Q: Is there more than one type of canister adaptor?
Yes. There are two different attachment fittings. The vast majority (including all US manufactures) of canister stoves use the EN417 Lindal valve, while in Europe, several use the Camping Gaz canisters which are very similar except that the valve is smooth instead of threaded like the Lindal valve. At least one stove, the MSR Superfly, will work with either type of fitting.
In the US, the Lindal fitting is by far the most common. In fact, it is difficult to even find canisters for the Camping Gas fitting.
I believe all the iso-butane gas canisters I use for my JetBoil is basically the Lindal Valve or EN417. I do know that to mount my canisters to the burner, you simply have to thread (std English thread) the burner to the canister and this would be the same for the MSR PocketRocket or the JetBoil or the Primus brand stoves.
We can also interchange canisters although of course, MSR will want you to use MSR brand canisters.
As far as finding them..... I would not really want to count on them as a sole source of fuel if you need to say boil water, a white gas stove would be more ideal. White gas or Coleman's Fuel can be found in many grocery stores and bigbox stores like Walmart and Target, and camping stores, but you may not find the iso-butane canisters for fuel. You should be able to find propane canisters but most of them are for car-camping type stovetops.
However, I know I can go for 7-8 days on my little 4oz JetBoil canister so long as I don't have to use it to boil drinking water and using it just for breakfast (instant oatmeal) and a freeze dried dinner. Knowing that in a pinch, you could probably plan on trying to keep a 2 canister minimum carry and then supplement that with bought food when possible to stretch the usage. I would only rely on finding those canisters in camping/hunting type stores which I am not familiar the frequency you'll find them on the Northern Tier.
If this was in a very very remote area, I would stick with a White Gas stove, like a whisperlite int. or similar which can run on gas, propane, even auto fuel in a pinch.
However, you might want to look into an alcohol stove, or "esbit" stove, they are super small and can run on denatured alcohol and use that as a backup. It's slow but works and isn't too big or too heavy to carry. You can google that and you can make one fairly easily. Just definitely practice with it before you go.
Or think about mailing yourself canisters to select Post Offices on the way so you can guarantee you will at least have known sources for them....
In other words, anything is possible, but for true self-reliable methods, white gas stoves would be more flexible.
P.S. the rest of the canister fuel FAQ on whiteblaze.net:
This message was edited by JayH on 2-27-07 @ 7:48 AM