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View Full Version : Heads Up - Alcohol stoves are currently banned in CO



bearcreek
06-18-2012, 15:54
Hikers in Colorado need to be aware that there is a statewide ban on open fires except in campgrounds with specially constructed fire pits.


Here is the part nobody is going to like much - alcohol stoves are considered open fires because there is no off/on valve.

Spokes
06-18-2012, 17:09
Hmmmm, not so according to this article:

"The ban does not apply to campfires in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed camp and picnic grounds or recreation sites; liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves; fireplaces contained within buildings; charcoal grills at private residences; or specific prescribed or controlled burns for agricultural or irrigation purposes." (emphasis added)

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/31192078/detail.html

Says nothing about an on/off switch. In fact, if you read further the article specifically states alcohol stoves are exempt as well much to the frustration of officials there.

That said. I say common sense should prevail, especially considering what Colorado is experiencing.

Sly
06-18-2012, 17:13
There was a similar ban when I hiked through CO in 2002 which included cigarettes (you weren't even smoke in a car or tent). Oddly for the most part the trail travels in areas that aren't all that dry (lush green), certainly not like New Mexico or southern California.

Authorities also do a poor job of informing hikers. There were no notices at trailheads.

One dude's horse was spooked as he approached us cowboy camping, saying his horse wasn't used to others being on "his trail." He going to report me for smoking, even though I told him I was unaware of the ban and put the cigarette out in a tin ash tray I was carrying.

Another problem is various county (or state) bans. Trails frequently straddle county (or state) lines.

SawnieRobertson
06-18-2012, 17:17
Well, they might not like my Esbit stoves either since I am the only "on/off" switch. Giving it the good ol' birthday candle blowout works great though.

rocketsocks
06-18-2012, 17:20
I would think a wood fire in a fire ring has way more potential for causing unwanted fires,than a alcohol stove.....but then I've never understood many of the things bureaucratic type deprtments implement.

Nutbrown
06-18-2012, 18:12
I can understand the ban, if there is one, on al. stoves. they can spill and flame up, especially when used by someone that isn't very careful. Usually the bans, or any law for that matter, is made for those less fortunate in the brain department. Stinks for those that don't know though, so thanks for posting.

bearcreek
06-18-2012, 18:15
The Denver Post article was in reference to the governor's ban and does not supersede USFS regulations in individual forests.

I called a couple of the forest offices along the trail. The San Juans (where I live) do not currently have any restrictions in place for high altitude areas, but have phase 1 restrictions at lower altitudes. Starting next week they will have Phase 1 restrictions at high elevations and Stage 2 at lower. So until next week at least, nothing on the CDT in the San Juan Forest is restricted. Then I contacted the Pike / San Isabel office. When I asked directly about alcohol stoves I was told "no they are not allowed", then directed to this web page: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/psicc/news-events/?cid=STELPRDB5374326 which states:

"Petroleum fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices are allowed on all National Forest System lands, provided such devices meet the Underwriters Laboratories specifications for safety."

The Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forests have similar wording that specifies only petroleum fueled devices are allowed. It appears that it is boilerplate language for Phase 1 restrictions.

They have become touchy as the first big fire in Colorado this year (the Hewlett Fire) which burned 7700 acres in the Poudre Canyon was started by an alcohol stove.

Spirit Walker
06-18-2012, 22:09
Best thing to do is eat cold. Hard on us coffee drinkers, but better to do that than be responsible for the kind of destruction going on now.

Iceaxe
06-18-2012, 22:35
Spirit Walker is absolutely right.
The best thing you can do to protect the trail for yourself and those behind you, in miles or years, is to go stoveless.
It is actually not the hardship you might imagine.
You can simply eat dry foods that require no cooking OR
You can re-hydrate cook type food such as idahoans, knoor sides, minute rice, and oatmeal, by simply adding water to them in a zipock or plastic container and add TIME and AGITATION (hiking) instead of fire (aka boiling water).
As long as you avoid anything with an Alfredo sauce (just trust me on this one..) every food you can boil water for is totally edible and even tasty when rehydrated in cold water over a longer time period.
Idahoan Potatoes rehydrate in cold water in about five minutes. Noodle based Knoor sides take 1/2 hour or more in cold water. Rice based Knoor sides take an hour or more before they loose their "crunch" in cold water. Instant Oatmeal is edible almost instantly when water is added.
All of the above suggestions are improved if you simply add the water to the food in your hard sided ziplock container and place it in top of your pack while you hike on for an hour before the meal.
And i have not even mentioned spam and tuna burritos yet.
Cookless does not mean you are limited by Fritos and candy bars.
Teriyake is EXCELLANT cold. I highly recommend you try that flavor first.
The time you save with a no cook strategy can be spent watching the sunset change color and the wildlife reclaim the evening trails as you hike while you dinner "cooks" itself all without attention, fuel, the weight of a stove, or the risk of burning the trail.
Stoves will always have their place. In snow country they even have survival value (think hot water bottles).
They are totally unneccesary in drought stricken, beetle killed forests of summertime Colorado and similar enviroments.

By the way, for coffee drinkers, micro ground coffees such as Starbucks Via, and Nescafe are quite good when mixed with even ice cold stream water.
The crystal type coffees, like Folgers, not so much.
You can have coffee on a stoveless hike but it takes a little adaptation.. Hey it makes that real cup of coffee all the better at resupply time!
I remember Lakeland on the PCT in 2009 hiked an extra 20 miles just to get a cup of Joe in Oregon!

Mags
06-18-2012, 23:16
Cold cous cous is also quite good. Tastes a bit like tabouli. Dehydrated black beans and dehydrate hummus also works well.

Even at elevation, it has been HOT the past couple of weekends.

Finally, photos speak louder than words...this is the High Park fire on 6/9:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8153/7373209470_476826c842_z.jpg


and from 6/13:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7098/7187978019_11f869085b_z.jpg

:O

Be careful out there....

Danl
06-19-2012, 07:27
Add Content

Ratpack
06-19-2012, 08:00
The logic escapes me that if you use a stove there is a high probability (or a certainty) that it will result in an unintended fire. If hikers want to go cold that is of course their option but requiring everyone to go cold because someone was careless with their stove is an extreme reaction.

Jim Adams
06-19-2012, 08:40
....or just use a real stove! I have seen very few out of control fires on any hiking trail (almost always at shelters or camping areas) but all were caused by an alcohol stove.

geek

Mags
06-19-2012, 09:37
....or just use a real stove! I have seen very few out of control fires on any hiking trail (almost always at shelters or camping areas) but all were caused by an alcohol stove.

geek

A million singed arm and hand hairs of Whisperlite user's would disagree. ;D

Canister stoves are overall the easiest and safest to use...but every stove must be used carefully.

Spokes
06-19-2012, 09:45
The logic escapes me that if you use a stove there is a high probability (or a certainty) that it will result in an unintended fire. If hikers want to go cold that is of course their option but requiring everyone to go cold because someone was careless with their stove is an extreme reaction.

80% of wildfires caused yearly in Western US is from lightning strikes.
http://www.helium.com/items/771694-what-causes-the-most-forest-fires-in-the-western-u-s

Jim Adams
06-19-2012, 12:39
A million singed arm and hand hairs of Whisperlite user's would disagree. ;D

Canister stoves are overall the easiest and safest to use...but every stove must be used carefully.

Mags, I agree totally....I wouldn't own a Whisperlite either (lol) I have just seen too many "accidents" with alcohol stoves (including myself) to condone their use. Canister is the safest, most efficient and lightest way to go.

geek

Spokes
06-19-2012, 14:42
?....I have just seen too many "accidents" with alcohol stoves (including myself) to condone their use. .....


Hmmm, I've never seen any "accidents" with alcohol stoves on my entire thru hike. Go figure.......

brian039
06-19-2012, 15:22
Hmmm, I've never seen any "accidents" with alcohol stoves on my entire thru hike. Go figure.......

Yeah it's not really an issue on the AT but out west all it takes is a gust of wind to knock over your stove and there's the potential to start a 30,000 acre forest fire real quick.

Pedaling Fool
06-19-2012, 15:43
Mother Nature loves to play with fire ;)

rocketsocks
06-19-2012, 15:51
One observation is people cooking in a shelter,and if a alcohol stoves tipped over and alcohol drips between the boards,that could be a serious problem,but unfortunately many don't use common sense,or are incapable of seeing the pit falls of an improper set-up.Still I would think a wood camp fire with all it's fly away ash,would start fires much more easily than an alcohol stove.

generoll
06-19-2012, 16:53
how many shelters do they have on the trails out west?

brian039
06-19-2012, 17:15
how many shelters do they have on the trails out west?

There's only one on the Colorado Trail (2 if you count the yurt) and trust me no one would want to sleep there (not the yurt, it's awesome)!

brian039
06-19-2012, 17:21
Still I would think a wood camp fire with all it's fly away ash,would start fires much more easily than an alcohol stove.

You would be correct, which is why there was a campfire ban before they banned alcohol stoves. Still, enough alcohol stoves have started forest fires out west that it's a good idea not to use them when the conditions are as dry as they are and there are so many beetle-kill trees in that area.

Wise Old Owl
06-19-2012, 20:45
Hey James Webber was an IDIOT.

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_20654312/hewlett-fire-near-fort-collins-at-7-673

Ratpack
06-20-2012, 12:26
Attached is a link for the Trangia 27-5 stove that I use. You could use this in a match factory. It has a base and windscreen for the stove. It is a little heavy but it makes up for that with convenience. To me a ban on all alcohol stoves doesn't make sense.

http://www.trangia.se/english/5614.27_series_ul.html (http://www.trangia.se/english/5614.27_series_ul.html)

oops56
06-20-2012, 13:38
if a wick type alcohol gets tips it not make a ground fire best type to use

rocketsocks
06-20-2012, 14:11
if a wick type alcohol gets tips it not make a ground fire best type to useI'm really tryin hard to figure just what it is your saying here,could you resubmit....please!;)
ps drinkinking isoprpyl alcohol can be hazardous to your health.

litespeed
06-20-2012, 15:02
I have a Caldera Cone that I have used a lot. It weighs 2.3 ounces including the windscreen and takes a little over 6 minutes to get a one liter pot boiling. A 355 ml bottle of Heet weighs 13 ounces and if I am careful will last me a week. Total weight is 15.3 ounces.

I also have a Snowy Peak Iso/Propane stove. It weighs 2.2 ounces. A large sized gas container (220g) weighs 12.9 ounces and lasts me 8 days. It will boil a liter of water in about 4-1/2 minutes. Total weight is 15.1 ounces with a full cannister.

The gas stove is lighter, faster, and safer by virtue of it being more controllable. It certainly boils water faster. Downside is the fact that I have a tendency to waste gas. If I hike 6 days to a re-supply then I usually start again with a full cannister rather than carrying the extra weight of one full and one nearly empty. I try to save the part empty ones and finish them off when car camping or floating. When on the CDT I gave a couple to a truck driver I met in Rawlins - he cooks in his cab with a Jetboil. If you punch holes in the empties they can be recycled. In all fairness, Heet bottles are #2 recyclable as well.

In any event, in a high fire year such as this one I have no problem putting the alcohol stove away in favor of the gas one.

rastayogi
06-20-2012, 16:38
So why aren't we banning cars? Why aren't we banning bombs and guns? They do a lot more damage than an alcohol stove. Another case where civil disobedience needs to be exercised. I will be using my mini bull design wick alcohol stove this summer. I eat for real food, not processed minute rice. Clear a 3 foot area around your stove and have water ready to put out some crazy uncontrollable situation. If you stay with your stove the whole time, it would be near impossible to start a fire. All you ultra light backpackers know we use the space between our ears to keep safe and keep our land pristine.

WingedMonkey
06-20-2012, 17:19
So why aren't we banning cars? Why aren't we banning bombs and guns?

Already banned on the Continental Divide Trail.

litespeed
06-20-2012, 17:54
Another case where civil disobedience needs to be exercised. I will be using my mini bull design wick alcohol stove this summer.

That civil disobedience stuff could get expensive when they catch you using an illegal stove while your off-leash dog chases elk through the wilderness.

"Violations of these prohibitions are punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both. (16 U.S.C. 551 and 18 U.S.C ' 3559 and 3571)."

Pedaling Fool
06-20-2012, 18:03
Clear a 3 foot area around your stove and have water ready to put out some crazy uncontrollable situation. If you stay with your stove the whole time, it would be near impossible to start a fire. All you ultra light backpackers know we use the space between our ears to keep safe and keep our land pristine.No, not all hikers, UL or otherwise, use the space between their ears. And many hikers are much more careless (including UL hikers) with their stoves and do NOT follow the steps you listed.

rocketsocks
06-20-2012, 18:19
if a wick type alcohol gets tips it not make a ground fire best type to use


I'm really tryin hard to figure just what it is your saying here,could you resubmit....please!
ps drinkinking isoprpyl alcohol can be hazardous to your health.
I've gone ahead and cleaned it up a little,hope that's ok'

If a wick type alcohol stove gets tipped over,it's not going to make a ground fire,and is the best type to use.;):)

Tipi Walter
06-20-2012, 19:52
Just think, we may have to go retro---

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41QX-HX53PL._SL500_AA300_.jpg


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51f8LmjQbiL._SL500_AA300_PIbundle-12,TopRight,0,0_AA300_SH20_.jpg

rocketsocks
06-20-2012, 20:37
Just think, we may have to go retro---

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41QX-HX53PL._SL500_AA300_.jpg


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51f8LmjQbiL._SL500_AA300_PIbundle-12,TopRight,0,0_AA300_SH20_.jpgOr Cambells Bean & Bacon soup...right out of the can.ummm good!

Tipi Walter
06-20-2012, 21:15
Or Cambells Bean & Bacon soup...right out of the can.ummm good!

I was gonna put up a big pic of Dinty Moore.

rocketsocks
06-20-2012, 21:21
I was gonna put up a big pic of Dinty Moore.Yep,but the ultralighters won't go for such a big can,wonder what the'll carry in a marshall law situation....

Connie
06-20-2012, 21:56
I read all the articles I could find on this.

This man said: he had the alcohol stove sitting on a rock and the wind blew it over, the fire spread quickly, he could not put it out, there was no cell phone service, he ran out to get help.

I don't believe his account:
1. windy? have windscreen or put stove somewhere protected from wind.
1. put stove on a rock, really? It is windy, I will perch my stove higher up on a rock.
3. fire spred too quickly? he can't kick dirt on the stove or on the flames?
4. there was no cell phone service? it is someone else's fault, no cell phone service
5. he ran out to get help? he ran away.

He was on a day hike trail for bicyclists.

Everything about "his story" is doubtful. He is making hot food on a day-hike?

I never day hike on bicycle trails.

I never have hot food or a hot drink on a day hike.

(If I am snowshoeing, out and back, I may take a thermos.)

I think he was just screwing around. I really think he was just screwing around "playing with fire".

I notice he "lawyered-up" really fast. I think he knows he should get criminal prosecution.

Wise Old Owl
06-20-2012, 22:47
Connie, please stop trying to rationalize someone who has made a mistake on a nuclear scale. He screwed up. So be it. We all want to be right and analyze and I am so guilty of doing the same thing. There will come a time when reading the articles will not be so important. There will never be a chance that you will do the same thing.

Connie
06-21-2012, 01:39
I am 65 this month. I haven't once had a fire get away from me.

And, yes, I have seen the youTube idiot videos. I try to comment in a constructive manner.

I am so angry this man did this.

I am angry any rules are changed because of this incident: an ON/OFF stove doesn't solve the problem, eg. http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?85511-Alcohol-stove-alternative

Mags
06-21-2012, 01:42
wonder what the'll carry in a marshall law situation....

Ask George....

http://www.culturaldiplomacy.org/amerikahausberlin/content/media/pictures/g_marshall.jpg

brian039
06-21-2012, 04:06
I read all the articles I could find on this.

This man said: he had the alcohol stove sitting on a rock and the wind blew it over, the fire spread quickly, he could not put it out, there was no cell phone service, he ran out to get help.

I don't believe his account:
1. windy? have windscreen or put stove somewhere protected from wind. It's Colorado, on a normal day winds are 15mph. There's not much wind protection.
1. put stove on a rock, really? It is windy, I will perch my stove higher up on a rock. Which would make it less protected from wind.
3. fire spred too quickly? he can't kick dirt on the stove or on the flames? He put his stove on a rock, which is smart actually. A gust of wind knocked it over, it's insanely dry in Colorado right now. An alcohol stove's fuel isn't contained in a canister and spills all over the place, which is why they are so bad when they spill. Fires start quicker than you would think.
4. there was no cell phone service? it is someone else's fault, no cell phone service. No, he didn't have cell-phone service. He probably panicked and the only thing he could think of to do is make a phone call to get help. I don't think he was blaming anyone but himself actually.
5. he ran out to get help? he ran away. What else is he supposed to do? He just started a forest fire, should he have pissed on it?

He was on a day hike trail for bicyclists. All trails in Colorado on National Forest Service land are for bicyclists except in wilderness areas.

Everything about "his story" is doubtful. He is making hot food on a day-hike? Why not?

I never day hike on bicycle trails. You've never been to Colorado.

I never have hot food or a hot drink on a day hike. Cool. Apparently he did, why else would he bring a stove?

(If I am snowshoeing, out and back, I may take a thermos.)

I think he was just screwing around. I really think he was just screwing around "playing with fire". Or cooking lunch maybe?

I notice he "lawyered-up" really fast. I think he knows he should get criminal prosecution. He also turned himself in. And also, I believe if you are charged with a crime and being sued for over $1 million, it would be stupid not to hire a lawyer as quickly as possible.
.......................................

Connie
06-21-2012, 12:10
I read all the articles I could find on this:

The man said:

It was a day hike.
I put the stove on a rock.
The wind blew the stove off the rock.
The fire spread so quickly I couldn't put it out.
I tried to call for help but there was no cell phone service.
I ran for help.

The article said:

It was a bicycle trail.
It was an alcohol stove.
He wouldn't comment more, he had a lawyer.

My initial criticism, once I had this information, was who would place a stove on a rock in windy conditions.

After I read everything I could find, I found his story to not be a credible story.

My first post, here, is the summary of what the articles I found said, what he said, and my remarks on his credibility.

The only rationalization in the entire thread is this is an honest mistake that could happen to anyone. No, not really.

Everybody has an opinion, and that's my opinion based on 50+ years experience hiking, trekking, mountaineering and rescuing idiots. (I was a rope leader at 15 years old.)

If he had any history, whatsoever, of "playing with matches" or repeatedly playing with a lighter, I would prosecute him for arson. If he had no history, whatsoever, I would prosecute him for negligence.


Me? His story isn't credible.

The wind blew his stove off the rock. No, not credible.

If it was windy, who would place a stove on a rock up in the wind. If the rock was a small flat rock on the ground, it is still not believeable. Light an alcohol stove in wind like that? Not credible.

'It is windy, I will perch my stove higher up on a rock' is sarcasm. Maybe add a silly face :eek:

Arson investigators can find where a fire actually started. I think it should have been treated as a possible arson fire and investigated properly, if it was not investigated properly.


brian039, cooking lunch on a day hike on a bicycle trail? What lunch? What hot cocoa? What coffee?

Day hike a bicycle trail? Not likely.

Most people simply will not day hike or do any hike on a bicycle trail because gonzo mountain bikers will crash into them riding out of a blind corner or zoom by so fast or are shouting at each other so much it ruins the day hike experience to get out and experience nature.

He turned himself in? He was running away from the fire. How many people saw that?

He lawyered-up before announcement of reaction from officials.

It is insanely dry in Montana. We don't have lame excuses like his story.


And no, alcohol stoves are not inherently dangerous.

The wick alcohol stoves have to be forcefully shaken on edge or upside down to get any alcohol fuel out. That design alcohol stove does not tip over and spread flames out on the ground.

gravityman
06-21-2012, 14:06
Just a note on the psychology of others when we have such a high fire danger. People are very vigilant, and will go out of the way to report you, even if you think you are being safe. The police or fire dept or who ever responses will most likely not care if you are within the letter of the law, or if you are even in an area that clearly allows what you are doing, they will simply ticket you, make you put out the fire, and potential confiscate the offensive stove. They would rather piss you off than risk a fire starting when they could have stopped it.

On the other side, why risk it? Just take a canister stove.

Gravity

Pedaling Fool
06-21-2012, 14:09
The Authority has spoken.



;)

SunnyWalker
01-17-2013, 23:46
OK, this is Jan 2013. Are alcohol stoves still banned in CO? List any site, address we can go to to see they are/are not. Thanks.

mtnrat
01-18-2013, 01:56
I do believe that it was part of an open fire ban. Because there is no valve to control or shut off the fuel alcohol stoves were considered an open flame and thus part of the open fire ban,

Mags
01-18-2013, 10:36
OK, this is Jan 2013. Are alcohol stoves still banned in CO? List any site, address we can go to to see they are/are not. Thanks.

Way too early to tell yet.

All depends on the firebans for this coming season.

colorado_rob
01-18-2013, 11:09
OK, this is Jan 2013. Are alcohol stoves still banned in CO? List any site, address we can go to to see they are/are not. Thanks. Varies county-by-county (sometimes entire state has restrictions), here ya go, just click the county you care about:

http://www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html

SunnyWalker
01-19-2013, 22:52
Thanks Colorado Bob ummmmmmm . . . . here I go . . . . .

SunnyWalker
01-19-2013, 22:58
Colorado-Rob: that is a great site. I signed up for emails that tell me when a fire ban is enacted. Most of the state looks clear, i. e., no fire restrictions enacted yet. I will be able to get this in the field if I there is cell phone service available. Thanks again Colorado Rob.

bearcreek
01-20-2013, 13:23
That listing is for individual counties. You also need to consult the USDA-Forest Service for whatever regulations they may have in effect. The USDA bans are usually are enacted before the county ones.

This link will get you a listing of all the national forests: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/state_list.shtml


Take the link "Alerts and Notices" to get current information on the forest you select.


(http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72 BTFxdjAwjQL8h2VAQAlu7VZA!!/?ss=110212&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=FSE_003753&navid=120000000000000&pnavid=null&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&ttype=alerts&pname=Pike%20and%20San%20Isabel%20National%20Fores ts,%20Cimarron%20and%20Comanche%20National%20Grass lands-%20Alerts%20&%20Notices)

SunnyWalker
03-17-2013, 17:57
Thanks Bearcreek. That site is a lot easier.

Hot Flash
03-19-2013, 13:13
This thread is a great example of why I still have a canister stove and a fuel-bottle stove tucked away in my backpacking gear. Love my alcohol stove, but I won't break a fire ban to use it. I'd rather carry the extra weight of a petroleum stove from time to time.

richmondhokie
03-19-2013, 13:25
Cant burn a log in CO, but light up that blunt all day long.......

Venchka
03-30-2013, 17:14
This thread is a great example of why I still have a canister stove and a fuel-bottle stove tucked away in my backpacking gear. Love my alcohol stove, but I won't break a fire ban to use it. I'd rather carry the extra weight of a petroleum stove from time to time.

Amen, Brother! You don't need updates, or cell phones to get updates, or even ask the question. Carry the correct stove.

Wayne

bear bag hanger
03-31-2013, 08:10
Not so sure about the "safety" of canister stoves. I've seen at least one of them blow up and nearly kill two people near it. I think the biggest problem is people who insist on doing their cooking on top of picnic tables or inside wooden shelters, etc.