Backpacking Stoves 101

Backpacking Stoves 101: How Long Does a Backpacking Stove Canister Last

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Despite the rapid pace in which technology continues to evolve in today’s modern world, camping, hiking and other similar recreational activities still remain popular amongst a great many. This comes as no surprise since many of the things that tend to make our lives more comfortable and convenient like computers or mobile devices also stand as a reminder of the responsibilities that daily life usually brings. To this end, it’s important to know how long does a backpacking stove canister last.

In order to get the most out of the experience however, it is important not to forget one of the fundamental necessities that everyone can ill-afford to be without – fire. Not only is it needed for cooking, but also to purify water through boiling. With that being said, backpacking stoves have become the most viable option for the majority because of their lightweight nature and portability, and is more or less an essential tool to survive in the outdoor wilderness.

While having the ideal backpacking stove for the trip is certainly mandatory, it’s equally important to have the right fuel for it as well. It becomes no more than a substantial paperweight without it after all. From the type of gas it’s meant to use to the quantity, everything has to be spot on.

Quality and Quantity – How Long Does a Backpacking Stove Canister Last?

A common mistake that many people make when buying fuel is getting the wrong gas canister. It isn’t unusual for this to happen, usually because there are several types of these available in the market. They can generally look the same too, with the nozzle and valve areas being the only points of difference. To this end, having a discriminate eye can go a long way in making sure that the right canister is acquired. However, it’s always good common practice to ask if you are unsure.

Having the right amount of gas to last the entirety of the trip can also make all the difference in the experience. You might think that it may be impossible, but simple calculations can indeed be made to get an estimate as to how much you may need. Usually, 150g of gas is burned by most backpacking stoves per hour. Since the average backpacking stove canister contains 500g of gas, it may take around three hours or so for it to last before it expires.

This not only relies on the pre-existing numbers but also on general use too. Let’s say that you’re cooking something that requires the aforementioned 170g of gas for two hours using the same 500g gas stove canister. This will leave the canister with approximately 160g left on the tank. As tedious as the math may be, it is extremely important to keep this in mind as it will help give you a good idea of exactly how many gas canisters you may need for the duration of the trip.

The more accurate the numbers are, the more precise the calculations will be on how long does a backpacking stove canister last. To this end, it is highly advisable to be thorough when reading through the manual of the respective backpacking stove. You’ll be able to get a better an estimate of the amount that the trip ultimately requires, and perhaps even save some much needed resources on additional canisters if they are unnecessary.

Never Purchase the Wrong Type of Gas

Aside from the general similarities that most gas canisters have and their respective quantities, another important factor that needs attention is the type of gas contained within. It goes without saying that there are a multitude of gases available, but most backpacking stoves are designed to use either butane or propane. It is imperative to double, if not triple-check first before buying and using the acquired gas canister to avoid potentially disastrous and catastrophic results.

Cost and Effect

We all generally want to get the most bang for our buck, and the cost as well as its desired effect has to be considered. While getting the best possible deal is often the best practice to follow when buying most items, when it comes to backpacking stove gas canisters it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to opt for a more expensive variant. Usually, they’ll not just have better quality but the gas used tends to last more, and should be perfect for an extended trip.

Always Follow Safety Precautions

As obvious as this might be, following all the necessary safety precautions is incredibly important when handling a gas canister. Gas is flammable after all, and this can naturally be a huge safety hazard and pose a significant threat if the aforementioned gas somehow manages to seep out of its highly pressurized canister. It cannot be stressed enough how essential it is to make sure that everything is in proper working order before their use.

Not unlike backpacking gas stoves, the gas canisters themselves usually come with their own respective instructions on how to use them. Generally, you’ll find these marked clearly on the canister themselves, but you may encounter some that will have separate instruction on paper. It is essential that these instructions aren’t disregarded or overlooked as this can make all the difference in preventing any avoidable disasters.

Good Common Practices When Buying Gas Canisters

There are good common practices shared by many of who have a penchant for the outdoors when procuring gas canisters for the trip. Tapping into the community is one effective way of not just being informed of the best locales to visit or spots to camp at but also getting the best tools. The same goes with gas canisters. Because of the multitude of types and varieties available, having an informed decision from those with the experience can do wonders.

Another tried-and-true method of buying the right gas canisters is by utilizing technology. The Internet is a host to a vast amount of information, and this can make all the difference on how good the product is or how cost-effective the savings on its purchase can be. Be sure not to ignore the reviews as well as the recommendations left by previous customers.


For specialist items like backpacking stove canisters, it can be just a little intimidating to purchase if for those lacking in experience. However, they are more than just a mere luxury when it comes to outdoor trips. By following good common practices like asking those with more experience and following directions, you’ll be able to avoid any issues that may arise as well as improve and enhance the trip.

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