Flying with a stove

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Flying with a stove

Postby Cadair Idris » Mon May 05, 2014 8:28 am

I'm looking for some advice on taking a stove on the plane. I'll be flying from the UK to the far north of Norway in early September this year for a two-week trip between Kirkenes and Tromso, staying away from the E6 as much as possible. I rode a similar route a few years ago and took a MSR Whisperlite stove with me, using unleaded petrol for fuel. The problem I had last time around was knowing what to do with the stove for the flight home. Despite emptying the fuel canister a couple of days before leaving Norway for home in the UK, it still smelled pretty strongly of fuel the night before the early morning flight. Not wanting to risk the stove being confiscated, I left the canister behind at the last campsite. So the question is what to do this time around. Have people here flown home okay with a MSR canister after being on the road for a while? Has anyone had a canister and/or stove taken away at the airport? (By the way, I really don't have a problem with leaving a stove or canister behind if it really is a potential danger on the flight home!) A possible workaround is to take a Pocket Rocket or a Camping Gaz burner and finding a couple of disposable canisters for the trip once I arrive in Kirkenes. But would such canisters actually be available there? (I know there's a decent hardware store in Kirkenes because I had to go there for a new multitool at the beginning of my last trip to Norway after it was confiscated from my hand luggage at Oslo airport - but that, as they say, is another story.) And presumably it wouldn't be too difficult to buy a stove in Kirkenes itself and leave it in Tromso ahead of the flight home? In case you're wondering, riding with a stove really is a must given that cycling for me is pretty much an excuse to drink an awful lot of coffee. Many thanks for any thoughts you might have on this vital issue.
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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby Vorpal » Mon May 05, 2014 8:44 am

I'm not sure about flying with stoves, but as for buying something there.... There are several places which sell camping goods in Kirkenes http://www.gulesider.no/finn:sportsbutikk/kirkenes I don't know the area, so I can't recommend any specifically, but G Sport is a big chain, and likely to carry or know about what's available. You could contact them, or another shop directly?

Den Norsk Turistforening should also be able to answer your questions. https://www.turistforeningen.no/
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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby Cadair Idris » Mon May 05, 2014 8:54 am

Hi Vorpal - thanks very much for those links...
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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby Edwards » Mon May 05, 2014 9:37 am

If you rinse then fill the container with water before being packed you should remove the smell. You then need to dry the whole thing out as soon as you get home.
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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby Cadair Idris » Mon May 05, 2014 9:56 am

Hi Keith - Thanks for the tip. Just to make doubly sure - you're saying to fly with the bottle full of water? That makes sense, and I should have thought of that at the time...
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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby RonK » Mon May 05, 2014 10:00 am

Most airlines will have information about this on their web site.
I just give the tank a good flush with boiling water and pack it with my bike.
The theory is simple: a) cycling is inherently fun, and b) the less weight you carry, the more fun it is.

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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby Cadair Idris » Mon May 05, 2014 10:28 am

Re Airlines having guidelines concerning taking a stove. Well, I imagine if the matter is brought to their attention, they will err on the side of caution and tell the passenger that a stove can't be carried if there's even the faintest whiff of fuel about it! Which is why there's no problem packing a stove on the outward journey but it's more of an issue taking it home...
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Flying with a stove

Postby RonK » Mon May 05, 2014 10:46 am

Cadair Idris wrote:I imagine if the matter is brought to their attention, they will err on the side of caution and tell the passenger that a stove can't be carried if there's even the faintest whiff of fuel about it!

Finding the correct information and knowing with certainty one way or the other is better than "imagining" anytime.
The theory is simple: a) cycling is inherently fun, and b) the less weight you carry, the more fun it is.

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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby vinyl_theif » Mon May 05, 2014 11:09 am

Flying back from south Africa I had my hand luggage searched as it contained 'interesting items', one of them being my MSR stove but after explaining what it was all was okay. The fuel canister was packed with my bike, but to minimise any possible problems from the odour, before packing I emptied the canister then dropped a lit match inside to burn off any residue, and after cooling swilled with a drop of vinegar.
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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby Vorpal » Mon May 05, 2014 11:13 am

RonK wrote:
Cadair Idris wrote:I imagine if the matter is brought to their attention, they will err on the side of caution and tell the passenger that a stove can't be carried if there's even the faintest whiff of fuel about it!

Finding the correct information and knowing with certainty one way or the other is better than "imagining" anytime.

Maybe, but it may not keep one jobsworth from making life hard!
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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby Cadair Idris » Mon May 05, 2014 11:16 am

RonK wrote:
Cadair Idris wrote:I imagine if the matter is brought to their attention, they will err on the side of caution and tell the passenger that a stove can't be carried if there's even the faintest whiff of fuel about it!

Finding the correct information and knowing with certainty one way or the other is better than "imagining" anytime.


True, but let's just say that on this occasion 'imagining' stands in for knowingly taking a qualified risk and accepting the consequences if things don't work out in one's favour
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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby Cadair Idris » Mon May 05, 2014 11:56 am

vinyl_theif wrote:Flying back from south Africa I had my hand luggage searched as it contained 'interesting items', one of them being my MSR stove but after explaining what it was all was okay. The fuel canister was packed with my bike, but to minimise any possible problems from the odour, before packing I emptied the canister then dropped a lit match inside to burn off any residue, and after cooling swilled with a drop of vinegar.


Good tip. And I can practice at home before making a trip abroad!
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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby LollyKat » Mon May 05, 2014 12:06 pm

Ka-boooom!

It reminds me of a friend who once called in the Gas Board to investigate a gassy smell in his house. He found the man checking the attic with a lighted match .... :shock: .

The Gas Board were so embarrassed by his complaint that they gave him a year's free supply. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby hufty » Mon May 05, 2014 12:11 pm

You need to look on the airline website for their dangerous baggage rules. Usually you have to notify the airline in advance that you intend to carry a stove in your hold luggage, they then give you approval and attach a note to your booking for the check-in staff. The generic (IATA?) guidelines are that you should empty a liquid stove of fuel and take steps to nullify any risk, which is totally reasonable. Some airlines lily-guild and ask for nonsensical additional packaging requirements. Finnair for example want stoves wrapped in cotton cloth. Take printouts of emails and regulations with you.

In my experience I have never had the check-in staff even ask about the stove until I have pointed out that they should look at the booking notes, they then agree that it's an empty stove and it's fine. I find that petrol fumes disappear quicker than other fuels, and on the way back I just use washing up liquid and water to get the worst out the night before, if I had anything more perfumed to hand I would swill the bottle with that. I usually pack the lid separately from the bottle so that they can't argue things could mysteriously pressurise, and it's obvious it's empty and dry. This superstitious habit came about after I had a trangia burner confiscated on my way home from New Zealand after they argued it constituted an explosive risk. Apart from that one incident (which was part of the Terror hysteria of 2001) I have never had problems.
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Re: Flying with a stove

Postby orangebiker » Tue May 06, 2014 1:30 pm

I've had an empty petrol stove confiscated at Liverpool airport (where they are particularly jobsworth ish). However if you have a suitcase or holdall as opposed to a rucsac as your check in luggage they don't normally find the stove. Another tip would be to split the different bits of the stove so that if they find some of it then at least you haven't lost it all. It can get expensive having stoves confiscated...

Anyway I would try to get written permission beforehand to avoid any difficulties!
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