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What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters?
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Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/30/2014 17:05:26 MDT Print View

I know many folks use esbit/alcohol stoves now, but I'm usually in areas with a total fire ban, so I'm limited to canister stoves.

Over time, I seem to accumulate vast numbers of nearly-empty canisters, and I'm hoping that someone has a better idea of what to do with them than the "usual" ideas (1. pack several on the next trip and use each to empty; or 2. break out the camping stove at home and cook up some dinner until the fuel is gone).

I'm at a loss...does anyone have any other ideas?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/30/2014 17:14:04 MDT Print View

Drive to near the trailhead and camp out one night before backpacking. Then you can use all your almost empty canisters.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/30/2014 17:22:20 MDT Print View

If the canister is so empty that I won't risk taking it on an overnighter. I either use it in my lantern when car camping, or just hook a stove up to it and run it empty.

Puncture and recycle the now empty steel can.

I have an old Optimus stove canister scale that when screwed on all the way will let you vent off a canister without burning the gas.

Michael Gunderloy
(ffmike) - MLife
Benefit to lazy Scouts on 03/30/2014 17:46:41 MDT Print View

Our Boy Scout troop does a lot of car camping (and I wish I could get them hiking more!) so that's where I end up running near-empty canisters down to nothing. Silver lining, I guess.

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/30/2014 19:15:15 MDT Print View

Use the canister stove to make charcloth. Fun and useful!

D S
(smoke) - F
Refill? on 03/30/2014 20:51:06 MDT Print View

Doesn't seem to be very dangerous.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Refill? on 03/30/2014 21:07:20 MDT Print View

don't over-fill

adventures in stoving has details

I would consider this somewhat dangerous, it could burst, then there would be a potential for a fire-ball/explosion

Maybe make sure and weigh it afterwards and if there's too much fuel, let some out until it's the right weight

if you had two part full canisters, and by weight knew they together weren't more than one canister, then put the "to" canister in the freezer. When cold, take the warm canister and put it on top to let all the fuel go into the cold canister.

Edited by retiredjerry on 03/30/2014 21:09:46 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/30/2014 22:18:06 MDT Print View

Car camping cooking and lantern.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/30/2014 22:24:04 MDT Print View

Get a blow torch style adapter, make creme brûlée and Carmelize the sugar on top of the custard.

I use a welding propane can from Home Depot.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/30/2014 22:25:32 MDT Print View

http://www.amazon.com/Jetboil-Crunchit-Canister-Recycling-Orange/dp/B004N5KK7G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1396239897&sr=8-2&keywords=gas+canister+disposal

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
What Does an Engineer do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/31/2014 00:06:12 MDT Print View

Exhaust one of them and weigh it. Write the "tare weight" on all other canisters of the same type. Now you can know within a few grams how much is left in a canister.

Pro-tip: record weight before and after a trip and you'll quickly get a sense of how many grams you use per person-day of summer or winter camping.

If you have an adaptor between two of the same canisters, you can connect two canisters with the fuller one below and pre-cooled in the freezer. Invert the less full one on top, having heated it to some upper-reasonable temperature (120F). Open the value. The pressure difference will transfer virtually all of the fuel to the lower canister. However, few people have such adaptors (Hiking Jim and Roger being the only other ones I can think of).

Even trickier is to refill it with a mix of cheap butane from Japanese table-top butane stoves and propane (from the BBQ tank). Don't try that at home, kids! Careful weighing and record-keeping is a must.

Otherwise, yeah, as people have posted, use one around town, at the trailhead, during power failures, during stove tests, instructing the kids, etc.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: What Does an Engineer do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/31/2014 02:01:49 MDT Print View

> However, few people have such adaptors
But they are commercially available from Japan, where they don't seem quite as frantically paranoid.

Normally I would refer you to http://www.alva.ne.jp as the prime source, but their web site seems a shade dead today. Alternately you can try http://tumekaekun.com/, as they seem to stock a lot of the same things. However, a warning: both web sites are in Japanese with no options for translation. And I don't know any more than that.

Yes, I have my own MYOG adapters. Tricky stuff, unless you want to cannibalise two old stoves to make something. Mind you, some of those Real Cheap Chinese stoves on eBay might work for this.

Cheers

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: What Does an Engineer do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/31/2014 07:22:55 MDT Print View

"unless you want to cannibalise two old stoves to make something. Mind you, some of those Real Cheap Chinese stoves on eBay might work for this."

That might be cheaper than buying the adapter, which is sort of expensive - very few people buy that, many people want cheap stove.

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/31/2014 07:32:16 MDT Print View

" make creme brûlée and Carmelize the sugar on top of the custard. "

for Roger, David, Delmar, and the creme brulee crowd ... concerning the Hone Depot Torch.

for those who use the very popular BernzOmatic torch, and the tank is blue, that i believe is propane. there exist s yellow tank called Mapp gas, and if you want (make sure this is Really Really what you are looking for) MORE heat in the flame (about 250%), then use the yellow tank.
however, the instructions caution you to never ever use the blue torch-heads on the yellow tanks.
here is what is going on ....
blue tanks make a lot pressure than yellow tanks, and inside the torch-head there is a small check valve inside the phallic like device that enters the tank valve.
one can remove that phallic thingie with a small wrench/socket driver, shove a paper clip into the end of it and press out the valve/spring/filter plug. and cut maybe 3 turns off the spring. re-assemble.
you blue tank torch-head will now function wonderfully on yellow tanks.

as with so many things peter, the caution is ... ymmv, but it has worked for me over a long time, and i am not dead yet.

robert van putten
(Bawana) - F

Locale: Planet Bob
Just shoot them on 03/31/2014 11:35:39 MDT Print View

I've never owned or even used such a stove because of the expense and waste of the canisters, but I have friends that do swear by them.

But decades ago my friends and I discovered the very best use for those partially empty canisters ( and propane canisters and spray paint cans ).

We set 'em up downrange, light a road flare and set it nearby ( for an ignition source ) back off a safe distance, illuminate the targets with the spotlight on your truck ( you do have a spotlight of your truck right? And of course we're doing this at night )

Now open fire and enjoy the fireballs. You get to learn just what kinda destructive power you really are humping along in yer pack, sharpen your night shooting skills and if your lucky really piss off and intimidate the neighbors.

Heh, we stared doing this when we were in the service and since we worked swing shift we naturally were blowing the things up after work at about 1 or 2 in the morning in an empty lot on the side of some highway down in Arkansas.

Hey it was Arkansas, didn't seem unreasonable at the time. But a extraordinarily fat cop did show up and proceeded to try and bully us around. Even called me "Boy" despite the fact I was still wearing my sergeants uniform at the time.

But we were MUCH better armed than he was and even though he called it in but nobody could find any laws to nail us with so he had to leave us alone. They did try to pin "jack lighting" on us, but that was pretty absurd, even for that fat jackass of a southern cop.

So we went back to happily blowing shit up.

Edited by Bawana on 03/31/2014 11:38:07 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/31/2014 11:52:38 MDT Print View

You could throw them in a fire.

Stand way back, take video,...

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Just shoot them on 03/31/2014 15:44:36 MDT Print View

+1 on shooting them.

Fun target, then you can recycle them



Ps: one of mine had some fuel left in it. Man you should have seen the nothing that happened. It was ... Nothing. Except for the holes. Even my propane bottles didn't do anything but fall over. Of course all i was shooting was a .22 and a 12 ga.

12ga didn't even penetrate the propane bottle until it had weakened from multiple shots of bird shot and a few .22 holes

Edited by WoodenWizard on 03/31/2014 15:52:26 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
...Stand way back, take video,... on 03/31/2014 15:47:05 MDT Print View

And say, "Hey, Bubba, watch this!"

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/31/2014 15:54:42 MDT Print View

> You could throw them in a fire.
Really, really dangerous. BPL strongly recommends you do NOT do this.

For more information, read our article on exploding canisters

Stay safe!
Cheers

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Re: Re: Re: Re: What Do You Do with Almost-Empty Fuel Canisters? on 03/31/2014 17:18:33 MDT Print View

Yeah, thanks Roger -- obviously you realized that I was trying to ask a genuine question here....

So far, the only possibility that appeals to me is trying to find a Boy Scout (or Girl Scout) troupe that would want them.

I have a dedicated car camping stove (2 burners!), I have a creme brulee gun, and I rarely car camp at the trailhead (well, once a year maybe). Not into shooting, burning stuff, and the phrase "That blowed up real good" is just not in my lexicon. :^)