As mentioned in the photo caption above, Andrew Skurka keyed in many of us, via his readers, into the
G-Works Gas Saver R1` (UPDATE 2018: There is now the Gas Saver R2) and the somewhat more advanced GAS Saver Plus.
The Gas Saver R1 is a cool little device I am finding for canister stove users.
Alcohol stoves are wonderful tools.
They are light, simple, inexpensive, very good for boil and cook type meals and work well if you are not doing lengthy resupplies.
But they have their limitations.
The main limitation? In our increasingly dry and fire-prone West, wood and alcohol stoves are often outright banned.
People can, and will, quibble and look for loopholes. And we can argue about the safety of one stove versus another.
The fact is that for various reasons, certain stoves are not kosher in many of our current backcountry conditions.
A person can take a white gas stove. Or go stoveless. Or take a variety of canister stoves.
A canister stove is by far the most popular option.
“Better” stoves can be bought. And sub-1oz canister stove wonders are even now available.
The main issue with canister stoves? A person ends up with a collection of partially filled canisters that can’t be refilled commercially. Sure, a person can bring canisters to use for very short trips. Or brew a cup of tea while backpacking. But that is impractical in many cases.
I’ve been using the G-Works R1 this past month to consolidate my own collection. Why the R1 versus the Gas Saver Plus? Because following Jim’s detailed instructions and explanation, I can’t see me using a canister beyond when the GAS Saver Plus would be useful. YMMV.
Once you are no longer re-filling the canisters, recycle them appropriately.
No need for me to reinvent the wheel about instructions and how to use the device. Look at Jim’s instructions linked above.
I will just add that the device is very intuitive to use. A trick I found useful is to put the receiving canister in the freezer for a bit. The difference in pressures between the donating canister and the now-cold canister will speed things along quite a bit versus just relying on gravity.
Obviously, any time a person is dealing with fuel, caution needs to be used. Again, read Jim’s excellent instructions esp the part about weighing the canisters. The main takeaway? *** DO NOT OVERFILL THE CANISTERS ***.
But using the G-Works tools are no more dangerous than driving, using power tools, changing a tire, operating heavy machinery or repairing electrical equipment. All tasks that a person needs to be cautious about, educate themselves appropriately, heed the proper warnings and plan accordingly.
As an aside, most of the fuel canisters in the world are manufactured in Korea. And G-Works is a Korean company…. Just saying…
Being able to consolidate fuel is more efficient and logistically easier than having a misc collection of near-empty canisters.
If you regularly backpack in
~45F +/- 1 weather refilling the canisters with butane is a safe and cost-effective option as well. G-Works also makes a $10 butane bottle converter that may be purchased to facilitate this task. Most of my backpacking is at least the cusp of this range, if not lower, so I do not expect to use the butane converter tool personally.
1. UPDATED to ~50F; see discussion in the comments below.
Overall the G-Works Gas Saver has proven to be a nifty little device for me. And for less than $30.
This G-Works Gas Saver R1 was purchased with my own funds.