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#845952 - 10/23/08 07:28 PM Canister stove for cold weather water melting.
DanO Offline
member

Registered: 10/03/02
Posts: 195
TRs: 5 Photos: 4
Two questions,

One I have this stove.

http://www.backcountry.com/store/SNO0023/Snow-Peak-GigaPower-BF-Stove.html#reviews

I understand even if your canister is very cold you can just tip
the canister upside down and the gas would run down hill and you
can still use the stove in cold weather. Sounds good in theory
has anyone used a stove like this in cold weather? I understand
that this stove is made to do this.

The second question, how much gas or many canisters one would need
per day , per person? Lets say one drinks at least 3 liters up
to 6 liters a day.

Thanks
Dan


Edited by DanO (10/23/08 07:28 PM)

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#845955 - 10/23/08 07:41 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: DanO]
JBo6 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 305
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: Bellingham
A trick I have done while winter camping is to heat just a little water, and put it in a bowl that the canister can rest in, which seemed to make the fuel last a lot longer. This was just a regular canister stove, so I have no idea about turning the canister upside down.

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#846275 - 10/25/08 08:39 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: JBo6]
DanO Offline
member

Registered: 10/03/02
Posts: 195
TRs: 5 Photos: 4
I am surprised with the non answers, anyone I can
ask out there? or I will have to go for it and
see what happens, can get mighty thirsty.

Dan

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#846291 - 10/25/08 09:40 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: DanO]
Alex Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 4673
TRs: 23 Photos: 116
Loc: Seattle, WA, USA
I use canister stoves usually about 3 months a year, including pocket rocket and Markill Stormy hanging stove. Sometimes in Winter, depends on the trip.

Cold weather: you need to define cold. Is cold to you 0 C? Cold to me is -20 C or colder. You rarely see these temps in Washington, unless you are on Rainier in the winter. You see them regularly in Canada. In -20 C I use a white gas stove.

Canister stoves performance depends on what's in the canister, not the stove.

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#846381 - 10/26/08 04:51 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: Alex]
Bug Offline
sprayer

Registered: 02/22/02
Posts: 6654
TRs: 5 Photos: 127
Loc: Redmond WA
I use my jetboil year-round around here.
I use MSR canisters and some that mrs Bug got for .50 each at Bartell's. Both have to be kept warm or they do not perform well. I put one undr my pillow at night and next to my back when I pack my pack. Even when I use it, I hold it in my hands to keep it warm. I don't know anything about other types of fuel cannisters because mine always work. But I have NOT been in real cold yet with it. In that case I might have to hold it in my crotch. Be sure to trim the pubes if you try this.
And don't try to say I said it would be a good idea.
_________________________
You can't handle this.

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#846390 - 10/26/08 06:19 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: DanO]
mike1 Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/04/03
Posts: 734
TRs: 2 Photos: 4
Loc: Vancouver, USA
I have heard of folks pounding flat some heavy gage copper wire and running it from the flame area down and around the canister a few times to warm it during winter use. Probably better for the type that attach to the top. Never tried it...

Here's a page from the NOLS Cook Book. Different stove example, but maybe it will give you a starting point (Also, the large Snow Peak fuel canister burns 90 minutes @ 10,000 BTU's according to their site):

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#846404 - 10/26/08 08:14 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: mike1]
G-spotter Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 15164
TRs: 57 Photos: 410
Loc: free range
build heat exchanger, if you do it wrong stove turns into bomb, so do it right, or just do the right thing in the first place and use a white gas stove.
_________________________
Bagging a cougar is one of the most enjoyable sporting feats a young man can accomplish

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#846408 - 10/26/08 08:56 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: G-spotter]
mike1 Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/04/03
Posts: 734
TRs: 2 Photos: 4
Loc: Vancouver, USA
Originally Posted By: G-spotter
build heat exchanger, if you do it wrong stove turns into bomb, so do it right, or just do the right thing in the first place and use a white gas stove.

tup

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#848998 - 11/05/08 08:05 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: DanO]
mountainmandoug Offline
member

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 150
TRs: 1 Photos: 0
Loc: In a van, down by the river
I have used an MSR Windpro as my winter stove for several seasons now. Anytime below freezing I invert the canister so the stove functions as a liquid-feed. Note that this only works with stoves that have a generator tube that runs in the flame to vaporize fuel before it gets to the burner. The one you linked to looks like it does.

I usually light the stove with the canister upright and than turn the canister over and prop it with something (snowballs can work). You don't want to turn the stove on very much, it will behave very differently with the canister upside down. Basically with the valve just cracked you will get a full roar, and you don't have as much flame adjustment as you do with the canister upright. Than when you shut it off it will burn for a few seconds until all of the gas is out of the fuel line.

It works very well, and it's much easier and quicker than pre-heating a white gas stove. I seem to get around five quarts or so of boiling water from one canister, but every stove-pot-windscreen combination will be a bit different.

There's a lot of really good info on this at backpackinglight.com, if you want to read up on it.
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#850779 - 11/12/08 07:23 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: mountainmandoug]
jhamaker Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 08/14/01
Posts: 562
TRs: 0 Photos: 3
Loc: Tacoma, WA
I'll have to try an inverted canister stove someday.

This is why I don't use them in the cold:




Edited by jhamaker (11/12/08 07:24 PM)
_________________________
jhamaker

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#867720 - 02/16/09 11:52 AM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: jhamaker]
nhluhr Offline
member

Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 105
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: Seattle, WA
Choosing the right fuel cartridge is also helpful when using a canister in cold conditions. Contrary to popular belief, they are NOT all the same.

Canister stoves have some combination of n-Butane, isobutane, and propane.

Here are the relative percentages for popular canisters:
Primus: 70% n-butane, 10% isobutane, 20% propane
Peak1: 70% n-butane, 0% isobutane, 30% propane
MSR IsoPro: 0% n-butane, 80% isobutane, 20% propane
Snow Peak: 0% n-butane, 65% isobutane, 35% propane

Why is this mixture information important? Well, without some of the fuel in the canister being vaporized, there will be no pressure to feed fuel into the jet and your stove will go out. These fuel components all vaporize at different temperatures. n-Butane vaporizes at 31 degrees F. Isobutane vaporizes at 11 degrees F. Propane vaporizes at -43 degrees F. What happens when you use your stove at or below 31 degrees is the n-butane will cease to vaporize and all the propane and/or isobutane will vaporize instead and that will burn first, leaving just cold liquid (uselesss) n-butane in the cartridge that you can't use. Likewise, if you use your stove at or below 11 degrees, the propane will be the first to go leaving only isobutane and butane in a liquid form with no more pressure. So obviously you want to keep your canister warm OR you want to make sure you are using a canister which will give you the most burn for the conditions you'll encounter. In other words, you want less n-butane and more propane for cold temperatures.

If you find yourself stuck with a fuel canister that is inappropriate for the conditions and you need to run the stove, your best option is to warm the fuel.

Safe methods
keep it in your jacket
sleep with it in your bag
dip it in warm water
pour hot water on it
urinate on it
chemical hand-warmers

A more risky method is to construct a heat exchanger to draw heat from the flame down to warm the canister slightly. Overdoing it will result in your stove exploding so be careful.
Many stoves come with a hose attachement for the canister which allows you to invert the canister. This is beneficial because the propane (which will vaporize in all but the worst conditions on earth) will stay above the liquid butane and isobutane, pushing it down through the fuel line into the stove. This works best if your stove has a preheat stage - meaning, the fuel line must loop through the flame to vaporize the fuel before it goes through the jet - otherwise, you'll have a poorly controlled large flame. Either way, start with the valve as low as it will go before lighting the stove.

In the above list of canisters by fuel concentration, I ranked them from worst to best in terms of cold weather performance but if you have an inverted-canister mount, really any of the canisters will work just fine as they all have enough propane to keep the liquid pressurized when held upside down.

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#867754 - 02/16/09 02:19 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: nhluhr]
davidk Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 222
TRs: 6 Photos: 132
Loc: Seattle
I tried out a home-made canister cozy this weekend, and it really seemed to help keep the gas warm and extend burntime. Was using an 8 oz. MSR IsoPro cansiter on a Snow Peak Gigapower stove in ~20 degree F temps, and boiled about 7 liters of water with plenty of fuel to spare.

I made the cozy out of some closed-cell foam pad scraps and duct tape.

...and as always, pre-heat the canister by putting it in your jacket while you make camp, etc.

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#867783 - 02/16/09 05:05 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: davidk]
thelawgoddess Offline
professional

Registered: 04/06/01
Posts: 6215
TRs: 2 Photos: 47
Loc: huntsville, al
Yea for isobutane. grin Thanks for the info, folks!
_________________________
"life without passion is life without depth."~j.hollis

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#874601 - 03/29/09 04:40 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: thelawgoddess]
mankato Offline
n00b

Registered: 05/17/08
Posts: 28
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Not sure if anyone is still reading this thread, but which canisters have people found to work the best in cold weather, say 0 to 32 degrees? I have never had any success with canister stoves in sub-freezing temps, but based on the above info, perhaps I'm using the wrong fuel.

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#874602 - 03/29/09 04:46 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: thelawgoddess]
mankato Offline
n00b

Registered: 05/17/08
Posts: 28
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Not sure if anyone is still reading this thread, but which canisters have people found to work the best in cold weather, say 0 to 32 degrees? I have never had any success with canister stoves in sub-freezing temps, but based on the above info, perhaps I'm using the wrong fuel.

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#874659 - 03/30/09 10:41 AM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: mankato]
JBo6 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/06/07
Posts: 305
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Loc: Bellingham
Try the trick I mentioned above, seems safer than the copper wire trick, but a little slower and less neat.

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#874684 - 03/30/09 02:50 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: nhluhr]
Alpinfox Offline
Tebow Believer

Registered: 03/05/02
Posts: 5227
TRs: 23 Photos: 322
Hey Nhluhr,
That is great info. Thanks.

Why don't they just make canisters with 100% propane?

More heat from the other gases?
_________________________
let's spank this pony and see where she goes

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#874731 - 03/30/09 08:42 PM Re: Canister stove for cold weather water melting. [Re: Alpinfox]
mankato Offline
n00b

Registered: 05/17/08
Posts: 28
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
I was wondering the same thing, why not just use 100% propane? Turns out because of the pressure involved, propane needs to be stored in thick-wall steel canisters. You can get them, the ones coleman makes for campground stoves, but they are too heavy for backpacking or climbing.

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