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Canister failure: has this happened to you?
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Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: @ Douglas on 04/08/2013 19:18:02 MDT Print View

There's a reason the MRE comes with a DIY epidural.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: MREs on 04/08/2013 20:07:59 MDT Print View

That's why they're commonly known as Meals Ready to Excrete. Of course, passing a coconut would require a whole different level of skill, patience and endorphin.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

... on 04/08/2013 20:41:02 MDT Print View


Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: ... on 04/08/2013 20:54:05 MDT Print View

Line 34 of my resume:

"Skilled in the art of coconut passing."

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Line 34 on 04/08/2013 20:57:25 MDT Print View

And I assumed you'd been schooled in rugby union. Well, if you meant something different, I suppose I should have asked better questions.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: What to do if gas is leaking out on 04/08/2013 22:24:19 MDT Print View

Roger Caffin wrote: > The most common cause for a leak is dirt. It usually gets there because the user did not store the canister in a clean place with the plastic cap on it. The cap is essential: it keeps the dirt out. Do NOT throw it out!
Here, here.

Not to mention the possibility that a bit of grit might cause the threads to not mesh properly and cause wear. Not good.

I have mixed feelings about the silicone grease. Obviously it's a good thing if it's kept clean. I however worry about grit adhering to the grease. Thus far I've decided not to use it.

Adventures in Stoving

Ed Biermann
(longstride) - F
Re: Canister failure: has this happened to you? on 04/08/2013 22:30:02 MDT Print View

Far out! This thread has been a wild ride. Full circle and then some. You guys are great.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: What to do if gas is leaking out on 04/08/2013 22:30:18 MDT Print View

Travis Leanna wrote: > ...can the o-rings get cold and rigid enough to allow gas to leak?
Yes they can. Still, canister stoves are more reliable than, say white gasoline or kerosene stoves (which have a lot more gaskets, O-rings, and such). In extreme cold, one could pack the stove nearer to one's back or even carry it in an jacket pocket so as to protect it some, but really gas stoves are very reliable.

Not so sure about "no name" stoves from eBay.

Adventures in Stoving

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: ... on 04/08/2013 22:52:28 MDT Print View

Where is that REI pack fitter guy?!? That stuff was hilarious. I bet he doesn't speak of that post.

Ahh good times

Re: passing a coconut... skill?? Give me an epidural.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
REI packfitter on 04/08/2013 23:55:25 MDT Print View

He got a new job at autozone selling parts so he is on the NASCAR forum teaching them how to build engines. I think Max is thicker skinned than most here have given him credit and the proof is that he is still talking to us.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: What to do if gas is leaking out on 04/08/2013 23:56:10 MDT Print View

"Still, canister stoves are more reliable than, say white gasoline or kerosene stoves"


if I had to pick only one stove, and reliability was a life and death situation, I would pick my Svea 123. Over 40 years old and still going strong. Very few parts.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: REI packfitter on 04/09/2013 00:38:37 MDT Print View

Yeah max makes me crazy but he fits right in.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: What to do if gas is leaking out on 04/09/2013 04:41:35 MDT Print View

> Roger, can the o-rings get cold and rigid enough to allow gas to leak?
Depends ...

If you use a cheap O-ring with very poor low-temp elasticity, then the answer is 'maybe'. But I would not expect a decent stove to have such O-rings.

Me, I always use a Viton O-ring. Viton is good for -26 C (-15 F) to +205 C (400 F) for normal operation, so I reckon I should get good sealing for any normal conditions. By way of explanation, I normally go for the Viton to get the much higher UPPER operating temperature.

Note that just because it is -15 C (5 F) ambient, that does not mean the canister will be that cold. Most likely it will be a lot warmer, either from being warmed in your pack while you are carrying it, or warmed during cooking.

On the other hand, nitrile O-rings are good for -40 C (-40 F) to 107 C (225 F), so if you are looking at a lot of serious cold and not much warm conditions, you might be better off with nitrile.

Fun stuff.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: What to do if gas is leaking out on 04/09/2013 05:07:57 MDT Print View

HJ wrote:
"Still, canister stoves are more reliable than, say white gasoline or kerosene stoves (which have a lot more gaskets, O-rings, and such)."

Jim, I don't think there are any more rubber parts on a SVEA than a canister stove...only one(on the fill cap. The valve gets a graphite packing.) After about 40 years of use mine is still going strong. At 17oz for the stove alone, it is competatitive in weight with MSR's Reactor or a JetBoil. It works as well at 10000' as at sea level. I have dropped a load of firewood on it. It is, perhaps, the most rugged, reliable, and maintenence free stove still being made, though not in Sweden anymore. Fill it, prime and light. Highly efficient, it gets about 10-11L per filling (~4oz of WG or auto-gas.)10oz of fuel and fuel bottle takes me two weeks in the woods. It does NOT have high outputs, though. Generally it cannot compete with JetBoils or other stoves generating 8000-12000BTU, it only puts out ~4500BTU, so 4-5min per liter boiled is not possible. Usually boils water in ~10 minutes on medium-low. (I usually pack up my sleeping bag & pad while water is boiling.)

You can get a pump and cap that allows you easier priming and higher outputs, but this is never required. It can be turned down to about 500-700BTU, about half of an alcohol stoves output, for simmering. Coupled with a heat exchanger pot, and wind screen, it can deliver efficiencies very similar to the JetBoil...about .23oz fuel per liter, but like a canister, can overheat after a single burn. This is about 1/3 the fuel usage I could get from a Simmerlight, for example, at .7oz per liter.

The only downside is it's weight. For short trips, 2-5 nights out, it is heavier than alcohol or a canister. I usually use alcohol for short trips and just use the SVEA for week long outings, but a canister stove would save a few ounces(3-5oz or so, depending on whether it is 6,7 or 8 nights.)

There is NO possibility of the gas container splitting open. The saftey valve prevents this from building up too much pressure. So, it is actually safer than a canister stove, despite rumors to the contrary. Though, it may jet burning fuel out the side, causing a bit of excitement.

I think you must've forgot about this stove, Jim.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Svea 123 vs. Canister Stoves on 04/09/2013 06:06:14 MDT Print View

Forget the Svea 123!? Never! Still a favorite of mine after all these years. Personally, I prefer the original version over the Svea 123R that replaced it in the early 1970's.

I should have added "in extreme cold weather" to my above statement. Canister stoves generally are more reliable in extreme cold weather than WG or kero stoves. And the Svea 123, c'mon let's be honest, struggles in really cold weather, let alone extreme cold weather.

One does have to be careful with overpressurization though, and the safety valve on the cap has been known to fail with age over time. Great stove overall though.

The pump and specialized pump cap have been out of production for many years although you can still sometimes get them (for a premium!!) used on eBay.

Apologies to Nick and James (and to the Svea 123)!!

Adventures in Stoving

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Svea 123 vs. Canister Stoves on 04/09/2013 07:14:08 MDT Print View

Yeah, the 123r is what I use. The 123, did not have an internal cleaning needle. Cleaning the jet was, perhaps, the single largest source of problems with the older 123. The jets were not cleaned with care and would get enlarged. This would cause them to burn sooty with reduced heat. The 123r had an internal cleaning needle that kept the jet clean and maintained the correct size.

Yes, at much below 0F (around -18C) they could struggle to get going because the tank itself would not push enough WG up to the vapourizer/jet area. The Mini or Midi pump would generally eliminate that problem. 'Corse, most canisters poop out at about 20-25F. A&H Pack Stoves still have the pumps and cap that goes with them.

A lot of people, myself included, just dump a little extra fuel over the stove when it is very cold. setting it on some bark or a rock, rather than on snow helps a lot, too.

The safety valves could be a problem because they were prone to rusting in place after several years. A drop of olive oil every few years usually does the trick for keeping them working. If they happen to pop, a slight tapping on a rock will return them to service. Older ones, circa 1955-1960 or so, were one shot, I think. Maybe it was just rusted.

Too bad they never made a truely light-weight version. I could see dropping $150 on a 8oz SVEA. Aluminum for the expansion chamber, Ti for the tank, burner, pot supports. It was always cheap to run, too. 12floz of WG cost less than $1 (at todays prices) rather than the $15 they want for canister fuel...

Anyway, my prefered stove for week or longer outings. The bigest problem I have had is when using Auto-gas. It can burn slow, and requires frequent jet cleaning.
'Course, this is trivial with the "R" version.


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Svea 123 vs. Canister Stoves on 04/09/2013 08:43:25 MDT Print View

The Svea 123 jet gets clogged with soot, although the included cleaning tool should fix that if you haven't lost it.

I remember camping in the snow on Mt Rainier and I couldn't get the stove to work, although I wasn't very skilled at using it.

The one pound weight doesn't include the pot, unlike the Jetboil. The Reactor is ridiculously heavy.

You occasionally have to fill it with white gas. A little will invariably spill, and the smell of that stuff is obnoxious. Stays with you even if you try to wash it off. And there's a risk of catastrophic fire.

You have to prime it - pour a little in the cup at top. Maybe a couple times in bad weather. Obnoxious the same as when you fill it.

Svea 123 belongs in museum : )

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Svea 123 vs. Canister Stoves on 04/09/2013 09:16:41 MDT Print View

"Svea 123 belongs in museum : )"

Yeah, I agree. Though I often forget to add the "R" designation, when I talk about it, hey, ha.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Svea 123 vs. Canister Stoves on 04/09/2013 09:35:32 MDT Print View

Definitely the "R" version (which is all that's available now anyways) is preferred for automotive gasoline; no question. I like the older version which has better flame control, but then I'm a bit of a stove. A bit. ;)

I'm pretty sure the item sold at is not an Optimus brand pump. I believe it's a reproduction. I'm not saying it's a bad or good pump. It's just that Optimus discontinued those 30 years ago and hasn't made them since. This is someone's re-creation. It may be perfectly fine; I really don't know either way. is a mom and pop operation. I think they're reputation is generally good, but they've been accused of being a little slow now and again.

Adventures in Stoving

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: Svea 123 vs. Canister Stoves on 04/09/2013 09:45:35 MDT Print View

The Reactor is ridiculously heavy.
Have you seen the new smaller, lighter Reactor? It's significantly lighter than the original (pre-2009) Reactors. I hardly ever use my original 1.7L Reactor unless I plan to melt serious snow. It's just not worth it; it's such a heavy beast. But they re-designed the pot ca. 2009, and it's a lot lighter.

Original, beefy 1.7L Reactor pot (left). New, lighter 1.0L Reactor pot (right).

In 2013 (January), they came out with a 1.0L version. It's still heavier than a JB, but it's windproof whereas a JB really isn't. A JB has better wind resistance than an ordinary upright, but it can't compare to a Reactor. I'm pretty much liking what I'm seeing with the new 1.0L version of the Reactor. I just got it, but I expect that I'll actually get some use out of it as opposed to my old, original version 1.7L Reactor (which mainly sits).

Adventures in Stoving