Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Registered User Bob McCaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-05-2003
    Location
    Sudbury, MA
    Age
    69
    Posts
    99
    Images
    2

    Default Legal question about shipping stove fuel

    I know the subject of shipping fuel has been touched on before, but I have the following legal question on mailing Coleman Fuel:

    USPS Publication 52 says what hazardous substances can be shipped, and how. It says that you can generally ship a flammable liquid if the substance has a flashpoint (that's where the vapors ignite) is over 20 degrees F. You have to label it and package it properly, but you can ship it surface mail. Denatured alcohol and methanol qualify.

    Different standards apply to canisters of fuel; they can be shipped, too.

    But as I read it, Coleman fuel should not be mailable because its flashpoint is too low. Sources on the Internet say its flashpoint is around -27 degrees F. Still, REI will sell it and ship it to you. So they must know something, right?

    Anyone know how REI gets by with it? Do they have a special permit or can a private individual do it, too?

  2. #2
    Registered User general's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-21-2005
    Location
    mossy creek, ga
    Age
    45
    Posts
    909
    Images
    1

    Default

    i don't know about legality, but if you ship general delivery the package is shipped ground only. it's much more likely that the USPS would make a stink over fuel if it went on an airplane.

  3. #3
    Thru-hiker Wanna-be Fiddler's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-06-2005
    Location
    Crest Hill, IL
    Age
    78
    Posts
    457

    Default

    You can ship almost anything via UPS including flammables and explosives. The package must be labeled properly (UPS has got stickers for all this stuff you put on the box) and you will pay an additional hazardous materials fee. If they serve the area you want to ship to that is the easiest way.
    Remember this - - Even the best of friends cannot attend each other's funerals.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by general
    i don't know about legality, but if you ship general delivery the package is shipped ground only.
    Not true. "General Delivery" is an address and will not affect the shipment method in most cases. Perhaps you meant "Parcel Post."

  5. #5
    Registered User general's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-21-2005
    Location
    mossy creek, ga
    Age
    45
    Posts
    909
    Images
    1

    Default

    oops, you're right. i've been called many things, but the smartest man in the world ain't never been one of them. sorry bout that.

  6. #6
    Cool Change - Donating Member drsukie's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-05-2005
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Age
    61
    Posts
    130
    Images
    2

    Default

    [quote=Bob McCaw

    Anyone know how REI gets by with it? Do they have a special permit or can a private individual do it, too?[/quote]

    Bob - why not e-mail REI, or better yet, get on the USPS website; you will easily find what you can and cannot send via 1) airmail and 2) surface mail.

    It is better to be sure; they do not suffer ignorance lightly these days. The last thing you want is to get hauled off in a trail town because you tried to mail yourself fuel....

    Big brother is smothering us, I mean watching us, everywhere these days. Oops! I just earned got myself on the watchdog list! Damn! I goota stop doing that..... Sue
    "there is no price too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself" - R. Kipling

  7. #7
    Michael + Laura Ryan justusryans's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-15-2005
    Location
    Richmond VA
    Age
    56
    Posts
    732
    Images
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by drsukie
    Big brother is smothering us, I mean watching us, everywhere these days. Oops! I just earned got myself on the watchdog list! Damn! I goota stop doing that..... Sue
    You're not paranoid... they're really out to get you!!
    "We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us."

    Kahlil Gibran

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-30-2002
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Age
    49
    Posts
    778
    Images
    2

    Default

    Any time we get shipments of fuel, either canisters or liquid white gas at the shop where I work they come via UPS (the brown trucks) or FedEx. Their regulations are quite a bit different from the USPS. The drawback to using a private shipping company is that they don't deliver to the PO, so you would need to use alternate places for your resupply boxes. Of course, by using alternate resupply places you won't be tied into the USPS' somewhat (no Sat pm or Sun) limited pickup schedule.

  9. #9
    Cool Change - Donating Member drsukie's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-05-2005
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Age
    61
    Posts
    130
    Images
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by justusryans
    You're not paranoid... they're really out to get you!!
    Damn.damn,damn,damn.....I just knew it..... Sue
    "there is no price too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself" - R. Kipling

  10. #10

    Default

    You think mailing fuels are a problem, try putting some on a plane. I purchased a Sierra Zip wood-burning stove when I backpacked in Australia just for this reason. Skeptical at first about the stove but ended up being the best purchase for hiking ever. I have not used anything else since and don't have to leave the trail in search of fuel.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-12-2002
    Location
    Hanover, NH
    Posts
    13,191

    Default

    Bob--

    I think you've received some excellent answers. Redneck made a very good point about UPS and FedEx NOT delivering to Post offices. People who are planning to have stuff mailed to them en route (and this includes just about everyone!) need to remember this, otherwise, they could lose important mail. When I was working at the Outfitter in Hot Springs, at least once every week or two, someone would screw up, and ship a UPS parcel to the town Post Office which they wouldn't accept. Luckily, the Post Office is across the street from the Outfitter, and the staff at the P.O. is great; they'd simply call and tell us, and we'd hold the package til its owner could come get it.

    But this doesn't happen everywhere; in most cases, "undeliverable" parcels will be returned to sender, which can be very inconvenient for the hiker.

    By the way, don't worry overmuch if you have to use a private carrier......there are tons of places other than Post Offices that will accept and hold hiker mail. These include hostels; outfitters, motels. The places that will hold mail are all listed in the Thru-Hikers Companion or Thru Hikers Handbook. (Note: Different places change their policies in this matter; each year, for one reason or another, an established place decides it will no longer hold hiker mail, so make sure your Companion or Handbook is a current one, with up-to-date information!)

  12. #12

    Default

    For a great link on shipping fuels and flamables, visit Ken and Marcia's website....

    http://www.gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm

  13. #13
    Registered User Bob McCaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    11-05-2003
    Location
    Sudbury, MA
    Age
    69
    Posts
    99
    Images
    2

    Default Bottom line answers

    Thanks to all who took time to respond.

    Between Ken and Marcia's site (thanks Sly), Redneck's response, Jack's sage advice, and my own research, here's the situation:

    You can mail alcohol, butane canisters, and Esbit tablets, but you need to follow USPS regulations (see Ken and Marcia's site for a good summary in plain English). You can't mail Coleman fuel.

    Private shippers have different requirements that may (or may not) be more lenient. But you can't ship to a post office by UPS.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-12-2002
    Location
    Hanover, NH
    Posts
    13,191

    Default

    Bob--

    Your post made me think of something that I'm not sure anyone's mentioned yet (I don't feel like re-reading the whole thread!)

    Most hikers rarely find the need to rely on mail re-supply for fuel:

    Liquid fuel (Coleman, Denatured Alcohol, Heet, or something similar) is so readily available on the A.T. that there's really no place you'll need to mail it. It'l take a wek or two, but hikers very quickly find out what their needs and usage are, and buy acordingly before they leave a Trail town or re-supply point.

    The two standard Trail guidebooks list most of the places fuel is available; as a general rule, you'll find fuel (for sale by the ounce; prices vary a bit) at Hiker hostels, Outfitters, Hardware stores in most Trail towns, and some motels and small markets. Other fuels are principally available in Outfitters and sometimes, hostels. Be aware that larger stores (Wal-Marts, etc.) wil generally NOT have fuel available in small quantities or by the ounce, tho they will have small bottles of stuff like Heet, etc.

    Canister fuel is also widely available (there's a good piece on this in the "Articles" section of WB); the only fuel that you might need to send in the mail are Esbit or other chemical tabs, but these are so light in weight that most foks who use these simply stock up a good supply when they get to an Outfitter. There are a few stretches where hikers using cannister stoves might have to briefly carry an extra cannister or perhaps a larger one than they normally use.

    But the truth is that the problems and difficulties associated with shipping fuels simply isn't much of a problem on the A.T. for the simple reason that in most cases, for most thru-hikers, shipping fuel isn't necessary.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •