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[pct-l] Re: stoves

Just about any type of stove can flare in a dangerous way if you don't take 
care and understand the limits of the type you are using.  A couple examples;

- A propane-butane cartridge stove flared up on me one extremely cold morning 
camped at Whitney Creek.  I turned on the stove and lit a match and the gas 
didn't ignite until the flame from the match had warmed the gas to the point 
that it could ignite, which by that time it was about 18 inches above the stove 
and drifting out of the mosquito netting in my tent.  The ignited flame flared 
up and burned a perfect hole in the mosquito netting.  From that point on I 
put the stove inside my sleeping bag for a bit before lighting it on really 
cold mornings.  The temperature, by the way, was very near zero according to my 
little thermometer!  I was very lucky that it didn't ignite the tent or me.

- Picture a four man tent in high winds, one person with all of the packs 
outside, another sitting by the only door to the tent inside, another working to 
prepare food inside against a far wall and a third person between these last 
two trying to prime an old Svea "torch".  The fuel line that goes through the 
flame and then feeds it, for the pre-heating style of pressure increase, 
apparently developed a leak and the stove fireballed on the guy priming it and 
burned his eyelashes, eyebrows and the front of his hair and the tent caught on 
fire.  The guy in the door rolls out, the guy priming the stove scrambles out in 
terror and the third sits and watches the tent erupting into flame and racing 
at him dripping flaming nylon.  Fortunately he has a knife at his ready and he 
slices through the wall of the tent just in time to avoid the burn of his 

Hydrocarbons are dangerous, especially inside of a tent or in high winds or 
around highly flamable materials, of course. Learn from the stupidity of those 
that have gone before you and have a safe hike.