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#162800 - 02/26/12 09:28 AM Cold weather fuel for stove
longstride Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/26/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Ohio
Anyone know what fuel canister is best for cold weather backpacking?

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#162811 - 02/26/12 03:56 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: longstride]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
For a canister stove? Snowpeak or MSR work okay. They work better if you stand the canister in a dish of water, or put it on a foam base or something to keep the canister off the ground (or the snow). Putting the canister in a pocket and/or in the sleeping bag helps too.

All isopro stoves are less efficient in the cold.
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#162816 - 02/26/12 06:18 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: lori]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
What do you mean by cold weather? There are several other threads here about this topic. Use Search to find them. Plus, there are many other discussions on other websites. At some temperature point, usually around +10F, canisters stop working altogether, depending on factors such as the canister and the altitude.
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#162844 - 02/27/12 01:23 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: longstride]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Well newbie, if you come back, the best and has the hottest flame is the Coleman Xpert, Xtreme stoves. Jim Shaw has the two burner version which I think is the Xpert, I picked up a single burner Xtreme a little over a month ago, they unfortunately use discontinued Coleman Powermax canisters which are hard to find now and expensive. I put in a supply of about 10 bottles now. Most stoves, I can hold my hand over them about a foot to a foot and a half and the Xtreme about 2 feet above the burner. When I met up with Jim last Labor Day, he brought along his stove for our overnight trip. I was very impressed with its speed boiling water.
Duane


Edited by hikerduane (02/27/12 01:24 PM)

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#162872 - 02/27/12 05:48 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: hikerduane]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Duane, I have one of those stoves as well, the single burner version. They are great, but Coleman couldn't sell enough of them for some reason-bad marketing is my guess.
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#162885 - 02/27/12 07:26 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: TomD]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Tom, I was really impressed with Jim's stove, I did not need to check my watch to realize he boiled water super fast. Maybe people got turned off by only being able to use the proprietary canister, which over on Classic Camp Stoves, they have just built an adapter/refill piece to recharge the Powermax canisters with the proper mix of butane and propane. Unfortunately, the average Joe will be unable to build one. I need to take my stove out, but the problem is I have too many stoves now to make a easy decision on my accelerated weekend trips.
Duane

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#162901 - 02/27/12 09:45 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: hikerduane]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
These stoves became orphans quickly. If I had realized they were discontinuing the fuel, I would have bought some extra canisters.As it is, I have four of them, but three are only part full. The design works well in cold weather, as you know. I will have to check out the filler gizmo.

Duane, I couldn't look at some of the posts, maybe because I'm not a member. Was it this one?
www.spiritburner.com/fusion/showtopic.php?tid/25778


Edited by TomD (02/28/12 02:27 AM)
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#162908 - 02/27/12 11:38 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: TomD]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
If you go to the bottom of that link, Presscall (John) has a link to his thread where he explains what he did. HJ only explains how to use butane to fill the Powermax canisters. I have about 10 Powermax canisters, have yet to use the stove on a trip, just fired it up a few times in my garage. Soon. There are some new sellers on eBay now, but they want a ridiculous price, I picked mine up with shipping for around $11 per can, 3 per shipment due to regs. The sellers now are charging over 50% more.

Ah, the seller I bought from has the package of 3, shipped by ground for around $33, snagged three more. The other sellers are rip offs. One seller even has free shipping for one canister at $30 a pop. Rip off city!
Duane


Edited by hikerduane (02/27/12 11:47 PM)

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#162911 - 02/28/12 12:30 AM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: hikerduane]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I think for the sake of understanding what we're talking about:
The stove being discussed, though it is a compressed gas stove, has a liquid feed to the fuel heating coil inside the burner area to vaporise the fuel. The fuel does not "gassify" inside the bottle and then leave, which is way inefficient. For this reason and the propane present, which vaporises at -40 degrees, the vapor pressure of the propane does the pushing, thus putting the fuel bottle into the snow will "warm" it and protect it from cold winds. One potential problem if you lay the bottle horizontal on the snow is that the liquid fuel pick up, which has to lie on the bottom of the tank, may stick up out of the liquid fuel. Pushing the fuel bottle vertically into the snow keeps the stove in place, keeps the fuel warm, and keeps liquid fuel coming to the burner. It is very rare to turn it all the way up.

I like the two burner model for winter camping especially with two people. This is the stove TomD and I used mostly in Yosemite. One burner can be full on melting snow, while the other can be frying eggs turned on low, OR, you can have hot pasta with hot pasta sauce at the same time. laugh

My opinion - it was too radical of a concept when it was new. It was too innovative and people didn't trust it, because it was Coleman which is known for not being a high end camping gear supplier, so a lot of campers wouldn't buy a coleman campstove. Its like my spectra backpack, REI goretex down bibs, and many other really excellent OLD pieces of discontinued gear that WAS AVAILABLE but the masses didn't buy it so it was discontinued.

OR

It ws too good and they saw that sooner or later everyone would realise how perfect it was and then they would stop buying new models with prettier colors. It had to be repressed. And this is the reason why so much of the new gear is absolutely no different or better than most of the old gear, its because the averge buyer doesn't care about low temperature performance of a compressed gas stove.
Jim
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#162914 - 02/28/12 02:28 AM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: hikerduane]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Thanks Duane, I will give that a look. I wonder what Coleman did with all of the tooling and the canister molds?
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#162920 - 02/28/12 10:59 AM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: Jimshaw]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Jim, frying eggs? I make pancakes, but I usually don't do eggs too. I'll have to do them again, I used to fry an egg up after browning a buttered english muffin first as the muffin would stay warm until the egg was done. Ah, maybe this coming weekend, I have not been out for a week now. smile
Duane

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#162922 - 02/28/12 11:35 AM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: hikerduane]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
don't forget the sausages
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#162944 - 02/28/12 01:07 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: Jimshaw]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Bacon, gives me loads of grease to fry the egg in. smile Although messy don't wanna get my old stoves greasy, but the MSR's only have the fuel line close, easily cleaned if needed. Sounding better all the time.
Duane

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#162982 - 02/28/12 08:52 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: hikerduane]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Duane, are you still looking for the white MSR pump?There is one for sale on Trailspace.
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#162986 - 02/28/12 11:29 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: TomD]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Thanks Tom, it was just a gray and black one, false alarm. frown
Duane

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#163102 - 03/01/12 10:19 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: Jimshaw]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
I didn't recognize the greatness of the design, but I was also turned off by the propritary canister. Until you all convinced me of how much better canister stoves were compared to white gas I was suckered by the universal availability of white gas or gasoline to run a stove.

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#163155 - 03/02/12 04:48 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: Steadman]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Your sarcasm aside, availability or lack thereof, doesn't mean one design is not superior to another. You have missed the point entirely. I wouldn't say that canisters are better than white gas as a blanket statement, but the Coleman stove was a good alternative canister for cold weather. A white gas stove is useless in many parts of the world where only kerosene is available. Your assumptiont that white gas is available everywhere is just plain wrong.

There are plenty of examples of superior technology that failed in the marketplace. Betamax was a superior product to the VHS, for example. The car was not a superior product to a horse drawn buggy until there was sufficient infrastructure in place to support it.

I would be interested in knowing the history of this stove and why the canister design was not licensed to other manufacturers. I would bet that when the first canister stove was sold, it had the same problem-lack of availability of canisters. The same is true of hydrogen cars-lack of infrastructure to refuel them.
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#163164 - 03/02/12 08:10 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: Steadman]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Steadman

note the OP said "Best cannister stove".

I was a died in the wool XGK user for many years and I think its still an awesome heat source for full on snow melting. White gas was cheap and easy to get (it also burned kerocene)and those things crank. I have or had a pretty up to date collection of stoves at one time, and borrowed many others to test them. I choose the Coleman Xtreme and the two burner expedition model because they were far superior to anything else on the market for an all weather, finely adjustable stove that could put out over 10,000 Btu.

I do not care about the cost of the fuel for the Coleman Xstove, and I have a lot of them.

The Xtreme stove's liquid/gas feed means that when you turn off the valve, the stove goes completely out without sputtering toxic fumes for half a minute like a white gas stove does. The Xtreme stove (and its 2 other forms) can simmer or crank or put out any amount of heat in between. It lights instantly at -5 F (the coldest that I've used it) with no preheating like a white gas stove.

I have tried to light white gas stoves in strong cold winter winds and its just about impossible. In moderate cold wind I've had to warm the priming gas in the fuel cup with a bic lighter to get it to burn well enough to prime the stove. In order to avoid the problem of lighting a white gas stove in the tent, I have dug a small snow cave to put the stove in, and then reached in and lit it.

just as an aside it should be noted that without a tall windscreen, in cold wind, it takes a very long time for any stove to heat water.
Jim


Edited by Jimshaw (03/02/12 08:11 PM)
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#163245 - 03/04/12 12:27 AM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: Jimshaw]
bmisf Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 629
I've been using canister stoves more and more for winter - a Jetboil when temperatures are fairly mild, and an Optimus or Primus (can't remember and it's in the basement!) multifuel stove that has a hose leading to a remote canister (standard Lindal valve canisters, like those from MSR, Jetboil, Snowpeak, etc.) most of the rest of the time now.

Keeping the canister upside-down makes it work better in winter, even at quite cold temperatures, and using a heat sink pot and a windscreen, I get really good efficiency. I've personally used this setup down to -14F and it has worked well for me and for a couple of groups I've been a part of who've done this together for melting snow for water.

Advantages include no messy fuel to deal with, no priming, no cleaning balky jets. I suppose a disadvantage is that there's less visibility into how much fuel is left in a canister, so I bring an extra safety margin and extra canister, but so far that's never actually been a problem. (I weigh the canisters at home to keep track of fuel usage and write the stats on the bottom.)

(I own and have used many stoves in winter, from Coleman, MSR and Optimus white gas stoves and kerosene stoves to many different canister stoves to even propane, sterno, and alcohol, and the remote canister setup is my favorite.)


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#163278 - 03/04/12 04:22 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: bmisf]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Hi Steve

Yes those inverting cannisters provide the same thing as the Coleman and do not require the proprietary cannister, but as you say, they are remote burners and a lot of people will have a problem with the weight. I agree its a nice system and makes more sense than buying the Coleman with limited fuel.

I'm glad to see that you've made the switch from alcohol for melting snow.
Jim grin
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#164115 - 03/18/12 01:20 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: Jimshaw]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
I do want to remind people that the mushers use the yellow heet (alcohol) for melting snow here in Alaska - in all sort of crazy conditions. laugh

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#164142 - 03/19/12 02:25 AM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: Heather-ak]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
True, but they also use it by the gallon in a simple cooker. Apparently using Heet is part of the rules of the race for safety reasons and is supplied at the rest stops-
http://www.iditarodforums.com/viewtopic....ac&start=10

http://www.arcticrecreation.com/gallery/v/iditasport2008/IMG_0552.jpg.html

http://stores.adanacsleds.com/-strse-Alcohol-Cooker/Categories.bok

http://vicariousliving.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/how-to-make-a-dogfood-cooker/

As you can see, these are just giant versions of a soda can stove, the important word here being "giant."


Edited by TomD (03/23/12 02:34 AM)
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#164143 - 03/19/12 05:12 AM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: TomD]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
Tom, Why is the size the important word? I mean, if you needed larger volumes of water, you would use a larger stove regardless of fuel. I regularly use alcohol to melt snow for personal use. Since I don't need as much, my stove is smaller and the amount of fuel needed is less. Two months ago I was melting snow at -22*F with my fancee feest alcohol burner.
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#164337 - 03/22/12 06:48 PM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: TomD]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Well they do have a lot of dogs! I went on a trip with some mushers (I snowmachined) and they all used these for their food, our food and dog food (the dog food didn't get cooked in the same containers as human food!) Wasn't a race, they just found this to be the most convenient way to cook things up.

I just found it interesting that they are using alcohol stoves at -30F. laugh

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#164350 - 03/23/12 02:34 AM Re: Cold weather fuel for stove [Re: DTape]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Dtape, I emphasized the size because the dog mushers aren't carrying all of the fuel they are using, so the fact that alcohol has a lower energy per volume than white gas isn't as important-they just dump in as much as they need. I saw a photo of the Heet bottles stacked up in boxes at one of the rest stops.

The issue with alcohol in cold weather isn't that it won't burn (depending on the stove design), but that per volume, white gas is more efficient. You can get almost anything to work under any conditions if you try hard enough. The question is whether or not it's worth it.
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