When it comes to backpacking trips, especially those that last for a couple of days, having a portable stove is a must. Without a doubt, a backpacking or isobutane fuel canister stove is handy since it is lightweight, compact, and easy to carry and use.
These days, there are several options on the market, and some of them are meant for one- or two-day use. Amazingly, there are those that can last even up to a week. Thus, it is essential to know how long does backpacking stove fuel last for you to avoid any terrible situation while you are away from home.
We are confident that when you are about to buy one, you will read the packaging. You will usually notice that it mentions that it can last for an hour and a half on high power.
However, you must note that it will more likely fail to mention what level of temperature is the basis of such duration. So, we will give you the several factors that affect how long backpacking stove fuel last.
How Long Does Backpacking Stove Fuel Last: The Factors Involved
Frankly speaking, there is no exact way to guess estimate how long does backpacking stove fuel last and how much fuel is consumed in a day of backpacking. Nonetheless, there are a couple of variables that will help you in determining how much fuel you would need.
The Conditions that Affect Consumption:
Most canister gas stoves are tested by its respective manufacturer at a sea level of 70-degrees Fahrenheit. Since such is usually done indoors, there is no or less wind involved.
As any backpacker, if not all of us, knows, during backpacking trips you wouldn’t find such perfect weather conditions. Meaning, there will always be wind involved, especially if you head to the mountains and locations near bodies of water.
Wind plays a major role in the consumption of fuel. For gas stoves that have an open-flame burner, wind conditions even as low as five MPH will cause the gas stove to use three times more fuel in comparison to what it normally would take. That is because the wind will usually blow the heat from the fire.
With that in regard, we are certain that any weather conditions play a big role when it comes to fuel consumption. Most of the time, you will heat water for your food and drinks when you go backpacking.
As science says, the temperature of the water also reflects the temperature of the air. This means that if the air temperature is warm, it will take lesser time to boil it which ultimately means lesser fuel get burnt and vice versa.
So, when you go camping at higher altitudes, where the temperature goes very low and the wind blows regularly, it becomes a struggle for the gas stove to remain lit if you do not have enough fuel.
The Availability of Water:
This applies to backpackers who go camping at very high altitudes where there is snow. In areas like these, your only source of getting water is by melting the snow. Obviously, melting the ice becomes another process when it comes to boiling water, which means that it increases the cooking time, which consequently will consume more fuel.
The Style of Cooking:
The kind of food you prefer and the style you use to cook also tremendously impact the consumption of fuel. If you are comfortable with eating meals that require just simple boiling, rather than a meal that involves multiple steps, you will end up saving your fuel.
This is something you must plan even before you leave for your trip. If you are low on fuel or are going backpacking for a couple of days, then opt for meals that don’t require the excessive use of the gas canister.
The Size of the Cooking Ware:
This may seem odd since most of you will think that you will usually bring small cookware. Nonetheless, this is worth mentioning since there are also different sizes of little cooking pots.
It should be remembered that the pot or pan is the one that will transfer the heat from the fire to the food or water that needs cooking or boiling. Obviously, those that have higher depths and bigger width will take longer to heat up, consuming more fuel.
The Extent of Use
This is another factor that may seem so obvious but is also essential. Some backpackers cook food from breakfast to dinner while others will only cook breakfast and dinner. That is because there are those who bring energy-boosting or nutritional snack bars that they can consume for lunch. Additionally, not all backpackers will boil water as their drink or for their cup of coffee or tea since they are contented with cold water.
Benefits of Knowing the How Long Fuel Last and the Factors Affecting It
Basically, if you are backpacking and you know how long the fuel in your stove’s gas canister will last and the factors that can lessen or increase its duration, you will have an idea how long your trip should take. Also, if you plan a long journey, you will be prepared and bring an extra canister of fuel. If such is not possible, you will consider bringing other types of food that can lessen your need to cook food.
As obvious as it is, there is no exact way of knowing how much fuel you will be able to consume and how long it will last. The figure that is printed on the product labels will always depend on several factors, and some of the most common are the ones we mentioned. Being equipped with this knowledge, you will know how to prepare for your next backpacking trip.
With that being said, we would suggest that you do a ton of research before you go on your trip. By that, we mean, check the weather conditions to know what you are going to be up against and also check wind speed. Additionally, plan the cooking items that you will bring very well so that you will not run out of food while on your trip.