[at-l] "White Gas"

RockDancer rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Sat Jan 23 09:46:10 CST 2010

Hi Frank,
You may have misinterpreted my statements, if not I apologize for this response:

1. Filtering your fuel won't do any good for the type of contamination I mentioned. This is chemical contamination, meaning that unwanted components have been dissolved into your fuel. The burning process uses up the fuel portion and leaves the residue as gunk to clog the orifice.

4. I'm not worried about drinking BPA! (Maybe I would be if I was nursing or a child) But most people, if asked, would say that "No, their AL fuel bottle does not have a plastic liner." At least until recently the AL bottle industry would pour a liquid plastic into the finished bottle, then pour out the surplus and bake on the coating. I'm not certain why they did this but I imagine it was to furnish a non-reactive layer over the pure aluminum. Some things affect aluminum, as you say. For instance it oxidizes and turns white on old window screens.

The point here was demonstrating that the plastic liner perhaps contributes chemical contamination to the fuel if stored long enough, and therefore the liner is the reason for old fuel becoming "bad fuel" of the sort I bought on that VA hike.

I'm not sure what your last statement refers to, certainly not an aluminum fuel bottle?! If you are using plastic fuel bottles I'm sure that some plastics are more appropriate than others for different fuels. I learned a little about plastics and fuels back in my early years of hiking. I had run out of white gas and asked a campground neighbor for a cup of fuel. I grabbed a styrofoam cup out of the trash to carry it in since I would only carry it for about 1 min. By the time he finished pouring the fuel it had eaten through the bottom of the cup and then the rest of the cup shriveled up in my hand! 

Soda-bottle-type plastic is fine for alcohol fuel on the trail, just mark the bottle carefully and think before you drink. Bob Peoples had a hiker drink down some alcohol fuel by mistake in front of him in recent years. It meant a trip to the hospital. 

White gas needs a different type of plastic in order to stay safe. I've never used anything other than aluminum if I'm taking white gas with me on a trip.

Arthur Gaudet (RockDancer)
Rockdancer97 at comcast.net
"The pellet with the poison's in the flagon with the dragon."
Things that I'm learning from all of this
(1) I'm glad that I fiter fuel every time that I pour it in the bottle. I have filtered out chunks of unknown substances and liquid that appears to be some sort of oil. NOT naphtha, for sure. After 13 Winters, I have NEVER had a clog in a liquid fuel stove. I totally attribute that to filtering every ounce of every fuel that has went into my bottles. Or maybe I'm just lucky. :-)
(2) if I do a long hike in the winter away from the AT, I will leave the Simmerlite at home and bring the Whisperlite Internationale. It's heavier, but it only require a jet change to burn K1 kerosene. It does it pretty well, too.
(3) Gasoline vaguely works, but only in an emergency.
(4) some people will freak over anything. BPA in my fuel bottle doesn't bother me nearly as much as accidentally drinking the fuel would.

Am I missing anything else?

I have decided lately to start asking more questions. You're never too experienced to learn something new. You hardly ever learn without asking. And sometimes these threads get legs. :-)

One thing I figured out on my own. These bottles aren't made for alcohol. I had one develop a hole because of that. No idea why, but alcohol eats aluminum.


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