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Suggestions for finding fuel for my backpacking stove



I just bought a JetBoil backpacking stove and I believe it uses IsoPro fuel. The problem is that I cannot seem to find IsoPro fuel canisters anywhere in Colorado Springs, CO. Please help!


Thank you!

13 Replies


M-m-m-m w-e-e-e-ll, not really! You're alluding to "prepping". A TOTALLY different subject!! Despite what some people think (or imagine), in this case backpackers, "bugging-out" is NOT about grabbing your pack and heading for the hills.

"Disaster preparedness" is more about is more about taking reasonable steps for likely scenarios. Here In Cali', particularly in the cities and nearer to the fault lines, yes, that's earthquakes. HOWEVER, if you can suppress what you've seen in disaster movies, you're likely looking at a three day "bug-IN" at your home or a motel.

But it's area dependent; if you're in an area prone to flooding, then you may be looking at a three MONTH bug-out... to the house of a friend or relative, then you may have to deal with some serious housing and financial issues.

The only time you hit the trail because of a natural disaster is maybe if you have a cabin waiting. So, put your apocalyptic "survival" dreams (and pack) away, this is NOT a movie.


Wow!  You jump with great agility to incorrect conclusions.

We have very different scenarios concerning EQs, which historically have disrupted infrastructure and **bleep** the delivery of goods for varying periods. The Santa Barbara EQs of 1925 or1812 are good examples.

One possible scenario would render habitation of my residence inadvisable.  My recourse is to camp out in the backyard (possibly the nearby city park - nice grassy open space).  Most likely I will cook on my canister stove and use other items are retrieved from the residence.  No fleeing to the hinterland.

That occurs when evacuating from a fire - not hypothetical - I evacuated from the Thomas fire a few years ago.   The "hinterland" was the nearby beachfront, safely out of the flame front, followed by a very nice stay in a nearby hotel

Like many, we have suffered power outages of varying duration - one just last week.  In such situations, I can (and have) easily fall back on the good old canister stove to prepare, at a minimum, the indispensable cup of coffee (which I am sipping now even as I write this).

My overall point is that camping and outdoor gear can be useful in all sorts of situations, many of which qualify as bona fide emergencies.

During my NPS career, I was frequently stationed at various fascinating, out of the way places where resupply was, at the very least, inconvenient.

I recall vividly, the chilly winter morning at Wupatki NM when we found out that the community propane tank was unexpectedly empty - no heat, no flame.  I cranked up my trusty Primus 71L (my very first REI purchase!) and savored my coffee, also helping out other families with cooking tasks.

Incidentally, in the event of a local disaster, I would probably utilize my CERT training to assist other to recover, rather than trekking out into the hills, cabin or not.  I know of several localities within feasible hiking distance where i could hang out for a fair length of time with only a tarp or tent, but there are more important things to accomplish.

@hikermor, LOL, not really. 

I've written about "SMART prepping" before [different forum], mainly because people kept getting wilderness survival (what I do) confused with "wilderness living", homesteading, bushcrafting, etc. and yes, "prepping" (because of the whole survival fad). Something I was not going to tackle in a few short paragraphs to your "emergency - backpacking gear" comment. But in response, and in slightly more detail...

In the MOST general sense (and focusing ONLY on earthquakes), you can use certain backpacking gear just about ANYTIME. I'm always finding myself using my multitool here, one of my solar panes there....

Where "emergencies" (specifically, natural disasters) are concerned, the FIRST consideration (specifically, prepping) is ALWAYS your location, because that determines how and to what EXTENT you should REASONABLY prepare. 

Not surprisingly, Los Angeles County is the most prone to "EQ"s, as a result, not only do we have most of the most EQ-proof buildings in the state (maybe the country), but seismic retrofitting of smaller buildings and homes have been going on for decades! It's quite common, even now, to drive by random homes, apartment buildings, etc. undergoing retrofit. 

Not only that, but here, people and businesses alike typically have an emergency bag/box with emergency food, water, etc. So while no one can predict EVERY specific scenario, for the majority of SoCal people, they are fairly EQ-proof too. But prepping goes farther! 

First, there's the "get home" bag. You keep it in your desk, or locker, but what you have in it depends on your work situation; if you work downtown in a highrise, you may want a small flashlight, a mask, goggles and sneakers. If you live in the suburbs, you can expect traffic to be a mess, so maybe add some water, a spare, phone and/or phone battery and a food bar or two. Cash is always USEFUL, and so on. 

Home is the logical rallying point, so there, you need a "bug IN" bag/box. I recommend a minimum of 3-days' food and water, etc. Why "3-days"? Because that's how long it typically takes to get city services restored to most people. Sure, more is better, but not TOO much more!!

Prepping lunatics may spend thousands, tens of thousands, and in one case I can recall, MILLIONS on prepping (often hoarding arms and ammunition). Don't even get me started on the reasons they prep'!!! Up to 3-weeks is fine.


HOWEVER, if you live in a house, I urge people NOT to keep it IN the house! If the house is severely damaged, you may not be able to get back in (you know, where your PACK would be?!?!?!) Instead, I recommend storing it in a tool shed or other place on the property where your home could not fall on it. Sure, if your pack isn't buried, the contents could be useful. But a good bug in bag/box doesn't take that into consideration. 

THEN there's the "bug OUT" bag. Again, MOST people who have to leave their home/property are just going across the neighborhood or town to a motel or home of someone they know, and that may be for weeks if the house wasn't too badly damaged. But if the damage was to the AREA itself (ie widespread flooding as in the gulf states), then they may be looking at MONTHS and/or have to literally start over... somewhere. 

Here, wildfires can cause mass evacuations, but of the NEAREST neighborhoods, and well in advance of the closet flames!!! So, the drill is merely precautionary. But of course, there's always a moron (or two) who thinks they can "ride it out"! Obviously, heading to the hills is off the table. 

In any case, saying "backpacking gear could be useful" is like saying "anything could happen". It doesn't really say much. Backpacking gear is useful in backpacking, emergency preparedness is useful in emergencies, it's best we not get them confused, yes? 


Wow!  An innocuous query about where to find canister fuel is conflated into a lengthy discourse on emergency preps, etc.

I agree with many of your points (storing gear outside the residence, for instance) but that and related topics should have their own discussion.

However, i am puzzled by this one statement:  "" Backpacking gear is useful in backpacking, emergency preparedness is useful in emergencies, it's best we not get them confused," NO.

I have been "confusing" them for decades when unexpected events occur, with considerable benefits.  An important aspect with respect to reaction to emergencies is the ability to improvise, innovate, and utilize resources in novel (although safe!) ways.  Backpacking, and other outdoor gear, can often constitute an invaluable resource when situations unravel- along with other items that might be at hand.