Snowpeak Gigapower

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing.
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Alpine
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Snowpeak Gigapower

Postby Alpine » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:15 pm

Was just given one of these as a gift - thanks Andy! :-D

Looks like you can use more than one fuel blend - ie iso-butane, butane-propane, etc. Any suggestions on what brands or blends works best under various conditions?

A quick look at some reviews shows that wind might be an issue - any problem with just using the windscreen from my MSR?

Also, what about keeping the fuel warm - how necessary is that to get reasonable performance?

For comparison, I have been using an MSR Whisperlite for many years.

Any other 'good-to-know's?
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spiderman
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Re: Snowpeak Gigapower

Postby spiderman » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:30 pm

I haven't found too much difference between fuel blends although I have to admit that I rarely have used my canister stove at <10F where it would make a bigger difference. I usually am cooking in the vestibule of my tent so wind screens are not too important; alternatively I build a wind screen out of rocks. Do make sure that the vestibule zippers are opened enough to let in fresh air so you don't die from the carbon monoxide. Very, very important to watch out for too much carbon monoxide when camping in the snow and having to melt snow to drink. I saw a recommendation not to use too good of a windscreen because the canister could overheat if you trap too much of the heat from the stove.

I also have a Whisperlite and have never brought it on a camping trip again... so much weight and space savings with the canister. We have a 0.7L titanium pot that can perfectly hold the fuel canister + stove head, resulting in a very compact and light cooking system. One regular 8 oz stove lasts me for 10 man-days in the summer if I have hot breakfasts and dinners. In the winters and spring, fuel consumption goes astronomically high if you have to melt snow. I used 56 oz of fuel for two people on a eight day trip to the Winds this spring.
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yetibreath
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Re: Snowpeak Gigapower

Postby yetibreath » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:53 pm

I agree that the various brands of fuel are pretty much the same. That type of fuel (butane / propane mix), however, does not work at low temperatures, so if you are planning to use a stove in winter conditions, your Whisperlite is probably a better choice. Also, DO NOT use the MSR wind screen with the Snow Peak stove. It is very dangerous because the fuel canister would be inside the wind screen and would overheat possibly causing an explosion. I had a close call earlier this year when I tried to use my MSR wind screen with my Snow Peak stove. When I removed the fuel canister after cooking, it didn't seal because of damage from excess heat, so all the fuel rushed out. Later I discovered that the piezo ignitor on the stove had melted and needed to be replaced. With MSR stoves, the fuel bottles are always outside the wind screen. Snow Peak makes a wind screen that attaches to the top of the stove which provides good wind protection for the burner while shielding the fuel canister from the heat from the burner.

The Snow Peak Gigapower stove with the Snow Peak wind screen is my favorite 3 season stove.
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Re: Snowpeak Gigapower

Postby climbingaggie03 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:12 pm

I lived in an igloo one winter and I heated/lit it with a gigapower lantern. I found I liked the primus canisters the best and that they seemed to work best in the colder weather. The MSR canisters were terrible in the cold. Granted the ambient temperature in there was usually around freezing so I don't know if there is a canister that works well below those temps but that was my experience.

I did find that warming the canisters definitely improved the performance, I typically would warm them in my shirt or sleeping bag. I've heard of people making a wire contraption that sticks an end into the flame and coils under the canister to help warm the canister, but I've never seen one or tried it myself.

Being a bit of a gear whore, I have an MSR pocket rocket, a jetboil, an MSR simmerlight, and an MSR windpro. (In my defense the pocket rocket was a gift, and the jetboil was an REI garage sale find) I find that generally warm weather and/or short trips I tend to take the jetboil or pocket rocket. Longer trips and colder weather I tend to take the simmerlight.

Canisters advantages are they're light and low fuss but as you get higher and colder I find this to be less true, it's a pain to have to keep warming up your canister so that your dinner will cook. White gas performs the same pretty much regardless of temp and altitude, and if you're going to be out on a longer trip and need more than 1 bottle of fuel, a plastic bottle weighs less than an extra canister or 2.

here's a good link describing how to figure out how much fuel is in those canisters http://www.backpacker.com/gear/ask_kristin/358
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Re: Snowpeak Gigapower

Postby thebeave7 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:09 am

yetibreath wrote:Also, DO NOT use the MSR wind screen with the Snow Peak stove. It is very dangerous because the fuel canister would be inside the wind screen and would overheat possibly causing an explosion.


Yep, exactly, def don't windscreen the entire unit. I've seen people fashion windscreens just around the upper stove unit though.
Love my giga, super fast and easy, but as mentioned above all canisters suffer in the cold. Even the simple task of keeping the fuel in your jacket before use helps warm it up to run better.

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Re: Snowpeak Gigapower

Postby Alpine » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:34 pm

climbingaggie03 wrote:I lived in an igloo one winter and I heated/lit it with a gigapower lantern.



Wait - did you just say you LIVED in an igloo for a winter??? And heated it with a lantern???

Need more info :-D :-D




Thanks to all for the great replies. very useful.
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Re: Snowpeak Gigapower

Postby GregMiller » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:39 pm

thebeave7 wrote:
yetibreath wrote:Also, DO NOT use the MSR wind screen with the Snow Peak stove. It is very dangerous because the fuel canister would be inside the wind screen and would overheat possibly causing an explosion.


Yep, exactly, def don't windscreen the entire unit. I've seen people fashion windscreens just around the upper stove unit though.
Love my giga, super fast and easy, but as mentioned above all canisters suffer in the cold. Even the simple task of keeping the fuel in your jacket before use helps warm it up to run better.

Eric


Any thoughts on this:
http://www.rei.com/product/830343/msr-windpro-ii-backpacking-stove
You have the canister on a hose, so you can still use a regular windscreen around the pot. It's what I'm possibly looking at for my next stove (current stove is a Coleman Peak 1 - bulletproof, but heavy, and doesn't work when it's cold).
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Re: Snowpeak Gigapower

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:47 pm

climbingaggie03 wrote:Being a bit of a gear whore, I have an MSR pocket rocket, a jetboil, an MSR simmerlight, and an MSR windpro. (In my defense the pocket rocket was a gift, and the jetboil was an REI garage sale find) I find that generally warm weather and/or short trips I tend to take the jetboil or pocket rocket. Longer trips and colder weather I tend to take the simmerlight.




Excellent post, by the way.

Any thoughts on whether a jetboil sol would be a reasonable companion on winter peaks? I picked one up last March. I plan to carry it on longer winter 14er dayhikes, to have a one-pound emergency source of water. I may also try to use it for winter camping. Typically, I'll see daytime highs in the teens (or better) above 13,000 in winter. Of course, on overnighters, it will go in the bag.

One preliminary concern was that the unit did not seem to want to fire the first morning I had it out last month when we were in the Needles. Steve bent the little piezo wire up a little and it worked better. Couldn't decide whether to return this one (REI) or if the fuel had something to do with it. Guessing it was in the mid- to low thirties that morning.

Any thoughts would be helpful.
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Re: Snowpeak Gigapower

Postby LynnKH » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:29 pm

Dancesatmoonrise wrote: Any thoughts on whether a jetboil sol would be a reasonable companion on winter peaks? I picked one up last March. I plan to carry it on longer winter 14er dayhikes, to have a one-pound emergency source of water. I may also try to use it for winter camping. Typically, I'll see daytime highs in the teens (or better) above 13,000 in winter. Of course, on overnighters, it will go in the bag.

One preliminary concern was that the unit did not seem to want to fire the first morning I had it out last month when we were in the Needles. Steve bent the little piezo wire up a little and it worked better. Couldn't decide whether to return this one (REI) or if the fuel had something to do with it. Guessing it was in the mid- to low thirties that morning.

Any thoughts would be helpful.


Hey Jim,
I use a Jetboil, even in the winter. The only issue I have is that sometimes I need to use a match to light it. But I think it works great as an easy solution to melting water or having something warm to drink on the go. Happy pre-winter to you!
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Re: Snowpeak Gigapower

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:45 pm

LynnKH wrote: Happy pre-winter to you!



:-D

Thanks, Lynn!
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Re: Snowpeak Gigapower

Postby climbingaggie03 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:37 pm

Dancesatmoonrise wrote:
climbingaggie03 wrote:Being a bit of a gear whore, I have an MSR pocket rocket, a jetboil, an MSR simmerlight, and an MSR windpro. (In my defense the pocket rocket was a gift, and the jetboil was an REI garage sale find) I find that generally warm weather and/or short trips I tend to take the jetboil or pocket rocket. Longer trips and colder weather I tend to take the simmerlight.




Excellent post, by the way.

Any thoughts on whether a jetboil sol would be a reasonable companion on winter peaks? I picked one up last March. I plan to carry it on longer winter 14er dayhikes, to have a one-pound emergency source of water. I may also try to use it for winter camping. Typically, I'll see daytime highs in the teens (or better) above 13,000 in winter. Of course, on overnighters, it will go in the bag.

One preliminary concern was that the unit did not seem to want to fire the first morning I had it out last month when we were in the Needles. Steve bent the little piezo wire up a little and it worked better. Couldn't decide whether to return this one (REI) or if the fuel had something to do with it. Guessing it was in the mid- to low thirties that morning.

Any thoughts would be helpful.


Thanks, I think that the jet boil sol would probably work in winter. I've never used a canister stove with a regulator, but all of the things I've read say they help with cold weather performance. I always have a lighter with me cause those piezo electric lighters are very unreliable, I also found that my lantern would rarely light with the piezo electric lighter when the fuel was cold, but it always lit with the lighter. I'm not sure why it was that way, but it was just something I observed.
he
I've never had a canister that just wouldn't work, just canisters that were slow. I found some interesting information about the different fuels in those canisters and the effects of cold and altitude on the fuels here http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/canister_stove_faq

I think it's worth noting that most high altitude expeditions use canister fuels so they will work, just sometimes take a bit more work in cold and winter than in summer. Also if I'm going to take a canister stove in the winter, I prefer a remote canister stove like the MSR windpro or the jet boil helios. With setups like that, you can invert the canister allowing the stove to vaporize the liquid fuel that is in the canister which makes it pretty efficient and reliable.

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