Hi! I recently purchased the msr pocket rocket and to use it I bought a sterno brand iso butane/propane fuel mix. After screwing the stove on I tried to ignite it and many attempts later I still had no flames. Finally after tightening the stove a little bit more, I was able to lite a small flame. Unfortunately, the little flame turned into a big flame and then in a few seconds the entire stove was on fire and soon after that so was the fuel mix! The flame grew to be quite large but I was able to put the fire out without any injury or significant damage, however my stove has a more charred look to it. 

No surprise, this was my first time ever using something like this lol so I have some questions! Any clue as to what I did wrong? Is my stove still safe or even useable after it was burned? Was I not suppose to use the butane and propane mix? 

Anyways, thanks for helping me out and taking the time to read my questions.

-Clayton Smit


@Clayton-Smit Sounds like you either got a bad stove or a bad canister or both  or possibly you may have cross threaded the stove on the canister thread.

I suspect what happened is that the stove did not open the canister valve sufficiently to provide enough pressure to allow the stove to burn correctly but just enough gas leaked out to burn near the base of the stove causing that part to heat up and maybe open up the canister valve causing the fire.

Note: I am not an REI employee.

@Clayton-Smit Nor am I.

Honestly, I have never seen a Sterno iso/butane canister.  That doesn't mean they don't exist.  Obviously you had leakage around the canister/stove junction, either cross threading, defective threads, or wrong canister.

It would be a good idea to take the canister and stove to the store (probably not open yet) or to your local fire department and see what they have to say.

I have used the same Pocket Rocket for twenty years now without incident, and I now have a second, also working well.

Please let us know what the problem was.  Glad there was no really serious damage and that you are OK.


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

So tha'st why they call it a Pocket Rocket.......

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@Clayton-Smityes I agree with the others, sounds like the canister was leaking from the threads, I would bet on it.

It is extremely rare for these type of stoves to 'catch on fire', I'm not sure if I've ever heard of it.

Usually the cause of a normal 'flare up' from the burner head is a result of the fuel temperature/ mixture, but not around the base.  That sort of thing normaly happens, if it happens, with white gas stoves.


The stove has been the same more or less for many years, so I'm guessing it's not the stove.

Just try another canister.

But inspect the stove and make sure the screw on part wasn't damaged or has any debris, especially around the base or shaft....or anywhere for that matter.

On second thought, hard to say anything about the trustworthiness of the stove after a burn like you described, if we go safety first, maybe you should take it back to the store for an inspection, or send it back to MSR for evaluation.

Knowing what I know from the post, If it was me, I'd try another canister, be very gentle, but firm screwing it in, and give it another test, outside of course.

I don't suppose you could snap a photo of the 'after action' and post it?

Good luck

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes