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Canister stove in cold weather
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jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Canister stove in cold weather on 11/24/2010 08:59:00 MST Print View

I've read Roger's several articles about using canister stoves in cold weather.

His solution is to invert canister, but that requires a heavier stove and maybe the valve gets clogged.

I've been thinking about alternate. There is lots of heat coming from the flame, just need to get a little of it down to the canister.

Piece of aluminum, 1.75 x 5.5 inch. 1/32 inch thick. Two holes in corner, #18 steel wire. 1.1 ounces total:




It's 21 F degrees.

Tried normal stove with almost empty canister (1/2 ounce left). It got really slow but did heat up water.

Then I tried it with the heater installed. Much quicker to heat up. Flame was much bigger.

Obviously, you only want to do this when it's really cold. Make sure canister doesn't get warm to the touch or it might explode. Stove and canister manufacturers are fainting if they read this...

Edited by retiredjerry on 11/24/2010 09:00:09 MST.

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
Windscreen on 11/24/2010 10:03:00 MST Print View

I'm using a tall, three sided windscreen for the same purpose.

If I can continuously hold my bare fingers on the canister, my opinion is that it will not blow up from overheating. Those canisters do not explode in the trunk of a car in Phoenix in June when your steering wheel is too hot to touch. To explode, the canister has to get hot, not just warm up to 80-90 degrees in the wintertime. In use, the canister is cooling itself from the liquid to gas conversion of the fuel.

Using a very wide pot with the stove on high to boil a gallon of water from snow is far different than heating a pint of cold water in a quart pot. Your knowledge/common sense is the best safety tool that you carry. Rules are caused by idiots who didn't consider or monitor the consequences of their setup. I am not suggesting that every person who can light a stove be allowed to do this.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 11/24/2010 10:40:33 MST Print View

Roger did an article about canisters overheating with lots of data. I looked around a little but couldn't find it.

Conservatively, if you can put your fingers on the canister and it's not real hot, then it won't explode.

The article is at

Roger Caffin

Edited by rcaffin on 11/24/2010 14:40:29 MST.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Canister stove in cold weather on 11/24/2010 14:06:04 MST Print View

Probably would be easier (?) to extend it so that the base goes under the canister eliminating the steel wire
Some have made something like that out of copper wire . Wire around the canister and up to the flame but my guess is that it becomes a bit of a chore to re shape it after every use.


Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Canister stove in cold weather on 11/24/2010 14:28:40 MST Print View

I don't see much contact surface between the aluminium and the canister - you would improve the heat transfer if you could increase this.

However, it's not necessary to heat the whole canister, have you read this article? It is a bit heavier but much more stable than a canister top stove.

Edited by Scunnered on 11/24/2010 14:30:20 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 11/24/2010 15:09:06 MST Print View

5.4 ounces for Brunton that you can use inverted canister

That is pretty good

Compared to 3 ounces for regular canister stove + 1.1 ounce for my concept - no significant difference

Plus the stove is lower in height so it is less affected by wind which is good

Looking at, they don't mention that stove, the best they have is the "Vesta" which weighs 8.5 ounces and costs $91.50.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Canister stove in cold weather on 11/24/2010 17:29:51 MST Print View


Even if you do heat the canister using aluminum (or whatever), you still have the problem of wind, which, in cold weather, can cause you to burn through an entire tank without ever bringing your water to a boil. I think using a windscreen to hold heat, thus keeping the fuel vaporising, might work better than a feedback mechanism like what you're showing.

As has been mentioned, for winter use, maybe an inverted remote canister is worth it. You're likely to be using a bigger pot since one typically needs more volume when melting snow; inverted canister stoves tend to be more stable. You can also use a windscreen with complete impunity with an inverted canister stove; you never have to worry about the canister getting hot. Lastly, with an inverted canister, you eliminate the problem of "fractioning" (where the propane content burns off first), so your fuel performance is more uniform. You also have more uniform pressure since the LPG fuel is not reliant on the temperature of the canister for vaporization; vaporization happens in the "pre-heat" loop of the burner.


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 11/24/2010 18:24:50 MST Print View

I use a windscreen all the time. I think it's mandatory for canister stove.

I think you're right, inverted stove is best for really cold conditions, but I hate carrying an extra 5.5 ounces or more on every trip, and I hate spending an extra $91.50 for a winter stove that I seldomly use.

In the winter, I frequently go where there is liquid water in the afternoon, I can keep it from freezing overnight, but in the morning it's 20 F which is at the lower limit of regular canister stove. I want to be able to push that limit a little.

I noticed the MSR WindPro, which can be inverted, is $90.00 and weighs 6.9 ounces which is better.