Letter Re: 41 Camping Hacks

On the article about the 41 camping hacks, the Mt. Dew + baking soda + peroxide chemlight idea is a hoax!

I tried this and it doesn’t work! It did sound vaguely familiar as what I remember from the ingredients of a chem light. Chem lights contain Luminol, potassium ferricyanide, sodium hydroxide, and hydrogen peroxide, if I remember correctly. In the Dew light, we have the hydrogen peroxide and sodium bicarbonate, which are acid and base like we see in the chem light. So it sounded plausible. The only question was does Mt. Dew have chemical substitutes for the Luminol and potassium ferricyanide? Answer: No. I checked with Snopes, and they have it as a hoax as well. So don’t waste your time or Dew on this! And shoot down anyone spreading this fertilizer!

HJL Replies: I appreciate the verification of that hack. I was suspicious of some of those hacks and posted the YMMV warning as a result. Glow sticks are so cheap nowadays, I’m not sure why anyone would waste a perfectly drinkable Mt. Dew on such an endeavor anyway. Some of the other hacks are more trouble than they are worth, but there were a few good ones on that page, and some may make fun projects with the kids.

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