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Which is the best gas to use for the TGOC?
(1) One with a 80/20 Mix of IsoButane and Propane
(2) One with a Butane-IsoButane Propane Mix.
Are they the same, just different marketing and brands?
A few years ago I had one (I don't remember which) that seemed to take longer to Boil. Not a scientific study as it may have been a colder year or I may have been more impatient.
Now, I can't be that helpful, but the mix makes a difference depending on the temperatures/climate you are in. I believe an 80/20 blend of isobutane and propane will burn the best in the cold.
I use MSR or Jetboil canisters usually. Hope that helps. You could Google if you need more detail, I'm not very technical 😂
In simple terms n-butane has a boiling point of around 1degC, meaning it will not vaporise around that temperature and be useless as a fuel. To improve cold weather performance suppliers add either i-butane (isobutane), boiling point -11deg C or propane , boiling point -42 degC.
In reality I wouldn't recommend trying to use gas in freezing weather at all, stick with alcohol it works at temperatures colder than you could survive. The performance of gas mixtures goes down as the canister is emptied as the i-butane or propane boil off first leaving pure n-butane in the canister.
As the TGOC occurs in May, unless you are planning on camping on top of Ben Macdui, freezing temps aren't likely to be a problem and in the unlikely event of it getting too cold you could probably get away with warming up the canister first by sticking it up your jumper or leaving it at the bottom of your sleeping bag overnight.
The isobutane or pentane added to the mix doesn't change the heat output a great deal, isobutane has a very similar calorific output as n-butane and pentane is a bit better but probably not enough to notice in the quantities used in the mix. Camping stoves are designed to work with all possible mixes, but it is most likely that something like for example a jetboil will be jetted to work best with one of their canisters when it is full, as a near empty canister will be pure n-butane anyway the stove has to be able to burn that effectively as well.
Basically a pure n-butane canister will be just as good as a mix and much cheaper, but most of the gases sold in the squat camping style canisters tend to be a n-butane/ isobutane mix simply because of the intended use.
My local supply is for Gosystems canisters which are a n-butane/propane mix, much cheaper than the big names such as MSR and Coleman and do the job just as well. Not that I am recommending it of course, but it is also possible to buy the same mixture in bigger, blowtorch type canisters which can be used to refill the camping style canisters, but that would totally be against the manufacturers recommendations. :wink:
I use whatever is available. In my experience the cheaper GO gas is less hot than the others, longer to boil and uses up faster, MSR and Coleman's are my go to. Never used Jetboil - my local shops don’t stock it.
I would definitely put the gas canister in the sleeping bag for 30min or so before using it - definitely improves performance.
I’d not even noticed that the description is different, all modern gas cylinders are butane/ propane mix, I’ve seen them with a higher proportion of propane, but they cost more and aren’t necessary for May in Scotland.
Thanks to all
I will get one in London in the few hours I have there before getting the train.
Hope to See you along the way.