PDA

View Full Version : Thru-Hike Fuel Canister Resupply



TimOnWhiteBlaze
01-27-2017, 13:10
Hi everyone. Been lurking here a while and decided to join up since many of you have valuable insights.

I'm looking at alcohol v. canister stoves and thinking/planning about haul weight and conveinince of each technology. The downside of alcohol is cold and fidget time and worries about spilling it all; downside of canisters is maybe higher haul weight and guessing how much is left in the can. From what I read and watch on the yootubes, a thru-hike, in some ways, is a long stretch of connected half week walks with road crossings and sometimes resupply.

So, how easy it is to get (SoBo) resupplies of the MSR-type canisters of fuel without going more than a 2-3 miles off the A. T.?

Starchild
01-27-2017, 14:05
Very easy, but you shouldn't need to that often, should get at least 2 weeks on a small canister. For a large (actually a medium) you could easily go a month. Once you are about 2 stops out you can call ahead if you are uncertain. Also it is very common to find them in hiker boxes with more fuel than the one you are carrying.


With Acky stoves resupply would be more often, if going UL about such things then every time you can you will have to find it.

gbolt
01-27-2017, 17:32
I posed the same question to Darwin on the Trail, and he said about the same thing as Starchild. Easy to get in Town now compared to the past, many in Hiker Boxes, and less "fiddle factor" than he had with his alcohol stove. I hope their right! Lol. I sold my Alchy and Caldera Cone in order to stay with my Micro Rocket.

PS, I carry a Small and a Medium Canister for Most trips and plan to do this until I know how many weeks I can get out of a canister. This way I can finish the Small canister (literally till it blows out), switch to the Medium for a Trip/Day's or so, and then purchase a Small canister. Wait till the medium blows out and buy the small again; switching them as needed.

ScareBear
01-27-2017, 18:46
I posed the same question to Darwin on the Trail, and he said about the same thing as Starchild. Easy to get in Town now compared to the past, many in Hiker Boxes, and less "fiddle factor" than he had with his alcohol stove. I hope their right! Lol. I sold my Alchy and Caldera Cone in order to stay with my Micro Rocket.

PS, I carry a Small and a Medium Canister for Most trips and plan to do this until I know how many weeks I can get out of a canister. This way I can finish the Small canister (literally till it blows out), switch to the Medium for a Trip/Day's or so, and then purchase a Small canister. Wait till the medium blows out and buy the small again; switching them as needed.

You could also get an accurate scale and figure out how much fuel your stove burns to boil 2 or 3 or 4 cups of water and then figure out how long the canister will last. For me, my stove is the Optimus CruxLite and it burns between 9 and 10 grams of fuel to boil 2 cups of water. Therefore, I know in advance that I will only get 10 boils out of 1 canister. Ten boils is 5 days. Even if you only boil once per day, there is no way a 110g canister can last two weeks. No. Freaking. Way. Period. Full stop. A 220g canister WILL NOT LAST YOU TWO WEEKS DOING TWO BOILS PER DAY. No. Freaking. Way. Period. Full stop.

bigcranky
01-27-2017, 19:56
We tested our canister stove in "real world" conditions and it used 15g to boil 2 cups of water. Then I got a Jetboil and it consistently used <5g for the same amount of water. For a long hike that works a lot better, especially for two. We ended up easily getting ten days from a 100g canister making hot coffee in the morning and a pasta meal at night. A 220g canister would have lasted almost the whole LT e2e hike.

Anyway, on the AT canister resupply is pretty easy. You will have to carry a second canister sometimes, unless you are willing to leave a partially-full canister in a hiker box when you get a new one. A good, efficient stove makes canister fuel a pretty good option, and they are usually very fast.

Starchild
01-27-2017, 21:14
...

Anyway, on the AT canister resupply is pretty easy. You will have to carry a second canister sometimes, unless you are willing to leave a partially-full canister in a hiker box when you get a new one. A good, efficient stove makes canister fuel a pretty good option, and they are usually very fast.

Never carried a second, no need to since if you have a full one you have at least 2 weeks, drop off the partial one in a hiker box and you will, via Karma, pick another up with that fuel + interest up trail.

TimOnWhiteBlaze
01-27-2017, 22:21
The burn test is a great idea. That's test is next as soon as I purchase a new can.

So far, I'm leaning towards using the Pocket Rocket and cans. I think even Sgt. Rock has written somewhere that it's very close to being his choice of fire -- if the cans get developed enough to shave another 3 ounces off the dead weight (hint) he'll use them.

I've been playing with the cats last night & today and they are not purring very well. The little can I hacked worked with my MSR titanium kettle full of water (.85L) and inside the house after a 10-15 minute wait, but several trials outside at 50 degrees with no lid, water at tap temperature or just below it, and using the general guideline of 1 ounce to boil 1 liter failed to get the roiling boil I prefer to have on the trail. I had to use 2 ounces the in the first test to get to 140 degrees, and the second time I made a little windscreen, but even with the use of the windscreen the water's maximum temperature rounded at 190 degrees and the cat can ran out of the 1 ounce of fuel. The water boiled in about 15 minutes by reloading .5 ounce and firing the stove again. The most critical issues were the noxious fumes of both ABC grain alcohol (inside) and, especially, the toxic fumes of denatured alcohol (even outside).

I can see being exhausted from a day's hike and wanting to eat, relax, and sleep. I don't anticipate I will want to tinker, wait, and worry with the alcohol heat and fires.

It's encouraging not to have to be anxious about fuel supply.

PennyPincher
01-28-2017, 01:15
anyone know how much an empty GigaPower 220g canister weighs? I had to leave it behind on my last trip and couldn't use all the fuel. Trying to figure out how many burns it had left.

nsherry61
01-28-2017, 01:22
anyone know how much an empty GigaPower 220g canister weighs? . . .
I'd just go buy a new canister, weigh it, and subtract 220 g. :rolleyes:

As per a Google search, about 130 to 150 g for the 220/230 g canisters in general, with variance between manufacturers as well as with different canisters from the same manufacturer.

PennyPincher
01-28-2017, 02:16
I'd just go buy a new canister, weigh it, and subtract 220 g. :rolleyes:

As per a Google search, about 130 to 150 g for the 220/230 g canisters in general, with variance between manufacturers as well as with different canisters from the same manufacturer.

DOH!

Thanks. LOL

Venchka
01-29-2017, 21:58
I have 4 Coleman 220g and 4 Primus 230g canisters in the garage. Stand by.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Venchka
01-29-2017, 22:09
MSR 110g gas/214g total
Coleman 220g gas/360g total
Primus 230g gas/375g total
I hope this helps.
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

CarlZ993
01-30-2017, 00:48
Disclosure: I used an alcohol stove on the AT but secretly wished I was carrying a canister stove.

None of the guys I saw carrying canister stoves seemed to have any problems about resupplying their fuel canisters. On all my other backpacking trips, I use canister stoves. Some stoves are more fuel efficient than others. The integrated stove systems, like the JetBoil & MSR Reactor/Windburner stoves, are very fuel efficient (but kinda heavy). I own all three. I once did a boil endurance test w/ my JetBoil Ti stove (110 gr fuel canister). I was able to get 27, 2-C boils before I ran out of fuel. That is pretty good. This was conducted in my front yard in the fall. I'd suspect the MSR Reactor/Windburner would be similarly efficient (maybe more so in windy conditions). A buddy of mine on the AT had a different JetBoil. He used an 8-oz fuel canister. I once asked him how long a canister lasted him. He told me: "About 500 miles."

The most efficient upright canister stove I've seen (I've owned most of them) is the Soto Windmaster stove. It uses a concave burner head w/ a raised edge around the head. It is less effected by wind that a 'normal,' convex burner head. Hiking Jim has a really nice YouTube video on this stove (& many others). Something to look at.

Wish you luck in your decision.

Starvin Marvin
01-30-2017, 09:18
anyone know how much an empty GigaPower 220g canister weighs?

Empty 220 GigaPower canister with cap weighs....5.30 ozs or 150 g.

oldwetherman
01-30-2017, 18:38
If you're the type of person that likes to be more "exact"....here's a link to a another hiking website. This method of determining how much fuel is left in your canister is for you.
https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/104621/

Secondmouse
01-30-2017, 19:42
Never carried a second, no need to since if you have a full one you have at least 2 weeks, drop off the partial one in a hiker box and you will, via Karma, pick another up with that fuel + interest up trail.

where are you coming up with 2 weeks? most stoves in most conditions use between 7-10 gr of fuel to boil 2 cups water. that's between 11-15 16oz boils on 110gr canister.

you can heat water to less than boiling, use less water/meal, or cook fewer meals but just generally telling someone without any qualifications "at least 2 weeks" or to rely on karma isn't very good advice...

Starchild
01-30-2017, 21:39
where are you coming up with 2 weeks? most stoves in most conditions use between 7-10 gr of fuel to boil 2 cups water. that's between 11-15 16oz boils on 110gr canister.

you can heat water to less than boiling, use less water/meal, or cook fewer meals but just generally telling someone without any qualifications "at least 2 weeks" or to rely on karma isn't very good advice...

I thought I was being conservative as I've heard 3-4 weeks (often mentioned). But just going by the numbers and letting it fall where it may:

A Jetboil will boil about (actually over) 10L of water per 100g (barring temps below 20F). That's about 20 pints (approximating L as quarts) or 40 cups. A day would easily be 1 cup for breakfast and 2 for dinner, so 13.33 days. So 10 g/L or 5g/pint or 2.5g/cup.

So yes you are right less than 2 weeks by my calculations and that is with a Jetboil, and other less efficient systems can expect less and your numbers seem to be in line, though seem somewhat inefficient to me.

Though the karma comment is more like don't carry 2 canisters ever on the AT, as one will always get you to another and the partly empty canister will be greatly appreciated and most likely you will get it repaid in a karmic sense.

Secondmouse
01-31-2017, 13:01
I thought I was being conservative as I've heard 3-4 weeks (often mentioned). But just going by the numbers and letting it fall where it may:

A Jetboil will boil about (actually over) 10L of water per 100g (barring temps below 20F). That's about 20 pints (approximating L as quarts) or 40 cups. A day would easily be 1 cup for breakfast and 2 for dinner, so 13.33 days. So 10 g/L or 5g/pint or 2.5g/cup.

So yes you are right less than 2 weeks by my calculations and that is with a Jetboil, and other less efficient systems can expect less and your numbers seem to be in line, though seem somewhat inefficient to me.

Though the karma comment is more like don't carry 2 canisters ever on the AT, as one will always get you to another and the partly empty canister will be greatly appreciated and most likely you will get it repaid in a karmic sense.

OK, yeah good will is rampant on the trail and I bet I could go weeks without fuel just by borrowing. but I wouldn't count on hiker box karma - you could have just 1 person ahead of you on the trail that would wreck that plan.

the math is pretty easy. the small canisters are 100 or 110gr, medium are 230-250. figure out what your stove uses per meal and divide that into the weight of gas. add a fiddle factor for wind, etc., and/or throw a couple 14gr Esbit tabs in there for emergencies.

the 230gr (8oz) canisters are more weight-efficient than the 110gr (4oz) and less expensive in the long run. they won't fit inside of the smaller cup-size pots like the original Jetboil though.

I have the original model Jetboil and it is definitely more efficient than my Soto but I haven't bothered to figure out exactly because of its weight. I'm sure there's a rubric for where the efficiency crosses the weight to make it a good idea to carry but I'm not there yet...

penny b
02-01-2017, 16:13
I was looking at the MSR pockettocket anyone have feed back on that . I was concerned with getting canisters on the trail but seems from others on here that shouldnt be a issue . But anyone use them have good bad or indifferent feed back on how they work or not ?

bigcranky
02-01-2017, 16:38
People love the Pocket Rocket. For the life of me I cannot see why. I've owned most every canister stove on the market, and like most of them better than the PR. Put a pot on the PR and note how much (or how little) surface area contacts the pot supports. Try it with a small mug, in the dark, on an uneven surface.

For me, the best feature of a canister stove is fuel efficiency, and for this, the Jetboils are hard to beat. I've owned Snow Peak stoves that I like, a decent small Primus, and even a Coleman (!), the F1 Ultralight that was super hot and efficient, especially for small pots. Off the market now, of course. Can you go to a backpacking store and compare them in person?

bigcranky
02-01-2017, 16:38
People love the Pocket Rocket. For the life of me I cannot see why. I've owned most every canister stove on the market, and like most of them better than the PR. Put a pot on the PR and note how much (or how little) surface area contacts the pot supports. Try it with a small mug, in the dark, on an uneven surface.

For me, the best feature of a canister stove is fuel efficiency, and for this, the Jetboils are hard to beat. I've owned Snow Peak stoves that I like, a decent small Primus, and even a Coleman (!), the F1 Ultralight that was super hot and efficient, especially for small pots. Off the market now, of course. Can you go to a backpacking store and compare them in person?

penny b
02-01-2017, 17:41
I can that was one of the ones they had there but will continue to research ��

bigcranky
02-01-2017, 17:50
Well, bear in mind that lots of hikers love that stove. I'm in the minority here. That said, when we hike the LT, we hiked for the first 100 miles with thru-hikers who had started at Springer and had 1500 miles already. Most of them had Jetboils, with a few alcohol stoves.

swisscross
02-01-2017, 18:50
If you decide on a pocket rocket be sure you get the newer version the PR2.
Looks to be quite improved over the original.

I really like my Snow Peak Giga Ti (they don't make them anymore but should). The wide spread burner head matches up great with the size of my pot.

Zelph's Fancy Feast stove is my go to solo stove.
The built in pot support fits nicely in the indention on the bottom of my pot. Weird right.

Have fun shopping.

Secondmouse
02-01-2017, 20:20
If you decide on a pocket rocket be sure you get the newer version the PR2.
Looks to be quite improved over the original.

I really like my Snow Peak Giga Ti (they don't make them anymore but should). The wide spread burner head matches up great with the size of my pot.

Zelph's Fancy Feast stove is my go to solo stove.
The built in pot support fits nicely in the indention on the bottom of my pot. Weird right.

Have fun shopping.

what pot, Toaks?..

swisscross
02-01-2017, 20:27
MSR Titan kettle

gbolt
02-01-2017, 21:39
I can't speak to the Pocket Rocket because I paid $10 more for a little less weight and purchased the Micro Rocket. I have no complaints and feel that it meets my needs nicely. I use a Toaks 750 with Bail Handle as my Pot. If I hadn't purchased the Micro Rocket, I would have probably gone with the Crux or maybe even the $5 China Knock Offs. Many people swear by them.

Starchild
02-01-2017, 21:42
OK, yeah good will is rampant on the trail and I bet I could go weeks without fuel just by borrowing. but I wouldn't count on hiker box karma - you could have just 1 person ahead of you on the trail that would wreck that plan.



Should you count on karma for your resupply, in general no, I was not saying to do so, just that you should expect some of them to magically appear along the way. Now those who are doing the AT as a intentional spiritual pilgrimage may count on karma, however that's a different subject.

Secondmouse
02-02-2017, 12:37
MSR Titan kettle

oh cool. I have the 900ml Toaks and it has an indent in the bottom as well. just a tad bigger than the Fancee Feast but it helps center and stabilize the pot.

swisscross
02-02-2017, 12:47
oh cool. I have the 900ml Toaks and it has an indent in the bottom as well. just a tad bigger than the Fancee Feast but it helps center and stabilize the pot.

The indent on the TK is a little larger than the FF also. Hmmm.