Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel

Expand Messages
  • eric
    My friend and I have an MSR reactor (canister stove) and a MSR dragonfly (liquid fuel) and we are debating which one to bring for thru hiking the JMT. The
    Message 1 of 30 , Mar 28, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      My friend and I have an MSR reactor (canister stove) and a MSR dragonfly (liquid fuel) and we are debating which one to bring for thru hiking the JMT.

      The stove is just for use by us two, and we plan on only boiling water with it as our breakfasts and dinners will be instant meals. We may resort to boiling water for hot drinks as well but are trying to mitigate this for the purposes of conserving fuel.

      We are tempted to take the MSR Reactor for its simplicity. It is fuel efficient, boils water quickly, and of course, all we have to do is screw the fuel canister in and GO! We wont have to worry about bringing spare pumps or having parts break, although we would likely bring a pocket rocket with us as back up in any case. The big problem with this option is that fuel canisters tend to greatly lose efficiency in cold environments. Since I have never done JMT I am not sure what temperatures and conditions to expect, but I would think that cold nights and mornings are a certainty. We will take measures to keep the canisters warm, ie. keeping them in our sleeping bags at night, perhaps designing an insulating sleeve, etc. but its an issue nonetheless. Then of course we have to carry the canisters with us.

      On the other hand, the MSR dragonfly does a pretty good job at boiling water and we could maintain fuel pressure via the pump. Problematic issues include needing to keep it clean, parts possibly breaking, and the lesser convenience and necessity of using it (we are just boiling water, and dont need its gourmet cooking capabilities).

      I guess what I am seeking out here is advice from experienced long distance backpackers. Has anyone done JMT happily while using a canister stove? We want to go with this option if it wont compromise us. Do re-supply points stock canisters or only white gas?

      We also have a jet boil, an optimus nova (which I dont trust to be reliable), and are considering using an alcohol stove which I know nothing about yet but have heard surprisingly good things.
    • David Carbiener
      Eric, I have completed the JMT twice (2008 & 2010) using the same Pocket Rocket stove.  I will be out there again this year using that same Pocket Rocket. 
      Message 2 of 30 , Mar 28, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        Eric,
         
        I have completed the JMT twice (2008 & 2010) using the same Pocket Rocket stove.  I will be out there again this year using that same Pocket Rocket.  I've had no problems on either trip, and don't expect any on this next one.
         
        Have fun on the JMT.  I'm sure you will.
        David
      • speedcenter2001
        I ve never used anything other than canister stoves on the JMT. No mess, fuel is readily available for most types, and they are getting lighter and lighter.
        Message 3 of 30 , Mar 28, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          I've never used anything other than canister stoves on the JMT. No mess, fuel is readily available for most types, and they are getting lighter and lighter.

          Others have carried liquid fuel burners, wood stoves, esbit stoves, and some ultra light fanatics ate nothing but dextrose and clif bars without any stove - it all works. Whatever you prefer should work out there.
        • plumeandcashew
          I have another question. With canisters do you have to buy them at resupplies or is that something you can mail to yourself along with food?
          Message 4 of 30 , Mar 28, 2012
          • 0 Attachment
            I have another question. With canisters do you have to buy them at resupplies or is that something you can mail to yourself along with food?

            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "speedcenter2001" <pburke@...> wrote:
            >
            > I've never used anything other than canister stoves on the JMT. No mess, fuel is readily available for most types, and they are getting lighter and lighter.
            >
            > Others have carried liquid fuel burners, wood stoves, esbit stoves, and some ultra light fanatics ate nothing but dextrose and clif bars without any stove - it all works. Whatever you prefer should work out there.
            >
          • Mike Mosack
            You can not mail filled fuel canisters. Even attempting to mail empty fuel bottles can be tricky if there is any residue of fuel still inside that might draw
            Message 5 of 30 , Mar 28, 2012
            • 0 Attachment
              You can not mail filled fuel canisters. Even attempting to mail empty fuel bottles can be tricky if there is any residue of fuel still inside that might draw the interest of the inspectors. You need to pick up the fuel/canisters locally.
              Mike
               
              Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 5:08 AM
              Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel
               
               

              I have another question. With canisters do you have to buy them at resupplies or is that something you can mail to yourself along with food?

              --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "speedcenter2001" <pburke@...> wrote:

              >
              > I've never used
              anything other than canister stoves on the JMT. No mess, fuel is readily available for most types, and they are getting lighter and lighter.
              >
              > Others have carried liquid fuel burners, wood stoves, esbit stoves, and
              some ultra light fanatics ate nothing but dextrose and clif bars without any stove - it all works. Whatever you prefer should work out there.
              >

            • Don Amundson
              Fuel canisters are normally stocked at the usual resupply points. I say normally because anything can happen. One year my hiking partner was going to pick up
              Message 6 of 30 , Mar 28, 2012
              • 0 Attachment
                Fuel canisters are normally stocked at the usual resupply points.  I say normally because anything can happen.  One year my hiking partner was going to pick up a canister at VVR and they happened to be out when we were there. When I was using a canister stove I always picked up one at MTR.  In fact there have always been a bunch of partially full canisters sitting there at the hiker buckets if your wanting to save money and are willing to carry the extra weight.

                You can mail canisters surface mail only. See the postal service Poster 138 that specifically states that "propane, campstove fuel" can be shipped by surface mail if labeled as ORM-D. http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/posters/pos138.pdf
                 
                You won't have any trouble using canisters on the JMT due to altitude or temps during the usual hiking season--at least in my experience.  




                Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 5:08 AM
                Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel
                 
                 
                I have another question. With canisters do you have to buy them at resupplies or is that something you can mail to yourself along with food?


              • ned@mountaineducation.org
                If you go out to Independence, CA, the gas station in town has canisters... Just remember, Be Careful out there! Ned Tibbits, Director Mountain Education
                Message 7 of 30 , Mar 28, 2012
                • 0 Attachment
                  If you go out to Independence, CA, the gas station in town has canisters...
                   
                   

                  "Just remember, Be Careful out there!"
                   
                  Ned Tibbits, Director
                  Mountain Education
                  South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150
                      P: 888-996-8333
                      F: 530-541-1456
                      C: 530-721-1551
                      http://www.mountaineducation.org
                • Don Amundson
                  It seems the link in my previous posting about mailing fuel canisters is no good--this one seems to work. http://about.usps.com/posters/pos138/welcome.htm To:
                  Message 8 of 30 , Mar 28, 2012
                  • 0 Attachment
                    It seems the link in my previous posting about mailing fuel canisters is no good--this one seems to work.

                    http://about.usps.com/posters/pos138/welcome.htm




                    To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                    From: amrowinc@...
                    Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 19:40:15 -0700
                    Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel

                     

                    Fuel canisters are normally stocked at the usual resupply points.  I say normally because anything can happen.  One year my hiking partner was going to pick up a canister at VVR and they happened to be out when we were there. When I was using a canister stove I always picked up one at MTR.  In fact there have always been a bunch of partially full canisters sitting there at the hiker buckets if your wanting to save money and are willing to carry the extra weight.

                    You can mail canisters surface mail only. See the postal service Poster 138 that specifically states that "propane, campstove fuel" can be shipped by surface mail if labeled as ORM-D. http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/posters/pos138.pdf
                     
                    You won't have any trouble using canisters on the JMT due to altitude or temps during the usual hiking season--at least in my experience.  




                    Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 5:08 AM
                    Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel
                     
                     
                    I have another question. With canisters do you have to buy them at resupplies or is that something you can mail to yourself along with food?



                  • LEBRUN
                    I am very happy with my Jetboil. good luck Bruce
                    Message 9 of 30 , Mar 28, 2012
                    • 0 Attachment
                      I am very happy with my Jetboil.

                      good luck

                      Bruce

                      On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 4:34 PM, David Carbiener <davecarb@...> wrote:
                       

                      Eric,
                       
                      I have completed the JMT twice (2008 & 2010) using the same Pocket Rocket stove.  I will be out there again this year using that same Pocket Rocket.  I've had no problems on either trip, and don't expect any on this next one.
                       
                      Have fun on the JMT.  I'm sure you will.
                      David


                    • Mike Mosack
                      I have a JetBoil, Whisperlight, Whisperlight International, and a Pocket Rocket, and have used them all very successfully in below freezing temperatures in
                      Message 10 of 30 , Mar 28, 2012
                      • 0 Attachment
                        I have a JetBoil, Whisperlight, Whisperlight International, and a Pocket Rocket, and have used them all very successfully in below freezing temperatures in upper peninsula Michigan camping without any negative issues at all. My soda can alcohol stove works as well, but admittedly I account for a slower pace when I am cooking with that as the boil times are longer, but not by much in the big scheme of things. I usually keep a small amount of alcohol for use with my alchy stove as a back up only and rarely use it unless I just want to play with it for a change or to burn off my alcohol when I have carried it for a lot of trips.
                        I follow the usually steps at keeping my stove and its fuel from freezing, like keeping them inside my sleeping bag or coat until I am ready to use them.
                        Mike Mosack
                         
                         
                        From: LEBRUN
                        Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 7:33 AM
                        Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel
                         
                         

                        I am very happy with my Jetboil.

                        good luck

                        Bruce

                        On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 4:34 PM, David Carbiener <davecarb@...> wrote:
                         
                        Eric,
                         
                        I have completed the JMT twice (2008 & 2010) using the same Pocket Rocket stove.  I will be out there again this year using that same Pocket Rocket.  I've had no problems on either trip, and don't expect any on this next one.
                         
                        Have fun on the JMT.  I'm sure you will.
                        David

                      • John Ladd
                        I abandoned my liquid-fuel stove (Whisperlite) reluctantly to try a gas stove (JetBoil) but would NEVER go back. The canister stoves are admirably simple,
                        Message 11 of 30 , Mar 29, 2012
                        • 0 Attachment
                          I abandoned my liquid-fuel stove (Whisperlite) reluctantly to try a gas stove (JetBoil) but would NEVER go back.  The canister stoves are admirably simple, limiting the possibilities of failure.  NB: I did have one flame up once, due to a loose fitting on the JetBoil and now make sure everything is tight before attaching the canister.  We don't have particularly cold winters in the Sierra, and it works here year round. It is a very versatile stove, e.g., if you need to turn it off, you can safely relight it without needing to wait to cool off; you can simmer with it; turn bacon into baconbits (remove the insulating sleeve first). Do not trust the piezo. Carry matches or a lighter in case the piezo cracks.

                          I find alternative fuel stoves frustrating.  They are slow and subject to various problems (e.g., slow, hard to turn off and relight) and part of the weight savings on the stove is lost because the fuel itself has way less heat capacity (BTUs) per ounce.  Strongly recommend the JetBoil.  Even BackpackingLight had quite positive reviews of the JetBoil.

                          If I did group hiking, I'd consider the MSR Reactor, which is I think Ned's favorite stove.  It really heats a lot of water fast (or melts a lot of snow fast) 

                          John Curran Ladd
                          1616 Castro Street
                          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                          415-648-9279
                        • Ewa Bialkowski
                          I ve been using JetBoil for years. When I bought my first one, there was only one model, which looks a lot like Flash. It worked well for many years in all
                          Message 12 of 30 , Mar 29, 2012
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I've been using JetBoil for years. When I bought my first one, there was only one model, which looks a lot like Flash. It worked well for many years in all kinds of conditions though I never had a chance to test it above 10k elevation.
                            Last year I invested in  Jetboil Ti. The piezo thing was not working at all so I returned it. The second one also had piezo issues especially at elevation. Still I liked it till a heated piece of the coil or whatever the folded conducting element could be called broke off and shot out at my hand leaving a nasty burn. Needless to say it went back to REI.

                            I am seriously considering investing in MSR Reactor though the size of it is for me a big deterrent.

                            Ewa

                          • eric
                            Although the jetboil I own is fuel efficient and simple, I did have issues with fuel pressure when at near freezing temperatures. In good conditions, the
                            Message 13 of 30 , Mar 29, 2012
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Although the jetboil I own is fuel efficient and simple, I did have issues with fuel pressure when at near freezing temperatures. In good conditions, the jetboil boils 2 cups of water in about 90 seconds... but in Bishop last year, it took several minutes due to the cold and weakened flame. I dont remember the exact temperature but if you have ever been out to the desert on an early spring night, then you probably know that it gets pretty damn cold out there.

                              I have not tested the reactor in the cold yet but since they use the same fuel canisters I am worried I will have a similar issue. The Reactor is certainly bulky but not a bad compromise for how fast it boils water for two people. I dont think I would ever go solo with it.

                              Looks like the canister stoves are winning the debate! I suppose we could also each take a pocket rocket since we each own one and use small personal pots and cook separately

                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ewa Bialkowski <ewa.bialkowski@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > I've been using JetBoil for years. When I bought my first one, there was
                              > only one model, which looks a lot like Flash. It worked well for many years
                              > in all kinds of conditions though I never had a chance to test it above 10k
                              > elevation.
                              > Last year I invested in Jetboil Ti. The piezo thing was not working at all
                              > so I returned it. The second one also had piezo issues especially at
                              > elevation. Still I liked it till a heated piece of the coil or whatever the
                              > folded conducting element could be called broke off and shot out at my hand
                              > leaving a nasty burn. Needless to say it went back to REI.
                              >
                              > I am seriously considering investing in MSR Reactor though the size of it
                              > is for me a big deterrent.
                              >
                              > Ewa
                              >
                            • Barbara Karagosian
                              Does sleeping with it help? ;-) Barbara
                              Message 14 of 30 , Mar 29, 2012
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Does sleeping with it help?  ;-)

                                Barbara


                                On Mar 29, 2012, at 9:58 AM, "eric" <samhandwich22@...> wrote:

                                 

                                Although the jetboil I own is fuel efficient and simple, I did have issues with fuel pressure when at near freezing temperatures. In good conditions, the jetboil boils 2 cups of water in about 90 seconds... but in Bishop last year, it took several minutes due to the cold and weakened flame. I dont remember the exact temperature but if you have ever been out to the desert on an early spring night, then you probably know that it gets pretty damn cold out there.

                                I have not tested the reactor in the cold yet but since they use the same fuel canisters I am worried I will have a similar issue. The Reactor is certainly bulky but not a bad compromise for how fast it boils water for two people. I dont think I would ever go solo with it.

                                Looks like the canister stoves are winning the debate! I suppose we could also each take a pocket rocket since we each own one and use small personal pots and cook separately

                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Ewa Bialkowski <ewa.bialkowski@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > I've been using JetBoil for years. When I bought my first one, there was
                                > only one model, which looks a lot like Flash. It worked well for many years
                                > in all kinds of conditions though I never had a chance to test it above 10k
                                > elevation.
                                > Last year I invested in Jetboil Ti. The piezo thing was not working at all
                                > so I returned it. The second one also had piezo issues especially at
                                > elevation. Still I liked it till a heated piece of the coil or whatever the
                                > folded conducting element could be called broke off and shot out at my hand
                                > leaving a nasty burn. Needless to say it went back to REI.
                                >
                                > I am seriously considering investing in MSR Reactor though the size of it
                                > is for me a big deterrent.
                                >
                                > Ewa
                                >

                              • speedcenter2001
                                ... , eric ... issues with fuel pressure when at near freezing temperatures. you want to make sure
                                Message 15 of 30 , Mar 29, 2012
                                • 0 Attachment

                                   

                                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "eric" <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Although the jetboil I own is fuel efficient and simple, I did have issues with fuel pressure when at near freezing temperatures.

                                  you want to make sure you get fuel that has "isobutane" in it, as butane will not evaporate enough in colder temps. Basically anything from Jetboil, MSR, SnowPeak is fuel that will work well below freezing.

                                  Everything you ever wanted to know about stoves here

                                  http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com/

                                  and about cold/high altitude performance of canisters in particular see this post

                                  http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com/2012/03/canisters-cold-and-altitude-in-nutshell.html

                                  what brands work:

                                  http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com/2011/11/whats-best-brand-of-gas-for-cold.html

                                  note that the Muir Ranch usually has a lot of "Primus" brand canisters - you do not want those if you have choice.

                                  I use caninster stoves in winter and they work just fine if you use the right model for the conditions and burn the right fuel:

                                  jetboil helios below whitney at -10 Celsius

                                   

                                   

                                • Sierracanon
                                  http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c3_017.htm#ep898824 Scroll down to 342.22 for clarification of which things constitute mailable gases.
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Mar 30, 2012
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c3_017.htm#ep898824

                                    Scroll down to 342.22 for clarification of which things constitute "mailable gases."


                                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Mosack" <mosack@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > You can not mail filled fuel canisters. Even attempting to mail empty fuel bottles can be tricky if there is any residue of fuel still inside that might draw the interest of the inspectors. You need to pick up the fuel/canisters locally.
                                    > Mike
                                    >
                                    > From: plumeandcashew
                                    > Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 5:08 AM
                                    > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I have another question. With canisters do you have to buy them at resupplies or is that something you can mail to yourself along with food?
                                    >
                                    > --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "speedcenter2001" <pburke@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > I've never used anything other than canister stoves on the JMT. No mess, fuel is readily available for most types, and they are getting lighter and lighter.
                                    > >
                                    > > Others have carried liquid fuel burners, wood stoves, esbit stoves, and some ultra light fanatics ate nothing but dextrose and clif bars without any stove - it all works. Whatever you prefer should work out there.
                                    > >
                                    >
                                  • Mike Mosack
                                    I stand corrected. It has always been my understanding that we could not mail fuel. I appreciate the info. Mike From: Sierracanon Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Mar 30, 2012
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      I stand corrected. It has always been my understanding that we could not mail fuel. I appreciate the info.
                                      Mike
                                       
                                      Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 11:45 AM
                                      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel
                                       
                                       

                                      http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c3_017.htm#ep898824

                                      Scroll down to 342.22 for clarification of which things constitute "mailable gases."

                                      --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "Mike Mosack" <mosack@...> wrote:

                                      >
                                      > You can not mail filled
                                      fuel canisters. Even attempting to mail empty fuel bottles can be tricky if there is any residue of fuel still inside that might draw the interest of the inspectors. You need to pick up the fuel/canisters locally.
                                      > Mike
                                      >
                                      > From: plumeandcashew
                                      > Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 5:08
                                      AM
                                      > To:
                                      href="mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com">mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus
                                      liquid fuel
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > I have another question. With canisters do
                                      you have to buy them at resupplies or is that something you can mail to yourself along with food?
                                      >
                                      > --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com,
                                      "speedcenter2001" <pburke@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > I've never
                                      used anything other than canister stoves on the JMT. No mess, fuel is readily available for most types, and they are getting lighter and lighter.
                                      > >
                                      > > Others have carried liquid fuel burners, wood stoves, esbit
                                      stoves, and some ultra light fanatics ate nothing but dextrose and clif bars without any stove - it all works. Whatever you prefer should work out there.
                                      > >
                                      >

                                    • JamesB
                                      ... That section of the Pub 52 explicitly calls for the fuel containers meeting the requirements of DOT 2P or DOT 2Q, Department of Transportation
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Mar 30, 2012
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Sierracanon" <dlink_95670@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c3_017.htm#ep898824
                                        >
                                        > Scroll down to 342.22 for clarification of which things constitute "mailable gases."
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Mosack" <mosack@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > You can not mail filled fuel canisters. Even attempting to mail empty fuel bottles can be tricky if there is any residue of fuel still inside that might draw the interest of the inspectors. You need to pick up the fuel/canisters locally.
                                        > > Mike

                                        That section of the Pub 52 explicitly calls for the fuel containers meeting the requirements of DOT 2P or DOT 2Q, Department of Transportation classifications.

                                        None of the backpacking containers have DOT 2P or 2Q on them, and list a different DOT number. So, technically, they do not meet the USPS requirements.

                                        If you take the time to look up DOT 2P and 2Q, you will find that the inside diameter of the container (to meet the DOT 2P or 2Q requirements) must not exceed 2 1/2 inches. So clearly, the roughly 4 inch diameter 6 and 8 and 12 ounce butane canisters fail to meet the requirements.

                                        My local postmaster stated that if the containers were marked DOT 2P or 2Q, he would mail them for me according to regulations. If they were not so marked, I would need to furnish documents that DOT would consider them as safely designed as the 2P and 2Q specifications require.

                                        I believe that you will not find any mail order backpacking canisters for sale without extra heavy shipping charges for the hazardous materials requirements. If you can buy mail order canisters of butane for backpacking, I would suggest that you ask them to be drop shipped to the post office at your destination, or a commercial place that will accept and hold packages for a backpacker.

                                        I spent a long time with this issue years ago and have discussed the issue with the USPS hazardous material people (not just the postmaster ) and with UPS shipping.... I sent them pictures of the canisters including the hazardous material markings on the bottom of the can (DOT and UN codes).

                                        At one time, the very small cans (about 3 ounces) were surface mailable, but then someone sent some by Priority Mail (includes air mail) and the result was a USPS and DOT investigation, and the heavier rules on shipping the canisters.

                                        Read the actual DOT 2P and 2Q regulations for yourselves, as they are cited as needing to be satisfied for USPS mailings. Then write something actually informed, rather than a "wish".
                                      • Sierracanon
                                        I only found it because I was curious, and have too much time on my hands. I have a MSR Superfly, which I like because it will fit whichever canister I can
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Mar 30, 2012
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          I only found it because I was curious, and have too much time on my hands.

                                          I have a MSR Superfly, which I like because it will fit whichever canister I can find, even the old blue Gaz canisters. The thing performs flawlessly every time. I made a "canister cozy" out of a piece of closed-cell foam and some duct tape, which seems to help it work better in cold weather.

                                          David

                                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Mosack" <mosack@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > I stand corrected. It has always been my understanding that we could not mail fuel. I appreciate the info.
                                          > Mike
                                          >
                                          > From: Sierracanon
                                          > Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 11:45 AM
                                          > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c3_017.htm#ep898824
                                          >
                                          > Scroll down to 342.22 for clarification of which things constitute "mailable gases."
                                          >
                                          > --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "Mike Mosack" <mosack@> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > You can not mail filled fuel canisters. Even attempting to mail empty fuel bottles can be tricky if there is any residue of fuel still inside that might draw the interest of the inspectors. You need to pick up the fuel/canisters locally.
                                          > > Mike
                                          > >
                                          > > From: plumeandcashew
                                          > > Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 5:08 AM
                                          > > To: mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com
                                          > > Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > I have another question. With canisters do you have to buy them at resupplies or is that something you can mail to yourself along with food?
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "speedcenter2001" <pburke@> wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > I've never used anything other than canister stoves on the JMT. No mess, fuel is readily available for most types, and they are getting lighter and lighter.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Others have carried liquid fuel burners, wood stoves, esbit stoves, and some ultra light fanatics ate nothing but dextrose and clif bars without any stove - it all works. Whatever you prefer should work out there.
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                        • John
                                          Ok, I m hopelessly old school, still using my Whisperlite. So here s my question(s) as I ve been tempted to convert over the years. I know exactly, just
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Mar 30, 2012
                                          • 0 Attachment

                                            Ok, I'm hopelessly old school, still using my Whisperlite. So here's my question(s) as I've been tempted to "convert" over the years.

                                            I know exactly, just about to the teaspoon, how much fuel to take for "x" amont of days. How do you guys now how much fuel is left in a canister? I've always speculated that if you have a used one and need to take a second for back up, that it pretty much would defeat the weight savings? And then there is the "green" (or lake there of) aspect of those canisters? How's stability with a full pot of water?

                                            Inquiring old mind wants to know.....

                                            JD

                                          • Allen C
                                            For me a full small canister is good for 2 people for 4-5 days, rehydrating meals and coffee/tea, warm weather, non-windy conditions. YMMV though. Last time I
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Mar 30, 2012
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              For me a full small canister is good for 2 people for 4-5 days, rehydrating meals and coffee/tea, warm weather, non-windy conditions. YMMV though. Last time I on the JMT I brought a few esbit tabs as a backup and didn't need them. And if you do run out, cold meals for a day or two probably isn't going to kill you.

                                              The canisters can be punctured and recycled once empty. Stability is good to poor depending on the stove you use, additional canister feet, etc. but not as good as a whisperlite. Be careful and you should be OK. Ease of use and weight savings make a canister stove the way to go for me - after using a whisperlight for years I switched and have not looked back.

                                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johndittli@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Ok, I'm hopelessly old school, still using my Whisperlite. So here's my
                                              > question(s) as I've been tempted to "convert" over the years.
                                              > I know exactly, just about to the teaspoon, how much fuel to take for
                                              > "x" amont of days. How do you guys now how much fuel is left in a
                                              > canister? I've always speculated that if you have a used one and need to
                                              > take a second for back up, that it pretty much would defeat the weight
                                              > savings? And then there is the "green" (or lake there of) aspect of
                                              > those canisters? How's stability with a full pot of water?
                                              > Inquiring old mind wants to know.....
                                              > JDWalk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                                              > <http://www.johndittli.com>
                                              >
                                            • John Ladd
                                              I get about 24 one-person meals out of one of the small (110 gram net weight) Snow Peak canisters and a personal JetBoil. I usually simmer or multi-steep
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Mar 30, 2012
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                I get about 24 one-person meals out of one of the small (110 gram net weight) Snow Peak canisters and a personal JetBoil.  I usually simmer or multi-steep foods (e.g. 5-minute oatmeal rather than instant, 10-minute large-size couscous rather than the "quick" kind) but I am careful to not use any fuel to heat wash water, etc. and use a cozy to conserve fuel, allowing repeat steepings rather than simmering.  My typical meal involves 12 to 16 oz of water.  

                                                I agree with another poster that cold makes the stove burn much less efficiently, though for me it does work in Sierra winters (which are not particularly cold).

                                                Stability is an issue.  But with care I have rarely spilled a pot.  If you put on the lid, you won't lose much if the pot tips over.

                                                I bought a small device which punctures the canisters and then dispose of the cans in the standard garbage.

                                                John Curran Ladd
                                                1616 Castro Street
                                                San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                                415-648-9279


                                                On Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM, John <johndittli@...> wrote:
                                                 


                                                Ok, I'm hopelessly old school, still using my Whisperlite. So here's my question(s) as I've been tempted to "convert" over the years.

                                                I know exactly, just about to the teaspoon, how much fuel to take for "x" amont of days. How do you guys now how much fuel is left in a canister? I've always speculated that if you have a used one and need to take a second for back up, that it pretty much would defeat the weight savings? And then there is the "green" (or lake there of) aspect of those canisters? How's stability with a full pot of water?

                                              • calif2nc
                                                I can t help you with the green aspects, but as for how full they are, the easist way is by weight. I weigh a spent canister and a new canister and the fuel
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Mar 31, 2012
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  I can't help you with the green aspects, but as for how full they are, the easist way is by weight. I weigh a spent canister and a new canister and the fuel remaining is proportional. I put used canisters on a scale when I return from a trip to see how much "useful" fuel is left. I write that amount on the canister in felt pen so I know if it will be enough to take on my next outing. My JetBoil does about 10L per 100 gram canister and I count on at least 8L to be conservative...

                                                  By the way, make sure you get canisters with a fair percentage of ISObutane (different than regular butane or n-butane) MSR, Jetboil and Brunton are all 85% Isobutane. Isobutane is way better at cold temperatures. Butane won't vaporize below about 32F (I forget the exact temp) and since the gas cools as it is evaporating, butane is pretty worthless below about 40F. Even putting them in a water bath doesn't help much since the water may be in the thirties as well...

                                                  Dan


                                                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johndittli@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Ok, I'm hopelessly old school, still using my Whisperlite. So here's my
                                                  > question(s) as I've been tempted to "convert" over the years.
                                                  > I know exactly, just about to the teaspoon, how much fuel to take for
                                                  > "x" amont of days. How do you guys now how much fuel is left in a
                                                  > canister? I've always speculated that if you have a used one and need to
                                                  > take a second for back up, that it pretty much would defeat the weight
                                                  > savings? And then there is the "green" (or lake there of) aspect of
                                                  > those canisters? How's stability with a full pot of water?
                                                  > Inquiring old mind wants to know.....
                                                  > JDWalk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                                                  > <http://www.johndittli.com>
                                                  >
                                                • Rick Beebe
                                                  From another canister user who gave up on my Whisperlite a long time ago, here s an answer to John s question to canister users about how to estimate how much
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Mar 31, 2012
                                                  • 0 Attachment

                                                    From another canister user who gave up on my Whisperlite a long time ago, here’s an answer to John’s question to canister users about how to estimate how much fuel to take.  A benchmark I came up with, after some testing, is that an ounce of fuel in a canister boils approximately six cups of water (and that’s a mix of one-cup and two-cup boils) on the stove.  When I did my testing, I used my MSR  Superfly, a small Snow Peak canister, and a large MSR canister.  A Snow Peak canister contained 3-1/2 ounces of fuel and boiled 21 cups of water.  As far as I tested it, the same ratio held with a large MSR canister.  This canister contains about 8 ounces of fuel (12-1/2 ounces full, 4-1/2 ounces empty), and therefore ought to be good for boiling about 48 cups of water.  YMMV, but this will give you something to start with for planning purposes.

                                                     

                                                    --Rick

                                                     

                                                  • calif2nc
                                                    Regarding Primus canisters at MTR - someone earlier in the string said they carry a lot of those at MTR and I looked at their website and that seemed to
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Mar 31, 2012
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      Regarding Primus canisters at MTR - someone earlier in the string said they carry a lot of those at MTR and I looked at their website and that seemed to indicate that is all they had. I emailed MTR this morning and got a quick response indicating they carry a number of different brands - including Snowpeak, MSR, and Jetboil. Those are all high in Isobutane which is good for colder temps.

                                                      FWIW
                                                      Dan

                                                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "eric" <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > My friend and I have an MSR reactor (canister stove) and a MSR dragonfly (liquid fuel) and we are debating which one to bring for thru hiking the JMT.
                                                      >
                                                      > The stove is just for use by us two, and we plan on only boiling water with it as our breakfasts and dinners will be instant meals. We may resort to boiling water for hot drinks as well but are trying to mitigate this for the purposes of conserving fuel.
                                                      >
                                                      > We are tempted to take the MSR Reactor for its simplicity. It is fuel efficient, boils water quickly, and of course, all we have to do is screw the fuel canister in and GO! We wont have to worry about bringing spare pumps or having parts break, although we would likely bring a pocket rocket with us as back up in any case. The big problem with this option is that fuel canisters tend to greatly lose efficiency in cold environments. Since I have never done JMT I am not sure what temperatures and conditions to expect, but I would think that cold nights and mornings are a certainty. We will take measures to keep the canisters warm, ie. keeping them in our sleeping bags at night, perhaps designing an insulating sleeve, etc. but its an issue nonetheless. Then of course we have to carry the canisters with us.
                                                      >
                                                      > On the other hand, the MSR dragonfly does a pretty good job at boiling water and we could maintain fuel pressure via the pump. Problematic issues include needing to keep it clean, parts possibly breaking, and the lesser convenience and necessity of using it (we are just boiling water, and dont need its gourmet cooking capabilities).
                                                      >
                                                      > I guess what I am seeking out here is advice from experienced long distance backpackers. Has anyone done JMT happily while using a canister stove? We want to go with this option if it wont compromise us. Do re-supply points stock canisters or only white gas?
                                                      >
                                                      > We also have a jet boil, an optimus nova (which I dont trust to be reliable), and are considering using an alcohol stove which I know nothing about yet but have heard surprisingly good things.
                                                      >
                                                    • Mike Mosack
                                                      Hi Rick, I appreciate your test info and have just one question. About what temperature was the water when you began to hat it up? Was it by chance pretty cold
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Mar 31, 2012
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Hi Rick,
                                                        I appreciate your test info and have just one question. About what temperature was the water when you began to hat it up? Was it by chance pretty cold water or room temperature water each time? Just curious as to how to use the numbers you got as compared to how it might be on the trail vs in the kitchen
                                                        Thanks much,
                                                        Mike Mosack
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2012 1:27 AM
                                                        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel
                                                         
                                                         

                                                        From another canister user who gave up on my Whisperlite a long time ago, here’s an answer to John’s question to canister users about how to estimate how much fuel to take.  A benchmark I came up with, after some testing, is that an ounce of fuel in a canister boils approximately six cups of water (and that’s a mix of one-cup and two-cup boils) on the stove.  When I did my testing, I used my MSR  Superfly, a small Snow Peak canister, and a large MSR canister.  A Snow Peak canister contained 3-1/2 ounces of fuel and boiled 21 cups of water.  As far as I tested it, the same ratio held with a large MSR canister.  This canister contains about 8 ounces of fuel (12-1/2 ounces full, 4-1/2 ounces empty), and therefore ought to be good for boiling about 48 cups of water.  YMMV, but this will give you something to start with for planning purposes.

                                                        --Rick

                                                      • John
                                                        Hey, thanks all! That was exactly the info I was looking for: btu/fuel weight and how that applies in the real world. I m going to have to give this some
                                                        Message 27 of 30 , Mar 31, 2012
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          Hey, thanks all! That was exactly the info I was looking for: btu/fuel weight and how that applies in the real world.

                                                          I'm going to have to give this some thought, that ol' Whisperlite has cooked me a lot of meals!

                                                          Thanks again

                                                          John
                                                        • Rick Beebe
                                                          To answer Mike s question re the water temperature when I tested my canisters for boiling power, the water was out of the tap in our laundry room, which opens
                                                          Message 28 of 30 , Apr 1, 2012
                                                          • 0 Attachment

                                                            To answer Mike’s question re the water temperature when I tested my canisters for boiling power, the water was out of the tap in our laundry room, which opens into the garage in coastal California where I did the testing.  I just measured it and it was in the high 50s.  Not particularly cold.  As I remember it was a typical neutral California shoulder season day when I did the testing.

                                                             

                                                            --Rick

                                                          • Mike Mosack
                                                            I appreciate the added info Rick. Mike Mosack From: Rick Beebe Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2012 9:05 PM To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com Subject: [John Muir
                                                            Message 29 of 30 , Apr 1, 2012
                                                            • 0 Attachment
                                                              I appreciate the added info Rick.
                                                              Mike Mosack
                                                               
                                                              Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2012 9:05 PM
                                                              Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel
                                                               
                                                               

                                                              To answer Mike’s question re the water temperature when I tested my canisters for boiling power, the water was out of the tap in our laundry room, which opens into the garage in coastal California where I did the testing.  I just measured it and it was in the high 50s.  Not particularly cold.  As I remember it was a typical neutral California shoulder season day when I did the testing.

                                                              --Rick

                                                            • John Ladd
                                                              Thanks to Peter for some good stove links (below). Here s one more, from the same site, which implicitly explains (read the long answer ) why we get away with
                                                              Message 30 of 30 , Apr 7, 2012
                                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                                Thanks to Peter for some good stove links (below).  

                                                                Here's one more, from the same site, which implicitly explains (read the "long answer") why we get away with isobutane-containing canister stoves in Sierra Nevada backpacking, even in the depths of winter.  MSR, SnowPeak and JetBoil canisters contain enough isobutane and some of the even-better propane. I loved this explanation because, though I've had good experience with my JetBoil in Sierra winters, I didn't know why. Now I do.


                                                                First, our winters aren't all that cold, at least compared to Peter's Wisconsin. The Sierra Nevada early morning winter temperatures are often in the 10's or 20's F and our dinners are often cooked above 32F and rarely in truly deep cold. Second, isobutane remains a gas, and therefore operable, at fairly cold temperatures. Third, the higher you go, the colder a canister stove can handle because the lower air pressure allows the fuel to vaporize at lower temperatures. At 8k feet, isobutane vaporizes with enough pressure to run a stove effectively at about 15-20 degrees colder temps than would be true at sea level. So if it works at 20F at sea level (isobutane should) it will work at 5 degrees F or even zero degrees F at 8,000 feet. And fourth, in a pinch, you can put the canister in a pan of liquid water (which you've kept liquid in your sleeping bag overnight). Since the water will be 32 degrees, it will keep the canister well above the minimum temperature that allows vaporization. If you are worried, just bring a pot that will allow your canister to sit in liquid water while it cooks your breakfast.

                                                                That said, you do need more fuel per day in colder weather, especially if you plan on melting snow for your water.  And, for a winter trip, I guess I'd always bring at least some food that didn't require cooking.

                                                                For other environments, canister fuel users may need a stove design that allows the canister to be upside down sand still feed the burner. But it's not needed for typical Sierra winter conditions.

                                                                Since residual anxiety about cold weather was my remaining reason for keeping my old MSR WhisperLite, maybe I can now let it go.  I'll keep the Svea 123 because it's so pretty.

                                                                John Curran Ladd
                                                                1616 Castro Street
                                                                San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                                                415-648-9279


                                                                On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM, speedcenter2001 <pburke@...> wrote:
                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "eric" <samhandwich22@...> wrote:
                                                                >
                                                                > Although the jetboil I own is fuel efficient and simple, I did have issues with fuel pressure when at near freezing temperatures.

                                                                you want to make sure you get fuel that has "isobutane" in it, as butane will not evaporate enough in colder temps. Basically anything from Jetboil, MSR, SnowPeak is fuel that will work well below freezing.

                                                                Everything you ever wanted to know about stoves here

                                                                http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com/

                                                                and about cold/high altitude performance of canisters in particular see this post

                                                                http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com/2012/03/canisters-cold-and-altitude-in-nutshell.html

                                                                what brands work:

                                                                http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com/2011/11/whats-best-brand-of-gas-for-cold.html

                                                                note that the Muir Ranch usually has a lot of "Primus" brand canisters - you do not want those if you have choice.

                                                                I use caninster stoves in winter and they work just fine if you use the right model for the conditions and burn the right fuel:


                                                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.