Last updated 9May24

Gas Canisters

Gases used in hiking canisters are Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) (notes courtesy of Stephen M):

  • Propane
    The good stuff, boiling point -42°C. However, it requires a heavier canister to safely withstand the higher pressure. This is why it is used as a mix with either butane or isobutane so a light weight canister can be used for hiking.
  • Isobutane
    Boiling point of -12°C. This is a good mix to use with propane. However it is a more expensive fuel to source and process than normal butane.
  • Normal butane or “N-Butane”
    Boiling point of -1°C. It is the cheapest and poorest-performing fuel of the three.

They can be mixed in various proportions:

  • 3 season mix
    butane (also known as n-butane) / isobutane / propane. Typical ratio is (46/28/26).
  • 4 season mix
    isobutane / propane. Typical ratio is (80/20).

Canister Filler

I have a Campingmoon Z15 Multi Adapter. Do not fill with a different gas mix. Watch the video here. The process to refill/top up hiking stove canisters is:

1. Note the gross and net weights of the input canister (the empty one/one to be topped up). For the small canisters I use which can be packed with my stove, gross weight = 200gm, net weight = weight of gas = 100gm. So weight of canister = 100gm
3. Weigh the input canister to determine current gross weight. Subtract weight of canister to determine current amount of gas. Eg. a canister to be topped up might weigh 147gm. So Weight of gas currently in canister = Current gross weight – weight of canister = 147 – 100 = it has 47gm of gas in it. This gives you a guide as to how much gas to add
4. Do not fill input canister beyond 80% of net weight! Eg. for a small canister, do not fill it beyond 180gm gross ie, weight of canister (100gm) + 80% of net weight when full (80gm) = 180gm = target gross weight
5. Put input canister (the empty one) in the fridge for 30mins
6. Not necessary to heat output canister (the full one), but could do in hot water
7. Connect Adapter first to input canister, then to output canister
8. Open valve. About 10 seconds transfers about 22gm of gas. Close valve
9. Re-weigh canister. Do not exceed target weight
10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 as necessary

Safe Disposal of Used Canisters

I have a Jetboil Crunchit Butane Canister Recycling Tool. Use on EN417 Standard Lindal valve canisters. The process to safely dispose of a canister is:

1. Burn remaining gas in canister with valve fully open until flame goes out. Canister should be completely empty
2. Remove orange blade protector. Thread tool onto empty canister. A small amount of residual gas may vent during threading. This is normal. Discontinue and repeat step 1 if venting does not cease within a few seconds
3.  Continue threading tool down onto canister until resistance felt
4. Press down on Crunchit handle to puncture canister. Puncture canister in 3 or 4 well-spaced locations to ensure canister is easily recognisable as empty
5. Recycle canister as you would a tin or steel can.

Remote canister feed

I have a Kovea remote canister burner. This allows you to invert the canister to draw off the liquified gas in cold temperatures

Gas Canister Calculator

There’s a gas canister calculator here that might be of use.

Record your own Usage

Weigh your canister before and after a trip. Keep a record of what you used your stove for. You’ll soon have data to help you estimate how much gas you need for the next trip.