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cannister stove questions
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Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
cannister stove questions on 07/31/2013 14:35:01 MDT Print View

I'm looking into cannister stoves, in case fire restrictions prohibit me from using my alcohol stove on my backpacking trip this August. I've looked at old articles and read reviews, and I have a couple of specific questions:

1)I'm looking at the SNow Peak Gigapower, manual, no piezo. I'm just boiling water, but for 2 people. Generally boil 1.9 L in the am and in the pm. Can anyone give me an idea how long roughly a cannister may last? We're planning a 2 day trip and a 4 day trip, surely 1 cannister should be enough to get me through?

2) Is the 2 ounces for the windscreen a worthwhile investment in weight? Compared to my Zelph set-up and Caldera Cone, everything is heavy, so another 2 ounces doesn't seem like much. Will it save me in cooking time significantly, or in fuel usage?


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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: cannister stove questions on 07/31/2013 14:42:14 MDT Print View

You want to define what you mean by "1 cannister." There are small ones, large ones, and monster ones. Some work better when the air temperature is cold.

Some type of windscreen is worthwhile, if not downright important. However, two ounces seems like a lot. Personally, I can go a long way with a simple piece of heavy duty aluminum foil.


Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
cannister stove questions on 07/31/2013 14:55:46 MDT Print View

I think I burn more gas than do many others on this forum: I plan on using an ounce per day. In the morning I heat 12 oz water for coffee then sometimes have a second cup. I then heat 10 oz for cocoa. At night I heat 8 oz for soup, 12 oz for a boil and soak dinner and 10 oz for herb tea. I also use the stove to warm some cleanup water for a face and neither regions wash. I actually burn a bit less than an oz per day but build my plans around a 1 oz/day estimate; I hate running out of fuel.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: cannister stove questions on 07/31/2013 14:57:33 MDT Print View

1.9L for breakfast and dinner? that seems like a ton of water.

for the 2 day trip you'll definitely be fine with 1 x 4oz canister. I would weigh it full and then empty and then decide if you should bring a 8oz on the 4 day.

I only boil 1-2c for dinner and i know one 100g canister will last me over 16 days with no windscreen but generally being protected (AT shelter, behind tree/rock)

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
X amount of fuel to boil Y amount of water on 07/31/2013 15:06:42 MDT Print View

You need to determine the efficiency of your stove.

For example, for my stove I assume it takes 0.12 ounces of fuel to boil 1 cup of water.

For my next trip I have determined that I will boil 27 cups of water

- therefore I need 3.2 ounces of fuel

- therefore I will bring a small canister that has 4 ounces of fuel when new

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: cannister stove questions on 07/31/2013 16:07:31 MDT Print View

Rules of thumb:

Morning tea for two - about 8 g.
Overnight trips in warm weather: about 25 - 30 g per day for two.
Long trips: one 450 g canister per fortnight for two.
Winter trips in snow: from +25% to +100%, depending on availability of water.


Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
responses on 07/31/2013 22:10:59 MDT Print View

@Bob--yeah, 2 ounces seemed like a lot to me, that's the official windscreen, however. It looks like something very simple, but all the cautions about cannisters overheating with windscreens have me a little spooked. I *like* my alcohol stove, because I am rather a pyrophobe, and something about gas stoves freaks me out. At least with my little alcohol stove it has a very finite amount of fuel, and I've never been worried about it's safety--how the heck people dump them and start wildfires is beyond me. Maybe they don't take care for site selection and cleaning burnables away or something. So, a piece of heavy duty foil--just poke holes for the pot supports and the burner, and sort of cup the foil around the pot?

@Jake--it does sound like a lot, I think I have the 1.3 L pot now that I think of it. For breakfast we need 24 ounces for coffee and tea, and another 8-12 ounces for breakfast. Anything left over is used for washing spoons, brushing teeth, and maybe another cup of coffee for my fella, he sometimes likes 2 cups in the morning. Dinner needs 24 ounces for dinner, and I usually have another cup of tea in the evening, so that's 36 ounces.

Both Casey and Roger seem to be saying the same thing, about 1 ounce (28 g) per day for 2. So, it sounds like if I go this route I can plan on a 4 ounce cannister lasting for 2 week-end trips, but maybe 2 cannisters for my longer trip. it seems better to me to pack 2 smaller cannisters than 1 large one--easier to spread the bulk around, that way each of us can carry some. I'll need to buy the stove, then play with it before I can figure efficiency.

Thanks, folks, that gives me some idea what to expect. I won't be able to go out on any trips before my vacation, so I'll have limited time to experiment.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: responses on 07/31/2013 22:46:02 MDT Print View

ahh. I stopped cooking breakfast unless it will be cold and am very very glad I never drank coffee haha

I do cold cereal with nido and hot chocolate if i'm going to do a hot drink (.75c water)

have a fun trip(s) :)

rowan !

Locale: SF Bay Area
Snow Peak Windscreen on 07/31/2013 23:50:37 MDT Print View

I have a GigaPower plus the windscreen Snow Peak sells as an accessory. While I wish it was lighter, it does make a very noticeable difference in the stove's efficiency. Windscreen is kind of a misnomer; what it really does is concentrate the heat on the bottom of the pot rather than block wind.

Also I recommend not running the stove with the flame on high. If you turn it down so that no flames go up the sides of the pot, it seems to use a lot less fuel.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: responses on 08/01/2013 01:47:13 MDT Print View

So you boil 36 oz in the morning and in the evening. 36 U.S. fluid ounces is 1065 ml. With a wide pot (you mentioned the 1.3L pot) and a windscreen and the stove flame at medium, you will burn around 15g gas per litre boiled, so that would suggest 32g (1.1 oz) per day for your usage.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
Wow! on 08/01/2013 12:25:35 MDT Print View

That's awesome, Stuart, thanks! Here is why I didn't want to mess with cannister stoves before. Your numbers indicate that I will use over a 4 day trip just about 1/2 an ounce more than the 4 ounce cannister. That's annoying! With alcohol, I can bring as little or as much as I need. With the cannisters, I'm limited to the size of the cannister, and have to bring more fuel than I need. Or, I have to eke it out and burn as little as possible.

I don't want to be blatantly ignoring regulations, even though I think my Zelph is safe for use. But I'm not gonna use a cannister stove unless I absolutely have to. I think I'll keep an eye on the updates for the area where I'm going, and if there's a problem a week before, then go purchase the stove and the windscreen.

Thanks for all the considered answers. Now I'm prepared if I have to change my ways.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Wow! on 08/02/2013 02:01:29 MDT Print View

Diane - on a 4 day trip do you cook your breakfast on the first day and your eve. meal on the last day on your stove? If not, it is better to think of how many nights your trip lasts.
4 days = 3 breakfasts, 3 eve meals (3 nights) = 3 x 1.1oz = 3.3oz gas.

I find a 100g canister quite sufficient for 2 ppl for 3 nights (in summer).