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our stoves blew up!!!

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our stoves blew up!!!

Postby sender112 » Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:13 pm

I went on a weekend trip with my school (CSU-P) to purgatory canyon. We were cooking some pizza on a primus stove with an MSR bottle, and the bottle blew up. The can shattered everywhere and so did the pizza. So we were going to use another groups stove, but just before their pizza was done cooking, the same things happened. It was unreal. just wondering if anyone had ever experienced that, or could come up with an explaination as to why that would happen.
SEAN-"Colorado: Real men don't need guard rails."

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Postby skier25 » Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:15 pm

:? Are you sure it wasn't a case of not knowing how to use the stoves correctly?
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Postby sender112 » Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:24 pm

yeah we all know how to use them. our teachers stove was the second to go, and he'd used it plenty of times before
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Postby Two Headed Boy » Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:29 pm

I'm not familiar with those stoves but some of the ones that you pump up can be affected by high and low pressure systems. I've never heard to the point of actually blowing up though.

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Postby Ineedaltitude » Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:47 pm

Pictures. We need pictures.

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Postby lodidodi » Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:57 pm

are they cannister stoves or white gas stoves?

One camping trip where we had a one too many drinks we wondered what would happen if a msr isobutane cannister blew up. We threw the cannister in the camp fire and all hid behind trees incase pieces of metal went flying. We heard a pop then went to look and just the cannister bottom blew off. I guess that is the weak point so that's where it fails. It didn't blow up and go everywhere like a grenade thankfully but that would have been a lot cooler.

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Postby pvnisher » Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:58 pm

Never had a stove blow up, and two blowing up sounds incredibly coincidental. My thoughts are:
1)the atmospheric conditions were *just right* to cause this OR
2) (most likely) they were set up incorrectly, likely identically incorrectly.

I mean, what are the chances of the same faulty part being present in two stoves next to each other? Or the temp/pressure/alt (all related, I know) and humidity all being just right, and the usage being just right to cause this? My guess would be user error.

But hey, we all make mistakes. I made the mistake once of shooting a half-full canister with my rifle. Thought it would blow up. Well, it didn't. However, as I was looking up from my scope (I was a ways away) the thing came blowing right back AT ME, just over my head.
Turns out since I'm such a marksman, I hit it dead-on. So a little hole in front, and a big hole in the back. So the gas all rushed out the BACK, throwing the thing forward at me like a rocket. Yikes. Didn't think that one through.
Anyway, we all make mistakes, and my guess is that someone (the same person, perhaps?!?!) set up both stoves and did it wrong.

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Postby COmedic04 » Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:59 pm

lodidodi wrote:One camping trip where we had a one too many drinks we wondered what would happen if a msr isobutane cannister blew up. We threw the cannister in the camp fire and all hid behind trees incase pieces of metal went flying. We heard a pop then went to look and just the cannister bottom blew off. I guess that is the weak point so that's where it fails. It didn't blow up and go everywhere like a grenade thankfully but that would have been a lot cooler.


Um... :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: No offense, God knows I've done plenty of stupid stuff while enjoying one too many adult beverages, but this is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

However, it is a good question: were these pump-style liquid gas bottles (the fact you used the word "bottle" leads me to believe this is so), or were they gas canisters?

Also: what were you cooking the pizza on? It's very likely that pizza, which needs quite a bit of heat to cook the crust, caused a lot of heat to be deflected back down towards the fuel source, more than the container was designed to withstand, causing the explosion. I'm a pretty lightweight camp cook kinda guy myself, and unless it was on a pita shell or something lightweight, you'd never catch me cooking pizza in the backcountry.

It sounds like you're very lucky no one was injured by the airborne fragments of cannister!! :shock:
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Postby tylermacguire » Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:01 pm

I have seen a stove blow up once. I was camping in Moab with friends heating some water for dinner. All of a sudden it sounded like a gun shot. I looked over and the pot of water had been propelled into the air from the explosion. The water managed to pour all over one of my friends as he was walking by. He did receive minor burns but nothing to serious. I have definitely been a bit more cautious around camp stoves ever since.

Postby lordhelmut » Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:09 pm

Um... No offense, God knows I've done plenty of stupid stuff while enjoying one too many adult beverages, but this is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard.


whatever COmedic, blowing s**t up in the backcountry is fun.

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Postby denalibound » Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:32 pm

Several years ago I, when was working at a shop I had back to back visits from an MSR rep and a Primus rep. The MSR rep came in first and when presenting his stoves, he happened to mention that the MSR pump is plastic for a reason. It is specifically designed to be the weakest point so that in an event of excessive pressure build up the plastic will fail and the bottle won't explode.

When the Primus rep came in she happened to mention that all of their stoves use metal pumps, unlike their competition who use inferior pumps made of plastic. When told what the MSR rep said, she became extremely upset saying that there is no documented case where a bottle has exploded as a result of a pump not working as a fail safe mechanism.

If you were indeed using a white gas stove with a pump, I highly recommend you send all pictures and accounts to Primus so they can use them to help determine if the cause was a design flaw or operator error. Two stoves blowing up at the same time is a noteworthy occurrence that any manufacturer would want to be aware of. Regardless of the cause it can help Primus ensure this does not happen to others in the future.

If you were using a canister gas stove, that is likely the problem. I've cooked pizza many times in the backcountry, and to do so you have to trap much of the heat with a windscreen. If you were using a windscreen in conjunction with a canister gas stove you were not following the manufacturers directions that state a windscreen should NEVER be used. It will trap too much heat, heat up the canister, and cause it to explode, much like you describe.

I look forward to hearing more details though.

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Postby COmedic04 » Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:59 pm

lordhelmut wrote:whatever COmedic, blowing s**t up in the backcountry is fun.


This is very true...but I usually shy away from extremely flammable explosions that can produce razor-sharp shrapnel... :roll:

Call me overly cautious...maybe it's the countless times I've had on my ambulance amputated digits, severed limbs, avulsed dermis, punctured ocular cavities, and otherwise f***ed up people who have done stupid stuff that coulda be prevented!
Paramedic: Drive safe, or I'll see you naked!!

"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion."
- Anatoly Boukreev

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