Cruising Life

Brexit (Camping) Gas Shortage!

No blue 907 or 904 Camping Gas bottles are available anywhere in Cornwall or Devon. Neither Mylor Chandlery, MacSalvors @ the Boathouse in Penryn, nor the Bosun’s Locker in Falmouth have received any since the last week of July. None are to be had in Plymouth. Campsites are affected too and do not have any gas bottles either.

This is a big loss for these businesses for which gas refills are an important income stream, especially in the peak summer season.

It is also a major inconvenience for yachts – as the camping gas 907 and 904 bottles are the only ones that will fit in many boats’ gas lockers.

One rumour as to the reason for the shortage is the dramatic fall in the pound after Brexit. After two consecutive price increases – the French are allegedly simply refusing to sell gas to the British …

I’ve also heard a rumour of a container ship full of gas bottles having to be sent back to China because the bottles were faulty…

Coleman,the company that owns the Camping Gas brand, won’t comment on the reason for the shortage.

What’s clear is that no camping gas refills are to be expected before the end of the season.

I think this gas shortage shows the importance of having a backup means of cooking if long term cruising.

At the moment, I am using a cheap little Camping Gas branded portable stove – that takes CP250 cartridges, and using it with compatible generic butane cartridges sold under the “Parasene” brand. I know these stoves do not cope well with the marine environment and I expect to have to throw it out at the end of the season. The biggest problem with it, is it’s not gimballed. Although the stove has pretty good rubber feet, the cooking ring has minimal grip on saucepans – and they have a tendency to slide off- especially if they are full of water. The unexpected benefits are being able to cook outside and butane at £4.26 per kilo – which is extremely cheap compared to the usually extortionate price of a 907 refill.