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How airtight do you need to keep unwrapped solid fuel?
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Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
How airtight do you need to keep unwrapped solid fuel? on 06/19/2011 13:23:12 MDT Print View

If you were out for a week or less, how airtight would you need to keep your fuel tablets? Specifically the Coghlans or Weber cubes?

I am thinking about carrying coghlans or weber cubes for long weekend to week long trips due to price and weight.

But....I am worried about two things:

1) The soot (webers has more than coghlans), and keeping things clean inside my food bag.

2) Having the fuel tablets dry out after unpackaging them.

I have a 4g rice cakes bag that is big enough to hold my Heiny keg can pot and all my stove kit inside, plus a long handled plastic soda spoon outside keg can. I am thinking of throwing the unwrapped Webers or Coghlans cubes in the bag (outside the Heiny) as well to keep them from drying out too quickly. I'd tie the rice cakes bag off in a simple knot. Then I put all of them inside my food bag, where the soot from my pot can't get to the rest of my food bag.

So the fuel tablets/cubes are not air tight, but air certainly won't be circulating in there very much. Will they last?

(Companion post where I'm going lighter with my cookset: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=49519)

Theron Rohr
(theronr) - F

Locale: Los Angeles, California
esbit on 06/20/2011 17:36:08 MDT Print View

I don't think it makes any kind of difference over a few days. My guess is it would take months (if not years) for fuel cubes to "dry out" to the point where they don't work properly.

I think this is the kind of problem people have when they buy army surplus fuel stamped "1983" on it :)

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Weekend warrior on 06/20/2011 17:45:45 MDT Print View

Prob won't make a difference over a long weekend or week, but over time, all the fuel tablets I am aware of, dry out over time if unwrapped:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd_SUa2YWH4

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: How airtight do you need to keep unwrapped solid fuel? on 06/20/2011 18:17:44 MDT Print View

Have you noticed that some solid fuel tablets have more smell than others?

Many such solid chemicals will sublimate or vaporize into the air, either by a little bit, or by a lot. The more smell you perceive, the faster it is sublimating. When you put the tablet into a plastic bag, you are limiting that sublimation into the tiny space of the bag. So, if you start with a fuel tablet that has little smell, and then if you keep it fairly well bagged, it should "keep" for a long time.

Some plastic bag material has large pores, so the smell can get out over time (so your fuel tablet will go stale faster). Good plastic bags have tiny pores and are called gas-tight. I have some.

--B.G.--

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Good points on 06/20/2011 18:22:49 MDT Print View

I'm going with the cheap (free) plastic bag first and see if it keeps the tablets over a long wknd trip.

I have to say, that while the weber cubes soot like a mofo, they don't smell.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Good points on 06/20/2011 20:24:53 MDT Print View

They may not smell to your nose or my nose, but wild animals probably smell them. If they eat your fuel tabs or just steal them, you will be in trouble. Of course, if they eat them, they will be in trouble also.

--B.G.--

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
Food Bag on 06/20/2011 20:26:39 MDT Print View

Well the stove and tablets go inside the rice cakes bag, which go inside my food bag that contains my toiletries at night as well. All of that gets hoisted up to keep the beasties away. :)

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife
Re: How airtight do you need to keep unwrapped solid fuel? on 06/22/2011 23:51:32 MDT Print View

I just throw mine in the smallest size ziplock bag I can find.

Bryce F.
(bster13) - MLife

Locale: Norwalk, CT
How long have you been out? on 06/23/2011 11:16:33 MDT Print View

How long have you been out with your tablets/cubes outside their original packing and in the zip lock bag? Do you notice any performance difference towards the end of your trip?