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Taking Your Own Stove for International Travel

Hello All,

I will be travelling to South America soon, and I will be immanently engaging in some backpacking in the andes. However, I have a stove that uses Coleman Powermax High Performance Fuel, which is a butane/propane blend. Are these hard to come by in South America? Does anyone have experience travelling abroad with a somewhat obscure backpacking stove? Thanks!

Where in South America? Guided? Unguided?

I'd buy a multifuel stove. Rather be safe than sorry when it comes to boiling my water and making dinner.

You are unlikely to find PowerMax canisters in South America. I have never seen them there, even in major climbing areas. Even the standard fuel canisters are pretty rare, though more available in major cities in outdoor specialty shops and in some of the major climbing centers. You should, as Cleric says, take a multifuel stove (like the Primus Himalayan or MFS, which takes white gas - aka naptha, kerosene - pretty available, and standard butane/propane mix canisters. There are restrictions on taking camping stoves and empty fuel bottles on airlines, however. So be sure you check with the airline you are taking to be sure of their restrictions (actually, TSA restrictions first, then the airline's own, post-9/11 rules). Way too many people I know have had their stoves and/or fuel bottles confiscated from checked and carry-on luggage. Best way I have found is to have a friend locally who has stoves already, or ship your stove and empty fuel bottles (all aired out to the point of passing the "sniff test" - no hint of fuel odor) to your first hotel, hostal, hostel, or a friend. UPS and FedEx will allow you to ship it to yourself to be picked up at some of their offices.

November 24, 2020
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