May 28, 2010 - Kevin
I kind of guessed using liquid fuels to ignite fires wouldn't be allowed and it makes sense that the OA can't use hand-made smudge pots, but I had no idea the bsa prohibits alcohol stoves. Nice to know, thanks for the information.
A Boy Scout's Blog
May 31, 2010 - Neil
I guess I was ignorant about this policy, too. I wonder how long has this policy been in effect? We're in Hawaii and we did one High Adventure using only home-made alcohol stoves and wood-burning Sierra Zip stoves because we didn't want to deal with the logistics of transporting stoves that used camp gas on a separate waterborne cargo carrier, since it's illegal to carry such stoves on an airliner once they've been used.
Jun 01, 2010 - scotty
Technically, you can use denatured alcohol but it's not recommended and must be done under supervision using a commercially made alcohol stove.
Jun 01, 2010 - Brad
The policy goes back to at least the late 80 or very early 90's. I was on the camp staff then, and I remember the ban on liquid fire starters taking effect. We used to use a chemical reaction using brake fluid to "magically" start the big fires (I won't go into it because of the ban). When the ban started, we had to devise a new way. We ended up using road flares with model rocket igniters attached to the business end. When we "launched", the flare would light even wet wood. We just buried it under a huge pile of tinder and small fuel to make sure the big stuff got going.
It looks to me that technically, you can use ANY fuel that a commercially made stove or lantern can use according to the manufacturer's specs. It doesn't say they are "banned," just "not recommended."
Jun 02, 2010 - Matt Kemp
Paintball guns used for target practice are okay according to the guide to safe scouting online I was reading two nights ago. Is that right?
Feb 26, 2011 - Michael
So, if you can buy a small can alcohol stove, thus commercially available, the boys can still use under supervision. BTW, the only injuries I've seen were with propane and white gas stoves, never denatured alcohol.
Apr 11, 2011 - Steve
Not sure I understand how a fuel that burns cooler, does not damage pack material if it leaks, is less volatile and evaporates without residue is less safe than white gasoline (Coleman Fuel) or pressureized fuels. I would be interested in learning the rational. Please say its not commercial stove industry money.
Jan 20, 2012 - Chris
This is foolish, but not unexpexted.
Dec 05, 2012 - Al
I can understand that improperly constructed or modified stovves can be dangerous, as are all flame producing devices, but the recommendation to not use commerically made alcohol stoves, which are lighter, simpler to use, and safer to the environment, seems counter to common sense. Handmade stoves are used all over the world every day wihtout incident. The ability to construct a can stove in an emergency situation seems to be a valuable survival skill scouts should know in being prepared should the situation call for it. I thought part of scouting was to teach skills and increase understanding about outdoor survival techniques, including environmentally safer cooking and survival skills, tools, equipment and methods.