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[at-l] Alcohol priming and Svea starting

Someone mentioned using alcohol to preheat gasoline stoves.  I prefer
alcohol for priming my Svea 123 because it's sootless, and safer than
gasoline (smaller flame, extinguishable with water).  Spilled alcohol
evaporates with no residual odor.  I use denatured ethyl alcohol, available
at any hardware store.  It can be diluted and used as emergency antiseptic
(rubbing alcohol contains too much water to burn properly).  It's
relatively expensive, but a quart lasts a long time at 1-2 cc per stove-
start.  I keep my primer in a plastic squeeze/dropper bottle that once held
cat medicine.

"Denatured" means there are additives which cause serious illness if you
drink it, thus there's no federal booze tax.  Concentrated ethanol,
drinkable when diluted, is available and is another story.

Alcohol contains significantly less energy than an equal volume of
gasoline.  Its weight and relative unavailability are logistic difficulties
on very long hikes.  A small chunk of Sterno (tm) jellied alcohol will
prime a stove; a can of Sterno may be justifiable as a backup in case of
stove failure.

A nuance for easier starting of Svea and similar self-pressurizing
(pumpless) stoves, especially in cold weather:  Cooling creates a partial
vacuum in the tank.  If it has not been refilled since the previous use,
momentarily loosen the fuel cap or open the valve to equalize the internal 
pressure before preheating.

 --  Frank     reid@indian.edu
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