BSA Prohibits Use of Alcohol Stoves

Home made alcohol stove

Did you know that the use of alcohol stoves is against BSA policy?  Me neither.  Apparently, earlier this year Boy Scouts of America (BSA) published a document that effectively bans the use of commercial and home made alcohol stoves that use denatured alcohol or HEAT as fuel.  I was certainly not aware of this and I'm sure that there are many other BSA members and fellow backpackers that don't know either. Here is the exact wording taken from the BSA Policy on Use of Chemical Fuels pdf document:

Prohibited Chemical-Fueled Equipment
Equipment that is handcrafted, homemade, modified, or installed beyond the manufacturer’s stated design limitations or use. Examples include alcohol-burning “can” stoves, smudge pots, improperly installed heaters, and propane burners with their regulators removed.

Chemical Fuels not Recommended
Unleaded gasoline; liquid alcohol fuels, including isopropyl alcohol, denatured ethyl alcohol, and ethanol; and other flammable chemicals that are not in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for chemical-fueled equipment.

Ironically the use of white gas is permitted because that fuel was specifically made for use with the stove, which blows my mind considering how incredibly dangerous white gas can be.  I guess the words "not recommended" mean you can technically still use denatured alcohol, but it will certainly be frowned upon.

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