Carrying MSR fuel bottles

7:58 p.m. on August 4, 2012 (EDT)
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What's your opinion on the best way to carry full fuel bottles for a MSR stove?

We are  concerned that fuel could leak into a backpack/clothing/gear etc.

Is there any kinda bag that is impervious to shellite?


We are thinking of using holsters on the outer sides of the backpack: your thoughts?

8:04 p.m. on August 4, 2012 (EDT)
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i carry fuel in an outer pocket, and usually within a coated silnylon stuff sack dedicated for fuel.  so far, i haven't wrecked anything as the few leaks i have experienced get confined to the stuff sack.  so, i guess i agree with what  you are thinking of doing.  

8:25 p.m. on August 4, 2012 (EDT)
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I use the outer pocket as well, although I've never put it in a bag. Its a good idea though, a little extra protection. I think I'm going to start doing that.

1:15 p.m. on August 5, 2012 (EDT)
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Bushyfox said:

What's your opinion on the best way to carry full fuel bottles for a MSR stove?

We are  concerned that fuel could leak into a backpack/clothing/gear etc.

Is there any kinda bag that is impervious to shellite?


We are thinking of using holsters on the outer sides of the backpack: your thoughts?

 Here is a holster for you,

@

http://www.wolfmanluggage.com/Accessories/bottle_holster.html


BottleHolster.jpg

3:48 p.m. on August 5, 2012 (EDT)
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Welcome to Trailspace Bushyfox!

I use MSR fuel bottles - I make sure the O ring on the threaded cap is in good shape, make sure the cap is tight, and put the fuel bottle in one of the outer pockets of my backpack. Same thing goes for carrying the fuel bottle with the fuel pump installed in the bottle instead of the cap.

I have never had fuel leak as long as the cap or pump was tight.

Mike G.

7:59 a.m. on August 6, 2012 (EDT)
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Like Trout, I have never had a problem in forty years with MSR and Sig (similar to MSR) fuel bottles leaking.  Just replace the rubber seal on the cap whenever it becomes brittle or damaged.

I would not, however, use the pump as a cap while transporting the bottle.  Unintended light abuse, being jostled while under way may damage the pump, or cause it to leak.

Ed

9:33 a.m. on August 6, 2012 (EDT)
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I also just stow it in an outer pocket, usually one of the low side pouches designed for water bottles. 

5:36 p.m. on August 6, 2012 (EDT)
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Same.  Outer pocket.  Never had any leaks.

7:50 p.m. on August 6, 2012 (EDT)
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Two things will ensure you never have a problem.

1) Check your o-ring in the cap and make sure it is in good condition and lubed appropiately. The o-ring is what makes the seal, so if the o-ring is dry and cracked or pitted etc your fuel bottle WILL leak.

2) Carry fuel bottles in an outside pocket, so in the event of a leak it doesnt really affect anything.

That being said, I have never had a leak. But I also check my o-rings frequently. I typically replace the o-rings on the cap when I do annual maintenance on my stoves.

5:05 p.m. on August 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I got a primus stove, and it have an off-on thing on it that let the pressure out so I carry it with the pump on and inside my pack. I guess I would be carrying it outside my pack if I couldn't do that...

if you need a small extra pocket, this one seems nice:

http://www.cilogear.com/wandpocket.html

1:06 a.m. on August 11, 2012 (EDT)
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I carry my MSR bottle with pump installed wherever I want,  but usually inside my pack although with my large collection of stoves now, the MSR line sees little use compared to old times, maybe one time had slight leakage, no big deal, not a revolting smell like auto gas.  Like all of your other important pieces of gear, be careful with it, there are many who are pretty careless with their stuff.

Duane

9:15 a.m. on August 11, 2012 (EDT)
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I always carry my MSR fuel bottle with the pump attached but vent it in the morning to release pressure before shoving off.  Occasionally and for some unknown reason, the on/off fuel valve opens slightly when moving and I can smell gas from the pack and have to stop and adjust the dang thing.  The bottle is always inside a bread loaf plastic bag to keep leaks inside and not on the pack.

I guess I could carry an extra bottle cap and store the pump in my pack somewhere during transport but then actually the pump is in more of a vulnerable position than when attached to the bottle and carried in an outside back pocket of my pack.  Plus I'd have to carry an extra cap.

Another point---the new MSR bottles have the terrible "child proof" caps which are a pain in the butt and are heavy and bulky and just unneeded and not an improvement on the old style.  The new caps are double with downward pressure needed on the outer cap to open or close the inner cap.  A big waste of time.  Plus, you aren't really sure the inner cap is completely closed and tight. And what happens with these caps in the winter if they get wet and freeze up?

Finally, I think it's a good idea for backpackers to upgrade their stove pumps on a regular basis, like once every 2 years or so.  Pumps can crack and deform and malfunction and in the field this can be the end of your stove cooking for awhile.  Sometimes on long trips I also leave a hidden emergency cache at the trailhead containing a thermarest and a new stove pump, just in case.

12:17 p.m. on August 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Tipi Walter said:

..I guess I could carry an extra bottle cap and store the pump in my pack somewhere during transport but then actually the pump is in more of a vulnerable position than when attached to the bottle and carried in an outside back pocket of my pack...

I have seen four pumps damaged.  All occurred when the pumps were in bottles, be it while laying around camp or in a pack.  The pump may have more exposed surface when not threaded onto a bottle, but the length of the bottle can multiply forces exerted to the parts that are exposed, due to the longer effective lever moment. In one case the damage was on an old yellow plastic pump with a metal plunger shaft.  The yellow plastic cracked on the part protruding from the bottle, and the plunger shaft was bent.  This was a bottle stored in a side pocket of a pack that was leaned against a rock  Two breakages were gray body pumps with black plastic plunger shafts that have an X cross section.  The end of the pump shaft was broken off in both instances. One bottle was buried in the bowels of the pack, while the other was in a outside pocket and believed to have lost a shoving contest when an article lashed on to the pack exterior was forcibly repositioned by a low hanging branch.  The last pump was also a gray pump accidentally stepped on at camp.

But playing the devil’s advocate, I have seen at least that many pumps damaged with galled bottle threads, caused by forcing the pump into the bottle when the pump and bottle were not properly aligned.  Obviously the more times you insert/remove the pump from a bottle, the more chances you have to gall the threads.

Ed

2:49 p.m. on August 11, 2012 (EDT)
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I have fallen backwards a couple times with my pack on and landed right on the two back pockets housing both my tent poles, stakes, and the two fuel bottles, one with the pump attached.  I was a bit worried then so I checked the pump for damage---all a-okay. And checked the tent poles of course.

Generally I'm very careful about pack shoving and crunching and crushing and so far I've had no pump damage.  I'm pretty dang careful with all my gear when out on a trip, although this last trip really did a number on gear---broken cork on my fancy Black Diamond alpine cork hiking pole, froze up Sangean radio dead-in-camp and intentionally destroyed, broken hat back-clasp, broken Mystery Ranch pack buckle, etc.  But no malfunctioning pump or stove.

Removing the pump also introduces a fractional bit of white gas into the pack and also wastes a fractional bit of white gas which coats the bottom section of the part being removed.  Nitpicking observances.

3:40 p.m. on August 12, 2012 (EDT)
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Ive seen the lip of the fuel bottles dent causing leaks.

I always turn the bottle upside down and shake it a couple of times then check for leaks before putting it away in my pack.

9:23 p.m. on August 12, 2012 (EDT)
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Tipi Walter said:

...Another point---the new MSR bottles have the terrible "child proof" caps which are a pain in the butt and are heavy and bulky and just unneeded and not an improvement on the old style.  The new caps are double with downward pressure needed on the outer cap to open or close the inner cap.  A big waste of time.  ...

 Tipi, you mean you haven't learned by now from the "child-proof" caps on medicines, prescription pill botles, and so on? What they really mean is "adult-proof". Kids can get them off in a flash. (I'm only partly joking about that, unfortunately, having seen kids of 5 and 6 years old open "childproof" containers faster than most adults can). I found that the "childproof" cap on the large (33 oz) was harder to get off (and on) than the one on the small (11 oz) bottle. Not sure why this is the case. But I don't own any of the new ones, just keep the O-rings in good shape.

By the way, there is a slight difference between Euro (e.g., Primus) and US (e.g. MSR) threads. The thread itself is a pipe thread, but Euro and US standards are just slightly different. Match the correct nationality bottle and pump to reduce the cross-threading that Ed mentions. The threads are the same pitch, but different cross-section.

As for carrying fuel bottles, I, too, have been carrying them in and on my packs for decades (since about 1960). No leaks when the O-ring was in good shape and tight, inside or outside the pack. I agree (and the manufacturers strongly urge) that you not leave the pump in the fuel bottle. That goes for Primus and others with all-metal pumps as well as those with plastic pumps. I have never used back-up plastic bags either.

2:48 p.m. on August 14, 2012 (EDT)
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when I carry my MSR, I always check the gasket on the cap, I always carry it with the cap and not the pump, but I trust those MSR fuel bottles not to leak.  If you have your lid on tight, you should be fine carrying them inside your pack.  Those things are very robust.  I only use my MSR Whisperlite these days for cold weather, and car camping.  Otherwise I use little Vargo alcohol stove or my excellent Soto OD-1R canister stove.   

3:00 p.m. on August 14, 2012 (EDT)
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Wow Bill I did not know all that.  My stove is so good I have not bought anything for it in 10 years!  I have a small 12 oz (i think) and a 24 oz (i think) bottles and have used them for years. 

It is good to know, especially if you are buying stuff on the internet and not paying attention to where it is coming from.  I would hate to "screw up" a pump.

Off topic a little, IMHO if you want a super dependable stove and I would have to recommend the Whisperlite.  Probably one of the best on the market even if the design is quite old. 

 

3:03 p.m. on August 14, 2012 (EDT)
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Tipi, wasting fuel is inevitable when removing the pump I agree.  You can avoid some of the mess by pumping it one or two strokes after you remove it.  Then you can give it a shake to drain the excess out of the intake tube. This is what works for me. 

11:32 p.m. on August 23, 2012 (EDT)
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Bill just curious why manufactures don't recommend leaving the pump on the bottle? Are they talking about packing the bottle in a backpack with the pump on or leaving the stove set up for several days while at a base camp?

5:50 p.m. on August 30, 2012 (EDT)
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the only time my msr fuel bottle leaked is when I left the pump on. it was in an outside pocket so no harm done. I always take the pump off now and have never had a problem since.

10:37 a.m. on August 31, 2012 (EDT)
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This is interesting because I thought about this very topic on my recent trip. I always carry the fuel bottle inside my pack. I'm not a fan of having it in the sun where it'll ge hot, if for no other reason than it'll cause pressure that may cause a little fuel to be wasted when I open the cap. Also if it's outside the pack it's more likely to get damaged (e.g. hit on a rock ledge) than if it's safely stowed inside.

I even carried it horizontally for a while, on top of the bear canister, under the top pack flap, held in place by a pack strap. I discontinued this, though, out of concern that the cap could come loose, and if it had, and I lost my fuel, my trip would have been seriously impacted (if not terminated).

I ended up carrying it inside te pack next to the bear can. It never really occurred to me to pack it in an extra bag. As long as its upright and the cap is on it seems secure enough to me. I did decide during the trip to buy a new cap (gasket) when I get home, though, as the current one is at least 5 years old.

I also, as a matter of practice, handle the fuel bottle with extreme care. For example when I open the cap to insert te pump, I always make sure the task has my full attention, that I won't be distracted, and NEVER let the bottle sit with the cap off, not even for a second (the bottle nevereaves my hand until the cap or pump are safely tightened).

Oh, and I'm firmly in the camp of not carrying the bottle with the pump inserted, though sometimes I leave it in & the stove set up and out at my campsite overnight. I wonder if this is a bad practice too, since a bear, marmot, or other critter might play with it and/or chew/break the pump and cause the fuel to leak from the can...

7:02 p.m. on September 26, 2012 (EDT)
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I've been carrying the MSR bottles inside packs for twenty years, in backpacks and drybags, never yet had a leak.. don't worry about it..

relieve the pressure as recommended in the manual, store upright, hike carefree..

would second the recommendation to check the pump annually.. once I generated a fireball because I did not notice one of the little o-rings had cracked, the children were vastly entertained but I had the willies for some time.

3:58 p.m. on September 27, 2012 (EDT)
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recently did my annual check/overhaul of my msr stoves. fuel cap oring was cracked, replaced it. I think it is a good idea to check your equipment on a regular basis, good preventive maintenance. was thinking about buying a new fuel bottle, the one I have is ten years old. I saw the cap on it and tried to open it. I asked the girl who worked there and she couldn't open it either. I think I'll keep my vintage bottle...:P

12:36 a.m. on October 2, 2012 (EDT)
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I've carried MSR bottles for 13 years and have never had one spill. I don't think there is anything to worry about, but I always carry in an outer pocket just in case.

10:41 p.m. on October 20, 2012 (EDT)
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+ 40 years -- Sigg and MSR bottles -- keep the O rings supple and no problem. I pack them upright, inside my pack. Never had a leak. When packing an MSR stove, such as Whisperlite or my current favorite Simmerlite, I leave the pump in the bottle. Part of the benefit of the system, IMO, is that you don't have to fiddle around much with open bottles of fuel, as I have to do with the Svea or 8R.

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