Maintain your old Siemens Hipath system

Alternatives to Pressurized Fuel

Recently I attended a Boy Scout Leader Roundtable meeting where they held a Pressurized Fuel Training session. The focus of this training was to teach leaders what they should be teaching boy scouts about safety rules for using primarily cooking stoves, but also lanterns and heaters that use propane or liquid fuels under pressure. The point was not at all to teach how to use these devices, but was purely about safety.

The point of this article is not to discuss the specifics of the safety rules. I'm sure you can find them elsewhere on-line, and frankly a lot of it was common sense (like reading the manual that came with the device you are using and following their instructions). The point of this article is to offer answers to the following questions that came up in my mind during this training: 1) If there are so many safety issues with pressurized fuel, why use it? and 2) What are the alternatives?

The answer to the first question has to do with the BSA and other organizations adopting the Leave No Trace philosophy. I won't go into all the details on this either, but suffice to say that Leave No Trace is an environmentalist movement which among other things discourages the use (or over-use) of wood found in the wild for campfires or for building camp furniture, etc.

This is somewhat at odds with the old tradition of scouting which is closely linked with the woodcraft movement of the early 20th century. This oft misunderstood social movement heartily encouraged people to get out of the over-crowded cities and re-discover the joys of primitive outdoor living. The term "woodcraft" not only referred to the fact that camping, hunting, and fishing activities were often conducted in the woods, but it also referred to the skills required for survival in the woods with a bare minimum of modern equipment. Such survival skills included the ability to start a fire without matches and the ability to build shelters in the wild. Naturally, it wasn't enough to just know about these skills; they required some practice, and some people over time came to feel that the practice of these skills was unnecessarily destructive.

Leave No Trace presents us with new problems. First, unlike wood found in the wild, pressurized fuel and the devices that use it are not free. Many people are reluctant to buy something like this that they would only use once or twice a year. Then there is the safety issue. Even when handled properly, these devices sometimes malfunction. And last but not least, people simply enjoy gathering around a campfire to tell stories, roast marshmallows, etc.

So, what about the alternatives? For lanterns, there are very good battery-powered models. There are even models with remote controls and night lights. These are plenty bright enough (remember that even a dim light seems bright when you are in the woods at night), don't make any noise, and are perfectly safe to leave unattended or to give to a child.

For cooking, match-light charcoal works quite well. This does not require any special skills. You can bring along a small portable grill or use whatever fire pit or grill is provided by the park. Charcoal is probably better than wood for dutch oven cooking, and definitely better than pressurized fuel, because some dutch oven recipes require coals to be placed on top.

For campfires and cooking over wood, first and foremost you need to know and obey the rules of the park you are staying in. If you decide to use wood, you can use less wood by simply building smaller fires. The old-time woodcrafters were fond of pointing out the wisdom of the Indians who would build a small fire and gather in closer to it while white men would waste materials by building a big fire that was so hot they'd have to back away from it.

For staying warm at night, throw on an extra blanket or buy a sleeping bag that is rated for lower temperatures. I recently read about a family that had some kind of heater in their tent and were found dead the next morning due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Is getting a better night's sleep worth that kind of risk?

I'm not saying I won't use pressurized fuel, but I don't think people should feel obligated to use it due to environmental concerns if they are uncomfortable with the safety issues or just like cooking on an old-fashioned campfire while observing park rules.

The author, Greg Bonney, is the owner of Bonney Information and E-Commerce and founder of Scoutcamping.com (http://www.scoutcamping.com).

Copyright © 2005 Bonney Information and E-Commerce.

In The News:

Ukrainians fight Russian mercenaries and plummeting temperatures in the Battle for Bakhmut
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 20:24:00 +0000
Standing by a makeshift stove at the bottom of a bitterly-cold ditch, the Ukrainian troops enjoyed a quick tea break.

Iranian government says widespread protests are a 'political plot' by Kurdish separatists
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 09:34:00 +0000
Facing a serious challenge from ongoing widespread unrest, Iran's government is blaming Kurdish separatists for inciting the unrest, an Iranian academic has said.

Trump firm guilty of defrauding tax authorities for more than 15 years
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 20:56:00 +0000
Donald Trump's real estate company has been found guilty of running a criminal scheme to defraud tax authorities for 15 years.

Humanity 'treating nature like a toilet' - here's why, according to UN chief
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 11:27:00 +0000
Humanity is "waging war on nature", the United Nations boss has warned as urgent negotiations to slow the destruction of wildlife begin in Canada. 

COVID testing requirements scrapped in Beijing as China starts to relax measures
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 09:54:00 +0000
People in China's capital Beijing have been allowed to enter parks, supermarkets and offices without showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test in a relaxation of some of the world's toughest measures against the virus.



tikatoshop.it

Erfahrungen mit Pallhuber Wein
Agen Bola SBOBET Terpercaya

Travel in comfort and at your leisure with CT Airlink Limousine & Car Service for top quality private transportation and exceptional customer service. We operate Sedans, SUVs & Vans for CT Car Services to covering all Connecticut airports including Car Service from CT to Newark Airport , Mohegan Casino Uncasville CT, Foxwoods Casino Mashantucket CT, Manhattan Cruise Terminal NYC, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal NYC and Bayonne Cruise Terminal NJ. CT Airlink hire licensed and friendly chauffeurs who have in-depth knowledge of the Areas.

Mystic Seaport Captured ? Links to Our Past Guide, Part 3

Mystic Seaport celebrates the seafaring past of New England. Known... Read More

Penguin Parade

Phillip Island is a small island and nature reserve off... Read More

Holidays in Goa

Sun, Sand and Surf ? an apt description for Goa?... Read More

Find Outdoor Camping Gear Online at Great Discount Prices

Before you take off on that great outdoor adventure, be... Read More

Take a Hiking Pole on Your Next Hike

It is the downhill ski racing competition of the winter... Read More

The Benefits of One Day Hiking Trips

Do you like to take one day hiking trips? Do... Read More

Block Island ? Memorable Vacations Are Made of This

Block Island is a seaside jewel lying 12 miles off... Read More

Pigeon Forge Campgrounds

Campgrounds are a perfect Pigeon Forge lodging option for visitors... Read More

Shark Pictures Not The Real Thing

Pictures of a massive dead Great White shark on the... Read More

Cheap Safari in Africa For $70 a Day - Heres How To Do It

You would think that a cheap safari in Africa for... Read More

Santa Cruz Church ? the Portuguese Legacy in Bangkok

Santa Cruz Church, the church of the holy cross, was... Read More

Inflatable Pontoon Boats

Bryce Whitmore designed the modern whitewater inflatable pontoon boat, and... Read More

Traveling To and Around Hawaii, A First-Time Visitors Primer

Six different islands in Hawaii are open to tourism. Most... Read More

The Pyramids of Giza

The most famous Egyptian pyramids to be built are the... Read More

Alaska - Brief Travel Guide

WHAT TO SEE, TO DO AND WHERE: Mount McKinley is... Read More

Scuba diving in South Africa

This truly beautiful country at the southern tip of dark... Read More

Bicycling Down The River

My river-rafting adventure started on a bicycle. The small daypack... Read More

Two Person Hammocks ? Snuggle With Your Beau in Style

How many of you take the time to just relax... Read More

Backpacking Trips - Ten Essential Items

I've had backpacking trips that included rain, snow, lightning, rockslides,... Read More

Scotland - The New White Water Rafting Capital of Europe

Scotland has taken its place as the new Mecca for... Read More

Hiking Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park is the most popular park in... Read More

Why Should You Use Hiking Poles?

Why should you use hiking poles is perhaps the first... Read More

Boston Vacations: Four Ways To Experience Beantown

Boston is a great destination city for a vacation. There's... Read More

4 Steps to an Enjoyable Hike

Some people have fought many years of their lives to... Read More

Unforgettable White Mountains Vacations ? The Most Scenic 100 Miles in New England

This amazing drive through the White Mountains of New Hampshire... Read More