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Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: canister stoves in cold weather on 03/05/2013 11:28:26 MST Print View

Canister stoves may put out more heat than gasoline stoves, but in very cold conditions they can fail to work, so they are basically useless. I've been on trips that were cold enough that canister stoves just would not start. My point is that gasoline stoves will always start, without having to sleep with the canister in your sleeping bag, or other fiddling around. Sure you can put it in a water bath, unless your water containers are frozen solid. One instance of a stove not starting in cold weather and you will tend to not use that kind of stove in cold weather again. One instance of a canister stove not starting in cold weather negates 10 instances where it started. Gasoline always starts.

Bob, you are exactly right, and you've hit on the real crux of the matter. Yes, there's no theoretical lower limit to how cold you can use a canister stove, but there's a practical lower limit in terms of how much struggle it is to keep a canister warm. If it's 10 below zero Fahrenheit (-23C), can you really depend on keeping your canister warm? There's a balance to be struck between how difficult it is to keep a canister warm vs. the problems of using liquid fuel (pumping, priming, extra weight, lower mechanical reliability).

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: canister stoves in cold weather on 03/05/2013 12:35:30 MST Print View

Thats why i stuck with a canister. Oregon low temps arent all that low and it is not a problem 99.9% of the time.

Since ive used mine sucessfully at 10f ( without much fiddle factor) and it doesn't usually get much below that i am confident with the canister.

Now that ive said that I'm well set up for a 'learner' next time. ;)

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Re: canister stoves in cold weather on 03/05/2013 13:49:28 MST Print View

There is no single right answer, it all comes down to appropriate tools for the conditons. If it's only 10 or 20F below freezing then an inverted canister stove is definitely easier to use and lighter. On the other hand, if it's much colder than that, or if you regularly have to melt a LOT of snow then a white gas stove may be worth the extra weight.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: canister stoves in cold weather on 03/05/2013 15:27:17 MST Print View

> On the other hand, if it's much colder than that, or if you regularly have to melt a
> LOT of snow then a white gas stove may be worth the extra weight.

If you have to deal with extreme cold you will have some trouble getting anything started. Even matches may be problematic if you aren't careful. However, the wise cold-weather walker takes precautions in advance.

I have seen pictures of Norwegians sitting the canister of a remote canister stove on top of the cooking pot while the stove was running - in severe cold. That sort of trick requires a long hose (!) and some real experience, but they seemed quite happy with the idea. I had better point out that there is a risk of melting the hose here, with a consequent BLEVE, so I strongly suggest you don't. I don't either.

However, much more to the point for serious cold weather with large pots: try switching to a propane cylinder. You will need to get gear compatible with the (usually Coleman) little propane bottles, but this stuff works down to -42 C (-44 F). You only need a little bit of warmth to get one of these going. Yes, they are heavier, but it you are pratting around at -40 C you need extreme reliability without fireball priming. Note that the Japanese do make adapters for these bottles.

Cheers

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: canister stoves in cold weather on 03/05/2013 17:58:23 MST Print View

Stuart R says: "If it's only 10 or 20F below freezing then an inverted canister stove is definitely easier to use and lighter."

Not always lighter. I've done some testing and compared canister to white gas and found there is essentially no difference in weight on longer trips - assuming your cooking style is simple so you're not faced with re-priming over and over. The reason is fuel container weight. If I carry more canisters, I'm adding the weight of each additional canister. If I carry more white gas in a plastic bottle, the container weight is much lower, so you catch up and then the white gas system can even be lighter if the trip is long enough. For shorter trips, anything you can do with a single canister, the can will win. but as soon as you add another canister the white gas catches up. And another factor is you can bring just as much fuel as you want - you're not stuck with the increments imposed by the canister sizes - and thus for some trips the balance goes even further in the white gas direction.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 03/05/2013 22:44:40 MST Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/12/2013 00:29:35 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Cold Weather Firestarting on 03/05/2013 22:56:37 MST Print View

Not quite sure why you'd need it for a canister stove, but:
Tinder-Quik

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Cold Weather Firestarting on 03/05/2013 23:04:58 MST Print View

For a canister stove or a white gas stove, all you need is a Bic lighter that you store in your pocket to keep it warm.

--B.G.--

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Cold Weather Firestarting on 03/05/2013 23:07:23 MST Print View

To my knowledge, firesteels are not affected by the cold. Would that work?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Cold Weather Firestarting on 03/05/2013 23:15:50 MST Print View

> Do you have any advice for how to light the windpro if "stormproof" matches fail?
I haven't used matches of any sort for 20 - 30 years. I use a Bic lighter (just one of which has lasted for at least half that time!) which I warm up in my pocket.

I do not try to light my stove in the wind: it is always masked by a windshield or inside the vestibule of my tent. The lighter works easily there.

Cheers

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: canister stoves in cold weather on 03/06/2013 01:59:15 MST Print View

Paul wrote: The reason is fuel container weight.

I'm guessing from that statement that you are using the squat gas canisters normally used for upright stoves with a remote canister stove and my immediate question would be: why? Tall narrow canisters are half the weight per unit of gas:

Bernzomatic gas canister

If I carry more white gas in a plastic bottle...

Ever had a fuel bottle leak in your pack?

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: canister stoves in cold weather on 03/06/2013 09:01:00 MST Print View

Unfortunately, the tall, narrow canisters are unavailable in the United States, that despite the fact that Bernzomatic is to my knowledge based in the US. Sigh.

You can occasionally find some old cans of those proportions. MSR made some 100% isobutane ones that were sold with their old Rapidfire stove (long since discontinued), but those are difficult to find. Scorpion made 100% butane canisters of those proportions, but those are a) long since discontinued and b) 100% butane (which is no help). There are none available that I've ever seen that have a propane/butane blend.

The plastic bottle trick for storing extra white gas works well. Indeed, Coleman fuel in the quart size is sold in plastic bottles in the US. With a plastic bottle, one has very little weight "overhead" for the amount of fuel carried, certainly far less than the weight of a steel gas canister. One can carry the smallest (generally 0.3L) size aluminum bottle for use with the pump and for actually operating the stove. The remainder of one's fuel needs can be carried in plastic bottles. The plastic bottles are no more likely to leak than the aluminum bottles.

I've stored Coleman fuel in plastic bottles for months at a time with no degradation to either the fuel or the bottle and no leaks.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Yes 1000
(mamamia) - F
Omnilite Pump on 03/06/2013 09:27:53 MST Print View

Hey guys, the pump which came with omnilite Ti is probably 5-6" in length. But the 1.5L fuel bottle is gigantic. Does same pump works with both 350ml and 1.5L bottles.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Omnilite Pump on 03/06/2013 10:53:38 MST Print View

There's only one pump, the "Ergopump" that works with the Omnifuel and Omnilite stoves from Primus. The 350ml bottle while diminutive does accomodate the pump. The 1.5L bottle is the "snow melter's friend." Freakin' huge, but lots of capacity. For a six day trip where you plan on carrying 4 fluid ounces per day, you'd want 24 fluid ounces of capacity, which is about 0.7L. Your 1.5L bottle has roughly double that capacity (although recall that the working capcity is less than the total capacity -- you have to leave air space in the bottle for things to work correctly). 1.5L is a BIG bottle, suitable for groups or long trips. Your six day trip could probably be done with a 1.0 L bottle or even (maybe) a 0.75L bottle. A 0.75L bottle would be cutting things fairly fine if you're planning on 4 fluid ounce fuel use/day because of the aforementioned working capacity vs. total capacity issue.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Omnilite Pump on 03/06/2013 11:09:43 MST Print View

Photos:

Omnilite Ti all packaged up. Note 0.35L bottle.


Pump in bottle. Believe it or not, it does fit.


0.35L Primus bottle (left) compared to an MSR 1.0L bottle (right). A 1.5L bottle is HUGE when compared to a 0.35L bottle.


Primus Omnifuel (left). Primus Omnilite (right).


Closer up. Primus Omnifuel (left). Primus Omnilite (right).


Eggs, a la Omnilite. It's a nice little stove.


Running an Omnilite with a "silent" camp from QuietStove.com


HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: canister stoves in cold weather on 03/06/2013 12:53:13 MST Print View

Stuart - If I could get those canisters it would change the numbers somewhat - although not perhaps that much since I based my numbers on 450gm canisters - and the issue of having to take another canister if you need another ounce of fuel is still there.

And no, I've never had a plastic bottle leak in my pack. I keep an eye out for plastic bottles that are thicker and tougher than most, and use those.

Yes 1000
(mamamia) - F
Re: Re: Re: Omnilite Pump on 03/06/2013 15:01:58 MST Print View

HJ, Thank you for those nice pictures, the stove is pretty compact and neat. I agree that 1.5L fuel bottle is huge. I might just get a 1L bottle. BTW I see Primus suggests to use .32 Jet for Whitegas adn .36 for Canister (default on the stove is .36) what happens if I use Whitegas with default jet size of .36.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Omnilite Pump on 03/06/2013 15:19:10 MST Print View

HJ, Thank you for those nice pictures, the stove is pretty compact and neat. I agree that 1.5L fuel bottle is huge. I might just get a 1L bottle. BTW I see Primus suggests to use .32 Jet for Whitegas adn .36 for Canister (default on the stove is .36) what happens if I use Whitegas with default jet size of .36.

That's generally a bad idea. You'll get a mixture that's too rich. You might get some yellow flame and some soot. At the very least you'll use more fuel than you need to.

It's really easy to change the jet. Just pop off the flame spreader, inscrew the old one and put in the new one.

You can get away with using a jet that's too small (i.e. using the 0.32 jet for canister gas), but you don't want to use a jet that's too large (i.e. using the 0.36 jet for white gas). If you use a jet that's too small, you'll reduce your max power output, but if you use a jet that's too large, you'll get inefficient burning.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Yes 1000
(mamamia) - F
Thanks on 03/06/2013 21:20:15 MST Print View

Thanks HJ. You da stove Guru. I just changed the jet and it was an easy task.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Thanks on 03/07/2013 20:26:29 MST Print View

Thanks HJ. You da stove Guru. I just changed the jet and it was an easy task.
You're welcome. And hopefully I do have some decent information on stoves -- but take into account what others are saying here and of course use your common sense. Definitely test your set up before you head out.

Have a great time and let us know how it goes.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Edited by hikin_jim on 03/07/2013 20:28:21 MST.