|A G-Works propane adapter connects a backpacking stove to a car camping type 100% propane canister.|
|A car camping type canister of 100% propane|
16.4 oz/465 g net fuel weight
Why 100% Propane?
Well, for starters, cold weather. Butane, which is often the majority component in backpacking gas canisters, vaporizes at 31F/-0.5C. That's really not all that cold. Not only that, but you have to be about 20 Fahrenheit degrees (10 Celsius degrees) above the vaporization point before you have consistently good pressure.
Propane on the other hand, vaporizes all the way down to -44 Fahrenheit/-42 Celsius. That's cold!
And yes, I know they usually blend in some isobutane and propane into the typical backpacking gas canister, but still, nothing beats 100% propane for cold weather.
Vaporization (Boiling) Point
n-butane -0.5°C 31°F
isobutane -12°C 11°F
propane -42°C -44°F
Another reason for buying 100% propane is that it's typically cheaper. I've seen propane for as cheap as $2.50 (USD) per canister. About the cheapest you'll find for the equivalent amount of backpacking gas is $7 or $8. That's a HUGE price difference. Why? Well, think about it. For every backpacker, there are hundreds of car campers, hunters, picnickers, and back yard barbecuers. The economies of scale just aren't there for backpacking canisters.
You might also want to bring 100% propane to cook your supper and/or breakfast if you spend the night before a backpacking trip at the trailhead. That way, you start with a 100% full backpacking canister for your hike.
And, lastly – and this might be important – in a lot of outlying areas, specialty items like backpacking specific canisters may simply not be available. I know guys who have hiked in rural New Mexico where they just couldn't find backpacking canisters, but, walk into a hardware store or gas station, and, there they are: 100% propane car camping type canisters. Having this little adapter might mean the difference being able to do a given trip – and having to just go home. This is particularly true if you have to fly in for a given trip and cannot take canisters from home.
Some of you may remember my post a few years ago on the Kovea propane adapter. The Kovea propane adapter is a great little adapter, but it weighs 105g – that's nearly a quarter of a pound! By contrast, the G-Works adapter weighs 33 g, about 1.2 oz – somewhere between one-fourth to one-third the weight of the Kovea adapter.
Using the Adapter
OK, so how well does the darned thing work? Pretty darned well, actually. Here's a video demonstrating its use:
Now, remember, the vapor pressure of propane is WAY HIGHER than a normal backpacking canister. Start low, and turn the canister up gradually. This is a big boy/big girl, grown ups only, type adapter. There's no built in safety. YOU are the safety. In order to operate this safely, you have to control the gas flow with the valve on your stove. Turn it up to high, and you might blow out the stove. If the flame goes out, you've now got a highly flammable, potentially explosive gas rushing toward the red hot metal of your stove. I'm thinking maybe that's not such a good idea if you get my drift. So, BE CAREFUL.
There is a rim around the threads where your backpacking canister attaches. I used a Kovea Spider stove with my G-Works adapter, and it worked great, but some stoves with a really wide base might not work. The rim around the threads is about 25 mm outside diameter and about 21 mm inside diameter.
Price and Availability
They're available on e-Bay for about $20 although there may be better deals out there.
OK, that's it. That's my presentation on the G-Works adapter, a very nice piece of gear. Thanks for joining me,