Outdoor Element’s 10th Patent Awarded, Solving the Recycling Problem of Camping Fuel Canisters. Get Your Camp Kitchen Handled™️!
This is a follow up to our initial blog about Handled™️ entitled My camp kitchen and those fuel canisters.
As we know, camping is awesome. Burning hands around the camp kitchen and not knowing how to properly manage used fuel canisters is not awesome. Outdoor Element developed a multitool solution for both problems. We call it Handled™️. And in June 2022, our utility patent for Handled™️ was granted by the US Patent & Trademark Office!
For years I wondered what to do with all those empty fuel canisters that were stacking up in my garage after camping trips. During my travels with Outdoor Element (hosting expos) I spoke with several firefighters that shared some major concerns about camping fuel canisters.
A firefighter in Arizona explained that partially filled canisters in garages become a major projectile hazard in home fires. He told me firefighters do their best to avoid the garage due to this high risk. Secondly, Commerce City (Denver area) fire departments are called to extinguish on average 2 preventable landfill fires each week caused by “empty” camping fuel canisters. These canisters are potentially dangerous and are absorbing precious resources from our fire departments.
Aislinn Sarnacki, a columnist for Maine’s Bangor Daily News, in 2021 reported, “Gas canisters used to fuel camp stoves can be a big challenge to get rid of in Maine once they’re empty. They can’t just be thrown out. They aren’t recyclable. There’s no collection programs for them. In short, nobody wants them. As a result, these non-reusable, potentially combustible cans pile up in garages and sheds — or they get dumped in the woods.”
I’m hoping I can change things in Maine and everywhere else a camping fuel canister is used! After looking at various camp kitchen tools, I knew there was a better way to manage these issues and offer a simple solution to a growing problem.
As I mentioned in the previous blog, we surveyed over 1,100 outdoor enthusiasts and found that over 66% did not know how to properly dispose of these empty camping fuel canisters. (To see more details please visit our previous post, My camp kitchen and those fuel canisters.) At this point I knew there was both room for innovation and education. As I have shown Handled™️ to campers and retail shops, it has been received with great enthusiasm.
Handled™️ is a dual functional tool. It serves as both a pot gripper and a recycle tool.
The external pot gripper jaws on Handled™️ have meaty silicone tabs, ensuring no scratches on coated cookware, a fantastic grip, and a slow heat transfer (no more burned hands).
Handled™️ is also a recycle tool. To properly recycle fuel canisters, the gas must be fully evacuated, and the canister must be pierced. The top arm of Handled™️ has a vent nut and puncture point. Once the fuel canister is empty, the nut screws to the top of the canister, venting all remnant gas. Once fully empty, the nut acts as a pivot point and the top of Handled™️ becomes a lever arm to safely puncture holes in the spent canister. Now that the canister is fully evacuated and no longer a pressurized system, it can be safely tossed into the recycle/trash bin (please recycle).
To accommodate larger 8-ounce and 1-pound canisters, the top arm of Handled™️ disassembles from the lower arm by removing the cotter pin near the gripping jaws. After I built the prototype, several customers reached out to us and explained they used the larger 1-pound canisters and wanted a solution for them. I designed a brass adaptor that screws on Handled’s vent nut to properly fit the top of 1-pound canisters. I also incorporated a stronger puncture point material to manage the thicker material (larger canisters are steel unlike the thin EN417 aluminum 4-ounce cans).
Handled™️ only weighs 2.2 ounces. The average pot gripper is around 2 ounces. I feel the added 0.2 ounces is worth the weight in education and empowerment.
Features and benefits of Handled™️ include:
- Puncture point and venting mechanism for empty canisters enabling proper recycling or disposal
- Secure, sturdy grip ensuring no burned hands
- Silicone tabs for excellent grip, slow heat transfer, and preventing scratched pots
- Lightweight: 2.2-ounces
Handled™️ is available now with two different versions starting at $14.95 retail. For more information, visit https://outdoorelement.com/products/handled-pot-gripper-and-fuel-canister-recycle-tool.