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White gas on the PCT?
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ben kohl
(benkohl) - F

Locale: Northeast
White gas on the PCT? on 03/07/2007 05:57:16 MST Print View

My partner and I are planning on taking the Simmerlite on our thru-hike. (alcohol stoves don't crank enough for two). Does anyone know the availability of white gas throughout the PCT? Much appreciated!

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
RE:White Gas on the pct on 03/07/2007 16:12:21 MST Print View

You'll definitely have to look around a bit more for white gas than for alcohol/heet. Since 99% of thru-hikers carry alcohol stoves, that is what store owners in town tend to carry. If you are dead set on your whisperlite then more power to you, but I would seriously reconsider your cooking setup. My girlfriend and I used the two person brasslite alcohol stoves on the CDT/PCT and had zero problems with cooking times or resupplying our fuel.

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Re: White gas on the PCT? on 03/07/2007 20:15:07 MST Print View

Ben -

I've spent quite a bit of time on the PCT and white gas will be difficult to find in many locations. So you'll have to carry a lot of it. And it will be hard to predict when you'll be able to find it.

Alcohol works well on the PCT - get a good stove as Zack recommended and you'll be fine. Alcohol is a cinch to find, and because all the other hikers use it, you can share fuel in a pinch. Finally, in every town, the other hikers will rapidly form a grapevine of info and let you know where you can find alcohol. Plus lots of places carry it specifically to help PCTers.


Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
Re: White gas on the PCT? on 03/07/2007 20:23:39 MST Print View

The best place to post looking for PCT-specific details would probably be thru-hiker or one of the PCT-specific thru-hiker sites. Some people here have done the whole hike or sections of it, but you will find larger groups of more experienced PCT hikers in those forums.

On the subject of white gas vs. alcohol, if you want to "crank heat" you should look at canister stoves. Canister stoves "crank" more than white gas, and you will be carrying much much less fuel weight *and* stove weight.

The coleman Exponent F1 stove weighs a couple of ounces, it makes 16000 BTU, and it costs $40!

For a remote-fuel stove, consider the MSR Windpro. It is identical to you Simmerlite except that it has no pump: this means it weighs less and is much less likely to fail. Since it burns butane, it can boil more water per ounce of fuel, and it requires no fuel-wasting priming. Yet another bonus is that canister stoves don't clog.

Further, since you will be making hundreds of meals and carrying it thousands of miles, you will appreciate the durability and reliability of the canister stove. White gas stoves are failure-prone just because they have a lot more fine-tolerance parts. For an expedition like that, you should really consider bringing an expedition service kit if you go white gas. A few hundred cycles of assembly, pumping, burning, cooling, and disassembly can wreak havoc on some of the fine seals in a white gas system.

Finally, if you insist on white gas you can always use gasoline as an "emergency fuel" if nothing else can be found. Gasoline contains additives that are bad for your health and will clog your stove more quickly than white gas, but it's better than eating raw pasta!

Edited by bjamesd on 03/07/2007 21:12:08 MST.

ben kohl
(benkohl) - F

Locale: Northeast
White Gas on the PCT? on 03/08/2007 05:13:21 MST Print View

Thank you all for the helpful replies. My concern had been finding an alcohol stove that would crank for two people, but am now reassured. Yippee--convenience and saving some ounces to boot. BTW--I have been posting at PCT--1, but have gotten much better response to (PCT) gear-related questions at BPL. Are there other PCT sites that any of you would recomend. thanks! Ben

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: White Gas on the PCT? on 03/08/2007 12:33:15 MST Print View

> My concern had been finding an alcohol stove that would crank for two people, but am now reassured.

If you want to make your own, the 0.5 oz Pepsi-G alcohol stove is easy to make and dependable (no priming required). Mine boils 4 cups of water in less than 9 minutes using 1.2 fl oz of denatured alcohol.

Kirk Beiser
(kab21) - F

Locale: Pic: Gun Lake, BWCA
PCT websites on 03/10/2007 22:19:04 MST Print View

Are there other PCT sites that any of you would recomend. thanks! Ben

I've found that this is the best place to research gear. I also use the 2007 PCT yahoo group and, but both sites can be hit and miss.

I've finally got my website done (mostly done) and I have a list some of the other PCT resources that I've been using.


Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: PCT websites on 03/10/2007 22:55:13 MST Print View

Also, if you haven't visited Yogi's site, by all means go to it. She sells a (pricey) but good book on the where and hows.

ben kohl
(benkohl) - F

Locale: Northeast
Kirk's site on 03/17/2007 14:34:38 MDT Print View

Very cool! Thanks for sharing this--nice to have it in one place. Ben

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Kirk's site on 03/17/2007 17:18:27 MDT Print View

go with an alcohol stove. The ability to find it in town is quite easy. Oh and the weight trade off is essential too.