Well, take a look at the threads on a canister some time.
Whoa! Wait a minute. Do you mean to tell me that the only thing holding the stove on to a canister is the edge of the threads?
Yes, that's what I'm saying. And that's a fairly thin bit of metal. Too much pressure will put excessive wear on your stove's threads. Heavy users have reported threads so worn that stoves have literally fallen off the canister. Once your stove's threads are so worn that they no longer grip the canister, you're pretty much out of luck; you have to replace the stove.
So, Canister Stove Thread Care 101:
- Don't over tighten. If you're getting good gas flow and no leaking, that's tight enough.
- Use the little cap on your canister. Sure, it's a hassle to keep track of the little plastic cap, but dirt, sand, etc on the canister's threads could screw up that nice stove you've got.
- Keep the threads clean on your stove. Keep it wrapped in a bandana or something to keep crud out of the threads. I normally keep my canister stove wrapped up and in my cook pot when it's in my pack. Some stoves come with a little pouch or case which may be a good alternative if you don't store your stove in your pot. Don't wrap your stove in something that sheds a lot.
- Inspect the threads on your canister. If there's damage on the canister threads, get a new canister (if available). It's not worth it to use a damaged canister which might screw up your stove.
- Do NOT cross thread. Make sure you thread the canister on correctly and that it turns smoothly. If it feels "funny," stop and check. Cross threading is a great way to damage your stove.
The main thing to remember with canister stoves is that a little care goes a long way. Keep things clean, don't over tighten, and be careful how you screw on the canister.
I thank you for accompanying me on another Adventure in Stoving.
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