Outdoors blog


Does Camp Fuel Go Bad?

Camp fuel does not go bad with proper storage. Here are handling tips:

  1. Learn how to handle it

Do not even think about opening a gallon of Camp Fuel unsupervised, if you’ve never done it before. It contains fatal chemicals. Also, do not cook by yourself if you’re a beginner. The risks are high even if you’re experienced. Unless there’s someone around who could help you, stay away from the stove.

  1. Ask a specialist to guide you

Those who work in pyrotechnics can certainly clarify for you the procedure of using Camp Fuel. You could also ask experienced campers to tell you in detail about the right way to open a gallon, where to deposit it, how to prevent overheating and unexpected danger, and what to do if it all goes bad. Be aware of the risks of using Camp Fuel and also be prepared to do something in case of fire.

  1. In case of fire…Run!

If you’re in the middle of nowhere and a big fire starts, the wisest thing to do is to run. Do not try to extinguish the fire or save anything. It will be of no use. Run and find help.

  1. What is Camp Fuel

Camp Fuel is also referred to as white gas. It is a liquid petroleum fuel. The packaging differs from a continent to another. In the United States, it is sold in one-gallon cans, while in Europe it can be found in one-litre bottles.

  1. Risks of Camp Fuel according to DTSC and OEHHA

According to the DTSC’s (Department of Toxic Substances Control) and OEHHA’s (Office of Environment Health Hazard Assessment) risk-assessment sheet released in September 2003 about the Coleman Fuel, the risks of using petroleum distillates include “moderate burning, redness, and swelling of body tissues upon contact. Regardless of exposure route, these also act as central nervous system depressants causing light-headedness, dizziness, nausea, headache, giddiness, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, impaired motor function, loss of coordination, blurred vision, and drowsiness.”

  • What if you inhale Camp Fuel?

Inhalation of Coleman Fuel and other petroleum distillates may cause severe respiratory tract irritation, pulmonary edema (swelling and fluid build up), loss of consciousness, and suffocation. Potentially fatal chemical pneumonitis can also result from aspiration of Coleman Fuel into the lungs”

  • Other risks

Skin exposure to Camp Fuel can cause mild to severe irritations, depending on the exposure time. Direct contact with eyes may cause “burning, tearing, redness, and swelling”.

  1. First Aid, according to DTSC and OEHHA
  • In case of Inhalation Exposure, it is advisable to move to fresh air. Administer oxygen if needed. If breathing difficulty occurs, get medical attention.
  • In case of Skin Exposure, remove contaminated clothing. Flush exposed skin and hair with water for at least 5 minutes, and wash with soap and water if possible. Seek medical attention if irritation or rash appears.
  • In case of Contact with Eyes, flush exposed eyes with water for at least 15 minutes. Remove contact lenses if possible. Seek immediate medical attention.
  • In case of Ingestion/ Oral Exposure, do not induce vomiting. Seek immediate medical attention. If vomiting occurs, keep head below hips to reduce the chances of aspiration into lungs.
  • Special Concerns for Children: Children may inhale relatively larger amounts of vapors due to their faster respiratory rates and greater lung size to body weight ratio. Children may also receive higher doses due to their short stature since Coleman Fuel vapors, being heavier than air, may concentrate near the ground.

Any fuel requires great attention when handling it. The risks exist for experienced people as well as for the beginners, the latter being however more exposed to accidents if unsupervised. But without camp fuel, no camping trip would be the same. Learning to handle Camp Fuel is mandatory and achievable, but it takes responsible people.

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