Scoutmaster Musings - Stove Feedback

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Scoutmaster Musings

Stove Feedback
I wanted to thank people that replied about my Stoves for Scouts entry, especially Jack, John, and Tom.

It sounds like most troops use propane stoves just like us. But, some of them use a 20lb propane tank with a distribution tree and hoses to each stove - set the tank in a plastic milk crate to make it more stable. This cuts out the problem of throwing out all those propane bottles and reduces fuel costs, after recovering the initial expense of tanks, trees, and hoses. The main reason our troop committee has not done that is because it forces the patrols that share a tank to set up right next to each other. We could have a tank for each patrol and that might be the best solution for weekend 'car' campouts where no packing in occurs. Maybe a 5lb tank per patrol would work. Unfortunately, this doesn't remove the main problem area from the equation - that $17.00 regulator that stops working.

The use of popcan alcohol stoves was presented also. Those are pretty cool and a great project for scouts to make. On minimalist campouts, they are great for a single person to heat water and rehydrate food. But, their 5-15 minute burn time isn't enough for actual cooking. I've got these on my list of 'projects to try at troop meetings' for the PLC to consider.

I sent an email to Coleman asking about the regulators that stop working, pleading for any way to adjust them, clean them, or fix them. We'll see if they reply.

One other thing to pass on to you all. One scouter said they had tried to refill the disposable propane bottles with a fitting you can purchase. His experience was that it worked a couple times until the seal on the bottle would start leaking. On the Coleman disposable bottles, it does say "Do Not Refill" so we've not tried that.

So, my plan is to have the adults try cooking on two liquid fuel backpacking stoves on the next couple campouts and see how we do. (We don't really have much choice since we inherited an inoperable regulator :-) ) We might purchase a wire grill to set over the stoves for pot stability.
Assuming that goes well, I'll discuss it with the SPL and see if he'll ask a couple older patrols if they'd like to give it a try.

Scout On
Posted: 11:40 02-04-2007 124
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