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Stove Fuel/Airlines
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Donald Browning
(docdb) - M

Locale: SE USA
Stove Fuel/Airlines on 07/01/2007 09:29:19 MDT Print View

I am leaving in three weeks for an adventure in the McKenzie Mountains in the Northwest Territories of Canada. I'm wondering about what type of fuel/stove setup is recommended (probably as a backup, as the guide will have cooking gear). I realize that one cannot bring canisters/liquid fuel on the airlines. I would just feel much more comfortable if my little pocket rocket has just one 4oz canister!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Stove Fuel/Airlines on 07/01/2007 10:46:50 MDT Print View

You can carry on or check your PR with you without problems, so long as there isn't any trace or smell of residual fuel. The fuel itself is absolutely prohibited.

If you are staying at a hotel prior to your hike, you can always arrange to ship (UPS Ground) a canister to the hotel -- letting the management know to expect it and keep it for you. You can also google for a store and buy one locally.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @
Re: Stove Fuel/Airlines on 07/05/2007 14:36:32 MDT Print View

I have put unopened Esbit fuel tabs in checked luggage on multiple occasions with nary a problem. This works well with a standard or titanium wing stove as long as it's just for you or maybe one more person that you're cooking for.

Philip Mack Furlow
(PhilipMack) - F

Locale: North Texas
Just order some and ship ground to hotel or business where you start on 07/05/2007 15:38:00 MDT Print View

Just as previously mentioned - ship it. We have ten guys going to Victor Montana and time is of the essence when we arrive at the airport. So we have shipped supplies to a business in Hamilton Montana where we will base operations out of and make a few last minute purchases as well.

Pretty simple actually and gives you a contact person on the ground where you are headed. We have always had good luck finding some person at a business or hotel willing to hold our items until we arrived.

Edited by PhilipMack on 07/05/2007 15:38:58 MDT.

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Re:Stove Fuel/Airlines:BAD ADVICE! on 07/05/2007 20:24:04 MDT Print View

(Sorry for the posting, but I got an error when I tried to PM you).

Yikes Robert! Maybe you wish to reconsider your previous post to a public forum (if not delete it altogether).

Whether we like the TSA rules or not, there are civil and potentially criminal referrals for carrying flammables or explosive precursors in checked baggage, not to mention inherent safety issue.

Esbit tablets are made of Hexamine, a precursor for RDX.

Detection for this is coming to an airport near everyone in the US shortly. I saw a demo in May of the new X-Ray machines that are currently in about 90 major airports and scheduled to be most in the next couple of years. They can automatically detect explosives and precursors, and identify their position in the baggage. The demo I saw detected an amount much smaller than a single esbit tablet.

Besides the overt safety hazard, it could cost someone a few bucks, plus get themselves on the 'body cavity' search list for future flights.

While I'm sure there was no malice intended, and with all due respect, this is really bad advice that I hope no one follows.

Just my 2 cents worth.


Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @
Re: Re:Stove Fuel/Airlines:BAD ADVICE! on 07/09/2007 07:30:12 MDT Print View

Mike -

I called TSA today and asked about Esbit in checked luggage. They were not familiar with it. They asked me if it was flammable and what it was used for. I said it was solid, looked like a big sugar cube, could be lit by a match and it would then burn; used for camping to warm things up; you could also use it to help start a fire once the tab was lit. I was told it would be OK to put in checked baggage. So I think this is still an option for those who don't want to ship stuff by ground carrier or buy stuff on arrival. In my most recent use, I went directly from the Denver airport to Rocky Mountain National Park for a two-day backpack trip. Using the Esbit meant I had everything I needed without any fuss.

Patrick Baker
(WildMan) - F
Re: Re: Re:Stove Fuel/Airlines:BAD ADVICE! on 07/09/2007 10:36:24 MDT Print View

I am with Mike on this one.

Page 2 states ...

No flammable liquids or solids.

Lance Marshall
(Lancem) - F - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re:Stove Fuel/Airlines:BAD ADVICE! on 07/09/2007 11:56:15 MDT Print View

I agree with what Mike so tactfully said. Flammable solids are not allowed on airplanes. Hexamethylenetetramine (Esbit fuel) is recognized as a flammable solid by the Department of Transportation and in turn by the FAA, USPS, airlines, shippers, etc. Please don't take the word of one TSA employee who is unfamiliar with Esbit fuel. Why take the chance.

Confirm availability of fuel at your destination or ship it ahead by ground.

Have a great trip Donald!

Edited by Lancem on 07/09/2007 11:58:37 MDT.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @
Re: Re:Stove Fuel/Airlines:BAD ADVICE! on 07/10/2007 14:27:10 MDT Print View

Having done some more research, I have to agree with those who say Esbit tabs are not OK to put in checked luggage despite what I was told by TSA when I called them. I wonder if candles are OK, since they are also "flammable". It seems to me that the regs are too strict if something has no explosion risk, like candles (and probably Esbit too, for that matter).
O well . . .

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Re: Re: Re:Stove Fuel/Airlines:Works for me! on 07/10/2007 14:42:55 MDT Print View

I've checked Esbit tablets on 2 flights in the past year without issue.

Edit: Actually, one of the flights I had my entire pack (sans treking poles and tent stakes) as my carry on.

Edited by tlbj6142 on 07/10/2007 14:44:08 MDT.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Re:Stove Fuel/Airlines:Works for me! on 07/11/2007 10:47:46 MDT Print View

I am confused. I could see where pressurized cannisters (with anything flammable in them) would be no-no's....but they don't seem to care if you take a bottle of 80 proof liquor in your checked luggage. 750 ml's of alcohol is way more flammable than a handful of Esbits. And besides...once that giant gas tank we are all strapped to is almost empty, and full of jet fuel vapors, you really are sitting on the most volatile explosive known! Seems explosives or incindinary devices would really be the only thing they need to focus on?