Fuel Canister Tray (for cold weather)

by walter, published

Fuel Canister Tray (for cold weather) by walter Feb 16, 2013


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Fuel canister tray to keep isobutane blend canisters working in cold weather. Fill the tray with water when in use, this should keep the canister warm enough to vaporize the isobutane as long as the water doesn't freeze.

If you've tried to use gas canisters in the cold, you've probably noticed that they don't work well. This is usually because the fuel is too cold to vaporize. This problem gets worse as the canister is used (the vaporization cools the canister) and as the fuel level gets low (there may be less propane in the mix.

The tray also works well to hold the canister in place when packed inside a pot of similar diameter. The raised feet help with stability on rocky surfaces.

Take a look at http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com/2011/11/practical-cold-weather-gas-tips.html and the related articles for more info on using canister stoves in cold weather.


These trays are sized to fit the common isobutane/propane canister sizes. The 100g (4oz) fuel tray is designed for a 90mm base and the 220g (8oz) fuel tray is designed for a 109mm base.

Print up-side down as shown in the renderings, without support material.

Optional: Use 3mm x 3mm cylindrical magnets in the tray. This will cause the tray to stick to the canister. The holes are sized for my printer, you may need to use glue or drill them out slightly to compensate for differences in tolerances.

Fill the tray with water when using the canister in cold weather.

Take a picture of your tray in use and post it in the "made" section.

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Epic action shot.

I know I'll print this to prevent those nasty rust rings from showing up inside my Jetboil pot. Thanks!

Well, it's a pretty cool design... but I don't think it would hold enough water to make a significant difference. You need two things a) sufficient thermal mass and b) sufficient contact between the water and the canister to allow thermal conduction.

In terms of how much thermal mass is sufficient, ideally you want more water than fuel. In other words if you have 110g of fuel, you want more than 110g of water. Of course if you use warmer water, you don't have to have as much water.

In terms of contact, you want a lot of water touching the canister. Immersing the canister up to the point where the canister start to curve into the valve is about right. In other words, you want the canister mostly submerged in order to allow the heat of the water to be conducted to the fuel inside the canister. It will work with less, but it will work better with more.


Thanks for the tips! I'll have to redesign it to hold more water, hopefully before I head back up to Yosemite this Thursday. I usually use whitegas (Soto Muka) in the winter, but I'll bring the canisters for testing.

I really like your Adventures In Stoving blog btw, a lot of really good information there that can't be found anywhere else.

Nice! Would that be Half Dome in the background?

Yeah, I was just there a few days ago. It was a great time to visit, I didn't see a single person between Vernal Falls and Glacier Pt, and I didn't need snowshoes.