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Jake_Gano

MSR Pocket Rocket fuel consumption?

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I'm headed south in July to do a 4-5 day trip with a friend where we will be melting snow each night. We decided to use his MSR Pocket Rocket instead of my white gas stove. I have no experience with canister stoves; I've always owned white gas stoves. How much fuel should we bring?

 

I'm hoping my friend will have a good idea how much fuel we'll need... but I don't want to count on his opinion alone.

 

 

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What's your elevation going to be? Will you be boiling the snow or just melting? Boiling water for meals?

 

I can usually get 2-3 days per 8oz canister on mine. This is using it for melting snow for 3-4L/day at ~10k, and boiling 0.5L for dinner at night. I also don't run mine on full burn. Usually about half open. I think MSR says you'll get around 1hr on full flame per 8oz, with avg boil time under 4mins.

 

You should be ok with 1 8oz canister each, and maybe 1 4oz canister to split as a back up.

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Thanks Brandon, exactly the kind of information I was looking for. I'm meeting a friend down there to do the Lib Ridge (weather pending) or back-up plans of something on the east side. We'll probably be melting about ~3-4L/person/day some of which will be boiled.

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Awesome. Hope it works out for you. I've never done anything as intense/committing as Lib Ridge, so maybe some folks that have tackled the route can give some more insight to their fuel consumption if the use a canister stove.

 

I would definitely make sure you have a reserve canister. I would rather carry a few extra oz of weight than run out of fuel for water. Example...I always take a small titanium pot, 4oz fuel, and pocket rocket on my summit bids in case I need to brew up at some point.

 

Careful with the pocket rocket though, it can be a little unstable/top heavy compared to something like the whisperlite. It doesn't hold the wider base pots very well (msr stowaway 1.1L or similar). You will also get better performance from it If you can keep the canisters warm, and don't place them directly on the snow. Not always possible, I know. Other than that, it's a great stove.

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I think around 2 oz per person, per day is fairly accurate. So, for an overnight an 8oz canister for a 2 person party. I always plan for 2 extra days of fuel just in case.

 

Some tips with the Pocket Rocket.

- 16 oz fuel canisters are a bit lighter than 2 8 oz canisters.

- Sleep with the can to keep it warm.

- While cooking, set the canister in a dish (Tupperware lid works well) of warm water to improve cold weather performance.

- Brunton makes a stove stand that works with the Pocket Rocket that makes it more stable and allows you to use a wind screen. It is worth the weight. The canister is connected by a flexible tube so you can invert the canister to force fuel into the burner in cold weather.

- I spent some time tinkering in my garage to improve the Pocket Rocket's efficiency. I reduced fuel consumption and burn time by about 30% with a heat exchanger and a good pot.

- I built a simple heat exchanger by crimping an MSR windscreen and then riveting it together. Kind of a poor man's version of the Reactor.

- The most efficient pot I found is a one liter, black anodized, aluminum, tall, narrow pot.

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DPS above gives good advice, he has climbed Liberty Ridge and I have not. I have however made many brews on Mt Rainier and there are a few tricks to temperature management.

 

The key is that as you use the fuel the canister gets much colder than the ambient temperature of the air around it. If the canister is too cold the water will heat up more slowly which means you burn more fuel per pot of water.

 

As DPS said you can put the canister in warm water to heat it back up. Don't heat it up too much of course or it can explode. If you can actually keep the canister above freezing your brew times will be cut in half.

 

Personally I heat the water to boiling and then every other liter of water I brew I leave half an inch of hot water in the pan and dip the canister in there.

 

As I mentioned I have not climbed Liberty Ridge and it seems most people there don't boil their water. It probably is not necessary off the more popular paths I have gathered snow from to drink.

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