16.4 oz. Propane tanks space a usual energy source for camping stoves and small portable propane heaters. Although lock lightweight, convenient, and easy to use, this propane canisters typically frustrate campers and also hikers that can’t store track of just how much propane is left.

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You can check how much propane is left in her tank in a pair of various ways. It’s vital to measure your existing tank through one you know is full, though. If you desire to keep track of your propane and also avoid running out as soon as you’re in the backcountry, understanding how long the tank lasts.

Read top top to uncover out exactly how much propane a 16.4 oz. Tank holds, how long the lasts under specific conditions, and also how you can make an educated guess around the quantity left in your current tank!


A propane camping cooktop is a heater, coffeemaker, hand warmer, and cook station all in one.

1-pound vs 16.4 oz. Propane tank

In situation there’s any type of confusion: propane cylinders aren’t generally rated by the ounce, but rather through pounds. A 16.4 oz propane canister is an ext commonly described as a 1-pound propane tank. That ounce number is the net weight of the contents, for this reason the propane within the tank weighs about 16.4 ounces.

1-pound propane tanks are offered to power camp stoves for grilling, frying, boiling, and pretty much anything else you could do on a typical stovetop. Girlfriend can additionally power portable heaters and also propane lanterns v them.

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

Alright, so there’s 16.4 ounces that propane by weight inside among these tanks, yet how much is that? Thankfully, science is below to assist us figure it out. Don’t worry, we won’t get into the complicated stuff.

The very first thing you need to understand is a unit the measurement called BTUs, which represents British heat Units. One BTU is the lot of heat required to advanced the temperature of one lb of water through one degree Fahrenheit. If that sounds familiar, it’s because this is the U.S. Tantamount of the metric calorie, which is the amount of heat forced to warm one gram the water by one degree Celsius. Back it’s sort of a historical relic as far as measurements go, the BTU is still provided to measure the revenue of organic gas in the USA.

Propane has actually a BTU per gallon that 91,500. One gallon weighs about 4.23 pounds, for this reason if we divide these 2 numbers we should have the ability to find the end the BTU the a one-pound propane tank.

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

Fantastic, you can be saying. However how does the BTU amount interpret into burn time for a portable camping stove?

How lengthy does 1 BTU that propane last?

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

Let’s try to uncover the many convenient method to connect the two. Friend can’t very well count backward native 21,631 to save track of exactly how much propane friend have. What throws most people off is the the size of the grill greatly results how long the propane bottle will last.

Thankfully, camp stoves don’t burn propane gas as fast as a huge grill. A medium gas grill have the right to burn with a 20-pound propane tank in as tiny as 10 hours, but it normally lasts 18 – 20 hours. A 20-pound tank has actually 4.73 gallons the propane. Native this information, we can shot to calculate a turbulent estimate of a per-BTU burn rate:

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

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

Burn price for different propane accessories

If you’re utilizing a backpacking stove fairly than a full-on propane grill, the tank won’t have the exact same burn rate. The tool grill might have a burn price of 24,000 BTUs every hour, but the smaller portable tank doesn’t.

Even a larger camping oven will have a greater burn price than a single-eye backpacking model. Understanding exactly how long that tank will certainly last depends on exactly how you’re making use of it. Of course, we don’t need to number out the burn rate of a details stove under to the decimal point.


One-pound propane tanks space perfect for food preparation delicious meals top top the go.

Burn price for backpacking stoves

If we were to assume the a backpacking stove was together powerful, the 21,631 BTUs would last about 90% that one hour or 54 minutes. Usually speaking, though, your grill would need to be working pretty difficult to burn the totality canister at that speed.

Your grill should have actually its very own burn price in the info that came v it. You deserve to use that burn rate to uncover out just how long the tank will certainly last according to the manufacturer.

Campers who really want to recognize their own equipment sometimes measure exactly how long it takes to boil a addressed amount that water, speak one liter. You can use this information to calculate just how much fuel you’ll require once you recognize the burn rate.

Since this tanks aren’t that expensive, you deserve to measure just how long it takes to boil water and also keep it cooking for the ten or 15 minutes needed to fully cook her meals, measure how many meals you gain in before you operation out, and also then you’ll have actually a unstable per-meal burn rate. Girlfriend can likewise measure how long each meal takes to make if you want a much more illustrative number.

How lengthy do many 1-pound propane tanks last?

From our experience, you deserve to expect these little tanks to keep working for in between 1 and also 2 hrs of complete burn time. The an ext you use high heat, the much more propane you will do it burn and also the much less time it will survive before needing to it is in refilled.

Most backpacking stoves and little campsite food preparation equipment will certainly last best in the middle, about 1.5 hours, operating on a mid-high heat for boiling water and also slightly reduced to cook it for 10 – 15 minutes. Together a concrete example, this is best on the money because that a Coleman propane tank supplied at medium warmth for reasonable lengths the time.

Bear in mind the you don’t need to spend one hour on your camping meals. The tank no going come go out after a solitary day top top the trail. In most cases, freeze-dried meals and prepped meals the only need heating deserve to be all set in as little as 5 or 10 minutes, so friend should have the ability to get at the very least 8 and as many as 18 meals out of one tank.

How have the right to I make my propane last longer?

Reduce the quantity of time her propane torch, grill, or heater is on a high or medium setup and you’ll be able to stretch out the life of the tank. Here are a few more advice to make your propane cylinder last:

Use Fire once Possible: Depending on wherein you’re camping, it could be simple to bring a firestarter and build a tiny campfire because that boiling water and staying warm. The propane tank deserve to be offered as a back-up or because that stops during the day as soon as you’re ~ above the relocate or can not otherwise make a fire.

Go straightforward On hot Drinks: Everybody loves a warm cup that coffee top top a cold morning, but if girlfriend can’t build a small fire to cook water for your coffee or lug a dedicated coffee machine, it would be best to shot and stop too numerous cups.Rather 보다 skipping cups altogether, you can try other techniques like leaving her water in the sun to heat up for this reason the propane has less occupational to do. Instant cold brew and also iced coffee that have the right to be made with cold water is one more option.

Weather problems Have one Effect: Wind can blow the heat away from your stove. Short temperature lowers the volume that propane, and frigid temperatures might influence how well your propane fuel cylinder proceeds to work. Water boils much faster at greater temperatures however food takes much more time come absorb water.

Does propane go bad?

Great news if you worried about using your propane prior to it disappears: propane no expire. If her tank has been sit somewhere dry and fairly warm v the winter, it must be alright to usage it whenever you want. In fact, the propane have the right to probably critical much longer than that. Steel tanks can rust v and allow propane to leak out v the side. If a tank shows rust, don’t use it. The could also be empty as result of a leak, yet testing it can be dangerous if the tank isn’t fully empty.

The most necessary thing you can do to save your propane audible also if that going to be sitting about for a small while is to make certain you use any protective cap the came with the version when it isn’t in use. Ideally, these tanks should be save outdoors and fully away from any kind of water that could cause rust.

Can you refill propane tanks?

Some Coleman propane fuel cylinders and similar models from competing brands come in rechargeable models v a distinct adapter that allows them to take more propane. Also if you have actually a refillable tank, return it come a expert who can top it off for you.

There are numerous tips and also tricks top top the internet for refilling a disposable propane tank. Something around the little size of these tanks makes human being think it’ll it is in alright to medical professional them.

In part cases, that can be the case. Yet it’s a huge risk that’ll only save friend a few bucks in the end. Plus, also if girlfriend do acquire the tank refilled without blowing you yourself up, the legislation in plenty of places renders it illegal to transfer that tank on any public roadway. You’re much better off v a brand brand-new tank.

What must I perform with old propane tanks?

Once the propane is out, these canisters are thought about household hazardous waste and also must be taken to an authorized disposal facility near you. A fast google search can tell you whereby that could be based on your location.

Don’t ever throw these points in the rubbish or leave them exterior anywhere. They’re still pressurized and present a hazard to people. Plus, the a pretty huge piece that trash to simply leave lie around.

How come measure exactly how much propane is left

If you don’t know how much is left within the canister and you yes, really don’t want to burn the remainder off, you can use one of the following tricks:

Weigh her Propane Tank & An north One: The distinction should it is in the weight of the continuing to be propane. Sweet the tank when you an initial get the so you deserve to see what percent of the full weight friend have. If you don’t have actually an empty tank, the ‘tare weight,’ i m sorry is the load of the tank itself, have to be created on the tank or in the info pamphlet. The difference in between the tare weight and also what you see on the scale have to be the load of the staying propane.

Place the Tank in Water: When a complete tank is in water, that sinks reduced down but it still floats. You have the right to place her tank in water and also watch just how it floats come gauge just how much propane is left. Together the water heat is lower on the tank (or the tank is higher in the water, but you want to look at it) you deserve to see her propane supply decreasing. It can not give you a precise number, but it should give you a loved one indication.

Safety tips because that camping with propane tanks

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

When you’re cooking with a tiny propane cooking stove, watch her sleeves, feet, sleeping bag, or anything rather that might get burnt. The wind is another large consideration. It’s most likely not wise to leaving a propane tank burn inside her tent uneven it has actually the necessary safety attributes to execute that without burning the entirety place down.

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If you in a tent through low ventilation, you could want to usage the propane tank to warmth up hand warmers or just take the leaf off before your human body heat have the right to warm increase the within of your sleeping bag. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct that propane tanks and also without the appropriate escape route, those fumes deserve to have some terrible effects.