• Happy Book Lovers Day!

MSR Fuel Canisters

Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
11
Reaction score
2
Location
Cincinnati
Can anyone give me an estimate of how long one of MSR's fuel canisters will run for: Fuel Canister on REI. I've used them on short trips and on ones where we did a lot of cooking on fires, but now I'm doing a 6-7 day trip with my son-in-law and wanted to make sure we had enough fuel with us.

Thanks
 

Glenn MacGrady

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Messages
2,840
Reaction score
1,041
Location
Connecticut
Can anyone give me an estimate of how long one of MSR's fuel canisters will run for: Fuel Canister on REI. I've used them on short trips and on ones where we did a lot of cooking on fires, but now I'm doing a 6-7 day trip with my son-in-law and wanted to make sure we had enough fuel with us.

Thanks

I take two for a week trip by myself and don't think I have ever gone through even one full canister. Of course, I'm just one person and fire up my stove only twice a day to boil water for a freeze dried meal and tea. More use, obviously, would burn more fuel.

Three cannisters should be enough. If you find yourselves blowing through the first cannister faster than expected, you can cut down on your cooking time. You can also bring a cheap alcohol or twig stove as a backup. And, in any case, after the trip you will have your own gauge as to how much fuel you will need for next time.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,937
Reaction score
916
Location
Raymond, ME
I usually got 4 -5 days solo with an 8 oz canister. The one Fritz is the tiny one. However I often baked with an Outback Oven half the days which meant an hour of use a day.

Two of the 8 oz would do you.. The bigger container 8 oz is one dollar more than the 4 oz.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
458
Reaction score
203
Location
Hogtown
Highly dependant on ambient temperature, altitude AND the stove you are using.

I use the 1lb (450 gram) canisters, mostly the cheaper Primus versions (not great in really cold weather). I can't locate the specs at the moment but I recall 10 grams of fuel to boil 1 litre of water (using my MSR Reactor stove) at 1000 feet or lower.

In practice a 1 lb canister lasts me about 10 days (about 40+ litres of water). For a 30 day solo I take 4 x 1lb, usually that is plenty.

My usual daily usage, 2 litres in the morning and 2 litres in the evening.

You will use a lot more fuel if you are doing actually cooking.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
816
Reaction score
359
Location
Bowmanville, Ontario
I'm with Recped, depends on the stove/weather and even the cookware you use.

I cook breakfast and dinner, and will go through about 1/2 - 2/3 of a 1 lb canister in 7 days. They are the most economical, if you go this route make sure to lookup and get a canister to canister transfer valve. With this you can combine partials to make a full canister. Otherwise you end up with a collection of partials, which means guessing or taking a couple partials.

Brian
 
Joined
Oct 21, 2021
Messages
92
Reaction score
55
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
There are some decent videos on youtube, incl by REI, talking about fuel use rates and calculating how many to take on a trip. As others said, I think big factors are temp, wind, altitude, and whether you're just boiling or truly cooking (simmering etc).
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2013
Messages
536
Reaction score
116
Location
south of Winnipeg
For a summer trip one 8oz canister will last the two of us a full week, but we are pretty frugal by many standards and I do use a super efficient windscreen around my pot. Plus, never run your stove at full blast, all it does is waste fuel, most of heat is lost up the sides.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
816
Reaction score
359
Location
Bowmanville, Ontario
Two other points I guess ... the pots I use have a heat exchanger ring on the bottom, and that ups the heat transfer efficiency quite a bit. The stove/burner I use also does both gas and liquid mode, when the temp goes below 1-2C, then the canister is inverted and uses the liquid fuel from the canister, this ups the BTUs but cuts the efficiency.

If you plan on using the stove at lower temps, just realize the canisters aren't very good as you approach freezing.

Brian
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
11
Reaction score
2
Location
Cincinnati
Thanks all for the excellent information. Because I tend to take more than I need, I've bought a 16 oz. canister and will take a couple of partly used small canisters. I like the security of extra.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
816
Reaction score
359
Location
Bowmanville, Ontario
Thanks all for the excellent information. Because I tend to take more than I need, I've bought a 16 oz. canister and will take a couple of partly used small canisters. I like the security of extra.
Fitz if you already have partials, this is a good investment (at least for me it was)


There are a few types, but they all work the same .... the instructions are with the unit, it is a quick and efficient way to move the fuel in and out of canisters. When I get a new canister, I usually weigh it and write the date and weight on the bottom. When I get back from a trip, I reweigh and top it back up to starting weight using the partials I have on hand.


Brian
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
11
Reaction score
2
Location
Cincinnati
Looks like a great little gadget. I'll likely order one when I get back from this trip.

Do you know if it works with the small propane tanks used for two burner car camping stoves?
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
816
Reaction score
359
Location
Bowmanville, Ontario
That one is for the butane/propane mixed canisters, but they do have them for propane as well. The thread standards are different, so you need one for each application.

Fun fact, there is also an adapter that goes from a standard propane cylinder to a butane/propane stove. So, you can use the small propane cylinders with a butane/propane stove.

Brian
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
526
Reaction score
151
Location
Ontario
Looks like a great little gadget. I'll likely order one when I get back from this trip.

Do you know if it works with the small propane tanks used for two burner car camping stoves?
Careful with the propane ones, in many states and most provinces they're illegal, and the fines are substantial.
This is the law in Ontario "Adapters designed to transfer propane from a BBQ-type cylinder to a non-refillable cylinder are being offered to the public via online retailers and are further promoted on YouTube (demonstrating a very dangerous practice). Refilling single trip cylinders is prohibited by Ontario laws and this practice may result in cylinders that are overfilled and thus have a potential to cause serious fires, explosions and burn hazards to end users. In addition, the adaptors offered for sale are not approved and may cause additional hazards"
Ohio may have similar so check with your local authority
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2013
Messages
536
Reaction score
116
Location
south of Winnipeg
Yeah never put propane into a “camping” style canister- the ones with a concave base, domed top and the Lindal style valve. Propane boils at a much lower temperature so the chance of a very big bang is pretty high. There are adapters that connect stoves intended for use with Lindal valves to the steel Coleman 1lb canisters, not something I’ve tried but maybe a good idea for car camping. Canadian Tire sells a canister for a propane torch that uses a Lindal valve. I’ve used these for winter camping but they are tall and skinny so work best with a remote canister stove.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
816
Reaction score
359
Location
Bowmanville, Ontario
Wasn't suggesting refilling propane, just that you can connect and use a propane 1 lb with a camp stove, using the appropriate adapter (during the canister shortage, I used this option and it works well).

BV not sure of the actual properties of mixing hydrocarbon liquids, but most of the "butane" (i.e. MSR) canisters also contain propane, just for that reason, it extends the usable temp range, as the propane will continue to boil off at lower temps. This will upset the component ratios and eventually during extended cold weather use of gas burning, eventually you get very little output even though the tank still has liquid. That would be the butane component that can't boil off at lower temps.

Since I camp in lower temps as well, I have a dual mode burner which allows me to invert the canister and burn the liquid fuel which gets around the temp limitations usually associated with mixed gas canisters.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2013
Messages
379
Reaction score
69
Location
Eastern NC
Maybe I’m missing something, but my partials either go with me on the trip, or stay with my vehicle to be used while car camping. When the fuel container empties I take it to a metal recycling center. Playing around with gas transfers seems unnecessarily risky, involves buying more stuff, and creates another project.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
816
Reaction score
359
Location
Bowmanville, Ontario
Maybe I’m missing something, but my partials either go with me on the trip, or stay with my vehicle to be used while car camping. When the fuel container empties I take it to a metal recycling center. Playing around with gas transfers seems unnecessarily risky, involves buying more stuff, and creates another project.
Sometimes taking multiple containers of gas will actually matter, from a volume and extra weight perspective. Transferring from one cylinder to another is not a lot different than refilling a good butane lighter (which I also do).

The point about refilling from a larger tank is valid, involving a larger quantity of fuel increases the risk for serious harm dramatically. Apply a little common sense and the transfers between the smaller canisters of butane mix fuel is straight forward and gives another tool to be be used in handling your gear .... if you don't feel comfortable learning or using the process or feel it is unsafe or don't need the space in your pack, it likely isn't for you.

For me, I have space and weight allocation for 1 canister, so I transfer to the fill weight before a trip and that works out for me, because I know just what fuel I have.

Keep in mind that these threads are designed to share information and ideas, with the operational aspects left to the individual users. Like some "shop" videos have a disclaimer that safety equipment was removed for demonstration purposes, not everything is in the thread. Another oft time unmentioned safety point is not leaving the canisters in an enclosed space or direct sun ... or worse a closed vehicle in the sun ... all things that a user should learn when they use the products.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2016
Messages
13
Reaction score
9
Fun topic.

My take: I've always come out from a trip with fuel remaining – so in that sense I always carry unnecessary fuel. And if I have to carry in an extra, partially filled canister there's always an air pocket somewhere in my pack to stuff it.

I base my canister fuel requirements on this: 1 oz. of fuel = 23 minutes of burn time (using high, medium and simmer settings). That's a generalized figure.

I never bothered with buying a refill adapter after learning about issues like: combining dissimilar mixes, overfilling danger and the time involved. But spending a little money on a 5 lb. postal scale was really worth it to know how much fuel I have in a canister. (And to analyze and cut down on gear weight.)

To answer the original question, an 8 oz. canister lasts me 4-1/2 days. That's solo, using it 3 to 4 times/day. And, I use a windscreen above the canister to conserve and direct the heat.
 
Last edited:
Top