Dec 29, 2007 at 6:39 pm #1226491
I'm planning to thru-hike using an alcohol soda can stove, but I'm curious about how easy it is to obtain fuel in trail towns. Has anyone ever had a problem finding it? Everclear will not be an option for me as I will be a few years shy of drinking age next March.Dec 29, 2007 at 6:49 pm #1414100
.Dec 29, 2007 at 7:14 pm #1414103
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
There are two reliable sources for alcohol fuel: 1) Denatured alcohol, a mix is ethanol and 10 percent toxic methanol, labelled "lacquer thinner and marine stove fuel", and found in hardware and paint stores and most outfitters in trail towns and REI. Quantities are one quart or one gallon; and 2) automotive fuel line de-icer such as HEET in the yellow 10 ounce bottle, another mix of ethanol with 10 percent methanol. HEET in the red bottle is isopropyl alcohol which will leave a greasy, sooty deposit on your pots. Yellow HEET is found at convenience store/gas stations, gas stations and automotive supply stores.
Other isopropyls such as 90+ percent rubbing alcohol are also readily available in groceries and pharmacies.
If you can't find denatured alcohol or yellow HEET, the isopropyl is a "make do" alternative. It is theoretically a little more efficient, but harder to light, and does not usually get full efficiency from the common backpackers' alcohol burners. One advantage is that you can see its flames in daylight – unlike those of denatured alcohol which has virtually invisible, and therefore dangerous, flames.
So, I guess that's more than 2 sources, but who's counting. Finding fuel on the AT is no problem.Jan 9, 2008 at 7:08 am #1415429
I've seen this mentioned a few times… what is Everclear?Jan 9, 2008 at 7:44 am #1415433
@viktorLocale: Northern California
Everclear is ethanol, grain alcohol, which is available for human consumption. Local laws determine the concentration. For example, New Mexico has a concentration of 95% alcohol (190 proof) and Nevada as it at 75.5% (151 proof).Jan 9, 2008 at 9:37 am #1415445
thanks – I wasn't sure – I had read the comment about drinking it and then saw it in this thread so it got my curiousity up – I actually thought the poster might have been kiddingJan 9, 2008 at 9:57 am #1415449
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
It is a liquor that college kids love. It has minimal flavor as well, so works great poured into things like Kool Aid and fruit. And yes, it will get you drunk very fast. Hence, why so popular ;-)Jan 9, 2008 at 3:06 pm #1415489
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
You can drink Everclear, but should dilute it considerably. Remember, most hard hooch is 40 percent alcohol. Everclear is about 95 percent. At that concentration, it is toxic. Acute alcohol poisoning has killed quite a few binging college boys.
For the backpacker, Everclear is like having freeze-dried vodka. As a fuel,it is expensive – from $15 to $20 per fifth of a gallon. Denatured alcohol costs less than half as much, but the methyl alcohol added as the denaturing agent is absolutely not drinkable. It causes blindness and/or death and cannot be rendered drinkable by any means available outside a laboratory.
Backpackers have numerous favorite formulas for Everclear drinks. They all start with diluting it to the approximate concentration of the hooch being replicated:
Everclear vodka: Add 4 ounces EC to 8 ounces of ice cold water. Say things like "Prosit!"
Everclear Kaluah: Dissolve 1 heaping teaspoon of instant coffee and 4 teaspoons of sugar in 4 ounces of hot water. Cool, add 2 ounces Everclear. Wear a sarong.
Everclear ouzo: dissolve 3 drops anise extract in 1 ounce EC. Add 2 ounces water. Dance on the table.
Everclear bourbon: Steep dry oak leaf in 2 ounces EC. Decant. Dissolve pinch of sugar and 2 drops red wine in 4 ounces of water. Add decanted EC. Some like to swish a piece of caramel candy in it insread of using the sugar. Complain about minorities.
Everclear wine: Add 1 ounce of EC to 7 ounces of grape Koolaid. For sparkling wine, blow in the bottle. For authentic aged taste, steep the EC over an oak leaf first.Jan 9, 2008 at 5:51 pm #1415529
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Screw-driver PLUS: Dissolve a citrus flavored fizzy aspirin and a citrus flavored fizzy B-vitamin tablet in 6 ounces water. Add 2 ounces EC. Gets you drunk, tickles your tongue, treats the hangover AND replaces the B-vites you lose to alcohol consumption.Jan 10, 2008 at 4:08 am #1415582
that's funny Allison – does it really work?Jan 10, 2008 at 6:57 am #1415594
Sorry for the thread drift, but every time I read about Everclear I always think of this song,
Pat Green – Everclear. I haven't consumed the stuff since college, but some of those recipes look almost palatable.Jan 10, 2008 at 10:10 am #1415611
@idahomtmanLocale: Northern Idaho
Vick, those recipes are awesome. Be careful at the higher altitudes also! And don't forget to drink lots of water…Jan 10, 2008 at 6:00 pm #1415661
@fperkinsLocale: North East
"Everclear wine: Add 1 ounce of EC to 7 ounces of grape Koolaid. For sparkling wine, blow in the bottle. For authentic aged taste, steep the EC over an oak leaf first."
LOL!Jan 22, 2008 at 1:57 pm #1417227
@page0018Locale: Southeastern USA
Alex, in my experiments Everclear burns higher, faster and with a yellower flame than denatured alcohol. Not sure why. You might want to try it at home before hitting the trail.
Yellow bottle HEET does work very well, as does denatured alcohol; one common brand at Home Depot is "S-L-X"Jan 22, 2008 at 5:01 pm #1417256
@back2basicsLocale: Southeast USA
What ratio of EC:H2O would you dilute to for cooking? Just a thought of comparison with denatured (SLX)… but that depends on % of alcohol. Here in TN, I've only seen Everclear at 140 proof (70%). I find it amusing that people call it "PGA" or Pure Grain Alcohol. I've seen it in other states at 95%.
SLX goes for about $5+/quart or $12+/gallon at home depot. Depending on the dilution of EC, it might be a viable option for cooking for someone inclined to drink it (dual use!). I use straight SLX for boiling and mix SLX:H2O at 5:1 if I want to simmer on my non-adjustable alchy stoves.
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