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[pct-l] Alternative stove

A friend of mine who is thru-hiking this year found an unusual, very
light-weight stove that burns fuel tablets.  The stove, when folded up,
measures 3.5 x 5 x .75 inch deep and weighs 4 oz.  It unfolds into a little
stand that holds your cook pot, and you place two fuel tablets below the
pot.  About 3 tablets total are needed for cooking, unless you boil more
than 2 cups of water.  To be safe, plan on 4 tablets per meal.  A three-meal
supply of tablets weighs about 2.5 oz.  So, for six meals your total weight
for fuel and stove is about 9 oz.  I have not used the stove on the trail,
so I cannot vouch for it's effectiveness.  However, my friend used it on a
two week section hike on the PCT last year, and he feels it will do the job.
On a test run at home I boiled two cups of tap water in 7 minutes.

Now, here is my big concern about this stove.  The fuel tablets are made
from "hexamethylenetetramine" (sounds like bad stuff!), and the package says
"if swallowed contact a physician immediately."  If anyone on the list knows
anything about chemistry, I would appreciate your opinion on whether it is
acceptable to burn this fuel along the trail where we definately don't want
to contaminate the ground with toxic stuff.  When the tablets burn out, they
leave a little fine ash along with a solid core of unburned fuel, if any.
This can usually be swept into a zip lock or other trash bag, but some
particles are likely to be blown away or dropped.  I have always tried to
avoid spilling any fuel on the ground, and I am afraid this stuff might be
super toxic.  Any opinions out there! 

Roger Carpenter

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