Author Topic: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR  (Read 1237 times)

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Offline BillBekay

Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« on: November 29, 2021, 06:21:48 am »
As I am planning to cycle the GDMBR I am interested in the availability of stove fuel along te route. What is the best to take with me? A Liquid Fuel Stove or a Canister Stove? What is the availability of Coleman Fuel or Canisters (propane/butane) along the GDMBR?

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2021, 07:57:32 am »
I use canister and as long as you think ahead you should have no problems finding them along the route. Plenty of large (relative) towns that week have a camp store or Walmart.

In order (from memory):
Banff, Whitefish, Col. Falls, Helena, Butte, Steamboat, Silverthorne, Breck, Salida, Silver City.

Ovando usually has supplies. Island Park is an outdoor town.

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Offline John Nettles

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Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2021, 08:38:42 am »
Welcome to the ACA Forums!  You have picked a challenging route?  Is this your first tour?

I prefer alcohol stoves as the fuel is more readily available.  A yellow bottle of HEET can be bought in any automotive store, Walmart, and most convenience stores in towns along the GD.  Also, it is incredibly quiet, you have a wider variety of quality cookware you can use if you want to actually cook, and I would say much more durable/foolproof.  May not be as light depending on amount of fuel you are carrying.  That said, a Jetboil sure does boil about 8x quicker.  I have no idea as to which one is cheaper on fuel overall.

Each stove and fuel have their pluses and minuses.  Pick the one that is best for you.

Tailwinds, John

Offline staehpj1

Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2021, 09:20:31 am »
I have not done the GBDR, but have ridden in areas it passes through and have dealt with the various stove issues.  I'll just mention a few things.
I really like pop can alcohol stoves.  They are very light very, inexpensive, and the fuel is pretty available.  I like that I can very easily fly with one and if it gets confiscated I am not out much.  I can make a new one.  I can fly to my trip with a new one if I am worried about the TSA.  That said I have never has the TSA battrd an eye at my pop can stoves even when I screwed up and carried one in my carry on. The big problem with them is that fire bans can and often do requre a stove with an off valve or switch.  Because of that I have been thinking of biting the bullet on the extra weight and using a pressurized stove the my whisperlite international or my SVEA 123 more.

I figure that of the main fuel sources canisters and coleman fuel both have some issues.  Canisters and coleman fuel could be more available so plan ahead.  Also coleman fuel tends to come in gallons or if you are lucky quarts.   Even a quart is way more than I want to carry.  I have read that Ronson or Zippo cigarette lighter fluid is the same stuff though and can be found in small quantities.  So that could be a solution.

It isn't ideal as far as the additives in it, but gasoline will burn fine in many coleman fuel type stoves, some are rated for it and some that aren't will burn it (not ideal, but I know folks who do so in stoves rated for white gas only).  Personally I'd burn it is a multifuel stove rated for it if I couldn't find white gas and probably not in a white gas only stove unless it was a last resort thing.  Gasoline is very available so that is a big plus in my mind if only as a backup to white gas.  If you go that route be careful to burn in an open space and avoid the fumes.

Offline ray b

Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2021, 01:17:36 pm »
...A Liquid Fuel Stove or a Canister Stove? What is the availability of Coleman Fuel or Canisters (propane/butane) along the GDMBR?
Just a thought - although I can choose among 4 stoves (and I do like coffee),I did the GDBR this past summer with no stove, and was surprised how much it freed me up. It certainly didn't affect my appetite, enjoyment of food (and coffee), or nutrition.

Choice of stove depends a little on how fast you travel and how much fuel you plan to use. Unless you're a 3 meal/day and 3 courses/meal chef that requires a lot of fuel, I'd likely go with cannisters.

Add Pinedale, Rawlins, and Grants to the list of bigger towns with outfitters and/or big stores, but remember, many of the gas stations, groceries, and general stores - especially adjacent to the continental divide trail - will have a small section of camping supplies including fuel cannisters, to cater to the hikers.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline TCS

Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2021, 10:13:24 am »
Fun Fact:  TSA lets you fly with 12oz of 'hand sanitizer'. 

My Trangia (alcohol stove) burns 80% alcohol hand sanitizer just dandy.  Yeah, switch to Heet or Klean Strip enroute, but the hand sanitizer can get the trip started.
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline staehpj1

Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2021, 10:46:04 am »
Fun Fact:  TSA lets you fly with 12oz of 'hand sanitizer'. 

My Trangia (alcohol stove) burns 80% alcohol hand sanitizer just dandy.  Yeah, switch to Heet or Klean Strip enroute, but the hand sanitizer can get the trip started.
Interesting.  Isn't most hand sanitizer pretty low in alcohol content, like 62-70%?  Do you have specific brands that you know of that are higher in alcohol content (80%)?  It would seem as if 80% would be useable but not ideal.

I suppose you could add alcohol yourself to bring some lower octane stuff up to 80% without breaking the letter of the rule as I read it.  If you were to go to 90% I doubt they would have a way of telling, but you would be in violation.

Does the 80% stuff actually boil water in a reasonable time in your trangia?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 10:55:14 am by staehpj1 »

Offline BillBekay

Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2021, 11:29:54 am »
Thank you all for the replies and the tip for Walmart. I didn't know they have "superstores" selling hardware like gas canisters.

Offline TCS

Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2021, 10:20:48 am »
Quote
Isn't most hand sanitizer pretty low in alcohol content, like 62-70%?  Do you have specific brands that you know of that are higher in alcohol content (80%)?

I just went to my local store and read the labels.

Quote
It would seem as if 80% would be useable but not ideal.

Well, it's better (and cheaper!) than that other flyable fuel, 140 proof Jägermiester.   ;)
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline staehpj1

Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2021, 11:46:50 am »
Well, it's better (and cheaper!) than that other flyable fuel, 140 proof Jägermiester.   ;)
Yep.
It turns out that my wife picked up an 8 oz. bottle of 80% liquid hand sanitizer that was a freebie at a craft festival.  I'll hang on to it for a future tour.  I figure being liquid rather than gel may be an advantage in some stoves.  Otoh, the gel would be less spill prone.  The stuff I have is from a local craft brewery/distillery.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2021, 12:56:33 pm »
I like to cook my meals with as much fresh food as I can find along the way. For me that means the temperature control and low level simmer I can get with my Jetboil and pot setup, especially with their new mini-mo. I have hiked with people with alcohol stoves and watched them set picnic tables on fire and make the cook area smell like a bus station. I will take the extra noise from a cannister stove for the efficiency, heat control and the added safety features like a shutoff valve that allows me to use it in remote fire-control areas. Never had trouble finding fuel cannisters while people I hiked with ran out of alcohol fuel in the south where "dry gas" (HEET) is unheard off. Also, the HEET bottle says CAUTION - Vapors are Harmful. https://www.k-state.edu/facilities/storeroom/products/msds/HEET%20Gasline%20Antifreeze%20007512.pdf
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Offline staehpj1

Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2021, 01:42:01 pm »
Never had trouble finding fuel cannisters while people I hiked with ran out of alcohol fuel in the south where "dry gas" (HEET) is unheard off. Also, the HEET bottle says CAUTION - Vapors are Harmful.
I live in Tallahassee and yellow bottle Heet is readily available here.  When I rode the Southern Tier it seemed to be readily available every time I needed it.  I did some backpacking and some other tours in the south and never a problem finding it.  Worst case there is always denatured alcohol from any big box store, hardware store, or paint store.  I prefer the size container Heet comes in though.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2021, 02:00:01 pm »
They could not find it in Northern Tennessee/North Carolina and Southern Virginia. Don't forget the AT avoids bigger towns and 2 miles off the trail on foot is a lot harder than 2 miles on a bike. One backpacker also had his fuel bottle leak out all over the inside of his pack leaving him to beg for use of a stove.

Just not a fan - to each their own. I had thought about them for my thru-hike until I saw them in action. To me just not worth the hassle, mess, and clean up of pots.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 02:13:49 pm by HikeBikeCook »
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Offline staehpj1

Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2021, 04:49:50 pm »
Just not a fan - to each their own. I had thought about them for my thru-hike until I saw them in action. To me just not worth the hassle, mess, and clean up of pots.
Clean up of pots?  Are you talking about alcohol stoves and soot?  Mine have always burned clean.  Never a sooty pot.

That said I can see plenty of reasons why you might choose a canister stove.  There are reasons to choose alcohol, white gas, or canister depending on the situation and on personal preferences.

There are times and places where I have chosen each of them.  My alcohol stove is a poor choice for more than one person and when fire bans require a shut off valve.  I never had a problem with spillage or setting stuff on fire.  I guess some people are careless with them.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Availability stove fuel along GDMBR
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2021, 05:14:54 pm »
I am sure the soot is partly due to stove design, fuel, and user error. A lot of soda can stoves on the AT. I have cooked on everything and own all kinds of stoves from an old Primus Kerosene stove my Dad carried in the 1940's, to MSR Multi Fuels, GAZ stoves, wood burners, etc. Got the Jetboil in 2007 and never looked back. Now in my late 60's, my Sherpa snow shoes and telemark skis with climbing skins are collecting dust in the basement, but I have used the Jetboil with ISO/Butane fuel in the winter as well. Just like the simple no fuss, no mess approach. Still have the MSR International and the Primus just in case :).

Still remember putting liquid detergent on the pot bottoms to make the soot easier to clean as well.
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