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Kookork
03-18-2013, 22:25
Simply consider this scenario: You are in a shelter and somebody accidentally drinks a mouthful of methyl alcohol ( Alcohol Stove Fuel ). What could we do ?

is it fatal?

Is it a serious poisoning?

Methanol is very toxic and requires as little as 30 ml of 40% solution to be fatal. On ingestion, Methanol is metabolized in the liver to formaldehyde and formic acid by alcohol dehydrogenase. Although both are toxic, formic acid is what causes the more serious delayed effects. It is also readily distributed in the liver, gastrointestinal tract, eyes and kidneys.

So letís make it clear,30 ml of 40 % methanol could be fatal. So when we talk about fuel ( 90 % plus pure) even 10 to 15 cc or half a fluid ounce could be fatal.

Early manifestations such as nausea, vomiting, headache, vertigo and gastritis are primarily caused by Methanol itself. High serum levels of Methanol is associated with obtundation, convulsions and coma.

Late manifestations such as visual disturbances, severe metabolic acidosis, seizures, coma and death are common after 30 hours after ingestion. The latent period is longer when Ethanol is ingested concurrently. Ocular toxicity is associated with diminished vision, flashing spots, dilated pupils, optic disc hyperemia, retinal edema and ultimately blindness.

So what could we do for such a potentially fatal poisoning in the middle of woods ?

Here is the good part about methanol poisoning: If we have any type of drinking alcohol available then we have a very good chance to save the life of the victim.

Any type of drinking alcohol would do the job. Beer, spirit ,wine are all possible sources of drinking alcohol.

Administration of Ethanol to saturate alcohol dehydrogenase in the liver, preventing the formation of toxic metabolite, formaldehyde. A 5% solution of Ethanol is prepared and 15 ml/kg is given as loading dose and then 2-3 ml/kg/hour as maintenance dose orally. It can also be given intravenously.

So letís make it clear : beer is around 5 percent by itself , wine is normally 10 to 12 percent pure and spirit are mostly around 25 to 35 percent pure ethyl alcohol.

If the person is around 185 pounds ( 83 kg) all we should do is giving him/her 83 *15=1245 cc of beer( three beer can or bottle) , or 600 cc of wine and equal amount of spirit by diluting it to 5 percent by water.

Then give him/her 83 *3 = 249 cc of 5 percent alcohol ( half a bottle of beer for example) every hour until he is transferred to a hospital as soon as possible.

If there is no drinking alcohol available what can we do?

Unfortunately not too many things except trying to transfer the person to a hospital as soon as possible.

Seek immediate medical help. DO NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by Poison Control or a health (http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/poison/methanol-overdose/overview.html) care professional.

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

Hope we never have a methanol poisoning while hiking but if it happens we are one huge step closer to save the victim if we know what we could do in the woods.

KOOKORK

Slo-go'en
03-18-2013, 22:48
I think the greatist risk of accidently drinking some methanol would be at night. You wake up, have a dry mouth so grab a bottle and take a swig. Opps, wrong bottle! I've never tasted methanol, for good reason, but I would hope you'd notice the burning sensation and spit it out before you injested much.

However, due to that possibility, I put my fuel bottle away inside my pack as soon as I'm done with it. I also use a different shape bottle for fuel than my water bottles, so I can tell by touch. My fuel goes into a bottled water bottle and my water into a coca-cola bottle.

And it's not polite to sip out of someone elses bottles. Unless its full of real whisky of course.

Kookork
03-18-2013, 23:01
I think the greatist risk of accidently drinking some methanol would be at night. You wake up, have a dry mouth so grab a bottle and take a swig. Opps, wrong bottle! I've never tasted methanol, for good reason, but I would hope you'd notice the burning sensation and spit it out before you injested much.

However, due to that possibility, I put my fuel bottle away inside my pack as soon as I'm done with it. I also use a different shape bottle for fuel than my water bottles, so I can tell by touch. My fuel goes into a bottled water bottle and my water into a coca-cola bottle.

And it's not polite to sip out of someone elses bottles. Unless its full of real whisky of course.

As remotely possible as it may sound ,it can happen slo-go'en.

Sarcasm the elf
03-19-2013, 00:06
This is one of the reasons I don't Like the common practice of repurposing beverage bottles for non-drinkable alcohol, especially when no label is put on warning of the contents.

Feral Bill
03-19-2013, 00:53
Good practice would seem to be having bottles easily distinguished by look and by feel.

BirdBrain
03-19-2013, 01:04
This post has just changed my mind on the way I will package my alcohol. I have felt the same way about eye dropper bottles. Nothing but eye drops in those bottles for me, even though I will be taking no eye drops on the trail. I use food coloring bottles for repackaging such things. No I have to add to my never do that list. I will never be putting fuel in a bottle that can be confused with a drinking bottle. Time to ponder what will be suitable.

leaftye
03-19-2013, 01:44
I've put methanol into repurposed soda bottles, but they had special lids that I'd never put on a drinking bottle and would never mistake. If someone else steals a swig from my bottle, that's on them. I have a gatorade pee bottle too. ;)

Unfortunately to whoever this happens to, I never carry drinking alcohol, so my ability to help would be hampered. How many people carry drinking alcohol, and how much?

Deacon
03-19-2013, 05:54
This is exactly why I never use HEET. I stick with SLX, an ethynol based alcohol available at any Wally World in the paint section.

Rocket Jones
03-19-2013, 06:57
My fuel goes in a small green plastic soda bottle with a pinched waist, my water bottles are clear and smooth sided and much larger. The fuel bottle cap is red, water bottles are white. The fuel bottle has duct tape wrapped around it and "FUEL" is written on it, along with a skull and crossbones. I also enclose my fuel bottle in a ziplock when not being used.

My pee bottle is shaped completely different than both the fuel and water bottles, and has a wide mouth.

I've done everything I can think of to make sure I know the difference between my fuel and water, and water and pee bottle. Mixing any of those up would be a bad thing. It's all about attention to detail and not being on auto-pilot.

Wise Old Owl
03-19-2013, 08:46
This is why you don't use a soda bottle for your Heet.

Nutbrown
03-19-2013, 08:48
aw, I've missed your posts kookork.

MDSection12
03-19-2013, 08:56
Wait... Why are people bottling pee? :eek:

BirdBrain
03-19-2013, 08:59
Wait... Why are people bottling pee? :eek:

I did not grasp that either. Maybe to keep people from drinking the fuel.

leaftye
03-19-2013, 09:00
Wait... Why are people bottling pee? :eek:

So we don't have to get up to relieve ourselves at night.

Lone Wolf
03-19-2013, 09:05
pretty unlikely scenario

gizzy bear
03-19-2013, 09:24
pretty unlikely scenario


i agree LW... my question is ... who the heck would swallow that stuff?!?! i can see grabbing the wrong bottle and opening it up and putting it up to one's mouth and even taking a sip....but then IMMEADIATELY spewing it back out!!! so, my question would be, what effects might THAT have?

this thread does serve a VERY good purpose because there is DEFINITELY a need for a "special" bottle for carrying
that kind of alcohol!!

atraildreamer
03-19-2013, 09:25
... I have a gatorade pee bottle too. ;)...

Hey! Can I have a drink of your Gatorade? :confused: Sure...go ahead! :eek: :D :banana

Tucky
03-19-2013, 09:31
Proper identification is a must. I would be more concerned in getting sued if someone drank that out of my water bottle. If it is properly identified with the contents and hazards (NFPA diamond health, flammability, reactivity, toxic, etc) it was pretty much the error of that person. And if you drink your own stove fuel, what the hell man?

Rick500
03-19-2013, 09:37
Think I'm gonna start leaving my stove fuel in the yellow Heet bottle.

MDSection12
03-19-2013, 09:48
I store my fuel in Kentucky Gentleman bottles... That's enough warning right there! :)

(I do put 'toxic' on them in a few places, and 'denatured alcohol' really big on the front.)


So we don't have to get up to relieve ourselves at night.
OK, gotcha. Not a bad idea. I've relieved myself over the side of the hammock a few times, but it's not the easiest thing to do. :eek:

Snowleopard
03-19-2013, 09:57
If you use the same kind of bottle as someone else uses for water it's pretty easy to confuse them. All it takes is for both of you to leave them on a picnic table for a moment. Labeling them clearly works in daylight but not at night. If there's any possibility of children around it's a good idea to use child proof caps. The HEET bottle seems to have a child proof cap, so that would be a good choice.

Chaco Taco
03-19-2013, 10:13
if i use a soda bottle, I just mark it with duct tape or a sharpie or make it so I know that bottle has fuel.
I pack away my fuel bottle in my food bag or deep in my pack....but if it did happen, I would say a 3-4 oz shot probably wont kill you, may just burn for a bit and peeing may be like pissing rocket fuel, but..... If you were to drink an 8 ounce bottle, Im sure it would be adviable to seek medical attention. I think the methanol produces formaldyhyde in the body, which is poison, but you would have to drink quite a bit for it to metabolize and become poison.

coach lou
03-19-2013, 10:16
I'm curious how do you get more than a swig past your lips?

aficion
03-19-2013, 10:32
I'm curious how do you get more than a swig past your lips?

Probably only happen if you are already drunk...in which case you've already been antidoted. Moral...stay drunk.

garlic08
03-19-2013, 10:49
I actually witnessed this once. A fellow hiker picked up the wrong bottle and took a swig. He gagged, coughed, and didn't swallow more than a ml or two. All was well in a few minutes, and we started joking about him having to join DNA--denatured alcoholics--Anonymous.

With the gag reflex I witnessed there, I can't imagine accidentally swallowing a harmful dose of the stuff.

Kookork
03-19-2013, 10:54
This post has just changed my mind on the way I will package my alcohol. I have felt the same way about eye dropper bottles. Nothing but eye drops in those bottles for me, even though I will be taking no eye drops on the trail. I use food coloring bottles for repackaging such things. No I have to add to my never do that list. I will never be putting fuel in a bottle that can be confused with a drinking bottle. Time to ponder what will be suitable.

Now i think my post has not been in vain.

Kookork
03-19-2013, 10:56
aw, I've missed your posts kookork.

Just a big " Thank you "

WingedMonkey
03-19-2013, 11:03
This is exactly why I never use HEET. I stick with SLX, an ethynol based alcohol available at any Wally World in the paint section.

Can you explain that?

leaftye
03-19-2013, 11:05
SLX is only half as poisonous.
http://www.co.vermilion.il.us/MSDS/EMA/85-%20Kleanstrip%20Denatured%20Alcohol.pdf

diyguy
03-19-2013, 11:35
I hike and camp with children and having a child accidently drink methanol is a real concern of mine. I use a shaped bottle with a flip spout lid that cannot be confused with a drinking bottle and I paste warning labels all over the bottle. I also put food coloring in my alcohol. But the prospect of an accident is still real. For this reason, Iíve been considering moving over to Esbit and wood burning stoves exclusively. If only there was an UL way to lock fuel bottles to prevent mistakes??

swjohnsey
03-19-2013, 11:37
My guess is that more folks have died from drinking ethanol than methanol.

Rocket Jones
03-19-2013, 11:39
Ultimate UL method to prevent kids from drinking fuel: teach them not to drink from anything but their own, labeled, water bottle.

leaftye
03-19-2013, 11:41
If only there was an UL way to lock fuel bottles to prevent mistakes??

For short trips, you can glue the cap down and consider the bottle disposable.


I wonder what hot sauce, like million scoville hot, in ethanol would be like when it burns. If it's not bad, you'd know almost immediately after it hits their tongue.

Sarcasm the elf
03-19-2013, 11:41
My guess is that more folks have died from drinking ethanol than methanol.I almost always use a canister stove, but I do have a bottle of Graves brand grain alcohol set aside for the occasion that I bring my supercat stove. Grain probably isnt practical for long distance hiking due to the cost, but it's compatible with both stoves and hikers (does that count as multiuse?)

Snowleopard
03-19-2013, 11:49
The chemicals used for denaturing alcohol are very bitter. I don't think anyone is going to sip denatured alcohol. It is possible for someone to take a quick slug that is potentially fatal and certainly can cause permanent injury; if he's lucky he might vomit it immediately.

Klean strip green does have a higher % of ethanol, I think 90%, but has methanol and other toxic ingredients.

WingedMonkey
03-19-2013, 11:50
My guess is that more folks have died from drinking ethanol than methanol.

And SLX in a combination of both.

tiptoe
03-19-2013, 12:00
My fuel bottle looks and feels totally different from a water bottle, and I put it away when I'm done with it. I can't imagine making this mistake.

http://www.brasslite.com/SiteImages/Bottles/16ozBottleThumb.jpg

BirdBrain
03-19-2013, 12:05
My fuel bottle looks and feels totally different from a water bottle, and I put it away when I'm done with it. I can't imagine making this mistake.

http://www.brasslite.com/SiteImages/Bottles/16ozBottleThumb.jpg

Not sure what this bottle is, but it looks a bit like a sta-bil bottle. A sta-bil bottle would be a good way to measure the amount poured in too. Going out to do weight calculations.

BirdBrain
03-19-2013, 12:08
As I suspected, someone already thought of it.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?34473-An-Idea-for-a-Fuel-Bottle

swjohnsey
03-19-2013, 12:08
I almost always use a canister stove, but I do have a bottle of Graves brand grain alcohol set aside for the occasion that I bring my supercat stove. Grain probably isnt practical for long distance hiking due to the cost, but it's compatible with both stoves and hikers (does that count as multiuse?)

You can put Heet in your Everclear bottle and get by TSA.

BirdBrain
03-19-2013, 12:09
And I found his bottle

http://www.brasslite.com/OrderForms/Accessories.html

tiptoe
03-19-2013, 12:15
That's the one, BirdBrain. I have the 16-oz. model, but you can also get one half the capacity.

BirdBrain
03-19-2013, 12:19
That's the one, BirdBrain. I have the 16-oz. model, but you can also get one half the capacity.

That is a great option. I think I like the sta-bil bottle better though. I like the idea of easy measuring with no mess. There is no way these things can be mixed up with a drinking bottle.

Sarcasm the elf
03-19-2013, 12:30
You can put Heet in your Everclear bottle and get by TSA.I wouldn't recommend that, deliberately labeling a toxic substance as a consumable item is a really bad idea, actually it's one of the ways that a person could cause a situation such as the one the OP is discussing. In the off chance that someone accidently drank the toxic alcohol that you put into a grain alcohol bottle, it is entirely likely that you would be charged with criminal negligence.

gizzy bear
03-19-2013, 12:36
I almost always use a canister stove, but I do have a bottle of Graves brand grain alcohol set aside for the occasion that I bring my supercat stove. Grain probably isnt practical for long distance hiking due to the cost, but it's compatible with both stoves and hikers (does that count as multiuse?)

is that like cooking with moonshine?

Another Kevin
03-19-2013, 21:11
I almost always use a canister stove, but I do have a bottle of Graves brand grain alcohol set aside for the occasion that I bring my supercat stove. Grain probably isnt practical for long distance hiking due to the cost, but it's compatible with both stoves and hikers (does that count as multiuse?)

It's fuel, antiseptic and libation! What's not to like? :banana

Slo-go'en
03-19-2013, 22:36
That is a great option. I think I like the sta-bil bottle better though. I like the idea of easy measuring with no mess. There is no way these things can be mixed up with a drinking bottle.

I tried one of those fancy fuel bottles once. Darn thing kept leaking on me (not too bad, but enough to be annoying) and was actually a pain to use. Went back to using a Poland springs water bottle as soon as I could. I recently found a Fuji water bottle in the trash and might switch to using that since it has a square shape. But really, bottled water from Fuji? Talk about carbon foot print!

JAK
03-20-2013, 08:02
Also agree that ethanol is the way to go, if you can find it. Safe, excellent fuel, and first aid uses, as well as for aftershave and what not. In town here there is one drug store which stocks 95% ethyl rubbing alcohol which is denatured with just a little denatorium and camphor, so it is not fit to drink but it is otherwise great for fuel and very safe for everything but drinking, including diluting for cleaning wounds and whatever. I use wood, but I carry 4-8oz of this stuff for first aid, hygiene, and for an emergency fuel if I need to boil water quick in adverse conditions. Also carry vegetable oil, olive or canola, as it is food and a good fuel for simmering, and for lamps. Too slow for quick boils but ok for soup. If it was available here I would totally use grain alcohol.

I have never swallowed methanol by mistake, but I have followed the prescribed first aid treatment for it more than once. Preventative medicine. Can't be too careful.