[pct-l] Need Advice: Using a Canister Stove

Frank Dumville fdumville at earthlink.net
Sun Jan 8 19:32:34 CST 2012

I used a canister stove in my hikes of 2005 and 2006. I sometimes carried extra fuel to get to a resupply stop where I expected to find it and sometimes I had to search for it. I mailed some canisters, found partials in bounce boxes, and bought some. 

If you are going to mail canisters check out Gottawalk's site: http://www.gottawalk.com/shipping_fuel.htm. 
Print out the relevant sections of the USPS pub 52 and bring it to the post office because you may have to convince a postal clerk that you can actually do this.
Fuel must be sent in surface mail so it can take a long time to get to it's destination because this is the lowest priority so give it plenty of time. Send it separately from the rest of your resupply.
Contrary to what has been posted you can send up to 1 liter if using the typical isobutane fuel canisters that are metal.

You can find fuel at some of the resupply stops. Town's with outfitters are the most dependable. Coleman has a brand of isobutane fuel that you can sometimes find in hardware stores or big box stores in larger towns. Some of the smaller trail town stores will also stock fuel. 
If calling to see if canister fuel is available make sure you specify the type of canister you need so they don't think you're looking the the steel propane canister.

Here's an out of date list of where I bought or saw canister fuel for sale in 2005-2006.
Idylwild at the outfitter 
Saufley's from someone that went to REI
Lone Pine
Muir Trail Ranch
Mammoth Lakes
Tuolumne Meadows
South Lake Tahoe 
Sierra City
Stehekin Ranch outfitter


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