Neoprene Cover - Gas Bottle?

11:22 p.m. on August 12, 2010 (EDT)
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Looking at one of my MSR bottles today and realized that a lot of scratches and dings could be avoided by covering it with a neoprene cover. Bunch of Sigg bottle covers that would fit the bill... wondering if it was advisable? Would help regulate fuel temp in the bottle as well (not that this is a huge concern most months).

Weigh in...

11:29 p.m. on August 12, 2010 (EDT)
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I usually just wrap a extra shirt around my fuel bottles to insulate them in cold weather. I have noticed that when the stove seems to be running slow in cooler weather I can just wrap my hands around the bottle and the heat input picks up.

9:11 p.m. on August 13, 2010 (EDT)
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I bought an cheap pair of 7 mil neoprene dive gloves, cut the finger off, and stuffed a 1 liter fuel bottle into each glove. It works quite well as a ding shield, and is an excellent insulator.

6:26 p.m. on August 14, 2010 (EDT)
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I dont see as it would hurt anything. Should help with the dings, etc. Like Gary , I have had to warm my gas bottles by hand or by putting inside my shirt and vest to warm them enough to use them. On one trip last Feb. it got so cold we had to submerse the bottles in cold water (and we had precious little that was not frozen) to get them to work. That trick works wonders in the cold.

6:37 p.m. on August 14, 2010 (EDT)
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I have kept bottles warm in my sleeping bag after putting them in a extra wool sock, then leaving the sock on them during use. I have never used neoprene, or anything made commercially. I have never put them in water. Being in the Southeast there are a lot of tricks I probably don't know, but could use during January & February.

We do get down to single digits at times in the higher elevations and I've always loved the occasional trip in that kind of weather. I'm sure it would get old if it was ongoing.

8:19 p.m. on August 15, 2010 (EDT)
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I used the water in Feb. on the Pinhoti trail in AL. Once in a great while, we South Easterns need some of those cold weather tricks.

6:51 p.m. on August 17, 2010 (EDT)
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I was amused by the "insulate the canister" comments. No matter what temperature the canister is at when you start, the evaporation of the butane mix will always drop the temperature of the contents when you are running the stove. Keeping the canister warm overnight by keeping it in your sleeping bag will give you a higher starting temperature, as will holding it in your armpit. BUT the sock or neoprene cover will not help, once you start running the stove, since all the energy to vaporize the fuel comes from the heat energy already in the fuel in the canister. Yes, if the outside temperature is high enough, heat energy will transfer into the colder canister, while if the outside temperature is lower than 32F/0C, the butane will simply stop vaporizing once the liquified gas in the canister drops to 32F/0C. If the mix contains isobutane, the cutoff is 10F, and the propane component is -40F/C. In essence, you are distilling off the propane and then the isobutane. So, when you run out of the propane component, you have nothing left that can vaporize.

The only thing you can do in a stove with an upright canister (like the screw-on-top burners) is somehow heat the canister during use. The water in a pan is one way (as long as the water is liquid, it is above 32F/0C, so heat from the water keeps the butane vaporizing). Caution - do NOT use hot water! You will get a really strong flow of the vapor and probably have problems with controlling the flame. Secondly, you can use a handwarmer or toe warmer tucked into the concave hollow on the bottom of the canister. People have also used a copper wire or strap (like a car battery strap) wrapped around the canister with an end placed into the flame (be verrryy careful doing this, since to much heat can get transferred. I have seen people hold a butane lighter in their hand (to keep it warm) with the flame heating a canister. BAD IDEA! (I run away when I see this being done).

The other solution, which Jim S and I experimented with years ago and some manufacturers finally started using, is to invert the canister. Some stoves are made this way (Primus has an optional inverted holder for some of their remote canister stoves; Coleman has a couple of remote canister stoves that are made with a remote canister, as does the Jetboil Helios which came out about a year after Coleman introduced their inverted canister stoves). Obviously, you can't invert a screw-on-top stove. The idea here is that you get some pressure from the propane as long as you are above -40F/C. This pushes the liquified gas mixture through the fuel line. Stoves made for using an inverted canister also have the generator tube (the last short section of fuel line) passing through the flame to vaporize the liquified gas. The original Primus MFS (the Omni is the successor) was designed this way, so you could use the canister inverted. Remote canister stoves which do not run the fuel line generator section through the burner can sometimes spit liquid fuel droplets, causing sputtering and flareups, so be cautious. I have used inverted canister stoves successfully down to -25F, and have used the handwarmer/footwarmer approach down to -30F. The water method has worked for me at 0, though at -10F, the water in the pan started freezing.

But back to the OP question - your question seems to be concerned with protecting your liquid fuel bottles, not compressed gas canisters (I get this from your statements about MSR and Sigg fuel bottles). As long as the dings do not crack the bottle sides or dent them enough to interfere with the pump, and as long as the mouth of the bottle is not distorted so the threads on the top do not seal to the pump, you are ok. If your concern is appearance, look at it this way - if your fuel bottles look well-used, your companions will believe you are a super-experienced outdoorsman. Well, ok, yes a neoprene cover or sock will preserve the store-new appearance. But liquid fuels do not need insulation or any sort of temperature regulation to make the stove operate properly. Only compressed gas (butane mix) fuels need any sort of temperature regulation.

8:16 p.m. on August 17, 2010 (EDT)
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So in cold temps canisters benefit from supplemental heat, and not so much from insulation, and I can forget about the sock on my white gas bottle being useful for stove performance. I had assumed the white gas bottle pressure may stay higher with insulation from the cold, well at least I kept it shiny!

1:58 p.m. on August 18, 2010 (EDT)
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... I had assumed the white gas bottle pressure may stay higher with insulation from the cold, well at least I kept it shiny!

Nope, ya gotta just pump the pressure up every so often. Course, that exercise will warm you up a little.

December 18, 2014
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