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Posted: 1/23/2009 11:04:05 PM EST
Hello everyone! I am new to ARFcom as well as to the survival forum.  I have read this forum for awhile and have learned a ton here.  I would like to thank everyone for sharing their knowledge and stories!

A quick story that I thought everyone would enjoy:

I was invited to join a group of friends on a three day summer hike in central Utah several years ago.  I couldn't find my new stove, so a relative loaned me his old Coleman stove.

We drove in and geared up at the trailhead early in the morning and proceeded out with headlamps and hiked/climbed all day.  We stopped at treeline and pitched tents at dusk.

I pulled my stove out and I smelled gas in my pack.  I said to myself, "How can this be?"  I reached down and the fill cap was still on tight.  This stove had a reservoir in the bottom and was pump primed.

I had put the stove in a nylon pouch in the separated lower section of my internal frame pack.  I quickly realized that in the rush of packing I forgot to check the stove to make sure that it was empty and not packed in a filled condition.  This was an "Oh cr#@!" moment. The stove had leaked fuel somehow into the pack and the interior smelled of strong gas fumes.  I proceeded to check my food bag and ALL of my food smelled and tasted like gas!  It was located in the lower middle section of my pack. We were too far up the mountain to turn around, so I ended up having to stave off hunger with donated food and table scraps for the rest of the trip.  The embarrassment was extreme to say the least.......

Lessons learned:

a) Don't pack in haste - PREPACK way ahead of time (It's not fun being a half made sandwich).
b) Make a checklist for your gear and a check box for the status of your critical gear.
c) Double check any critical gear that is borrowed.
d) Make double sure you keep your fuel in a separate fuel container and it is sealed tight.
e) Try to keep food and fuel separated as far away as possible.
f) Travel with friends that love food and carry more than they should

I have also wondered if  it would have helped (short term) to also put my sealed food pouches in a large HDPE zip lock bag.  HDPE is a good barrier material for fuels.  However, it is still dependent on the bag's wall thickness as well as the quality of the seal provided by the zipper lock.

BTW that old Coleman stove turned out to be great for target practice and I finally found my MSR multi-fuel stove which has worked well for many years.

- SailMeister
Link Posted: 1/24/2009 3:38:57 AM EST
...so you shot-up a borrowed piece of equipment??
Link Posted: 1/24/2009 4:43:39 AM EST
21 lines of text, and all you do is bust his balls? Indeed.

SailMeister- Great reminder! I had a buddy pack in a rush once, still not sure how he managed it, but a Sterno can contaminated 50% of his pack...fortunately his food was in a couple of locations...but 5 days and no sock changes sucked for him!

Now, tell me, why didja ventilate a borrowed stove?
Link Posted: 1/24/2009 6:03:25 AM EST
You just weren't hungry enough. A little fuel on your mountain house packages is nothing when you are hungry.
Link Posted: 1/24/2009 6:05:50 AM EST
I've been carrying food in nalgene bottles for the most part.  Heavier, but pretty bulletproof.
Link Posted: 1/24/2009 10:09:33 PM EST
...so you shot-up a borrowed piece of equipment??


First, this was supposed to be a semi humorous post.... perhaps I will stop with my attempt at humor while I am still ahead here.........

To answer your comment: the stove was pretty old.  My relative later said I could junk it after it turned out that its performance was hit or miss due to corrosion.  The stove was older than me.  I junked the stove in a fun way (with his permission of course), but that was not the point of my post here and the reason I left that detail out.  Believe me, I wanted so bad to toss it off of a cliff, but resisted temptation and carried it home.

To answer the other post.  The food pouches were thin metalized, and the food had a very heavy fuel smell and taste.  I was concerned about getting sick.  Gas vapor is energetic and small, and can penetrate certain polymers pretty quickly (Dependent on: polymer type, polarity of vapor and polymer, vapor concentration, wall thickness, and polymer crystalline content, etc.).  The other lesson I learned is that one should not count on an aluminumized polymer layer if this situation happens - and it will for some reason, at the most inconvenient time.  Most metalized packaging layers are pretty thin and applied to a polymer film..  In my case, not sufficient enough for what happened.

I was pretty hungry, but no, I was not hungry enough to get sick (which is what I would categorize in my book as being super hungry).  Thankfully, I have never been that hungry in my life.  I feel for anyone that would be compelled to eat something out of extreme hunger knowing that doing so would make them sick.

BayEagle, I like the Nalgene bottle idea....takes care of many different situations - thanks!

Matt45, I am glad to hear that I am not the only half made sandwich out there!  I hope your friend still enjoyed his trip.  Despite what happened, I tried my best to have a great time, and take in the sights.  I laugh every time I think about that trip.

- SailMeister
Link Posted: 1/24/2009 10:29:34 PM EST
You just weren't hungry enough. A little fuel on your mountain house packages is nothing when you are hungry.

LOL - Yea, every bite seemed like it was 15 proof ! So I hear you on this!

- SailMeister

Link Posted: 1/25/2009 4:37:47 AM EST
This is a great reminder for everyone to check their seals and condition on these types of stoves.
Personally I dont care for the liquid fuel stove, just becouse of this type of scenario.
Thanks for the story and welcome to the site.
Link Posted: 1/25/2009 6:17:28 AM EST
it's a good idea to not store your bottles of stove fuel under pressure. I always relieve my fuel bottle pressure when I break camp or come home-I can't see any good reason to have a pressurized vessel of refined gasoline bouncing around in my pack.
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