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Len the Lost

Len the Lost

Len the Lost's Passions

Hiking & Camping

Len the Lost

Len the Lostwrote a review of on January 6, 2012

5 5

Have two 123's. The first one acquired in 1970.
While winter camping in the Adirondacks about half way up Blue Mt. in '72 my buddy blew it up.
They do need to be finessed for use at -20 and a 25mph wind (hey, later that night it fell to -40 and the wind kicked up to about 40mph, I have no idea what the wind chill was) and my friend was not experienced using one in those conditions.
He got too heavy handed priming it and did not open the valve enough to vent the building pressure.
Soon it was enveloped in flame and sounding like a 747 on takeoff, we could no longer go near it. Then the tank started blowing up like a balloon and we headed for cover.
The emergency pressure release valve, a solder plug in the middle of the cap finally melted and blew out, at which point we had a 15' geyser of flame spouting up at a 45 degree angle that melted my aluminum windscreen/cook set into a puddle of slag.
My buddy looked terrified that I was going to flay him alive. I was just happy that no one was hurt, no other equipment was lost and he had another stove and cook set in his gear.
Once the stove cooled pliers were needed to remove the blown cap. A replacement cap, the original brass windscreen installed and new load of white gas and she was humming along again as our second burner 1/2 an hour after armageddon.
Never had any further repercussions from that incident and she still roars 40 years later. Except that all those sharp creases and folds were blown out resulting in a very fat and balloon like Svea with approximately a 20% greater fuel capacity.
When my health made me hang up my backpacking boots and car camping with the family became my milieu, I went for a second Svea 123 knowing I can depend on her through thick and thin.

Please do not use stoves in tents, had this happened in our tent even if we escaped burn injuries nighttime conditions were deadly. We were well equipped for -20, even -30. When we unpredictably encountered wind chill conditions in the area of -85... Well, just to survive we had to pull out all our spare clothing to supplement our Holubar Royalight sleeping bags (anyone remember Holubar? Pre-Eddie Baur Holubar.) in a three wall expedition tent and still came closer to Brokeback Mountain than either of us cared to.