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  1. #1
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    Camp fuel (colemen or white gas) in Baja Mexico

    Iím going to ride my bike from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas on my bike with my girl friend. We plan to camp along the way. We have an MSR whisperlite international stove and I was wondering what people know about getting camping fuel for this stove in the Baja. I know you can put just about any type of fuel in here, but I would like to use the white gas (Colemen fuel). Any experiences/suggestions on how to get this fuel would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlorenz View Post
    I’m going to ride my bike from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas on my bike with my girl friend. We plan to camp along the way. We have an MSR whisperlite international stove and I was wondering what people know about getting camping fuel for this stove in the Baja. I know you can put just about any type of fuel in here, but I would like to use the white gas (Colemen fuel). Any experiences/suggestions on how to get this fuel would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    I don't know where to get the fuel but here is a good reference on international fuel names. When all else fails you can burn gasoline in a Whisperlite.

    Of course white gas, or naphtha, is known by a variety of names like petroleum ether, white spirit (though in the UK white spirit is something completely different), Ligroin; VM&P Naphtha (CAS No. 64742-89-8); Varnish Makers and Painter's Naphtha [1]; Benzin; Petroleum Naphtha, Naphtha ASTM, Petroleum Spirits, Shellite, Ronsonol, Energine (from Wikipedia). Ronsonol is lighter fluid but that might be kind of expensive.

    Kerosene works too.
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  3. #3
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    The Whisperlite International will burn unleaded fuel you can find at any gas station in Baja. You'll be unlikely to find camping gas/naptha/white gas anywhere in Baja. If you really must burn white gas then bring enough with you for the whole trip.

    Personally I wouldn't even bother with a stove. During the whole time in Baja last year we did not have 1 camp spot that didn't have enough fuel for a fire. Bring a small grill you can put your pots on or just DIY with wood and stones.

    There are enough small restaurants and loncherias along HWY 1 that you can pretty much skip cooking entirely and just have simple cold meals in camp.

    Baja is very friendly for the camping cycle tourist.
    Last edited by vik; 12-28-07 at 06:32 PM.
    safe riding - Vik
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    Here is a link for making your own stove from discarded items like tin cans. Also shown is DIY shelters and everything else a backpacker would need. Of course all this stuff works for the touring cyclist as well.
    http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html

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  5. #5
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlorenz View Post
    Iím going to ride my bike from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas on my bike with my girl friend. We plan to camp along the way. We have an MSR whisperlite international stove and I was wondering what people know about getting camping fuel for this stove in the Baja. I know you can put just about any type of fuel in here, but I would like to use the white gas (Colemen fuel). Any experiences/suggestions on how to get this fuel would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    An engineer at MSR said that his preferred fuel was white gas "by far." Soot was mentioned one of the major problems with other fuels.

    Another source of white gas might be campers who are headed home. Sometimes they have a gallon container (since it is often sold this way) and some extra gas they don't need. Sometimes they are glad to get rid of it.

    You could always offer a few bucks, but some of them would probably be happier just to give it to you....

    ****
    It might be helpful to find ways of conserving fuel, or of cooking more efficiently (which might include the use of cozies, or heat exchangers, or 'finishing' the cooking inside some insulation, or using less fuel-demanding foods, etc. -- or some combination of these). This would tend toward lower fuel requirements and fewer refuelings. It can last quite a while this way.

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    I made my alcohol side-burner stove out of a little can of V8 juice and cookpots out of heineken 24oz cans or just an empty tin can. Weighs a lot less than the overpriced commercial stove systems and you can burn rubbing alcohol, denatured alcohol, everclear liquor, etc. Takes about 15 minutes to make, costs around 3 bucks for stove and pot.

    http://zenstoves.net/Stoves.htm

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    If your not as handy in making your own stove look at the Esbrit stove I got this one at REI it uses fuel cubes which they say last about 13 minutes. This is enough time to boil a pint of water. They are about $10.00. and they weigh about 3.5 oz. they make a very good back up stove or when you are just wanting a cup of coffee.

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    You will find gallons of Coleman fuel in groceries, general stores, marinas, and so on -- wherever there are tourists from the U.S., which is increasingly everywhere in Baja. As in the United States, there's the problem of dealing with the three quarts that don't fit in your fuel bottle, so it's good that you have a Whisperlite stove, which can burn leaded gas.

  9. #9
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    You will find gallons of Coleman fuel in groceries, general stores, marinas, and so on -- wherever there are tourists from the U.S., which is increasingly everywhere in Baja. As in the United States, there's the problem of dealing with the three quarts that don't fit in your fuel bottle, so it's good that you have a Whisperlite stove, which can burn leaded gas.
    Interesting because in the small stores typical of Baja I have never seen white gas for sale - even in areas with tourists. I haven't looked in any marinas though and I don't spend much time in the bigger cities [TJ, Ensenada or La Paz].

    Depending how much fuel you go through each day you could start with a week's worth from SD and then keep your eye open for more white gas along the way. Worst case you'll have to burn unleaded fuel.
    safe riding - Vik
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