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Ever tried to use your stove in the cold only to find that it just won't work, even although shaking the canister tells you there is plenty of fuel left? Then, when you check it a home to see what the matter is, it works perfectly. What is going on?

In this article we explain what cold temperature does to the gas mixtures used in typical gas canisters and the implications for their use. This analysis applies specifically to gas canisters used in an upright position, with the stove screwed on top. The behaviour when the canister is used inverted is different (and much simpler) and is mentioned briefly at the end of this article. The explanations get a bit technical in places, but bear with us.


  • Introduction
  • Essential Chemistry Background
  • A Practical Compromise
  • Commercially Available Canisters
    • Inverted canisters
  • Technical Appendix: Gas Pressure Theory
    • The Spreadsheet

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