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Re: [pct-l] Stove Fuel Accidents

>I took a Wilderness Basics Course in 1991 where their recommendation 
>was: If bad weather "forces" you to cook inside the tent, "DON'T."

  Boy am I glad I've never taken one of those Sierra Club Wilderness
courses, phew! :-) I shudder to think of all the gruesome
backcountry-cooking experiences I'd've been forced to endure (squatting
on slush in howling winds with sleet in my face/ice water running down
the back of my neck, while I wrangle all the extra paraphanalia I'd have
to bring to protect the flame from wind/keep the stove from melting down
to China etc, then frantically gobbling my meal before it freezes over).
So much more civilized to leisurely fait ma cuisine bundled in a down bag
out of the wind, with the kitchen equipment laid out about me (no need to
worry about losing anything in the snow), and enjoy my meal in dry, warm
(well, warm-ish) comfort...
   Do I worry about Sudden Death-By-Suffocation? Well hardly; It's gonna
take quite awhile for me (or my stove) to exhaust the oxygen in that
tent; I'd certainly notice a couple of uncomfortable symptoms before
meeting my Maker in that particular fashion, and anyway, my tent is
hardly an airtight bell-jar (and there's plenty of ventillation).
   Do I worry about rivulets of flaming gasoline/ becoming a human
fireball/melting my tent to a puddle? Did I mention I use a Bluet
canister stove? ('nuff said, huh?) Is propane/butane great-at-altitude -
you betcha! Is my stove at it's (superb) best at temps well-below
freezing? No - but when is the temperature _inside_ my tent (in a
sheltered spot with a large 98.6-degree heater - me - to warm the
interior) below freezing in the morning or evening hours, especially in
those mild Sierra Nevada winters (and the warmer rest-of-the-year)?
Never. Do I give my stove (like any other piece of equipment) periodic
vetting to make sure the seals are okey-doke, and screw the canister on
tight? Well, of course! Do I shake the canister vigorously before
lighting, turn it all the way up, then toss a match at it? Well, of
course _not_! Have I ever seen a propane canister explosion? Sure; some
bozo car-campers tossed one into their bonfire to "see what would
happen". (Very exciting, but I wouldn't call that "cooking in a tent"...)
   Are all "stoves" volatile, sooty,  heavy, liquid-gas contraptions? No
- thank goodness!
Yes, I own a Whisperlite too (and a couple other stoves, blush); it's
great for boiling huge amounts of water for big groups, or Canadian
winter bivvy-camps. But for solo (year 'round) backpacking in places like
the Sierra? Yech!

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