Thursday, April 22, 2010

Backpacking Fuel: Everclear Grain Alcohol

Now that we have made a couple of Super Cat alcohol stoves, our attention has turned to sources of fuel for said stoves. One form of alcohol mentioned as fuel is Everclear grain alcohol. Come to find out that Everclear grain alcohol comes in two versions: 190 proof and 150 proof. We did not know that as we seldom partake of hard liquor, just beer and wine mostly.

While stopping at a local liquor store to get a large Heinekin beer can for a homemade ultralight cooking system, we had inquired as to the availability of Everclear. We stopped by a second time to ascertain which version is sold in Arkansas. We get the full monty - 190 proof! A pint retails from four to six dollars depending on location. So, for local hikes, we have a source of stove fuel that we can also consume in a late night beverage, if desired. (By the way, Everclear grain alcohol has about 190 calories per ounce, so a nightcap does provide significant calories with zero fat or carbohydrates.)

While researching Everclear grain alcohol., we discovered that it is actually illigal to purchase in several states, including Virginia. This is cause for some concern as we had previously located a state liquor store Harpers Ferry, WV just west of the ATC Headquarters and a liquor store near Union Train station in DC. Both were possible sources for stove fuel. Now, we'll have to make some calls to check if Everclear grain alcohol is available, and if so, the proof, amount, and price. We'll post an update below once we know the details.

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