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  1. #1
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    Default back up for canister

    if you carry a canister stove do you carry some type of backup in case the canister runs dry ??
    I can think of a few, tin can wood stove, vegatable can stuffed with twigs and such
    OH can stove with a bit of OH to carry, esbit tabs, etc.

  2. #2
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    Yep. My backup is a 4 oz canister to supplement my 4 oz canister. Almost ran out in the Smokies. The Fontana store didn't have any, but I bought one off a guy who had an extra.

    EDITED: wrong size. 4 oz is the smallest, I believe.
    Last edited by Old Hiker; 08-26-2014 at 12:29.
    Old Hiker
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  3. #3
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    I think that's the major drawback of a canister stove - the need to carry a second canister some or much of the time on longer hikes. That means you're carrying two complete fuel containers which can't be refilled or reused.

    That said, I've become pretty adept at figuring out how much fuel is left and getting a new canister just before it runs out.
    Ken B
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  4. #4
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    I went with the MSR Whisper-Lite Universal. It uses both Isobutane canister and white gas, kerosene and unleaded gasoline. It also comes with a inversion stand for the canister so you can get all the fuel out of it. I plan to carry only one canister at a time and a few ounces of white gas just in case.
    Blackheart

  5. #5
    2000 miler Doc's Avatar
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    I carry one Esbit tab in my "just in case" bag. Never had to use it but it's there. I was a Boy Scout-be prepared.

  6. #6
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    I too carry a couple of Esbit tabs just in case. Came in handy when I miscalculated canister fuel efficiency due to the cold.

  7. #7
    Garlic
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    Another "backup" idea is to carry a few dinners that don't absolutely have to be cooked, like instant mashed potatoes, couscous, instant refried beans or Ramen noodles, or some extra cold cereal, nuts, or bread and cheese.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  8. #8
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    Tortillas with peanut butter and raisins for backup meals if your canister runs out early. That's my plan.
    AKA "DANGER" AT Thru-Hiker Class of 2015

  9. #9
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Wood. The ever present fuel stretcher/back up.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    Another "backup" idea is to carry a few dinners that don't absolutely have to be cooked, like instant mashed potatoes, couscous, instant refried beans or Ramen noodles, or some extra cold cereal, nuts, or bread and cheese.
    Had my can lose pressure/low fuel during a cold winter hike....I always carry things that can be eaten cold...ie
    Pbj
    Tortilla
    Tuna pkts
    Nutella
    Cliff bars

    I still bring my canister as I like hot coffee etc but don't really need...

  11. #11
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    Yogi is my primary backup method for canisters. They have been so dependable and predictable and even the smallest one lasts so darn long that I have never had to use this backup, so I am glad this backup does not weight anything.

    If in towns/resupply that do not have them (very rare on the AT), I have found I can use alcohol (if I have a tea light candle holder or other container) or Esbit if I really needed to so I could leave with that in a pinch.

  12. #12
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    Do you have to bring a stand for esbit? I'm thinking that a wad of Al foil on top of the canister burner might keep the burner from over heating and warping.
    Or is that even any kind of issue at all?

  13. #13

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    I always carry a extra canister, if you don't want that extra weight just carry a couple Esbit tabs, the way I use esbit is I take three tent stakes place them in a triangle fashion push them into the ground about an inch above the esbit tab or just use two rocks. also I always use a small piece of aluminum foil underneath the esbit that way it doesn't suck up moisture from the ground, it's also radiates heat for more efficient cooking and you can wrap the esbit in the foil and use the rest later, I usually will use one tab for two meals.

  14. #14

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    I have used a canister stove for the last couple of years. Only carried a backup when canister was low on fuel and didn't want to ditch it. Typically carry the small size, but on occasion carry the larger size if availability might be an issue.

  15. #15
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    One idea for a canister back up is the Evernew EBY 255 stove that weighs 3 oz and burns alcohol, esbit, or wood and does not need a separate windscreen. You can find one of those fuels nearly everywhere. I have used one on several back packing trips now and found it to be a flame thrower when you need it and a long burn stove when you need less heat and a long burn. It makes my coffee in two minutes (in one configuration) and boils water in a heat exchanger pot quicker than my microwave (in another configuration). Hard to beat the multiple fuel flexibility, set up flexibility (from simmer to very high heat), and exceptionally low weight.

  16. #16
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    Do you have to bring a stand for esbit? I'm thinking that a wad of Al foil on top of the canister burner might keep the burner from over heating and warping.
    Or is that even any kind of issue at all?
    NO, Bad Squeezebox!
    Besides safety, Esbit does leave a bit of residue that could gum up your burner if it leaks out, and it can ooze out of foil.

    Red-Dog describes the best way using items you already have- tent stakes and a scrap of foil.
    You can also buy a gram cracker stove http://www.traildesigns.com/accessories/gram-cracker
    It's a bit of overkill cost wise- I bring it when not using my Caldera Cone- two esbit tabs nest inside the stove. You can make one out of a pop can too, or simply cut the bottom 1" off a mini pop can and flip it over for a small stove that is more durable than foil. Flip over your mini pop can stove and you have a servicable alchy burner as well for that odd time you get stuck using alchy. You can also bring a simple cat stove and burn the esbit right in the cat stove instead of alchy.

    You should always carry an emergency fire starter.
    You should always have food you can eat (if you don't have no-cook food then that means you should carry spare fuel)
    If you rely on hot food to back up an UL clothing or sleep system- you should always have backup fuel.

    Esbit serves both purposes, is individually wrapped, has virtually unlimited shelf life. You can use partial tabs for fire or cooking and they split fine with a knife, pointed stick, or your fingers.
    Two tabs per ounce, little or no space in your pack. An empty small canister weighs more than a typical week supply of Esbit tabs.
    Best solution by far.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hiker View Post
    Yep. My backup is a 2 oz canister to supplement my 4 oz canister. Almost ran out in the Smokies. The Fontana store didn't have any, but I bought one off a guy who had an extra.
    Can you tell me more about your 2oz canister?

    To the OP, my backup is mag block and wood fire.

  18. #18

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    The Emberlit titanium wood stove is my backup. Light and folds flat. Always stays in my bladder pouch. Since most of my hiking is in New England, I never run out of fuel.


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  19. #19

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    how long would a 3oz canister typically last you? mine has lasted me 3 to 4 uses on high.

  20. #20
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    I went with the MSR Whisper-Lite Universal. It uses both Isobutane canister and white gas, kerosene and unleaded gasoline. It also comes with a inversion stand for the canister so you can get all the fuel out of it. I plan to carry only one canister at a time and a few ounces of white gas just in case.
    Isn't carrying one canister and a few ounces of white gas the same thing as carrying a backup canister?

    I mean the white gas can't be carried by itself. It has to be carried in a fuel bottle. That fuel bottle is going to weight in the general neighborhood of and empty canister.

    So you should wind up with a net lighter load if you carry a small canister stove (much lighter than the whisper-lite), one canister, and a backup canister with a few ounces of fuel. (In other words, save that nearly empty canister from your last trip as the backup canister for future trips).

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