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Re: Which stove to bring; canister versus liquid fuel

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  • 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 1 of 30 , Apr 1, 2012
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      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 2 of 30 , Apr 1, 2012
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        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 3 of 30 , Apr 7, 2012
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          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:


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