How Long Does Camping Gas Last?

Whenever you go on a camping trip, you must rely on something to cook your food. A fire is one of your options, but it is not always the best. Suppose you are planning on camping in a woody area. In that case, chances are that lighting a fire will not be preferable or even allowed.

This is when you will need to think of another option. Most campers use camping stoves that they pair with camping gas. While the stove is somewhat expensive, getting it is always a good idea. The camping gas is easy to use, and the canisters are not even that expensive.

If you decide to try using a camping stove, you will need to know how much camping gas you need to take with you. Most campsites are remote and do not have any stores nearby that you can use to buy gas.

But do not worry – with this guide, you will learn how to calculate the amount of gas you need. So, let’s get into the guide and see what it is all about!


how long will camping gas last

How Long Does Camping Gas Last

Camping gas refers to natural gas that comes in canisters of various sizes. The canisters can be used during outdoor trips, usually camping trips. So, they are often paired with camping stoves.

There are a few types of camping gas – propane gas, butane gas, or a mixture of the two. Which one you use will depend on your camping stove and what type of gas it runs on. The canisters can also be different, but I will discuss that later.

So, I mentioned that gas canisters come in many sizes. How long one lasts will depend on many factors, but a general rule is that a 220g gas canister will last about 2 hours if you use it on medium heat. That same canister can last up to 4 hours if you use it on low heat only.

But there are larger canisters that you can use for longer. These are pretty bulky and are not the best for transporting to campsites. It would be best if you use them only when you are car camping, while they can last upwards of 6 hours.

I recommend that you try to calculate the amount of gas you will need depending on the length of your trip and the number of meals you will need to prepare. If you do this, you should have no problem taking the right amount of gas.

If you run out of gas during your trip for whatever reason, you can always turn to cook food on a fire. It will not be as versatile of an option as the camping stove, but it will suffice for a few days. Both cooking options will give you the hot meals you deserve after a long hiking or backpacking trip!

What Variables Can Affect How Long My Camping Gas Lasts?

As I mentioned, camping gas canisters come in various sizes and types. Depending on the portable stoves available to you, you can decide what kind of camping gas you need. But several things will affect its longevity, and this is something you must know before setting off on a trip!

First, you should be aware that the food will affect how long a gas canister lasts. If you are cooking something more ambitious, which takes a while to cook, it will need more gas to cook. If you are boiling something that can be ready within minutes, you will save a lot of gas!

Second, the temperature also affects how long a gas canister will last. Natural gas performs better when used in colder temperatures. If you use it at a warm temperature, it might underperform and run out faster.

Third, the altitude of the campsite will be important for gas consumption. You should expect gas to run out faster if you stay at a high-altitude campsite. So, for those campsites, you will need to bring more gas.

Fourth, the type of canister will also play a role. Quality camping gas canisters might be a bit more expensive, but they are worth the money because they last longer. The canisters do not allow the gas to escape, so there is no chance of you having a gas hazard.

These are all things to consider when choosing a gas canister. Make sure you choose wisely – on a campsite, and you will need to cook your food. So, avoid getting into a bad situation by getting canisters that run out fast. Get quality ones, and let them help you cook all your favorite meals!

Do Camping Gas Canisters Expire?

A general recommendation is to get a camping gas canister before each camping trip. There are several reasons why I am recommending this. It is not that the gas will expire – camping gas canisters cannot expire – but some things can happen to them.

Once you use a gas canister, make sure you use it whole. There is no need to store it as that can also be quite unsafe. Even with the expensive gas containers, it is best to use them whole and dispose of them instead of storing them.

When you store opened gas canisters, they need to stay upright and away from the sun or heat. The storage area should be well ventilated, and there should be no humidity in the air. If you cannot provide these conditions, it is better not to store the canisters.

With brand new canisters, there is also no need to buy them in bulk and store them. This is because the quality of natural gas can deteriorate over time, so you will be left with a canister that you cannot use.

That brings me back to my initial recommendation: to buy only the amount of gas you need for a trip. If it is a car camping trip, you can get one larger canister. If it is a backpacking trip, consider the smaller, lighter canisters.

You can also read discussion on reddit here!

boiling water on camping gas

Types Of Gas Canisters

From the many types of gas canisters available on the market, I will talk to you only about the most convenient ones. Still, which type of canister you get will depend on your preference and needs, so feel free to research other types of canisters if you want to.

Screw-on Canisters

As an experienced hiker, I have found that the screw-on canisters are the best for me. They come with a very easy valve to use, so you will have no problem using them. At the same time, you can reseal the canister thanks to the convenient valve.

Pierce-able Canisters

If you do not like the screw-on canisters, you can always go for the pierce-able ones. The difference between these and the previous ones is that these cannot be resealed. Once you puncture them, you must use them and throw them away.

Easy-clic Canisters

Resealable canisters that you can use with most camping stoves are the easy-clic canisters. They come in various sizes and designs, so you can easily find one that fits your camping stove. Make sure you seal the canister well after using it and remember to keep it in a dry, colder place.

Aerosol Gas Canisters

There are also aerosol cans that come with valves too. What makes these great is that they are leakproof, so you do not have to worry about any of the gas escaping the canister. Whenever you want to use the gas, you need to push the top button, and you will get the gas right away.

Camping Gas Cartridges

Gas cartridges and patio-style canisters are two more options, but these tend to be larger than the others. They are not that easy to transport, so they are not a good option when backpacking. If you want to take such a canister on your trip, you must transport it by car or have someone take it to your campsite.

How Much Gas Do You Need When Camping?

Taking enough gas for your camping trip is crucial to its success. You must ensure the camping gas lasts the entire trip because if it does not, you will need to find alternative ways to cook your food.

To make sure that you have enough gas, there are a few calculations you need to do. Before going on your next camping trip, you need to consider the meals you want to cook. Make a plan for all days of the trip, and think about the amount of food you need. It would be smart to get food that cooks fast so you can save on gas.

Once you have the meals planned, think about the time it would take you to cook those meals. Then, crosscheck it with the expected usage time of each canister. It would help if you remembered that a regular camping stove would use about 2g of gas per minute. With that in mind, calculate the amount of gas you need.

If you are unsure about the time it takes to prepare some meal, test it out at home. Try cooking that same meal and check how long it will take. This will help you determine the amount of gas you need for that meal and similar ones. In the end, you should know the amount of gas required.

But gas usage can always vary. As mentioned before, it will depend on the temperature, altitude, the cooker itself, and its efficiency. So, add some more gas to the amount you get after the calculation. That way, even if your gas usage goes beyond the calculations, you will have gas you can use.

Can You Use Any Camping Gas with Any Camping Stove?

The type of camping stove you have will determine the type of camping gas you need to use. Some camping stoves are more versatile than others and can be used with various types of gas canisters.

A safe bet would be to check the specs on your specific camping stove and see what type of gas and how much gas that stove uses. The gas can be butane or propane, while there are some liquid fuel stoves.

If needed, check the specs two or three times to ensure you are getting the proper type of gas. Using the camping stove with inappropriate gas can lead to problems. Since you want to avoid causing problems, you must be extra careful.

Gas is the last thing you should be absent-minded about. It can cause explosions and hurt you and the people around you. You must use only the proper fuel canister with a camping stove. The same goes for using the camping stove on a campsite and home environment.

You can use large canisters for home, so you do not need to keep replacing the small ones. When on a camping trip, I recommend taking smaller canisters because they can fit well in any backpack.


Thank you for sticking with me through this guide on camping gas canisters and their longevity. I hope that after reading everything, you have a clear idea about the type of canister you want to get for your next camping trip. Do not forget to check the specs on your stove so that you are sure the canister fits.

Have you ever used any camping gas you would recommend to other campers? Let me know what kind it was in the comments below. I would love to know all about your experience with the camping gas and camping stove, so do not hesitate to share that as well!

Andrew Mullen

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