How to fly w/ stove/fuel for camping

It’s not really a canoeing trip: I’ll be flying to where I’m going to camp. I want to cook my own mixtures of cous-cous (Yes, some will have my own dried wild foods in them.) But I’d like to carry Esbit fuel & not be arrested as a terrorist for carrying WMD. Do you think it’s possible?

Last time I carried my old Coleman stove. On my return, they confiscated it at the airport; I made a stink, so they offered to reimburse me for its cost. (Did you know it would have cost me $100 to replace?) Later, when I was home, I called the airport to complain. Someone found the stove; it no longer smelled like fuel, so they mailed it to me! Of course, I got to keep the $100 too. LOL But I don’t really want to try that scenario again.

Does anyone have a success story to tell about carrying camp stove equipment on a plane?



TSA sez …
Here’s what the Transportation Security Administration has to say about the matter:

“Camp Stoves - These can travel as carry-on or checked luggage only if they are empty of all fuel and cleaned so that there are no vapors or residue left. Simply emptying the fuel container will leave flammable vapors. We recommend that you ship the fuel containers to your destination ahead of time - passengers frequently have to leave them at the checkpoint because of fuel vapors.”

So unless you can thoroughly clean the stove, pump, and tank, and allow it enough time for the fumes to completely evaporate, you are probably better off shipping it ahead. Remember too that the sniff test is highly subjective–you and your friends may think it smells clean, but a harried and undereducated security inspector fearful for his job may simply confiscate it …

Good Luck!


mail it
surface only

REI will only ship Esbit fuel by ground.

Another tactic is to use commonly found fuel/stove combos… mail the stove and buy the fuel there.

What a great link that is. I’ll certainly take my chance w/ Esbit fuel since it’s a solid, & only liquid fuels are forbidden.