Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cold Weather Tips for Gas Stoves

OK, short and sweet, three practical tips for using (canister) gas in cold weather:

First, choose good fuel.  Avoid "regular" butane and only use isobutane/propane blends. In the US, Snow Peak, MSR, Brunton, and JetBoil should be fine. Don't get Coleman, Optimus, Glowmaster, or Primus for cold weather use.

Second, start with a warm canister. Keep the canister in your bag/quilt at night or in your inside jacket pocket (or something) during the day.

Third, keep the canister warm by placing the canister in water. If you chose good fuel in the first step, your fuel vaporizes at least at 11F/-12C. Liquid water will always be above 32F/0C -- that's about 20F/10C degrees above the vaporization point of the fuel. As long as that water stays liquid, you'll have good canister pressure, even if the air temperature drops below the vaporization point of your fuel. It's the fuel temperature that matters, not the air temperature.  There are other ways to keep a canister warm which you can read about elsewhere, but water is safe and effective and is my preferred method.  WARNINGDo not use hot water.  Tepid is fine, but hot water may cause your stove to flare.

That's it.  Choose good fuel, start with a warm canister, and keep the canister warm.  Happy cooking.  :)


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