16.4 oz. Propane tanks space a common energy resource for camping stoves and little portable propane heaters. Although lock lightweight, convenient, and also easy come use, this propane canisters generally frustrate campers and also hikers that can’t save track of just how much propane is left.

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You can check how lot propane is left in your tank in a pair of different ways. It’s crucial to measure up your present tank v one you recognize is full, though. If you desire to save track of your propane and also avoid to run out once you’re in the backcountry, understanding exactly how long the tank lasts.

Read top top to find out just how much propane a 16.4 oz. Tank holds, exactly how long the lasts under certain conditions, and how you have the right to make an education guess around the lot left in your existing tank!


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A propane camping range is a heater, coffeemaker, hand warmer, and also cook terminal all in one.


1-pound vs 16.4 oz. Propane tank

In situation there’s any confusion: propane cylinders aren’t frequently rated by the ounce, however rather by pounds. A 16.4 oz propane canister is an ext commonly referred to as a 1-pound propane tank. That oz number is the network weight the the contents, for this reason the propane inside the tank weighs around 16.4 ounces.

1-pound propane tanks are provided to power camp stoves for grilling, frying, boiling, and also pretty much anything else you could do top top a standard stovetop. Friend can also power portable heaters and also propane lanterns through them.

How much propane is in a 1-pound propane tank?

Alright, so there’s 16.4 ounces of propane by weight inside among these tanks, but how much is that? Thankfully, science is below to assist us number it out. Nothing worry, us won’t gain into the complex stuff.

The very first thing you have to understand is a unit the measurement called BTUs, which represents British thermal Units. One BTU is the quantity of heat forced to advanced the temperature the one pound of water through one level Fahrenheit. If that sounds familiar, it’s since this is the U.S. Equivalent of the metric calorie, i beg your pardon is the quantity of heat compelled to warm one gram that water through one degree Celsius. Back it’s sort of a historic relic as far as dimensions go, the BTU is still provided to measure the revenue of herbal gas in the USA.

Propane has actually a BTU every gallon that 91,500. One gallon weighs around 4.23 pounds, for this reason if we divide these 2 numbers we should be able to find out the BTU that a one-pound propane tank.

91,500 / 4.23 = 21,631 BTU per 1-lb propane tank

Fantastic, you can be saying. But how does that BTU amount interpret into burn time because that a portable camping stove?

How lengthy does 1 BTU that propane last?

Since the bigger one-gallon tank has much more BTUs and also therefore much more propane, it’s no rocket scientific research to deduce that it lasts longer than the smaller tank. So what is the connection between BTUs and also burn time?

Let’s try to discover the most convenient means to affix the two. Friend can’t an extremely well counting backward from 21,631 to save track of exactly how much propane you have. What litter most world off is that the size of the grill greatly effects how lengthy the propane bottle will last.

Thankfully, camp stoves don’t burn propane gas as fast as a big grill. A tool gas grill have the right to burn with a 20-pound propane tank in as small as 10 hours, yet it commonly lasts 18 – 20 hours. A 20-pound tank has 4.73 gallons of propane. Indigenous this information, us can shot to calculate a stormy estimate the a per-BTU burn rate:

91,500 * 4.73 = 432,795 BTUs every 20-pound propane tank

You can likewise take a shortcut: main point the BTU of a 1-pound tank by 20 and also you’re not much off. If you’re utilizing a tool gas grill and it large 18 hours, you deserve to divide 432,795 through 18 to uncover that about 24,000 BTUs are scorched per hour.

Burn price for various propane accessories

If you’re making use of a backpacking stove fairly than a full-on propane grill, the tank won’t have actually the very same burn rate. The medium grill might have a burn price of 24,000 BTUs every hour, however the smaller sized portable tank doesn’t.

Even a larger camping cooktop will have a greater burn rate than a single-eye backpacking model. Understanding just how long that tank will last relies on just how you’re utilizing it. Of course, we don’t need to number out the burn rate of a particular stove under to the decimal point.


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One-pound propane tanks space perfect for cooking delicious meals ~ above the go.


Burn rate for backpacking stoves

If we were come assume the a backpacking oven was as powerful, the 21,631 BTUs would last around 90% that one hour or 54 minutes. Normally speaking, though, your grill would need to be functioning pretty difficult to burn the whole canister at that speed.

Your grill should have actually its own burn price in the details that came through it. You can use the burn price to discover out exactly how long the tank will certainly last according to the manufacturer.

Campers who really want to know their own equipment sometimes measure how long that takes to boil a fixed amount the water, say one liter. You deserve to use this info to calculate exactly how much fuel you’ll need once you recognize the burn rate.

Since these tanks aren’t that expensive, you can measure just how long it takes to boil water and also keep it food preparation for the ten or 15 minutes required to totally cook your meals, measure how many meals you acquire in prior to you operation out, and also then you’ll have actually a turbulent per-meal burn rate. Girlfriend can also measure how long each enjoy the meal takes to do if you want a much more illustrative number.

How long do many 1-pound propane tanks last?

From our experience, you have the right to expect these tiny tanks to keep working for between 1 and 2 hours of total burn time. The more you usage high heat, the an ext propane you will do it burn and also the much less time it will certainly survive prior to needing to it is in refilled.

Most backpacking stoves and tiny campsite cooking equipment will certainly last ideal in the middle, about 1.5 hours, operating on a mid-high heat for boiling water and also slightly diminished to chef it for 10 – 15 minutes. Together a concrete example, this is best on the money for a Coleman propane tank provided at medium warmth for reasonable lengths of time.

Bear in mind the you don’t need to spend an hour on her camping meals. The tank isn’t going come go the end after a solitary day ~ above the trail. In most cases, freeze-dried meals and prepped meals the only need heating deserve to be ready in as tiny as 5 or 10 minutes, so you should be able to get at the very least 8 and also as numerous as 18 meals the end of one tank.

How deserve to I make my propane last longer?

Reduce the amount of time your propane torch, grill, or heater is ~ above a high or medium setup and you’ll have the ability to stretch out the life the the tank. Here are a couple of more advice to make her propane cylinder last:

Use Fire as soon as Possible: Depending on whereby you’re camping, it might be simple to bring a firestarter and also build a small campfire for boiling water and staying warm. The propane tank have the right to be offered as a back-up or because that stops throughout the day once you’re top top the relocate or can not otherwise do a fire.

Go simple On warm Drinks: Everybody loves a hot cup the coffee ~ above a cold morning, however if you can’t build a little fire to cook water for her coffee or lug a committed coffee machine, it would be ideal to shot and avoid too numerous cups.Rather 보다 skipping cups altogether, friend can try other techniques like leaving her water in the sun to warmth up therefore the propane has actually less occupational to do. Instant cold brew and iced coffee that deserve to be made v cold water is one more option.

Weather problems Have one Effect: Wind have the right to blow the heat away from her stove. Low temperature lowers the volume the propane, and also frigid temperature might impact how well your propane fuel cylinder continues to work. Water boils faster at greater temperatures however food takes more time come absorb water.

Does propane go bad?

Great news if she worried around using your propane prior to it disappears: propane doesn’t expire. If your tank has been sit somewhere dried and reasonably warm through the winter, it must be alright to usage it whenever friend want. In fact, the propane have the right to probably last much much longer than that. Steel tanks can rust with and permit propane to leak out through the side. If a tank shows rust, don’t usage it. That could likewise be empty as result of a leak, yet testing it could be attention if the tank isn’t fully empty.

The most essential thing you can do to save your propane audible also if the going to it is in sitting approximately for a small while is come make certain you use any type of protective cap that came through the version when it no in use. Ideally, this tanks have to be save outdoors and totally away from any kind of water that could cause rust.

Can girlfriend refill propane tanks?

Some Coleman propane fuel cylinders and similar models from contending brands come in refillable models with a distinct adapter that allows them to take an ext propane. Even if you have a refillable tank, return it to a skilled who can top it off for you.

There are numerous tips and also tricks on the net for refilling a disposable propane tank. Something about the little size of these tanks makes world think it’ll it is in alright to physician them.

In part cases, that might be the case. Yet it’s a huge risk that’ll just save girlfriend a few bucks in the end. Plus, even if girlfriend do gain the tank refilled there is no blowing you yourself up, the legislation in many places makes it illegal to move that tank on any type of public roadway. You’re much better off v a brand brand-new tank.

What should I perform with old propane tanks?

Once the propane is out, these canisters are considered household hazardous waste and also must be taken to an approved disposal center near you. A fast google search have the right to tell you where that can be based upon your location.

Don’t ever before throw these points in the trash or leave them outside anywhere. They’re still pressurized and also present a danger to people. Plus, that a pretty large piece of trash to just leave lie around.

How come measure just how much propane is left

If you nothing know just how much is left inside the canister and also you really don’t desire to burn the rest off, you deserve to use one of the complying with tricks:

Weigh her Propane Tank & An north One: The distinction should be the weight of the remaining propane. Sweet the tank once you very first get that so you can see what percentage of the complete weight you have. If friend don’t have an north tank, the ‘tare weight,’ i m sorry is the weight of the tank itself, have to be created on the tank or in the details pamphlet. The difference between the tare weight and what you view on the scale have to be the load of the remaining propane.

Place the Tank in Water: When a full tank is in water, it sinks lower down yet it still floats. You deserve to place your tank in water and watch just how it floats to gauge exactly how much propane is left. As the water heat is lower on the tank (or the tank is higher in the water, but you desire to look in ~ it) you can see your propane it is provided decreasing. It could not offer you a specific number, but it should offer you a loved one indication.

Safety tips because that camping with propane tanks

The main safety advice we’ve already discussed is to never, ever shot to refill a disposable propane tank and also don’t litter them far in the trash can.

When you’re food preparation with a little propane food preparation stove, watch your sleeves, feet, resting bag, or anything rather that can get burnt. The wind is another huge consideration. It’s more than likely not wise to leave a propane tank burning inside your tent unless it has the essential safety features to do that without burning the entirety place down.

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If you’re in a tent through low ventilation, you could want to usage the propane tank to warm up hand warmers or just take the edge off prior to your body heat have the right to warm increase the inside of your resting bag. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct that propane tanks and without the ideal escape route, those fumes deserve to have some disastrous effects.