
until they've been around them in use for a year, and don't get to use them
without direct supervision until they can go out and buy their own.
As for using a stove inside the fly of a tent, don't do it until you know
enough about your stove! At GS Troop Camp Training, I showed the other
leaders a small, safe, butane gas stove. I then showed what happened when the
fuel tank was tipped and liquid butane was provided to the stove. The
resulting 3 foot flame was sufficient to convince many there that there is no
such thing as a safe stove.
David D. Miller
Scouting in Europe - A Unique Experience
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City