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[pct-l] Fuel Bottles on Airplanes / Brick's Chili Surprise

When I flew to San Francisco in June 1996 to do the first leg of my PCT
trip, I called the airlines concerning this matter.  They said as long as
my stove (Peak one, w/ fuel tank), was empty of gas and I aired it out for
a couple days, things would be fine.  Fine and dandy.

When I flew to San Diego to finish the PCT in October 1996, the lady at
United asked me if I had any camping equipment.  I told her I had a stove
and fuel bottle, but it was empty and had been aired out for a week, like
they told me before.  She proceeded to completely lose her shit on me.  She
said that I could not take the fuel bottles on the plane since they had had
gas in them "AT ONE TIME".  She went in a tirade about my putting the lives
of all the passengers in danger.  In which I told her I had did exactly
what I was told to when I made my reservation, and I proceeded to throw
shit back at her.  (What happened to that nice and calm Craig we all
know???).  Needless to say, I was in San Diego without a stove.  I bought a
Coleman Apex II at REI.  That worked great until Warner Springs.  When I
started the thing up, it basically caught fire, and in the midst of trying
to put it out I was flinging flaming fuel everywhere (hands, tent, dry
grass a few feet away).  I think I used up some good Karma points right
there, because starting a grass fire right next to the Warner Springs fire
station would have been, uh, pretty embarrasing.  I got the flames out with
a couple bottles of water.

  After that incident and the help of Brick in San Diego, I had a new Peak
One stove.  That lasted for awhile till the generator plugged up.  It
wasn't until a few months ago that I actually figured out where the
cleaning needle on the stove was.  (It is that metal thing inside the
generator, if you pull on it, the thin needle will come out.  I was
assuming the needle handle was something to do with the generator
component, and never bothered to pull on it).  So anyway, in Wrightwood I
bought two cans of sterno and dumpster-dived a metal coat hanger.  That
worked great unless the wind was blowing, then disgusting words would come
from my mouth.

Craig Giffen
Portland, OR

p.s.  Speaking of cooking,  DON'T let any PCT hiker give you dehydrated
chili.  It might sound generous and taste good going down, but I suggest
you don't spend the night in a tent or sleeping bag, or near any person you
hope to become romantically involved with.  Woooooooooooo
wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,  I nearly passed out a couple times.    Maybe at
airline terminals they should check for dehydrated chili, because its
destructive effects are up there with plastic explosives. :)

>I have always declared my empty, clean fuel bottles(triple rinsed and sun 
>dried all day) with my carryon baggage.  Simply say "I want to declare 
>these empty bottles and hand them to the guard.    They generally look at 
>me like I am wasting their time and motion for me to put the bottles back 
>into the bag.
>I have not done the research but I think the penalty under federal law 
>for carrying an undeclared fuel container in your checked luggage is 
>pretty stiff.  You would probably plea it out and end up on probation for 
>several years and then we would have to hear about it again and again(G). 
>I won't even get into the delay, strip searches, etc.
>Why take the chance.
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