Kovea SPider Question

10:41 p.m. on November 20, 2017 (EST)
174 reviewer rep
96 forum posts

I was cooking last night and my stove started sputtering.

Temp 19*F, light wind, no precip.

8oz MSR canister with about 6 ounces of fuel in it. 

Preheater tube was warmed up (canister was in my puffy to keep it warm before use) and everything seemed fine. I lowered the flame and then flipped the canister over for liquid feed and it seemed fine for about a minute and then it started to sputter. I poured some of the warm water onto the concave bottom of the canister and the sputtering continued, then I poured some warm water on the gas line and the sputtering stopped. The gas line had a heavy frost on it. 

What caused the stove to sputter like this?

7:48 a.m. on November 21, 2017 (EST)
9,230 reviewer rep
1,530 forum posts

My guess would be that most of the propane burned off leaving you with an excess of isobutane remaining. Could have happened during a previous  burn, at the start of this one before you inverted, or a combination of the two. Once you had the line warmed up with the hot water it helped the isobutane burn steadily despite the lack of propane in the mix. I'd save that canister for warm weather use and get a new one for cold weather.

8:01 a.m. on November 21, 2017 (EST)
5,294 reviewer rep
1,074 forum posts

Lone stranger, that was my thinking as well. 

11:32 a.m. on November 21, 2017 (EST)
4,534 reviewer rep
6,036 forum posts

I am not familiar with the Kovea. However, it sounds like this is a stove with the canister connected via a hose. One thing have found that is a pretty dependable way of keeping the burner constant. And that is to set the canister upright in a shallow pan of water. I have done that in subfreezing temperatures. The problem is that you have to get a bit of liquid water. As long as the water is liquid and the canister sits on the bottom of the pan, the heat of the water will keep the gas flow at a pretty steady rate.

A year or 2 back, I was doing a gear review here on Trailspace in sub-zero temperatures and described this technique. Remember - the water in the pan must be liquid. Once it starts icing, you won't get the butane vaporizing. You can keep replenishing the liquid water by transferring a bit from your pot into the pan.

Here is the link to the review with the pan of water approach - scan down close to  the very of the review:


6:09 p.m. on November 21, 2017 (EST)
174 reviewer rep
96 forum posts

Thanks Lone Stranger and Jake. Mixture may well have been the cause. I am not sure where I last used that canister. 

Bill - I know that review. When I read your method of putting the canister in water and then adding a little warm water to the pan it was like a light went on. I have passed that bit of info to many people since I read it.

February 26, 2020
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Finding a "Lost" beverage in the backcountry Newer: Coleman Generator # 508-5891 or 400-5891.
All forums: Older: minimalist sandals Newer: Gmap4; the Mapping website I use to search for new trip areas around the world.