Canister fuel availability along the AT?
Posted: 15 December 2007 12:57 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Gearing up to hike starting in March, 2 people cooking together.  We may do alcohol fuel stove or canister stove… it really depends on how available canisters are along the trail (every 240mi would be minimum, so we don’t have to carry more than 2 week’s supply of fuel), since shipping (and storing) fuel to post offices is pretty much out of the question.

Anyone know how often we can come across canister fuel (butane- msr/brunton/etc)?  It’d be nice to have the power/speed/a bit more weight of canister when cooking for 2 vs. the inefficiency/a little less weight of alcohol.

By the way, anyone else that’s planning on doing the AT starting mid-march, be on the lookout for Dirtpatch (me) and Katie (name tba on trail), we’re trekking to Maine and hoping to make it by August 1st.  Hike with us!  We’re planning on going quickly, but we’re friendly and generally up for a good conversation.

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Posted: 15 December 2007 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Hi Dirtpatch & Katie-

You won’t find it too difficult to search for canisters along the trail.  I used a canister stove for an AT southbound thru-hike without a problem. Anywhere in the Companion or Thru-Hiker’s Handbook that has an outfitter will have canisters.  If you get stuck with an empty canister somewhere without an outfitter, whip up an alcohol stove and away you go.

I was getting 23 pints (colder or windy weather) to 28 pints (warmer or still weather) per 8 oz canister, tracked by scratching a mark on the canister per pint boiled.  With two people, you’ll probably be boiling at least two pints per cooked meal, and more if you heat water for drinks.  Lipton/mac&cheese;/etc all take 1 pint (half-liter) per serving.  I scratched a pint mark on the inside of my cook pot to keep things easy to measure since everything uses the same amount of water.

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