Feb 17, 2007 at 12:03 pm #1221890
There's a good chance that I'll be living and working in Denali National Park all summer. This has made the BushBuddy stove sound like a very attractive cooking option for me. Not only would finding fuel be a lot more convenient (no shipping Esbit, and I'll probably have to fly in), but I'd have the satisfaction of building a nice wood fire in the backcountry. However, I'm not sure if regulations would allow that. I've found information saying that campfires are not permitted in the backcountry, but I would think that a small, completely controlled fire like the bushbuddy would be ok. Does anyone know for sure?
On a side note, does anyone know if any bear canisters other than the Garcia honkers are approved for use in the park?Feb 17, 2007 at 10:33 pm #1378990
This has crossed my mind too. Wouldn't the use of Bushbuddy or other wood burning stoves be the same, in so far as statutory interpretation is concerned, be considered as operating a stove? Campfires are excluded in certain areas where stoves are permitted. Isn't the Bushbuddy sold as a stove? It is markedted as a stove and not as a camfire. Although it is a solid fuel stove, what is to distinguish it from an Esbit type stove. Is an Esbit a campfire? Is an alcohol stove a campfire. Campfires consume wood as fuel. Bushbuddies consume wood. Is a Bushbuddy a campfire? Is it an open campfire, as the regulations commonly read? We could analyse the words and apply rules of interpretation as loosely or as strickly as we choose to come up with the preferred answer but to call an operating Bushbuddy an open campfire is a real stretch, IMHO. I think it is a mistake to even inquire of a gov't agency as to whether it is permissible to use a Bushbuddy if stoves are otherwise permitted. By asking, you are conceding that it is not clear to you and you are empowering an agency to take away a permissble use that is otherwise a lawful activity. If a stove is permissible where you will be this summer and the collection of wood for use in stoves is not prohibited, it seems to be a mistake to go to the Forest Service or the Park Service give them the opportunity to take away your lawful right to use this stove.Feb 18, 2007 at 9:35 am #1379027
I'd hate to recommend something that could under the wrong cirucumstances net someone a large fine or worse, but I have to agree with John on this point. If used properly the bushbuddy is a stove, not an open fire. From an LNT viewpoint, it is just not an issue. But my experience with the Park Service is that rangers have to generally assume folks showing up and asking questions are the worst case scenario: a littering, incompetent novice who will have to be rescued or who will destroy the backcountry in large part. I'm not saying rangers actually think this, but from an institutional viewpoint, this assumption assures the most conservative approach to permissions and the least threat to the wilderness. The result is that if they have any question they will tell you that you may NOT use your stove. Once you've built a rapport with staff, they might well say "sure, go ahead". But for now, the answer will almost certainly be negative. Whereas if a ranger sees you in the backcountry, he might simply assume you are experiencing flare-ups from an old Svea stove.Feb 18, 2007 at 10:18 am #1379030
Thanks for the advice guys. I definitely agree with you that not asking is the best policy. When asking rangers in Yellowstone about somewhat grey areas, the answer was almost always no, probably for the reasons you've stated above. I just wanted to see if anyone here knew that it would be an immediate "no" so I could save myself $120 on the stove and $? on the fine. Sounds like I'll be watching like a hawk for the next shipment of BushBuddys to land in the BPL shop so I don't miss out again…Feb 18, 2007 at 11:11 am #1379036
There is no wood burning in Denali backcountry. A lot of prime Denali backpacking is in high tundra with no wood anyway. However, the regulations in backcountry Denali are no burning of wood. They do not want people destroying the willows or spruce forest habitat to burn.Feb 18, 2007 at 11:16 am #1379038
That would make a big difference in the rationale for not using the BushBuddy there. Thanks for the input.Feb 18, 2007 at 11:33 am #1379040
Thank you for the info. You've just saved me a considerable amount of money and frustration.
Do you know if Esbit tabs are available anywhere in the park? I'll almost certainly have to fly into Anchorage because of a lack of time and money (although I'd love to do the drive–3900 miles from old Kentucky), so I won't be able to take them on the plane, and shipping them in from outside AK apparently can't be done. If not Esbit, alcohol?Feb 18, 2007 at 6:58 pm #1379099
I would stock up in Anchorage since Denali Village & Healy are limited & the park store itself is very limited.
Anchorage has 3 backpacking stores within walking distance of each other, REI, Barneys & AMH (Ak Mountaineering).
Downtown there is 5th Ave. Outfitters & the Army Navy Store.
You'll have a blast in Denali for the summer! Get to know Dick who drives the backpacker bus for all the hot tips of where to hike.Feb 18, 2007 at 7:54 pm #1379104
Cat, thank you so much–your advice has been extremely helpful. Did/do you live and/or work in the area?Feb 18, 2007 at 8:07 pm #1379107
@bjamesdLocale: South Coast of BC
Bushbuddies are open fires, period. Any park that bans open fires bans bushbuddies.
Conceptually, I agree that they're different from a fire. And you can try your luck explaining that to the ranger standing over you…Feb 19, 2007 at 12:26 pm #1379201
I live in Anchorage & am planning my 6th trip into Denali for this summer as we speak.
My favorite backpack, tho, is in Denali State Park, Kesugi Ridge. You should check that out while you are there.Feb 21, 2007 at 7:39 am #1379446
FYI, I just got my Bushbuddy yesterday. In the instructions, Fritz states, "Use the stove where open campfires are permitted. The stove can toss out sparks (due to tiny steam explosions of slightly damp wood), something that a liquid fueled stove does not do."Feb 22, 2007 at 9:40 am #1379643
The Denali park rangers approved my Wild Ideas Bear-i-kade carbon-fiber bear cannister, which is considerably lighter and much easier to get into than the Garcia. Said it was "one of the good ones"Feb 22, 2007 at 11:01 am #1379655
Wow… $200? I think that's out of my price range.
I'm hoping that a BearVault like the kind they sell over at Gossamer Gear would be ok? If only Ursacks with aluminum liners could be approved…Feb 22, 2007 at 6:22 pm #1379721
Not to spoil a perfectly good speculatory thread but on Tuesday I submitted a BushBuddy specific question to the "Contact us" link on the Denali NP website. The answer arrived today.
"Small wood burning stoves are not allowed during the summer months in the area of the Denali Wilderness."Feb 28, 2007 at 7:05 pm #1380498
@jcarter1Locale: Pacific Northwest
Two differences I see with the BushBuddy stove that place it in the category of open fire:
1) Unlike ESBIT or alcohol, the BushBuddy will leave a chance of sending sparks or hot ash into the air. Effecient as it may be, I would imagine placing dry leaves as firestarter during a summer draught would be asking for fire trouble.
2) The above-mentioned extraction of resources from heavy use areas. Yes, the BushBuddy consumes much less fuel than open campfires, but there are certainly pristine areas in which wood gathering has had a negative impact.
Yes, these concerns are far smaller with the BushBuddy than an open fire, but to me these distinctions are what keeps the BushBuddy within the category of open campfire rather than camp stove.
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