Canister fuel inventory

2rocky

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what do you do to track fuel use in your fuel canisters? After a couple weekend hunts I have a couple of "half empty" canisters since I don't want to run out in the sticks.

Do you weigh them? Mark the # of boils? shake 'em and guess?

what is your inventory method?
 

mtnwrunner

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Lowman, Idaho
what do you do to track fuel use in your fuel canisters? After a couple weekend hunts I have a couple of "half empty" canisters since I don't want to run out in the sticks.

Do you weigh them? Mark the # of boils? shake 'em and guess?

what is your inventory method?

You know, that is a damn good question and I had thought about it a couple of times. I hate to take two but I usually take the partial one and a full one just so I don't run out.

Randy
 

luke moffat

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Feb 24, 2012
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I take all my partials on my summer/hikes or hunts that really won't require hiking extra meat and antlers out like my fall hunts require. By the time fall hunting season rolls around I'm pretty much done with all the partials and only have full ones left. Just depends on the hunt and how long I plan on being back there if I'm willing to take a couple partials or a full one. Neither is gonna make or break a hunt. However, on a hike in caribou hunt I'm more apt to haul some partials back 12 miles than a sheep hunt where I'll be cussing that extra half full metal containers up and down the mountains. ;) Not really helpful I'm sure, but I just hate wasting fuel canisters and tossing them cause they are half full. Taking a full one along in addition to a partial is a good way to ensure you burn through them all the way prior to moving onto the next canister as well.
 

Yellowknife

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Fairbanks, Alaska
what do you do to track fuel use in your fuel canisters? After a couple weekend hunts I have a couple of "half empty" canisters since I don't want to run out in the sticks.

Do you weigh them? Mark the # of boils? shake 'em and guess?

what is your inventory method?

I use them for day and overnight trips, car camping, helicopter drop off field work, etc. When one starts to get a little low based on the "shake'em and guess" method, I throw a full one in the pack to replace it when it runs dry.

If you are doing just short (weekend) trips, then carrying a partial and full isn't going to kill you. Actually, I have had seen enough canister failures, that I like having two along when they are mission critical anyway. I've had valves stick both open and close, and if that the only canister you are carrying it can be irritating to loose your heat source.

Yk
 

TheRambler

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Jan 13, 2013
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NW Connecticut
An easy method is to put a full canister in a pot of water, preferably the pot you take with you on hunts/backpacking. Memorize where on the canister the water level is and or mark it with a marker. Then do the same with an empty canister. Then over time you can easily just put your canister in your pot and know how much fuel you have remaining. Takes a little practice then to learn how much fuel you use each use, but this is my prefered method.
 

Slim Jim

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Las Vegas, NV
I always mark the date on my fuel canisters that I purchase. I carry the used fuel and a new one then after one is empty I buy another and so on.
 
OP
2rocky

2rocky

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An easy method is to put a full canister in a pot of water, preferably the pot you take with you on hunts/backpacking. Memorize where on the canister the water level is and or mark it with a marker. Then do the same with an empty canister. Then over time you can easily just put your canister in your pot and know how much fuel you have remaining. Takes a little practice then to learn how much fuel you use each use, but this is my prefered method.

I'm going to try this. Thanks for the tip. Lots of good input on this thread.
 

Jager

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Apr 25, 2012
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Australia
Pour boiling water over the canister, then run your finger down the side till you feel a noticeable difference in temperature, this will indicate your gas level. Gas stored in a bottle is liquid and will absorb the heat from the water faster than the empty portion of the canister, hence a half full/half empty canister will have a temperature change that is noticeable half way down. Make sense?
 

Lawnboi

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Mar 2, 2012
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North Central Wi
I hate canisters. I have so many of them laying around half full, 1/4 full, almost full.

Honestly most of the time now I just bring my liquid fuel stove. Im not wasting fuel, it works well in the cold and wind, and overall it isn't as fussy as my pocket rocket. My only complaint with my liquid fuel is the weight. Its an MSR dragonfly.

Im strongly considering getting one of MSR's lighter liquid fuel stove like the whisperlite. For longer durations the weight penalty really isn't all that much when compared to carrying a couple canisters and hoping the cold weather does not screw your fuel consumption.

For the question though, I just shake my canisters to see how full they are. Sometimes I end up taking multiple partially full ones.

The not full ones are nice to take on shorter trips as well at times but honestly on shorter trips where weight is not a huge concern I just end up taking the liquid fuel.
 

Backpack Hunter

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Some wilderness area, somewhere
Pour boiling water over the canister, then run your finger down the side till you feel a noticeable difference in temperature, this will indicate your gas level. Gas stored in a bottle is liquid and will absorb the heat from the water faster than the empty portion of the canister, hence a half full/half empty canister will have a temperature change that is noticeable half way down. Make sense?

That's what I do, sometimes you get lucky and get a sweat line too.
 

trk3263

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Feb 26, 2012
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America
Thanks for all the ideas on this one. I often just take a partial and a full that way I don't run out to early. Also keep one or two at the truck.

There has got to be a way to make an adapter to fill the small ones using a large canister?

I know there has gotta be someone on here that has some pressurized gas knowledge....
 

fillthefreezer

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eatonvile, wa
Thanks for all the ideas on this one. I often just take a partial and a full that way I don't run out to early. Also keep one or two at the truck.

There has got to be a way to make an adapter to fill the small ones using a large canister?

I know there has gotta be someone on here that has some pressurized gas knowledge....
i have that for my 25lb to 1lb LP cyls, seems logical...
i
 

Darren Best

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Dec 30, 2012
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North Idaho
Do not under any circumstances attempt to refill the little gas canisters.

It's just too dangerous to attempt it.

Blends vary from brand to brand, so I will just use MSR IsoPro as an example.

IsoPro is a 20/80 mix of propane and isobutane.

If you attempt to duplicate this mix and get it wrong or use just straight propane it will blow up in your face. Propane has a much lower boiling temp than isobutane does, thus the reason for the thick heavy canisters for pure propane. The warmer it gets out, the higher the pressure inside a canister gets. This is also why it's a bad idea to heat your canister, wrap a windshield all the way around it or to pour boiling water on it.

If you use pure butane to refill them, your stove performance is going to suck when you get close to 30 F and if you do manage to get it lit, once you start cooking and the energy transfer does it's thing and it lowers the temp of the fuel canister, your stove will go out. This is the reason propane is mixed with it and isobutane is used instead of butane.

You may even occasionally see adapters on Ebay to refill them, don't do it. It is just way too dangerous over saving yourself a few dollars.

Yes the little 1lb propane cylinders are different, they are built to handle pure propane and as long as you don't overfill them, they do just fine. The little camping canisters are NOT built to withstand the pressure of pure propane.

The boiling point of propane is -43.6 degrees F, isobutane boils at 10.94 F and butane boils at 30.2 F. So you can see propane produces much higher pressures at the same temps as the other gases and below 30 butane is worthless as it wont vaporize so you can get it to burn.
 

Darren Best

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Dec 30, 2012
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682
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North Idaho
I used to use the water method but changed over to weighing them. I use MSR IsoPro because it is the best winter blend canister fuel on the market.

My Whisperlite Universal had about a 75 minute burn time on a 8oz canister, so that translated to just a little over 9 minutes per oz. An empty canister weighs 5.6 oz, a full one 13.6. So I just weighed them on my postal scale after each trip and wrote down how many ounces were left in the can.
 

trk3263

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Feb 26, 2012
Messages
421
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America
Elk hunter. I am not talking to make my own just wondering if I can use the bigger say jetboil gas to too of the smaller jetboil gas canister.

Not sure if this would even benefit in the long run because of the way it would only equalize rather than fill ounces the big canister got so low so than I would still be stuck with a partial.
 

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