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  1. #1
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    Default what temp does propane/butane stop working

    I was planning on taking my pocket rocket with me to springer mountain next week does anyone know what temp they quit working or dont work as well. I am debating looking for some kind of white gas stove
    Still Going.... Cancer survivor of 13 years!!!!!!!

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    Default sorry found what I was looking for

    Quote Originally Posted by ec.hiker View Post
    I was planning on taking my pocket rocket with me to springer mountain next week does anyone know what temp they quit working or dont work as well. I am debating looking for some kind of white gas stove
    I found what I was looking
    for but am a little confused on what fuel comes in what canister ie the green ones at the super center
    Still Going.... Cancer survivor of 13 years!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Registered User karo's Avatar
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    Default

    Well at least tell us what you found out, Please.

  4. #4
    Registered User karo's Avatar
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    Default

    BTW I have a Simmerlite I purchased used on WB. It is a great little stove and does simmer at least mine does. It has the old style pump tho.

  5. #5
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    About 15° is the lowest temp isobutane will vaporize at at most "normal" elevations. But anything below 30° though and you'll start having performance issues. As long as the cannister though is reasonably warm it will vaporize gas, so boiling up water for meals shouldn't be an issue. Windscreen will help a lot too. Some tips are to keep the fuel cannister / stove in your clothing and/or sleeping bag to warm it up prior to using it and use a small piece of insulation under the cannister to insulate it from the ground.
    Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps

  6. #6

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    I second 4eyedbuzzard. Get one on the higher mixed ratios and keep it stuffed next to something warm (read as: yourself). There is also info under the thru-hiking info of this sit.

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    Registered User Amberalicia's Avatar
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    If you haven't kept the fuel canister in your sleeping bag at night or in your pants somewhere during the day, then rub vigorously with your hands on the outside of the canister for a few minutes -- kinetic energy thingy.

  8. #8

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    While doing the "Around Manaslu" trek in Nepal one year, we ran into two brothers from the Basque country who were attempting to summit all the 8,000 meter peaks in the world.
    They had just finished Manasalu and were heading to Annapurna II i believe and their helicopter was waiting.
    We got to talk to them for a while and were surprised to find out that they used propane fuel in the GAZ blue canisters for their heating snow and the little food that they did cook (more teas than food from what i remember) They went through 2 canisters a day on average.

    Manaslu is around 26,000+ feet from what i remember.

    ps. as a sad footnote, one of the brothers died on the next mountain on their list. (they only had 2 more to go)
    pss. the man flying the helicopter was the Nepal Air Force officer who flew the famous rescue mission on the highest rescue ever to get Beck Wethers off the mountain that fateful year on Everest.
    He was very accomadating and answered all of our questions.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  9. #9
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Snow peak or jetboil canisters works better in colder weather. Forget msr or the others.



    Climb a mountain...wash your spirit clean - John Muir






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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    Snow peak or jetboil canisters works better in colder weather. Forget msr or the others.
    Any insight as to why that is? Fuel mix, maybe?
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

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    Default Just to add from the other thread discussing this

    Biggest thing in cold weather is to warm the canister thouroughly with body heat by putting it inside your insulation layer, be it jacket or sleeping bag, prior to using it so it can vaporize the fuel. The more you use a cannister when temps are below freezing, the more of the propane in the butane/propane mixture gets burned as it is the liquid vaporizing and supplying the pressure. The butane part, which is the majority of the fuel (between 70 and 85 % depending upon the manufacturers mix), doesn't vaporize below 30F (propane will vaporize down to minus 10F I think, I may be off on that temp), and eventually you can be left with a partially full canister of butane that won't work in cold temps without a lot of prewarming. A full windscreen that reflects / contains some of the stove heat and helps keep the canister warm helps as well. Canister cozys are also used by some. Most mixes are 15% propane or so, but you can buy them with higher propane ratios - where I'm not completely sure.

    FWIW though, they use canister stoves from MSR, Jetboil, etc in the high camps on most mountaineering expeditions (safest fuel/stoves inside tents), so it can be done with proper technique.
    Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps

  12. #12
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    I find the MSR isobutane/propane canisters to work very well in cold weather, at least as well as the Jetboil. The inexpensive Snow Peak didn't work as well for me.

    One way to get more performance out of a canister is to use a stove that allows the canister to be inverted. The stove has to have a vaporization tube, and it needs to be pre-heated, then the canister inverted. The stove then uses liquid fuel, which is vaporized in the tube -- works a lot better in very cold weather.

    Of course, that's tough to do with a Pocket Rocket.
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  13. #13
    Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Mixed fuel canister stoves are designed for higher mountains than the AT, Springer isn't high enough to affect the mix, but winds of 12mph, cold and other factors can make boiling miserable. I find it interesting that folks are recommending one over the other based on the initial post. There are tests and articles on the internet from Backpacker and BPL that one can read for the information you seek.

    I will look a little futher to see if there is a tested recomendation... until then... here is BPL' Article

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...stove_faq.html
    If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.

    Woo

  14. #14

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    Just want to say I find this thread very useful and helpful. Thanks everyone for your insights.

    I've taken my Coleman ultralight canister stove (a virtual clone of the Pocket Rocket) in cold weather with mixed results. If I take it on this year's planned winter hikes, at least I've got some tips here on increasing its effectiveness.

  15. #15
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I've used canister stoves in winter without particular problems until the temps approach zero. At those temps, even a pre-warmed canister soon chills from the pressure release (that's how your fridge works), and the pressure drops to a point where it's tough to generate enough heat to boil water, particluarly if the environment isn't helping (i.e. wind). At -20, I could prepare a meal only with a full canister, but soon it barely stayed lit. The stove was a much older model from the 70's, I don't know how well my newer canister stoves will perform at those temps, but I'll find out someday (but I'll have my MSR Whisperlight available)

    Springer in December shouldn't be a problem for a pocket rocket, IMHO.

  16. #16
    Registered User shelterbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    While doing the "Around Manaslu" trek in Nepal one year, we ran into two brothers from the Basque country who were attempting to summit all the 8,000 meter peaks in the world.
    They had just finished Manasalu and were heading to Annapurna II i believe and their helicopter was waiting.
    We got to talk to them for a while and were surprised to find out that they used propane fuel in the GAZ blue canisters for their heating snow and the little food that they did cook (more teas than food from what i remember) They went through 2 canisters a day on average.

    Manaslu is around 26,000+ feet from what i remember....
    If I recall my (very) early reading on this subject (as a freshman at Albright College and a new backpacker in the early '70's), the vaporization issues are a function of temperature AND altitude. At sea level, straight butane doesn't do well below freezing, but as you increase your altitude, ability of the gas to vaporize increases relative to the ambient air presssure. I don't have the charts at my fingertips.

    At one time, straight butane stoves were common on high mountaineering expeditions. Back at sea level, they started mixing propane and butane because the mixture eliminated some of the altitude/temperature problems associated with straight butane. (Please note, I am not a scientist, nor do I play one on TV.)
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning how to dance in the rain!

  17. #17
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    I find the MSR isobutane/propane canisters to work very well in cold weather, at least as well as the Jetboil. The inexpensive Snow Peak didn't work as well for me.
    Wow exact opposite for me = I got nearly two weeks out a jetboil and barely a week with the MSR. But it was not freezing cold the entire period, granted.



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  18. #18
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    Default What about primus

    I think primus fuel is pretty good too isn't it?


    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    Snow peak or jetboil canisters works better in colder weather. Forget msr or the others.
    Still Going.... Cancer survivor of 13 years!!!!!!!

  19. #19
    Registered User LIhikers's Avatar
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    Like karo, I have an old MSR SimmerLite stove. It works very well in winter and you won't have to sleep with your fuel bottle. Go ahead and get yourself a stove that burns whitegas.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by shelterbuilder View Post
    If I recall my (very) early reading on this subject (as a freshman at Albright College and a new backpacker in the early '70's), the vaporization issues are a function of temperature AND altitude. At sea level, straight butane doesn't do well below freezing, but as you increase your altitude, ability of the gas to vaporize increases relative to the ambient air presssure. I don't have the charts at my fingertips.

    At one time, straight butane stoves were common on high mountaineering expeditions. Back at sea level, they started mixing propane and butane because the mixture eliminated some of the altitude/temperature problems associated with straight butane. (Please note, I am not a scientist, nor do I play one on TV.)
    My very first stove dating back to 1976 was a pure butane canister. Nice and lightweight. I remember having a few problems with cold mornings on the Long Trail but overall, I was quite pleased with it.

    Don't know what I did with the stove but I still have an unused unopened canister. Little rusty around the edges. Don't know what to do with it.

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