What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather? | High Sierra Topix  

What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.
User avatar

What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?

Postby hikin_jim » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:15 pm

OK, I need some gas for some cold weather trips. So, I bopped into REI. Hey, wait a minute. This gas is 75% butane and that one is 65% isobutane and this one over here is three gasses. What the heck?? How is anybody supposed to know which one is gonna work for cold weather? And what the dickens are these blends all about anyway?

All important questions if you're headed out in cold weather. I try to answer them all in two posts on my blog:
What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?
Why blended gas? Why not just use propane?

HJ
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving



User avatar
hikin_jim
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:34 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?

Postby rlown » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:34 pm

nice summary, hikin_jim.

Of course there's always the white gas or for the very brave in wet conditions, wood.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5350
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?

Postby hikin_jim » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:52 pm

Thanks.

And, yeah, if it's REALLY cold, then liquid fuel (white gasoline or kerosene) is the way to go. But you can use canister gas down to 0F/-18C if you've got an inverted canister stove. Pretty nice if you're "trapped" in your tent by bad weather. Priming a white gas stove in a tent? NO THANKS.

HJ
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving
User avatar
hikin_jim
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:34 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?

Postby rlown » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:59 pm

Not sure i'd ever recommend lighting a stove in a tent, as that's more of a CO issue, but.. That's more reason for a vestibule in cold weather. My Coleman stove's (white gas) haven't been a priming problem. Well, except for that first lighting at altitude.. very strange.. they want to flame up all bright and yellow for a few mins.. I shut her off, and then good to go.. This doesn't always happen so i think it's a pressure issue. hmm.. maybe that is a priming problem.. :D

Anyway, never light up in a tent.. err, a stove, that is..
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 5350
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: Petaluma and Wilton, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?

Postby hikin_jim » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:33 am

rlown wrote:Anyway, never light up in a tent.. err, a stove, that is..
:lol: :lol:

Most serious mountaineers, sooner or later, wind up having to use a stove in a tent (or vestibule). Just comes with the territory. Carbon monoxide is a huge and potentially deadly issue. Priming can be a real problem too.

A tip on priming: Use alcohol instead of white gas to prime. It's easier to control how much priming fuel you dispense if you use a squeeze bottle of alcohol and alcohol doesn't fireball the way that white gas does.

HJ
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving
User avatar
hikin_jim
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:34 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?

Postby frediver » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:46 pm

Beans, keep you warm all night!
User avatar
frediver
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:15 pm
Location: n.cal
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?

Postby hikin_jim » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:56 am

frediver wrote:Beans, keep you warm all night!
:lol:

But can that gas power your stove?

DEFINITELY don't light up in your tent under those conditions.

HJ
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving
User avatar
hikin_jim
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:34 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?

Postby fishmonger » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:22 am

hikin_jim wrote:Thanks.

And, yeah, if it's REALLY cold, then liquid fuel (white gasoline or kerosene) is the way to go. But you can use canister gas down to 0F/-18C if you've got an inverted canister stove. Pretty nice if you're "trapped" in your tent by bad weather. Priming a white gas stove in a tent? NO THANKS.

HJ


When it's really cold I use an upside down canister stove and 0F isn't a problem as long as you don't bring pure butane. Just don't light the thing when the canister is upside down, because you have mostly liqiud isobutane running out all over your stove before it's lit :eek: (glad I learned that lesson while lighting it outside the tent - made a nice camp fire sized "stove bonfire" for a moment. Light it with the can upright, then turn it. Not sure why that's not in the 10 page "warning you're about to die booklet"

On short trips I take the regular jetboil and just make sure I have a fresh canister and if it's really cold I put it in the sleeping bag with me. One of those handwarmer chemical heater packs and a wool sock over the canister with the pack inside are also really effective to keep the fuel flowing on a cold morning at Iceberg Lake.
User avatar
fishmonger
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 946
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Madison, WI
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: What's the Best Gas for Cold Weather?

Postby hikin_jim » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:57 pm

The only problem with turning the canister upright to start the stove is then you're burning off your propane at a faster rate than the other components of your fuel mix. Propane of course is what is providing the pressure that feeds the burner. You want to keep that propane so your canister pressure will be high enough to power a burner.

I've had pretty good luck with turning the stove down really low to start, and then increasing the flame from there. Some stoves, like the Coleman Xpert, don't even have a way to start with vapor feed. You must start them in liquid feed (upside down canister = liquid feed). You do have to be really careful of flaring though or you might just become part of what's cooking. :eek: :thumbsdown:

HJ
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving
User avatar
hikin_jim
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:34 pm
Experience: N/A


Return to Outdoor Gear Topix



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests