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Fuel Canister Cap? Or No Cap?

Should you carry the cap that comes with your fuel canister? We describe the reasons you should.

Paul Bodnar     Educational      9/5/2020
Paul Bodnar
Educational
9/5/2020

Use the cap: it protects the canister threads and keeps dirt out!

Many long-distance hikers do not carry the cap that comes with the fuel canister in order to save weight. However, the canister cap serves a valuable purpose by protecting the threads of your canister and keeping dirt from entering the top of the fuel canister.

Damaged threads can damage your stove threads when the canister is attached. Cross threading a stove is one of the most common reasons for stove replacement on the trail (which is expensive and inconvenient)!

Clean Threads

Dirty Threads

Any dirt in the top threaded area of the canister will enter your stove when it is attached, which increases the chances of clogging the stove and reducing performance.

You save about 2 grams (the weight of about 2 paperclips) by leaving the cap behind, but the risk to damaging your stove is relatively high. Therefore, I recommend using the canister cap to protect your canister and stove from damage.


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About the Author
A man wearing an Arizona Trail baseball cap stands in a field in front of a mountain.

Paul Bodnar

Paul has always liked hiking and thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1997 after college. After years of working in chemistry, he wanted to create a career involving the outdoors, so he hiked the PCT again in 2010 to do research for his guide book, Pocket PCT. He realized that creating a smartphone app for navigating the outdoors would make it easier to keep the data current and provide a better way to navigate. While hiking with Ryan (aka Guthook) in 2010, they decided to work together to create the first comprehensive smartphone guide for the PCT.