Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Alcohol stoves and fire restriction in Sequia and Kings Canyon National Parks


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Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Hewlett fire, May 2012 and an alcohol stove on 07/13/2013 22:06:25 MDT Print View

Hi Jerry

> maybe alcohol stoves are more dangerous than I thought, I've only used them on my patio

They can be very dangerous. Let me list some ways:
1: the full stove gets accidentally knocked over and the alcohol spills - while alight
2: the fuel bottle gets knocked over without the cap being screwed on at all - slosh
3: the fuel bottle gets knocked over without the cap being screwed on firmly - dribble
4: the user overfills the stove and doesn't notice before he lights up
5: priming the stove, some fuel is spilt on the duff nearby
6: the user thinks the stove is out and goes to refill it - but it wasn't, and stuff goes everywhere
I am sure I am missing several major fault scenarios. Feel free to add to the list.

Check the benches or tables at some huts & picnic grounds for char marks - you will find plenty. Some are due to white gas, some are due to alcohol.

Cheers

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Alcohol stoves and fire restriction in Sequia and Kings Canyon National Parks on 07/13/2013 22:13:37 MDT Print View

"But Nick is over 60, and he does know everything."

My wife will disagree. Sometimes she says I don't jack _____.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Alcohol stoves and fire restriction in Sequia and Kings Canyon National Parks on 07/13/2013 22:17:36 MDT Print View

There have been quite a few fires started by PCT thru-hikers using alcohol stoves.

I have seen quite a few alcky, Esbit, and wood stoves reviewed here on BPL or URL links shown being used in what I would call unsafe conditions.

Don Amundson
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
SEKI Stove/Fire Restrictions on 07/13/2013 22:49:56 MDT Print View

FWIW this is the response I received from SEKI with my original question at the end:

SEKI Wilderness Office, NPS (seki_wilderness_office@nps.gov)

7/05/13

To: amrowinc@hotmail.com
Picture of SEKI Wilderness Office, NPS

Dear Don,

Alcohol and esbit stoves are allowed in our wilderness. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

-Wilderness Office Staff


On Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 12:34 PM, SEKI Interpretation, NPS wrote:

From:
Date: Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Subject: From NPS.gov: Fire restrictions
To: SEKI_Interpretation@nps.gov

Email submitted from: amrowinc@hotmail.com at /seki/contacts.htm

In years past the question about the use of esbit and alcohol backpacking stoves has come up. These stoves are not addressed in the posted reg that says "No wood or barbecue fires permitted at any elevation. Gas or propane stoves are permitted at all elevations." Every back country ranger and the permit issuing office personal I've talked to have always said yes, esbit and alcohol stoves are allowed and that the concern was about open wood fires and wood burning stoves. I plan to use my esbit stove again this year on the JMT and have a hiking partner that uses an alcohol stove. Will this be OK? Thanks, Don

-----------------------------------------

I also contacted INYO and Sierra National Forest. Their responses:

From Inyo NF:

Hello amrowinc, You can use an esbit stove and any pressurized liquid fuel stove with an on off valve. Forest Order Fire Restrictions

Phone us with questions 760 873-2483.

Thanks, John.

John Edwards
Inyo National Forest
Wilderness Permit Office
351 Pacu Lane Suite 200
Bishop, CA. 93514
(760) 873-2573
---------------------------------------------

From Sierra NF:

A burner, stove or lantern which can be turned off at a moment's notice is permissible for use during fire restrictions.
Please see the attached Forest Order regarding fire restrictions.

Have a great trip!

Kelly Hooten
Information Services Assistant Sierra National Forest
559-297-0706 ext 4989
--------------------------------
Info received from Yosemite from another person:

- --"I called the ranger at Yosemite just now, and was told that an alcohol stove was "absolutely no problem" anywhere on the JMT."

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: SEKI Stove/Fire Restrictions on 07/13/2013 23:20:08 MDT Print View

Don, it would be nice if you could put a date on each piece of correspondence for Inyo, Sierra, and Yosemite. That way, we would know when that information was relevant with respect to the July 11 restriction date at the beginning of this thread.

What SEKI sent on July 5 might have been accurate for July 5, and not accurate for July 11, etc.

--B.G.--

Don Amundson
(amrowinc) - M

Locale: Southern California
Stove Restrictions on 07/14/2013 14:45:59 MDT Print View

The Inyo response was on 7/5/13
The Sierra NF response was on 7/8/13
The third party Yosemite response was on 7/8/13

The dates don't mean much to me. It's the inconsistency and lack of clarity that is a bit bothersome. The wording from each jurisdiction varies. The term jellied petroleum stoves is commonly used. Turn off valves or able to turn off at a moments notice. I get the turn off valve but how do you interpret turning off at a moments notice? Anyone care to participate in a turn-of race? I'll use esbit, you use gas.

This same discussion came up last year.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=66249

I'll be doing the same thing I did last year--ask when I pickup my permit. Thank the ranger and be on my way.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Stove Restrictions on 07/14/2013 15:00:48 MDT Print View

SEKI is telling me that Esbit is legal and alcohol is not, because alcohol isn't pressurized or have an on/off switch. Well, the last time I checked, Esbit isn't pressurized or have any switch, either.

Hey, these feds are civil servants and can't be expected to be consistent.

These are your federal tax dollars at work.

--B.G.--

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: Alcohol stoves and fire restriction in Sequia and Kings Canyon National Parks on 07/14/2013 16:06:29 MDT Print View

Stage 2 fire restrictions went into effect in SEKI on July 1. On July 11 the park super said that Stage 2 fire restrictions ban alcohol stoves - no new rule was implemented. On July 5 (or July 8 in our case) the Wilderness Office sent email saying alcohol stoves are allowed under these restrictions. So, there is inconsistency w/in SEKI staff about what these restrictions mean. The Wilderness Office, not the Super's office, enforces the rules. So, I'm going with their interpretation.

Bob Salcedo
(Baughb) - F

Locale: So Cal.
Alcohol stove restrictions on 07/25/2013 09:34:56 MDT Print View

Interesting individual responses.

I have a variety of stoves and they each excel in a variety of ways. It seems like I'm not alone in my "collecting" of backpacking gear so I'm confused by the "outrage" about not being able to use an alcohol stove. Is it the only stove you have? I doubt it. Use you pocket rocket or whatever UL stove you have and get out there. Isn't being out there the point?

Being a "rule follower" by nature, I can see that some of the responders just don't like to hear the word, "No." I'm sorry that you are so upset by that disappointment. Get over it. This is a .01 on a scale of 10 compared to the things that impact our public lands.

For every responsible outdoorsman (person) there has to be 100,000 idiots and as many just plain inexperienced, non-common sense visitors that COULD set the place on fire. It's not a big deal to be flexible in your plans to include a different stove in the same way you don't use the same sleeping system year round.

Bob

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Alcohol stove restrictions on 07/25/2013 10:47:20 MDT Print View

Isn't there a rule that says you have to have a bucket of water and a shovel if you have a campfire?

Has anyone ever broken that rule?

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Alcohol stove restrictions on 07/25/2013 11:03:43 MDT Print View

"Has anyone ever broken that rule?"

I think everyone on this forum has broken that rule.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Stoves on 07/25/2013 11:04:07 MDT Print View

As I've said before, during fire bans white gas stoves are allowed and they are FAR from idiot proof. An esbit stove is much safer IMHO. If you pick a bad location and kick over any stove you can start a fire.

That being said, when there's a fire ban, I take a Pocket Rocket. And try not to kick it over in the grass I've placed it in. :)

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
stoves on 07/25/2013 11:27:23 MDT Print View

"SEKI is telling me that Esbit is legal and alcohol is not, because alcohol isn't pressurized or have an on/off switch. Well, the last time I checked, Esbit isn't pressurized or have any switch, either.

Hey, these feds are civil servants and can't be expected to be consistent.

These are your federal tax dollars at work."

"The dates don't mean much to me. It's the inconsistency and lack of clarity that is a bit bothersome. The wording from each jurisdiction varies. The term jellied petroleum stoves is commonly used. Turn off valves or able to turn off at a moments notice. I get the turn off valve but how do you interpret turning off at a moments notice? Anyone care to participate in a turn-of race? I'll use esbit, you use gas."


This thread is telling me to use whatever stove I want and not worry about it. Be careful with whatever you use. I'll accept the remote chance that a ranger walks up to my camp at night, miles from any trailhead, camped away from an established camp area, and is actually concerned about the tiny stove I'm using.