Canister stoves weigh as little as 2.5 ounces (71 g) and are very easy to use. Simply attach the canister to the stove, open the valve, light the burner, and cook. Canister fuels are designed to deliver lots of heat (BTUs/hr), with relatively good cold weather performance, in a lightweight container. A canister providing 8 ounces (227 g) of fuel weighs about 5 ounces (142 g) empty, not too bad for a steel container that must safely hold liquefied gases. N-butane, iso-butane, and propane - the principal fuels used - provide about 21,000 gross BTU/lb: about the same as white gas.
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Will Rietveld Ph.D, Senior Editor for Gear and Apparel, joined the BPL staff in April 2004. In his former career, Will was a research scientist, project manager, and R&D program administrator. Now retired, he lives in southern Colorado where he takes up a new career of backpacking year-round in the mountains and canyon country of the Southwest. During the summer months Will and his wife Janet are volunteer wilderness rangers in the Weminuche Wilderness. He has been a lightweight backpacker for 52 years and an ultralight backpacker for 13 years.
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