Gas Canister & Stove Usage Calculator
The MercatorGear 'Canister Calculator' (above) is a tool to estimate gas consumption and canister requirements for your particular expedition or trek depending on the number of people and the number of days, how much water you need to boil, and the type of stove and canister used.
We use gas consumption data from real usage cases to create a realistic set of consumption figures. This enables you to experiment with different stoves and usage scenarios to work out which is the optimum combination for your particular trip.
Inputs for the Canister Calculator
A) Number of people in the group
B) Number of days/nights on the trail
C) Boiling water requirement per person per day in Millilitres (mls). Here is a rough guide;
- 500 mls is for classic ultralight/minimalists who need only 2 cups per day
- 1000 mls is enough for a dehydrated meal and a couple of hot drinks
- 2000 - 4000 gives you plenty of boiling water plus cooking
- 5000 is for those who wish to boil most of the water they need for hydration and do plenty of cooking
- On the trail in northern Europe we live well and do plenty of cooking (including a lunchtime brew up) on less than 3000 mls per person per day. The larger the group the more efficient cooking becomes for a given amount of gas.
D) Canister Size: This enables you to try different standard sizes (100g, 230g & 450g) to see which is the best combination to optimise the number of canisters and stove for a specific trip profile.
E) Type of stove: Our calculations are based on extensive testing with three different types of KOVEA stove, each with its own weight and efficiency attributes;
KOVEA Titanium SupaLite (56g): The SupaLite 56g is is our lightest canister-top stove, optimised for ultralight backpacking and extreme sports. Canister-top position makes it less efficient than the other stove options when the wind is blowing. The original KOVEA Titanium stove is a bit heavier and comes with an integral piezo igniter. Both versions have the same wide titanium pot supports and similar performance. More details
KOVEA Spider (168g): Compact and versatile 4-season remote canister stove can be used with a windshield to maximise efficiency. Over longer period the Spider's improved efficiency saves weight of fuel. The Spider is also very stable and is our best platform for gourmet cooking on the trail. More details
KOVEA Alpine Pot Wide (APW) (461g trail weight): The APW is optimised for efficient water boiling and benefits from the most advanced burner head, regulator, ignition system and heat exchanger combination in its class. It is very effective in groups of up to 4 people for water boiling. It can cook noodles, pasta or rice for 1-3 people and can be used with a small frying pan and with an espresso coffee perculator.
It can also be combined with other stoves in a larger group. We use the APW in combination with a KOVEA Spider for maximum efficiency and flexibility for groups of six people. More details
Results from the Canister Calculator
The MercatorGear 'Canister Calculator' uses data we have accumulated from actual stove use in a range of environments to generate estimates of how much gas and how many canisters you will need depending on your usage requirements and type of stove. Data includes:
1. Gas Required (in grams): for selected trip profile and stove
2. Approximate Canister Usage: (this helps to adjust your usage to optimise the number of canisters)
3. Whole Canisters Required: (This rounds up the previous figure - obvious really)
4. Total Initial Weight of Canisters + stove at the start of the trip. (This helps determine where a heavier but more efficient stove e.g. Spider or Alpine Pot Wide can help reduce total start weight for longer trips)
5. Gas required per person per day (grams): This figure is a quick way to compare different usage scenarios and different stoves.
You can use the Calculate/Update button to try out different canister and stove combinations until you have found the best fit for your trip and style of stove usage.
The MercatorGear 'Canister Calculator' assumes above freezing usage (no snow melting or inverted canister use), and a reasonably sheltered location away from the wind. The calculations also account for the fact that canister-top stoves are the least efficient of the three types, and that stoves are always less efficient outside than they are in the lab. We have also allowed for greater efficiency for larger amounts of water boiling / cooking.
The resulting figures are deliberately conservative and include a margin for error.
Experienced stove users should be able to achieve greater efficiencies than those shown.
If you have any feedback or suggestions to improve this version (Beta v5) of the MercatorGear 'Canister Calculator', please feel free to get in touch through our contact page.
KOVEA 100g, 230g and 450g propane/iso-butane gas canisters are now available in Europe from Frisport (Shou) AS
Acknowledgement: Andrew Art
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