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[pct-l] Angeles National Forest, fires and lamps, soda can stove in Peru

Last night after I sent out the notice about Saturday's hike to Mt.
Wilson, someone on another list sent me an email saying that Chantry Flat
Road is still closed. That is the access to a number of trails that go to
Mt. Wilson. Why the road is closed is beyond my understanding. He also
gave me the following URL that lists all the road closures (there are a
lot) in the Angeles N.F., if you are planning any hiking or other
activities there you might want to check it out. I'm not sure if the San
Bernardino and Cleveland N.Fs have similar road closures but be aware
that even though the forests are open, not all the roads getting into
them are open.


Also, there is still a total fire ban in the Angeles N.F. (except in some
campgrounds), no fires of any kind, INCLUDING GEL OR LIQUID FUEL STOVES,
in any of the undeveloped or wilderness areas. At least we can go into
the forests, just stock up on Snickers and trail mix!

One of the reasons I bring this up is because of our discussion a few
weeks ago about alcohol lamps. I was gone for almost 2 weeks so haven't
been able to pursue that any further. I did come to the conclusion just
before I left that liquid paraffin lamp oil might be the way to go. I had
a bottle sitting around that someone gave me so I tried it out and it
works fine, puts out as much light as a candle. Just yesterday I was in
Smart & Final (Food service type store) and they had the gel Sterno fuel
for buffet lines, tea/votive candles and oil lamps. The oil lamps use
liquid paraffin, you can buy a pack of 6 refills for $5.49. Each refill
is a little oil lamp that is a plastic container with a double wick in it
leading up to a metal cap/sleeve with a hole for the wick. There is a
plastic cap that fits on this to prevent the fuel from leaking out before
you use it. It seems to seal it up again just as well in between uses.
One refill is supposed to burn for 50 hours, weighs 5 oz with fuel. The
lamps (a holder and a chimney) cost another $5-6. The instructions on the
lamp says not to use the refills without the stove but they work fine all
by themselves. That is it did on my dining room table, I'm sure you would
need the chimney if there is any wind. There is even a safety feature
that extinguishes the flame if the lamp gets tipped over (it works, I
tried it). I didn't buy the lamp, I made a chimney out of a small plastic
water bottle. I'll let you know how that works after I try it outside. Of
course I could have just bought the candles, if I remember right the cost
per hour of burn time was less. But they don't look near as neat as my
little oil lamp!

Finally, I took my "Hansen's" soda can stove (the lifesaving, resource
saving one introduced at ADZPCTKO) with me to Peru instead of the MSR's
that we used last time. I went on a 6 day backpacking trip at elevations
of 8-12,000' and it performed almost flawlessly. One time the flame
extinguished itself shortly after I put the pot on it. I think it was
because I didn't let it reach a full burn through the burner holes before
I put the pot on it. I use a small tin can (3 1/2" H x 3 1/2" Dia) as a
wind shield and pot holder. I punched holes around the bottom of the can
for air vents and around the open top of the can which act as burner
vents to spread the flame over the whole bottom of the pot. Here in Los
Angeles, I always use HEET (Methyl alcohol type) as fuel, they are $.77
at Wal-Mart, (up to $1.50 at regular auto parts stores). I couldn't find
any gas line antifreeze where I was in Peru but was able to buy Methanol
at a chemical store for about $.90 for a liter. Quite a bargain compared
to denatured alcohol here for what, $3.50 a quart, $8-9 a gallon? Anyway
enough of this, need to get to bed for tomorrow's hike but must add that
my guide got my soda can stove and my Star Lite tent. I almost panicked
tonight when I went back to SportMart to buy a new Star Lite and didn't
see them! Ahh, there they were, moved up a shelf but still $30.00 each!
They had 3 a few weeks ago, only two left tonight. I bought them both.

I will be moving to Peru for 3 years soon, hopefully by February. Come
join me next year for a 14 day trek through the Cotahuasi Canyon or for a
week in Machu Pichu.