Generally, stoves built for one type of canister only work with that type of canister. For example, Camping Gaz stoves generally only work with Camping Gaz canisters. However, there are a few exceptions -- including a relatively lightweight one that you can assemble yourself in only a few minutes. This post shows you how if you'd like to try.
In terms of factory-built exceptions, the only widely available stove in the US that will work with either canister type is the MSR SuperFly. In Europe, there are a couple of dual format stoves available from Primus. None of the dual format stoves that I have seen are lightweight.
Really? Are you sure? Maybe the comparison isn't as ridiculous as you might think. Have you ever noticed how similar the threads are on the two valve assemblies?
|An MSR SuperFly (left) an a Monatauk Gnat (right). The valve assemblies have been detached from the burner columns.|
|The valve assemblies of a SuperFly and a Gnat, swapped.|
|A SuperGnat mated to a Camping Gaz canister|
But does it work? Let's give it a try. Note: Before you try what I'm depicting here, read the warning below.
|Lighting a SuperGnat with a Kovea piezoelectric ignition|
|A SuperGnat in use.|
|A SuperGnat immediately after use.|
Now, I said lightweight. How lightweight you ask? My scale says 84g (3.0oz). Now, that's a bit heavier than the Monatauk Gnat, but consider some other typical stoves used by weight conscious backpackers. For example, the Snow Peak GS-100, weighs 86g (3.0oz). An Optimus Crux weighs 88g (3.1oz). A PocketRocket weighs 86g (3.0oz). When compared to such stoves, really, the SuperGnat is in the same class. The SuperGnat is certainly far lighter than the 131g (4.6oz) SuperFly! Note: All weights were measured in grams on my KitchenChef scale. Manufacturers stated weights may vary.
So, there you have it, a relatively lightweight upright canister stove that will work with either canister format, Camping Gaz or standard threaded. Such a stove could be of real benefit to someone backpacking, bicycle touring, motorcycle touring, or otherwise traveling in Europe or other regions where one or the other but not necessarily both canister types may be available at a given location.
A special thank you to Mark F. of Australia who tipped me off that such a thing might be possible.
An extra special thank you to Bob G of California who provided the Gnat for testing.
Note: It may be possible to do with an Optimus Crux Lite the very same thing that I've done with the Monatauk Gnat, however I haven't yet tried it.
Look, if it isn't immediately obvious just from the nature of what I'm doing, swapping stove components could well be the very last thing you ever do. Get it wrong, transfer a bit too much heat to the canister, and KABOOM! your backpacking trip (and maybe a whole lot more) just ended. I don't think that what I'm showing here is automatically going to result in a problem, but it has that potential. If you try to emulate what I have done, understand that you are doing something inherently dangerous and that you are making a decision to deliberately expose yourself to that danger.
Now, that being said, I think the dangers can be mitigated to a degree. Just a) understand that the dangers are real, b) that the consequences could be very severe indeed (i.e. great bodily harm or death), and c) take every precaution to be safe. At the very least, hook it up outdoors away from any heat source or open flame. Then, before you do anything else, listen. If you hear gas escaping, go no further until you can eliminate the source of escaping gas. If you decide to take the risk of lighting such a cobbled together stove, try it on low first. Look for any odd flames. If there are any flames where there shouldn't be any, turn it off immediately. Adopting the precautions mentioned in this paragraph might lessen the risk but will not eliminate risk. Messing around with gas stoves in any way other than those recommended by the manufacturer could be dangerous no matter how many precautions you take.
Thank you for joining me on another Adventure in Stoving.
Technical Appendix -- Weights
Stove Weight Canister Type
SuperFly 131g/4.6oz Both
Optimus Crux 88g/3.1oz Threaded only
GS-100 86g/3.0oz Threaded only
PocketRocket 86g/3.0oz Threaded only
"SuperGnat" 84g/3.0oz Both
MicroRocket 73g/2.6oz Threaded only
Soto OD-1R 70g/2.5oz Threaded only
Monatauk Gnat 47g/1.7oz Threaded only
Related articles and posts:
- Cold Weather Tips for Gas Stoves
- What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?
- Gas Stoves: How Cold Can I Go? <==Most comprehensive article on canister gas and cold
- Canisters, Cold, and Altitude: Gas in a Nutshell
- Canister Stoves 101: Thread Care
- Gas Blends and Cold Weather Performance. (Why not just use propane?)
- The "Super Gnat" (Camping Gaz or threaded canisters with one lightweight stove)
- Backpacking Gas Canisters 101
- Gas in Extreme Cold: Yes or No?
- Gas in Cold Weather: The Myth of "Fractioning"
- Stoves For Cold Weather I (Upright canister stoves) – Seattle Backpacker's Magazine
- Stoves for Cold Weather II (Inverted remote canister stoves) – Seattle Backpacker's Magazine