What's that you say? Propane is only available in those big heavy steel cylinders that are 16.4oz/465g net weight? And the total weight is even more than that? And you're not about to carry that on your back?
Hey, I'm with you. Don't blame you a bit. Those big green steel cylinders are just impractical for backpacking. Too bulky, too heavy, and the stoves that go with them aren't any better. But what if there were a better way?
Introducing the Bernzomatic Power Cell.
|A Bernzomatic Power Cell|
|A Bernzomatic Power Cell is 100% propane|
But will it work with backpacking stoves? Let's have a look.
|The connector on a Bernzomatic Power Cell is a standard 7/16 UNEF threaded connector|
|A Snow Peak GS-100 stove on a Bernzomatic Power Cell|
Well, what if you could separate the burner from the bottle? You can -- if you have something like a Brunton Stove Stand.
|A GS-100 stove connected to a Bernzomatic Power Cell via a Brunton Stove Stand|
|A Bernzomatic Power Cell laying on its side.|
Warning: When you lay this canister on its side or turn the canister upside down, you are feeding liquid propane into your stove. Burning liquid propane can be extremely dangerous.
|A close up of the flame of a GS-100 stove running on 100% propane from a Bernzomatic Power Cell|
|A Bernzomatic Power Cell, completely inverted|
|A GS-100 stove running on liquid propane from a Bernzomatic Power Cell|
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, practical propane for backpacking, the holy grail of cold weather canister stoves. You saw it here first, on Adventures in Stoving.
OK, but now the bad news. These are hard to find. They are out there, and they do exist, but they aren't widely available. But they're very worthwhile if you can find some. It appears that Bernzomatic may no longer be making these, so once the existing supply is gone, that may be it. Grab 'em while you can!
UPDATE 12 Jan 2012: A thoughtful reader wrote Bernzomatic. Bernzomatic has indeed discontinued the PowerCell (PC8). The only such canisters available are the ones currently on shelves. Once those are gone, no more will be available.
WARNING: Any use of a fuel or a stove in a manner not recommended by the manufacturer may be dangerous or even deadly. You may also void any warranty and/or nullify any legal protections you might otherwise have. The preceding blog post shows techniques that are inherently dangerous. Inverting the canister is against the manufacturer's recommendation. Burning liquid propane can be extremely dangerous. If you invert (turn upside down) the canister or lay the canister on its side, you will get liquid propane. Screw up here, and you may be cooking a lot more than your dinner, get it?
Net weight: 226g/8oz of liquefied propane.
Gross weight: 365g/12.87oz (about 3/4lbs in other words)
Empty weight: 139g/4.90oz
Connector type: Standard 7/16 UNEF threaded with a female Lindal type valve.
Stove stand: 142g/5.00oz