Saturday, 27 March 2010

Gas gas gas

Further to a recent post by Alan Rayner regarding cooking equipment, relative weights of the equipment and reliability (please go here to view the post) I was led to question the reliability of gas either at altitude or low temperatures. This rang true from a previous trip into the Cairngorms when we stayed in Corrour Bothy and my gas stove was absolutely useless, I thought at the time that it was down to the altitude (we were around 550m which is hardly that high mind) however following Alan's post I now think that it is down to the ambient temperature (which was pretty freezing). My subsequent wracking of the grey matter regarding gas efficiency has led me to attempt to set my mind at ease by conducting an experiment to assesss out which is the most reliable gas both at altitude and at crazy low temperatures.

Thus I am going to take the gas I used that fateful weekend which is the "Gosystem" gas, ye olde faithful "CampingGaz" and "Colemans" (which I've heard to be pretty reliable and I now expect to be the front runner). I'm gonna fire (pardon the pun) at this by chucking all the gas in my freezer (measuring the temp insude the freezer) and when they are down to temp I am going to boil 300ml water in a whistling kettle. The clock starts when the kettle goes on the stove (to a pre-determined setting) and stops when the kettle starts to whistle - simples!

I'll then redo this test following the canisters being in the fridge. At some point I'll then take the gasses up the hill somewhere to see if in fact altitude makes any difference whatsoever.


The Odyssee said...

I look forward to reading what results you get.

afootinthehills said...

Low temperatures certainly make a difference but I've never noticed any difference camping on summits in Scotland (including the 4000 footers). Since it's colder at altitude how will you know, if there is a measurable difference,which variable is causing the difference? Just a thought.

The Weekend Dude said...

Good point, I'll take a thermometer up there to gauge the ambient temp. This can then be accounted for. I think the altitude will actually end up being immaterial to be honest but will be good to rule it out.

Hendrik M said...

I have used gas successfully in temperatures up to -10°C here in Finland. The trick is to preheat the canister - take it under your jacket some five to ten minutes before you want to start melting snow/ boiling water!

Anyhow, interesting to see your results! Love the look of the blog, btw, beautiful header!

The Weekend Dude said...

Hi Hendrik,

Thanks, it was actually a template I came across somewhere - quite suitable I thought.

Yeah from the feedback from everyone it seems that it is the temperature of the gas (in the can) and not the altitude that affects the performance but I'll have a go anyway to see which one works best out of the three.

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