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Canister failure: has this happened to you?
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Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Sheltered? on 04/06/2013 09:08:14 MDT Print View

20 years, 6000 boils, no canister fires.

You are being extremely neurotic. This thread isn't about fires or canisters blowing up. The OP didn't catch fire.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Don't misunderstand me... on 04/06/2013 09:40:19 MDT Print View

Nothing tires me out faster than BPL'ers leaping to the gallows when I have an opinion that differs from theirs, but I'll bite.

The OP did remark on an issue that another user connected to fires. "Reminds me not to remove my canister near an open flame."

It's obvious, but I'm sure a lot of people have ignored the obvious before. And in that one moment of carelessness, there's the threat of a gas explosion in a pressurized metal canister. Oops.

I'm not saying "Canister stoves are dangerous and explosive, and you shouldn't use them."

I'm saying "I can be clumsy and forgetful as the next guy, so I'd rather use a different stove."

If you want to use it, go for it, but don't tell me I'm wrong for deciding it's a risk. It is.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Don't misunderstand me... on 04/06/2013 09:54:16 MDT Print View

Well, a spark from your wood fire could jump out and burn your clothes, or set fire to the woods. There's a reason they aren't allowed in certain areas.

You could knock over your alcohol stove and burn your clothes or set fire to the woods.
You could be hit by lightening and burn your clothes or set fire to the woods.
You could be a pyromaniac and just like to set fire to the woods.

Max I love reading your try so hard but your idealism, self-assuredness and overall, well, self-righteousness (and I don't mean that in a bad way...) always seem to get the better of you.

My favorite quote from my mom when I graduated from college: hurry up and leave home now while you still know everything!!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Why I use canister stoves: on 04/06/2013 10:12:57 MDT Print View

I had one other canister failure - only for Pocket Rocket

The distance from the Lindal valve to the top of the rim is a little greater for one canister

The Pocket Rocket has a normal O-ring plus a washer between the rim of the canister and the stove. After it warms up a little and expands, the pin on the stove that pushes the Lindal valve moves out a little so it no longer opens the valve. I have to screw the stove on tighter to get it to work, but over-tightening is not good. Removing that outer washer eliminates the problem. Maybe I'll just leave that washer off.

Regarding safety of canister stoves - you do have to contantly watch them or they might explode, but this is unlikely. White gas stoves are more dangerous. Alcohol stoves have a flaming liquid which could be dangerous if it got on you or your stuff, plus the flame is somewhat invisible. Esbit is a noxious substance with poisonous fumes and soot, plus could start a forest fire. Nothing is perfect. No stove would be pretty good, but I like some hot food in the morning if it's cold.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Don't misunderstand me... on 04/06/2013 10:30:05 MDT Print View

Max, this isn't about you agreeing or disagreeing with users experience. However, you have no experience in miss threaded canisters or exploding stoves. So what could have added to this thread apart from scaring the crap out of newly lightweight backpackers coming to BPL to learn?

Please remember that:

Not every thread is a.) Chaff related and b.) About you.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Canister Stoves Will Blow Your Face Off! on 04/06/2013 10:47:01 MDT Print View


I once heard from a guy about a guy that that knew someone that lost his face and eyelids. The canister didn't seal properly and some static from his fleece jacket ignited it into a roaring flamethrower, right at his face. Shrapnel from the canister scalped him.

Long story short, his face was gone, the hair on the top of head never grew back, and his eyes dried up and shriveled into raisins without their eyelids. His wife left him (with the children, they couldn't bear to look at him), and he now lives in a small trailer outside of Hesperia, CA stockpiling ammo, drinking heavily, yelling at the mailman, and listening to Michael Crichton books on tape and InfoWars podcasts all day long.

Personally, I've been VERY VERY VERY lucky.
15+ years of using canister stoves and I've never had a single problem, ever.

But this is hardly the norm, you probably will never be as lucky as I am, and I have been known to live on the edge.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Canister Stoves Will Blow Your Face Off! on 04/06/2013 10:54:40 MDT Print View


On a serious note, sure I have had leaky canisters. It happens. In most cases it is because the canister has a leaky valve - which gives a slow and smelly leak - little danger. The others I have seen someone was screwing a stove on the canister but doing it sideways, so the canister was not upright - and they mis threaded it.

Canister stoves are overall quite safe! So are the canisters. Any stove has a bit of danger - it is fire and fuel after all. ANY STOVE. ANY FUEL.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Canister Stoves Will Blow Your Face Off! on 04/06/2013 10:57:53 MDT Print View

"But this is hardly the norm, you probably will never be as lucky as I am, and I have been known to live on the edge."

No edge for me. I prefer to occasionally live in CAPS! I don't do it very often, so when I do live in CAPS, it's important.....

Edited by idester on 04/06/2013 10:58:47 MDT.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Canister Stoves Will Blow Your Face Off! on 04/06/2013 11:09:45 MDT Print View

From the brilliant mind of Craig.

Curious if the fella plays the banjo?

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Whatever! on 04/06/2013 11:24:40 MDT Print View

Jennifer, every accident you just described can be put out with stamping and water bottles. A pressurized canister explosion is different.

I don't really care about stoves, honestly. It was an interesting story and I like posting things in a conversation that haven't been said. It lets the conversation go in interesting directions (and it worked; a new backpacker saw my post and then 15 posts about the overall safety, which might not have gotten discussed at all if we hadn't talked about the worst case scenario). I hardly think a canister stove failure is irrelevant to a thread called "Canister Stove Failure."

Plus, we reminded 50+ people not to take their stove canister off while having a cigar. Bonus!

Some call it idealism, others call it enthusiasm. I call it "Being Max Dilthey" ;)

Edited by mdilthey on 04/06/2013 11:26:06 MDT.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Whatever! on 04/06/2013 11:38:44 MDT Print View

Every time I go through the drive-through restaurants they get my order wrong. No matter who is working, and no matter which restaurant it is. Every time.

I'm starting to think its a conspiracy against me.

Of course, it could just be the way I order.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Ha! on 04/06/2013 12:52:53 MDT Print View

In this thread: Two backhanded passive-aggressive insults at Sen├Ár Dilthey. Everyone seems to be just smitten with my posting history.

I'm a liberal 23-year old, East Coast, highly opinionated, dangerously vocal, and woefully headstrong. Of course it's me, was there ever a question?

Doesn't matter; having a great time, learning a ton. Another day, another post!

Edited by mdilthey on 04/06/2013 12:53:22 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Ha! on 04/06/2013 13:26:01 MDT Print View

"Everyone seems to be just smitten with my posting history. "

Ah, Max, not nearly as smitten as you so obviously are with yourself.....

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Why I don't use canister stoves: on 04/06/2013 13:40:02 MDT Print View

Story I heard was, his leaking canister stove hit a spark and blew up, and his leg or legs were amputated and he's in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

So, I don't use canister stoves.
Max, I don't mean to disprespect your choices (and what the heck, wood stove cooking is actually a lot of fun), but general question to all: How "big" is the danger with canister stoves? Realistically, it's pretty small. Yes, something bad could happen. And the bridge you drive over every morning on the way to work cold spontaneously collapse some day while you're on it. Both are pretty unlikely.

I've used gas stoves since the 1970's. I've had one canister failure. Even with the old puncture type canisters (which really are more dangerous than the modern valved canisters), I never had a failure. They're pretty darned reliable.

Having said that, follow best practices. Don't put on or take off a canister near a heat source. Do NOT leave the canister attached to the stove in transit unless you have to; if the valve gets jarred open in your pack, it could be hazardous (although most gas leaks dissipate harmlessly into the air). Don't use a full 360 degree windscreen with an upright canister stove, and always monitor the canister's temperature with your hand.

So, I disrespect no one's choices, but the objective danger from a canister stove is pretty low. There's a whole lot of reason's not to choose a canister stove, so if you use something else, by all means have at it. Wood (where ethical and practical) is definitely the most interesting and fun of all the major stove fuel types.

Adventures In Stoving

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Why I don't use canister stoves: on 04/06/2013 14:48:07 MDT Print View

This thread = too funny! :D

...and sad. *sigh*

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

It's the internet. on 04/06/2013 15:46:34 MDT Print View

The real issue wasn't that I shared a story about an exploding canister stove.

The real issue is that two weeks ago, I had a conversation about backpack padding that people got fired up about, and yesterday, I called out a group of BPL'ers for profiling homosexuals and now I'm the "idealistic hothead" that users like Douglacide can't hardly contain their glee about.

People love scapegoats.

This is what it feels like: In real life, I'm a highly respected outdoor leader and people take me seriously. My lecture on self-arrests saved a kid's leg on Camel's Hump last season, and I've got a 22-student trip to Maine next weekend that I designed and executed myself. I have a real voice.

On here, refusing to go along with a hivemind all the time means I'm basically kicked out of the club, and I don't even try asking questions anymore. :P

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: It's the internet. on 04/06/2013 16:15:53 MDT Print View

Hi, Max,

Sorry, but I missed your backpack padding post (but I can see how that would be a hot button topic). ;) I'm working 7 days a week right now and don't have a lot of time (just waiting on a crashed database right now so I've got a moment). In other words (and I don't know if you were specifically calling me out), my comments have been purely about the matter at hand.

You're leading a trip? Awesome. Hope you'll post a TR (and I hope I have time to read it. Too much work right now. Ugh. But I need the money.)

Adventures In Stoving

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Don't Worry on 04/06/2013 16:39:00 MDT Print View

The few negative nancies that go around slipping burns at me every day know who they are, Jim. I'm not worried about it. You didn't really do anything.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Don't Worry on 04/06/2013 16:44:00 MDT Print View

OK, cool. I'm pretty brain dead right now. Glad I didn't come across the wrong way.

Adventures In Stoving

Herbert Sitz

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: Why I don't use canister stoves: on 04/06/2013 16:59:41 MDT Print View

"I was on the AT last summer and . . .
Story I heard was, his leaking canister stove hit a spark and blew up, and his leg or legs were amputated and he's in a wheelchair for the rest of his life."

I'm not real confident that any "story" told on the AT (or PCT or any other xxT) is true (I remember the "telephone game" from when I was a kid). On the other hand, I would like to hear if anyone has actually been injured by a canister stove. Anybody? Anybody know firsthand of anybody?

Edited by hes on 04/06/2013 17:01:02 MDT.