Fuel transport

A very common FAQ concerns taking stoves on a plane. You can understand that the airlines are a little concerned about this. The general rule to remember is that any container which has fuel in it is banned by air safety regulations (at least locally and

A very common FAQ concerns taking stoves on a plane. You can understand that the airlines are a little concerned about this. The general rule to remember is that any container which has fuel in it is banned by air safety regulations (at least locally and right now). This includes gas cartridges of course. You run a significant risk of losing all fuel containers, empty or full, regardless of their state, if they have any detectable traces of fuel. Not always, just sometimes, and unpredictably. Liquid fuel (Shellite) cigarette lighters are also banned, but the small butane lighters seem to pass through sometimes. This is strange, because I could make a very effective bomb in a plane with one of those. Of course, bottles of high-proof vodka sold by the airline staff during the flight do not count - odd about that.

Interestingly enough, airline staff seem to focus on the fuel tanks, not on the stove. So if your stove has a separate tank the stove may get ignored while the fuel tank is confiscated - with pump. The reason is probably the far smaller volume involved in the stove itself. Of course, there is going to be trouble if the stove smells of fuel! On the other hand, gas stoves by themselves don't present any problem at all.

Some people have tried filling their fuel tank and bottles with water and labelling them clearly as water bottles. It may work, or it may not. Your problems here are the risk of loss and clearing the water out afterwards. Water and petrol (or kero) do not mix, and a few drops of water can play havoc with stove operation. Water left there too long can also cause a lot of corrosion, which is really bad news for the fine jet in the stove. However, you can wash any traces of water out with metho: water will dissolve in that. Then let the traces of metho evaporate.

However, there is progress. The IATA rules about the transport of bushwalking stoves were changed in 2003. Our attention was drawn to this by ""PeteM"" , who posted this extract in Sep-2002:

Significant Changes to the 44th Edition (2003) IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations

Section 2 - Limitations 
Three new items have been added to the list of articles and substances acceptable for carriage by passengers and crew (Section 2.3 and Table 2.3.A). These are:

With operator approval in checked baggage only

* Liquid fuelled camping stoves - Provided that steps have been taken to nullify the hazard by draining and air-drying the fuel container, or rinsing the fuel container with cooking oil to raise the flash point, then wrapping the fuel container in absorbent material and placed in a polyethylene or equivalent bag. 
Where the liquid-fuelled camping stove is prepared in this manner it can be classified as non-hazardous.

Of course, at present this does not cover the gas cartridges for our gas stoves,although it may help to carry a printed copy of the regulations with you just in case.