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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I just got the MSR pocketrocket for lightweight backpacking. Anyway, it uses small fuel canisters of IsoPro (Jetboil, MSR, etc). These are fairly light themselves, but I was curious about using the larger "green can" propane that you can buy at China mart are wherever.

Has anyone used straight propane with their MSR or is it best to stick to the IsoPro mix canisters?
 

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I don't know why you would want to try it. The MSR uses isobutane/propane blend to achieve maximum heat rapdly. I would imagine that the threads on the std. 1 lb propane bottles would not mate with the MSR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know why you would want to try it. The MSR uses isobutane/propane blend to achieve maximum heat rapdly. I would imagine that the threads on the std. 1 lb propane bottles would not mate with the MSR.
That was my thinking as well, I just didnt want to attempt to screw the MSR onto the bottle to see and risk messing the thread up. As far as why: my local sporting good stores dont carry IsoPro, but they have an abundance of green bottle propane (and they have some nice sales going). I was thinking of stocking up for power outage use. I have to drive almost an hour to find the small canisters of IsoPro.
 

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I have had a problem finding isopro locally as well. I don't intend to us it much other than in my BOB if TSHTF - I use it while backpacking because the fuel is so light and the BTU output is off the charts. I do stock quite a few propane canisters for longer term applications. 1lb bottles are cheap and a great way to use a catalytic heater in case of power outages. Always be cautious with its storage though - I have seen propane fueled fires that would make you cringe and never want to be near a canister. None the less, I keep several 100lb bottles strategically located and a about 100 of the 1lb bottles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have had a problem finding isopro locally as well. I don't intend to us it much other than in my BOB if TSHTF - I use it while backpacking because the fuel is so light and the BTU output is off the charts. I do stock quite a few propane canisters for longer term applications. 1lb bottles are cheap and a great way to use a catalytic heater in case of power outages. Always be cautious with its storage though - I have seen propane fueled fires that would make you cringe and never want to be near a canister. None the less, I keep several 100lb bottles strategically located and a about 100 of the 1lb bottles.
What I may end up doing is buying a camping stove (such as colemans) to run the green bottles with. That way, I can get some IsoPro for my BOB / lightweight camping. Then, if I have a power outage in the coming winter, I have something to cook with (I have an electric stove).
 

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The threads are not the same. I've never seen an adapter for them either. I just wouldn't risk it. I'd save my cash and make it worth that trip to buy several canisters. If you can get to an REI, they sell huge cans of ISOPRO. I believe it's labeled by MSR and Jetboil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The threads are not the same. I've never seen an adapter for them either. I just wouldn't risk it. I'd save my cash and make it worth that trip to buy several canisters. If you can get to an REI, they sell huge cans of ISOPRO. I believe it's labeled by MSR and Jetboil.
Ive seen them online, but shipping is pretty expensive due to hazmat. I dont have an REI close by, but I do have a Bass Pro (hour or so trip). Maybe they will carry the larger ones. The smaller cans are good for about a weekend of basic cooking, but Im looking for something to add as a medium length event (ie, power outage due to storms / ice storm / snow). Just getting things ready for winter :)
 

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The "Isobutane" cannisters are usually 80% butane and 20% propane or thereabouts. Butane is cheap and easy to store, but boils at around zero degrees celcius. Hence it does not work at freezing temps. The 20% propane helps it along. 100% propane of course would be even better (propane, IIRC, boils at around -30 celcius) but the downside is that, due to the lower boiling point, the storage container needs to be able to withstand much higher pressures. Hence, propane storage containers are both heavier and more expensive. Weight being the key concern for hiking stoves.

You might also need different jets for burning a 100% propane vs 80/20, although i'm not certain. I'd say though, if you can get a converter give it a try. If it works, then great!
 

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Propane mix gasses- butane, etc- burn in the COLD And altitude over 5k'!! Old school butane stoves, didnt. Sure are convienient Instant hot meal... I like re-fillability of liquid hiking stove. Carry gas cans... Also hotter. My old Gaz stove turned on, couldnt take off burner once can open. Sleeping bag reeked for days

I also like alcohol stoves for U/L backpacking Old Alps mountaineer stove Not very hot Slower to boil With everclear, add water, coolaid. =)
 

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What I may end up doing is buying a camping stove (such as colemans) to run the green bottles with. That way, I can get some IsoPro for my BOB / lightweight camping. Then, if I have a power outage in the coming winter, I have something to cook with (I have an electric stove).
If that's what your after, buy one of those burners that just sit on top of the little green bottles. I have one for car camping. One of those screw on burners (the bottle is the base for the burner) would be a lot cheaper than an entire stove.
 

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I have the same stove (among many others!) and you should stick with the iso/butane cartridge. Wally world has them for 4.88. Everytime I go in that place I pick up a couple. You can even get a tiny lantern that runs on those tanks, pretty bright actually.
 

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If that's what your after, buy one of those burners that just sit on top of the little green bottles. I have one for car camping. One of those screw on burners (the bottle is the base for the burner) would be a lot cheaper than an entire stove.
Yeah, me too. Sits in my van between the seats for my coffee/tea addiction. Lots of fast heat when you need it. Would not like to carry it in my pack though, a bit too bulky and heavy. For that I use the Pocket Rocket.
 

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If that's what your after, buy one of those burners that just sit on top of the little green bottles. I have one for car camping. One of those screw on burners (the bottle is the base for the burner) would be a lot cheaper than an entire stove.
That's what I ended up doing too, and really they do work very well. If you can get over the extra weight vs MSR and the like. But frequent portability wasn't my target, I mainly wanted emergency portability coupled with good fuel availability. ALMOST went for the Coleman Exponent multi-fuel ($$$!!), but in the end it made more sense for me to go with the propane one.
 

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The one thing I'll warn you about is that they can be a little unstable if you put a sauce pan half full of water on them, like you might if you were cooking up some noodles or something when the power goes out. Not to bad, just keep the kids and pets away. But it's the same thing with the Pocket Rocket (have one of those as well), so you're probably well aware of it.

Stay safe.
 

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The threading is fairly standardized.

I use Isopro/butane with my MSR PR.

Just get a look at the threading, and as long as there is a threaded male adapter it should work.
 

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I have started to see Isobutane canisters at Wal-mart now. They are priced comparable to everywhere else. I buy a can or two everytime I'm at REI, Wally World, or other sporting goods stores. It adds up pretty fast
 

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If you are looking for a BOB I would recomend an alcohol stove. I use the "Yellow" heat gasline antifreeze. On sale less than a buck a bottle. One bottle will last a weekend of cooking. If you are looking for something you don't have to lug around, yea, propane would work well. I have a Coleman 2 burner stove and will run that off of 20lb. tanks for cooking at home. As for the isobutane cans, Wally World sells them under the Coleman name for about the same price as other manufactures (MSR, Jetboil, Brunton)
 

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One thing I noticed is that the Coleman 220g. canister didn't last very long. It's more than twice the size of the small 100g. Jetboil canister and I only got 4 more burns out of it. I found this odd. I thought maybe it leaked, so I bought another one to try out. Yes, I'm weird like that. I mark on the side of the canister with a sharpie every time I use it. It has helped me out determining how many burns I have left in a fuel canister. With the Jetboil canisters, I have had consistency within 3 burns over 5 canisters over the years.
 

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The fuel doesn't work so well, so don't try it. The IsoPro is a better mixture of gas than straight up butane, the problem is when the can gets cold it has trouble condensing to a gas to keep the flame going. Jetboil tried to remedy this by turning the can upside down on one of their stoves and it has proven effective; so if you have a stove like the MSR WindPro you could achieve the same results. For those of us that use the Jetboil PCS, Pocket Rocket, or Giga Power, simply put enough water in a pan to cover just the bottom of the canister and it'll help it condense. Also in freezing temps move your bottle into your coat along with your water and it'll keep it warmer and help it condense.

Still for really cold temps, high altitudes and long trips, I turn to my mulitfuel Optimus Nova every time. White gas is clean burning and very efficient, and my Nova will burn unleaded, diesel, and other types of fuel that are readily available in an emergency.
 
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