lotecnotec is my (John Comeau <jc@unternet.net>) entry in the Kinetic Grand Championship, and, at the suggestion of fellow participant and good friend Robert Van de Walle, my "brand". As such, I will use these pages for both sharing knowledge and shilling my, and others', products.

Note: links to products on Amazon are affiliate links, which generate for me a small income. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Also note: not everything recommended herein is necessarily safe, nor necessarily legal where you live. It is up to you to properly assess your risks and act accordingly.

green energy


Propane gas is a relatively environmentally friendly fuel, even in places such as Mexico, where the gas is generally sold as a blend of propane with butane, since both gases have low ozone depletion potential and global warming potential. If you have some refillable standard-sized propane containers, and the right appliances and adapters, you need never use disposable canisters for cooking.

For filling one large propane tank from another, you ideally want a short POL male to POL male hose, capable of high pressure. The one from Mr. Heater's 2-tank hookup kit fits the bill, with only a 30-inch, small-diameter hose so you don't lose a lot of fuel every time you use it. Note that it can take hours to get a nontrivial amount of liquid propane from the upper, inverted (so liquid, not gas, is flowing), to the lower, upright, tank. And make sure you purge the lower tank by turning the slotted screw on the side of the valve counterclockwise, and tighten it again after purging. The shiny brass T can be used for a paperweight, or taken to a scrap dealer for a few cents. I can't think of any use for it outside of the intended purpose of the kit.
These little stoves are great for camping, and perfectly fine for outdoor use at home, for the minimalist. You can find similar ones cheaper, but the included adapter that lets it run off a 1-pound propane tank (which you can refill from a 5-gallon tank with the proper adapter) makes it worth getting this particular make and model. I've found these cheap stoves fail within a year by leaking from the O-rings at both ends of the built-in hose: 2 inside the screw adjustment, and 2 more where it meets the base of the stove proper. You'll need some small 1.5mm (preferred) thickness O-rings to replace them when that happens. Meanwhile I'd recommend getting two stoves so you always have one working while you're waiting for parts for the failed one.
For refilling the "non-refillable" 1-pound propane tanks, you need one of these ACME to CGA600 adapters. You'll find lots of videos online for doing the job, but most of them have dubious advice; for example, I've never needed to freeze the 1-pound cylinders before filling. Just invert your 5-gallon cylinder with the adapter in it, like on a picnic table; screw in your empty 1-pound cylinder; and lift the 5-gallon cylinder just enough, with one hand, to open the valve with the other. In one minute or so, your 1-pound cylinder should be mostly full. Close the valve, remove it, purge it for a second by pushing a nail or a piece of wire in to open the internal Schrade-type valve, then fill one more time. If it goes over a pound, don't worry too much, I've never had one explode on me yet. If it still feels almost empty, something is wrong with the cylinder. I've had a few like that.
If your propane tank has the old-style POL fitting and not the more modern ACME thread, you'll need this adapter in addition to the product shown above. I needed one for the tank I have in Mexico. There are direct POL to CGA600 adapters, and I tried one, but it wasn't long enough to give clearance sufficient to screw on the 1-pound tank.
This o-ring kit has two sizes which are common for the above-mentioned camp stoves: 6.0mm x 1.5mm, and 6.5mm x 1.5mm, which are the outer diameter (OD) by the thickness. This one comes with a set of 4 picks which can be used both to remove the old o-ring and to help install the replacement. They can double as dental picks as well, if you have some tartar that needs removing.