There Is Something Fishy Here
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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
There Is Something Fishy Here on 12/31/2012 11:40:45 MST Print View

It may just be my sense of smell but my Bleuet solid fuel tablets seem to emit a "fishy" odor even while the individual blister packs remain unopened.

Does anyone else here notice this "problem"?

Does it indeed smell like fish to everyone else or is it just me?

Does it happen with the Esbit and Coghlan's tablets also?

My concerns are...

* controlling the odor so that it doesn't permeate through the rest of my gear.
* controlling the odor so that if it does indeed emit a fishy smell I'm not attracting bears.
* did I mention I'd like to control the odor? ;-)

Party On,

Newton

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
same as Esbit on 12/31/2012 12:04:47 MST Print View

Is is the fuel itself. Esbit is the same way.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: There Is Something Fishy Here on 12/31/2012 12:12:29 MST Print View

So do you use anything to control the odor?

Do you use OPsak, Ziploc or a container of some kind with a screw on lid?

Party On,

Newton

Edited by Newton on 12/31/2012 12:37:13 MST.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Storing fishy fuel tabs on 12/31/2012 12:48:54 MST Print View

When I buy a new box of Esbit tabs, I remove them from their bubble wrap and I repackage them into 4-packs with a vacuum sealer for (assumed) increased shelf life. Then when I take them hiking, I put the required number of those 4-packs into a pint size Ziplock freezer bag, along with my stove, and a small binder clip to close up the opened pack. Sometimes I'll remember to also include a snack baggie to hold the opened packet, as another layer of odor control. Seems to minimize fishy smells, as the squirrels don't seem to hang around the zip bag much (I'm wondering if they already know that it's some kind of poison, just by the smell...).

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Storing fishy fuel tabs on 12/31/2012 12:59:14 MST Print View

Gary,

Did the fishy smell ever attract any "nosey" bears?

Party On,

Newton

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
There Is Something Fishy Here on 12/31/2012 13:09:36 MST Print View

One of the negatives of that type fuel. Enjoy.:)
Duane

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: There Is Something Fishy Here on 12/31/2012 13:26:16 MST Print View

Yes, all of the Esbit-type fuels have a fishy odor, but to different degrees. I leave the cubes in the original foil package, and that is left in the original cardboard box. No special odor protection.

Bears have sniffed at it, but they seem to know that it is not food.

Many years ago we used to put mothballs into the top of our food sack hung in the tree. The theory was that the mothball odor would overcome the food odor, so the bears would never go after the food. However, the bears did not understand the theory.

Bears managed to find a food bag with mothballs, so they ate the food and associated the mothball odor with food. Then the next time that they came around, they smelled the mothballs and that led them right to the food.

Another theory shot down.

Black bears are curious, and that suggests some level of intelligence. They have a good memory when it comes to food and the route to get from one food source to another.

--B.G.--

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
There Is Something Fishy Here on 12/31/2012 13:49:21 MST Print View

Naw, Newton. Heck, I've never seen a bear here in Colorado, not even their scat (except in my back yard--they like my apple trees in Sepember, and my lack of fences)). I only use Esbit for quick 24-hour outings, to minimize weight. When I hit the Winds, YNP, or GNP, I use a canister stove and do MH FD meals, to minimize any smells. BG would be your dependable bear source here, as his turf is bear alley.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
There Is Something Fishy Here on 12/31/2012 14:03:24 MST Print View

I carry my Esbit tablets in their original foil-covered plastic bubble packs, which I place inside an OP sack carried on the outside of my pack. Works every time.

If I ship tablets to myself along the trail, they are always in an OP sack, even if the package is labelled ORM-D.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: There Is Something Fishy Here on 12/31/2012 14:11:40 MST Print View

Besides, in Louisiana, you have a few black bears, but you have more of the dreaded swamp rabbits. Vicious critters! They sneak out of the swamp and attack backpackers carrying Esbit fuel. They just love the fishy smell. They confuse the word "Bleuet" with "beignet."

--B.G.--

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: There Is Something Fishy Here on 12/31/2012 16:15:41 MST Print View

Hi Bob,

I don't worry about bears in LA. But my section hikes of the AT are taking me deep into VA next year where I plan to try out my solid fuel system.

Swamp rabbits are like pets to me. It's those yellow bellied CA marmots that frighten me. LOL

Party On,

Newton

Edited by Newton on 12/31/2012 16:21:21 MST.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
There Is Something Fishy Here on 12/31/2012 16:40:45 MST Print View

Marmots? That's where a bota bag shaped like a radiator hose, full of anti-freeze comes into play. Throw it to the marmots and run then.:)
Duane

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Aluminum foil on 12/31/2012 18:16:33 MST Print View

I wrap my Eabit and FireLite tabs in heavy aluminum foil and tape it shut with duct tape. Slowly untape an end to preserve the foil to get them out and then retape.

This actually works. "Crude but effective."

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Locale: www.bplite.com
Re: There Is Something Fishy Here on 12/31/2012 18:44:04 MST Print View

John, yes it happens with esbit tablets also.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
I love esbit on 12/31/2012 19:54:37 MST Print View

I can get over the smell of esbit fuels, it smells but it doesn't smell that bad. I like the ease of use and weight.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Hexamine has less odor on 01/01/2013 09:00:52 MST Print View

I don't know if the mil-spec "Hexamine" version of Esbit-type fuel is less energy-dense or not, but I bought a LOT of it many years ago and have used it from time to time, primarily as a very successful emergency fuel. It comes in cardboard tube with the round tablets stacked like Life-Savers candies. It has virtually no odor and I can confirm that a set of tablets that had been in my pack for 30 years burned "just fine" and boiled water like they were supposed to.

My buddy's branded Esbit fuel seemed to cook in about the same time, did have more odor and sooted his pot more than mine did mine.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Hexamine has less odor on 01/01/2013 10:27:26 MST Print View

Esbit and Bleuet brand solid fuel are both hexamine (methenamine).