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Re: [John Muir Trail] mailing fuel?

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  • Frank Dumville
    Rob,   I have often shipped Isobutane canisters, even to Alaska. It has been my experience that many postal clerks don t deal with this too often and aren t
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 25, 2013
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      Rob,
       
      I have often shipped Isobutane canisters, even to Alaska. It has been my experience that many postal clerks don't deal with this too often and aren't familiar with the regulations. They want to be cautious so they say you can't ship it.
       
      USPS publication 52 outlines what hazardous material can be shipped and how to do it. I bring copies of the applicable sections to the post office to show the clerk. If that doesn't work ask them to check with a supervisor or the hazardous material expert. I've had to go up three levels one time before it was confirmed. Be polite but insistent. Know the regulations and pack the fuel properly. I print my mailing labels with the proper ORM-D and Surface Mail notices as described in Pub 52. This has been noted positively at the post office. I've never had a problem in trail towns where this is presumably more common.
       
      I don't mix fuel with the rest of my resupply in one mailing. I send my food via Priority Mail and the fuel has to go surface parcel post which can take a really long time. This way if the parcel post package doesn't show up in time I still have the food. I do this because my resupply box was late a couple of months once.
       
      The gottawalk summary is very good but here are links current as of this week for the USPS publications.
      Pub 52
      or
      A simplifed poster
       
      Generally USP and FedEx won't ship fuel.
       
      Snap

      From: Wilderness <wildvagabond@...>
      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 8:09 PM
      Subject: [John Muir Trail] mailing fuel?
       
      I'd like to hear from those of you who are well-informed about USPS procedures for mailing fuel. I use denatured alcohol.

      I did find this helpful link, yet the internal links do not work, which makes me wonder about whether the regulations have changed.

      http://www.gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm

      My local post office says "you just cannot ship fuel," and I believe this is not correct.

      What is your experience, and mostly your knowledge, about shipping fuel?

      Thanks, Rob of the WV

    • alanjrich007
      I m with Bob on this one - while it s possible to ship alcohol if you do it just right, why go to the hassle? It s available at Red s Meadow, VVR and MTR by
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 26, 2013
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        I'm with Bob on this one - while it's possible to ship alcohol if you do
        it just right, why go to the hassle? It's available at Red's Meadow,
        VVR and MTR by the ounce so you don't have to worry about buying too
        much and disposing of the excess plus the can.


        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Wilderness" wrote:
        >
        > I'd like to hear from those of you who are well-informed about USPS
        procedures for mailing fuel. I use denatured alcohol.
        >
        > I did find this helpful link, yet the internal links do not work,
        which makes me wonder about whether the regulations have changed.
        >
        > http://www.gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm
        >
        > My local post office says "you just cannot ship fuel," and I believe
        this is not correct.
        >
        > What is your experience, and mostly your knowledge, about shipping
        fuel?
        >
        > Thanks, Rob of the WV
        >
      • ravi_jmt2013
        I have never mailed fuel but I have had difficulty mailing motor oil samples to testing labs on a few occasions. Some postal workers say it is legal (which it
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 26, 2013
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          I have never mailed fuel but I have had difficulty mailing motor oil samples to testing labs on a few occasions. Some postal workers say it is legal (which it is) and others flat out refuse saying it is hazmat. I've never found that showing the clerks official policy documents helps. Not wanting to break the law by failing to declare the contents, I have taken to changing motor oil more frequently than I otherwise might despite the added cost and wastefulness.

          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "alanjrich007" wrote:
          >
          > I'm with Bob on this one - while it's possible to ship alcohol if you do
          > it just right, why go to the hassle? It's available at Red's Meadow,
          > VVR and MTR by the ounce so you don't have to worry about buying too
          > much and disposing of the excess plus the can.
          >
          >
          > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Wilderness" wrote:
          > >
          > > I'd like to hear from those of you who are well-informed about USPS
          > procedures for mailing fuel. I use denatured alcohol.
          > >
          > > I did find this helpful link, yet the internal links do not work,
          > which makes me wonder about whether the regulations have changed.
          > >
          > > http://www.gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm
          > >
          > > My local post office says "you just cannot ship fuel," and I believe
          > this is not correct.
          > >
          > > What is your experience, and mostly your knowledge, about shipping
          > fuel?
          > >
          > > Thanks, Rob of the WV
          > >
          >
        • staehpj1
          I have not completely decided which stove I will use. How readily and often fuel of the various type is available may be a deciding factor in that.
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 26, 2013
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            I have not completely decided which stove I will use. How readily and often fuel of the various type is available may be a deciding factor in that. Specifically how far the longest stretch between restocking spots is likely to be the deciding factor.

            It looks like on the last section (assuming N-S) 8 days of food and fuel need to be carried. For me that put me right at the decision point between alcohol and canisters or white gas.

            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "alanjrich007" wrote:
            >
            > It's available at Red's Meadow,
            > VVR and MTR by the ounce so you don't have to worry about buying too
            > much and disposing of the excess plus the can.

            Is that true for both alcohol and white gas (Coleman fuel)?

            For alcohol good old Yellow Heet in 12 ounce bottles suit me fine if available.

            Are canisters also readily available at those locations?
          • Roleigh Martin
            It is also available at the yose valley mountain climbing sporting goods store. But not by the ounce. Sent from my iPhone See my Google Profile for interesting
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 26, 2013
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              It is also available at the yose valley mountain climbing sporting goods store. But not by the ounce. 

              Sent from my iPhone
              See my Google Profile for interesting research links:
              http://tinyurl.com/3vnolh8

              On Jan 26, 2013, at 11:53 AM, "alanjrich007" <ajralias-ygroups@...> wrote:

               

              I'm with Bob on this one - while it's possible to ship alcohol if you do
              it just right, why go to the hassle? It's available at Red's Meadow,
              VVR and MTR by the ounce so you don't have to worry about buying too
              much and disposing of the excess plus the can.

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Wilderness" wrote:
              >
              > I'd like to hear from those of you who are well-informed about USPS
              procedures for mailing fuel. I use denatured alcohol.
              >
              > I did find this helpful link, yet the internal links do not work,
              which makes me wonder about whether the regulations have changed.
              >
              > http://www.gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm
              >
              > My local post office says "you just cannot ship fuel," and I believe
              this is not correct.
              >
              > What is your experience, and mostly your knowledge, about shipping
              fuel?
              >
              > Thanks, Rob of the WV
              >

            • Robert
              Isopropyl alcohol can be legally mailed via USPS ground service. If it requires special 2nd day or other USPS services requiring it to be air-mailed, than it
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 26, 2013
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                Isopropyl alcohol can be legally mailed via USPS ground service. If it requires special 2nd day or other USPS services requiring it to be air-mailed, than it is not permitted. Most post offices have a fairly easy to read chart near their counters that breaks down what is permitted and what is not.

                As others have mentioned, it is readily available at MTR, VVR, or pretty much any gas station before you hit the trail in the yellow Heet fuel additive bottles.

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Wilderness" wrote:
                >
                > I'd like to hear from those of you who are well-informed about USPS procedures for mailing fuel. I use denatured alcohol.
                >
                > I did find this helpful link, yet the internal links do not work, which makes me wonder about whether the regulations have changed.
                >
                > http://www.gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm
                >
                > My local post office says "you just cannot ship fuel," and I believe this is not correct.
                >
                > What is your experience, and mostly your knowledge, about shipping fuel?
                >
                > Thanks, Rob of the WV
                >
              • Wilderness
                Thanks to Snap (especially! great info), Bob, Alan, Ravi, Roleigh, and Robert for the comments about mailing fuel. I neglected to add a very important aspect
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 27, 2013
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                  Thanks to Snap (especially! great info), Bob, Alan, Ravi, Roleigh, and Robert for the comments about mailing fuel.
                  I neglected to add a very important aspect of my request (my apologies): I did fine finding fuel on the JMT. I am asking about mailing fuel, specifically denatured alcohol, to small communities along the rest of the PCT, such as Echo Lake (I know they do not carry denatured alc.), Soda Springs, Sierra City, Old Station, Belden, etc. Certainly, the JMT group may be the wrong forum for this question - yet my past experience is that there is a lot of knowledge to tap into represented in this group. So, it's more a generic question - mailing fuel, denatured alcohol.
                  This mailing fuel business is a mess, and I've tried to solve it in the past by enlisting tremendous resource and fun people like John Ladd (who met us at Sonora Pass last year with a resupply, including fuel - thanks again John). That is not going to work this next Summer. I'd appreciate any additional procedural tips group members have
                  Thanks for the help, I hope to see you on the trail,
                  Rob of the WV

                  https://www.facebook.com/WildernessVagabond

                  http://wildernessvagabond.com/

                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" wrote:
                  >
                  > Isopropyl alcohol can be legally mailed via USPS ground service. If it requires special 2nd day or other USPS services requiring it to be air-mailed, than it is not permitted. Most post offices have a fairly easy to read chart near their counters that breaks down what is permitted and what is not.
                  >
                  > As others have mentioned, it is readily available at MTR, VVR, or pretty much any gas station before you hit the trail in the yellow Heet fuel additive bottles.
                  >
                  > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Wilderness" wrote:
                  > >
                  > > I'd like to hear from those of you who are well-informed about USPS procedures for mailing fuel. I use denatured alcohol.
                  > >
                  > > I did find this helpful link, yet the internal links do not work, which makes me wonder about whether the regulations have changed.
                  > >
                  > > http://www.gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm
                  > >
                  > > My local post office says "you just cannot ship fuel," and I believe this is not correct.
                  > >
                  > > What is your experience, and mostly your knowledge, about shipping fuel?
                  > >
                  > > Thanks, Rob of the WV
                  > >
                  >
                • Frank Dumville
                  I don t use an alcohol stove but many PCT hikers do. Part of the reason is the availability of fuel so I doubt many mail fuel. You could ask on the PCT
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 27, 2013
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                    I don't use an alcohol stove but many PCT hikers do. Part of the reason is the availability of fuel so I doubt many mail fuel. You could ask on the PCT mailing list about your specific resupply locations. 
                     
                    PCT mail list is at
                     
                    Snap
                     
                    From: Wilderness <wildvagabond@...>
                     I am asking about mailing fuel, specifically denatured alcohol, to small communities along the rest of the PCT, such as Echo Lake (I know they do not carry denatured alc.), Soda Springs, Sierra City, Old Station, Belden, etc.
                  • Ralph Alcorn
                    We have mailed fuel a number of times using the gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm . To read the bad link, search on the post office site for dmm c023. The
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jan 27, 2013
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                      We have mailed fuel a number of times using the gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm . To read the bad link, search on  the post office site for dmm c023. The regulations appear the same to me. Most of the time we mailed canisters. We mailed alcohol one year. Packaging is important. When we mailed alcohol, we used the cans holding about a pint, and wrapped them in almost a full roll of paper towels. On one shipment, the can had leaked, but the towels absorbed all the excess. We formatted the ORM-D labels on the computer so they looked businesslike, printed them  and taped them onto the package, so that it looked like we knew what we were doing. Clerks questioned it, but we referred them to DMM C023.



                      --
                      Ralph Alcorn
                      backpack45.comtimecheck00.blogspot.com
                      Shepherd Canyon books, Publisher of
                      Patagonia Chronicle: On Foot in Torres del Paine,
                      Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago
                      We're in the Mountains, Not Over the Hill: Tales and Tips from Seasoned Women Backpackers  - all available on Kindle


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