Re: Winter Fuels
Ian N Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Fri, 3 Nov 1995 13:20:53 +0000
As I understand it, Bob Lovejoy's question about how cold is " too cold "
for LPG is not as easy as may appear at first sight.
Memories of grammar school physics ... the vapourisation is affected by
both the ambient temperature AND the atmospheric pressure - thus altitude
is also a factor. The gas company should be able to provide technical data.
Certainly LPG stoves will operate better (all things being equal) on the
plains than in the mouintains at cooler temperatures.
Some people take the gas cylinders inside the tent to keep wark , or even
put them inside their sleeping bags. Clearly the safety issue here is
making sure that the cylinder will not leak and suffocate the user.
Unopened cartridges should not be a problem , nor should properly trested
self-sealing cylinders. Read the safety instructions.
Butane has a higher calorific value than propane, and I have used
industrial butane in the UK in cold weather. I believe I have seen a
propane/butane mixture advertised here in UK also. For BSA use it would
be wise to check on local interpretations of the liquidfuels policy and
any local legislation on the use of LPG. It may be that butane would be
regarded as " industrial " and subject to particular storage regulations etc.
(The butane I used with my UK group came in cylinders roughly the size of
a five gallon water carrier ... these are not the little bottles like you
get with Coleman stoves.)
On one occasion we had a week camp for over 100 people, and for this camp
one of the boys' fathers brought an industrial tar boiler which ran at
3 bar (45 lb/ in^-2). This would boil a ten gallon dustbin of water in
FIVE minutes. We had it in a roped off compound and kids were not allowed
within thirty feet of " the beast " . The technique of lighting it was to
turn up the gas and throw a match at it from about a yard away to avoid
having the hairs on one's legs incinerated. ) But the cylinder was four
feet high and it weighed about two hundred pounds - hardly in the
AGSL 25th Greenwich Scout Group
Boy Scout Trainer, Channel District BSA, UK
I used to be a Beaver ...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City