Transporting stoves on planes

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    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    While looking at HikingJim's Whisper-lite Universal reviews, I had a Q about transporting stoves as luggage on flights.

    It's no problem on a charter plane in Alaska – the pilot will look at you oddly if you DON'T have a stove, fuel, firearms, pepper spray, etc.

    1) But in the TSA world of "security theater" and traveling internationally, my understanding is that empty, used liquid-fuel containers are no longer allowed. If it smells of fuel, then they won't allow it. But what are your actual flying experiences, folks?

    2) I assume a butane / propane stove head is allowed. Just buy your cannisters at your desination.

    3) For a stove the like the MSR Whisper-lite Universal, you may at times use it with white gas or kerosene. But it seems like maybe you could fly with the stove head and tubing and cannister gas adaptor IF they didn't smell of the white gas you previously ran through it. I haven't tried this, but (the chemical engineer in me) strongly suspects you'd purge WG residue pretty efficiently by running it on butane for a while.

    4) And, further, if you blow/suck !clean! air through the tubing (fish-tank bubbler, shop vac), you'd further reduce any petroleum odors that a screener might tweek on.

    5) And, if store it in that warmest room in your house (like the closet with the water heater or some such), unwrapped, that would "bake out" more volatiles. Physicists have to do that with their vacuum systems to get the organics out.

    Konrad .
    BPL Member


    Never had a problem when I checked in used stoves in my luggage (canister and alcohol) Never really bothered to try it as a carry-on. Trips that require me to fly usually involve me bringing a decent amount of gear to check in anyways (also you can't carry on trekking poles)

    USA Duane Hall
    BPL Member


    Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada

    I used my PR a few years ago, packed in my duffle. Bought canisters at REI Anchorage before the bush pilot trip. Left unused fuel at the hostel. I would worry about a nice stove being confiscated and then being detained.

    Bob Gross
    BPL Member


    Locale: Silicon Valley

    I've flown internationally with liquid fuel stoves that had been used. Generally, I would flush the white gas out of it as much as possible, perhaps using a bit of denatured alcohol. Then I would place it in the warmest convenient place such as a sunny third-floor hotel window. That seemed to bake off the rest of the fumes. Then I would inject a drop or two of something nice.

    I've flown domestically with a Pocket Rocket checked. No problem at all. Just no fuel.


    BPL Member


    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    I accidentally left my MSR Superfly in carry-on several years ago while going through a major California airport (keeping my WM where I could see it, in a Granite gear Meridian Vapor which is carry-on size). The TSA agent called a supervisor who inspected it and let it fly. Could have gone the other way though, so my Snowpeak is in checked luggage or mailed now.

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