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Coleman Propane canister ...... how long does it last?

June 8 2009 at 1:21 PM
Rob V  (Login Rock34)

Hey all!

So I am going on my first trip ever to AP. There are 5 of us going for 4 nights and 5 days. What I am wondering is how many little propane canisters should I bring? I do expect to use the stove a fair bit. Is 3 too many? too little? I really have no idea.

Any suggestions would be welcomed!

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(Login imyourhuckleberry)
AA Forum Group


June 8 2009, 2:08 PM 

I think 4 would do it . and if you have to you can always cook on a open fire....you will have a blast so have FUN..... ............. happy.gif

(Login JayMaul)

Re: Coleman Propane canister ...... how long does it last?

June 8 2009, 4:50 PM 

Rob V.

To get/give an accurate answer you need to provide a great deal more specific information about your proposed trip.

It's like asking what's the best way to get to the park. I'd say, start by heading due north, but if you live in Ottawa, that's not going to be a very direct route for you.

Some things to consider in answering your question.

What meals are you cooking on your stove? Breakfast, lunch and dinner? For me, I only use my stove for breakfast. Lunch requires no cooking, and dinner is over an open fire.

Are your meals all one pot affairs or will you be using multiple burners at a time or in succession?

What are you eating? Just heating water, takes less fuel than to actually cook something (ie vegetables, meats, etc.)

Does your stove have a wind break/screen/shield (these save fuel as they don't allow the heat to blow away as much) - be careful if yours doesn't and you try to improvise one. (if you don't know why ask)

When you go will come into play. (when it's colder out and or more windy, you need more fuel)

Whether or not you need to simmer things, bring to a boil, or cook uncovered all will come into play.

What volume of food are you making? (A cup, a liter, a gallon?)

Are you also using the stove to heat dish water (wash and or wash and rinse?)

How about water for personal hygiene?

Are you planning to boil drinking water?

The specifics of your trip will determine the most correct answer.

some things to consider:
-You'll use less fuel if you heat food and beverages to warm rather them making them too hot to eat without cooling. (ie don't boil clean water for instant oatmeal as it's then too hot to eat right away)
-you use less fuel heating water that is not as cold (put cold water to be heated where it can pre-warm, in the sun, near the fire, etc.)
-use a lid
-if fuel conservation is a concern, don't walk away from a heating pot, turn it off immediately when it reaches the correct temperature. (food will continue to cook in the pot after the stove is turned, off if you let it set. To re-hydrate vegetable, I bring them to a boil and turn them off and let them set to come back)
- if you are planning to use an open fire in place of the stove for any meal, have a backup plan in case a fire ban is put in place at any time on your trip (that means more propane).

I'm sure there are more considerations, but these will get you started. I usually like to carry a little more fuel than I know I will need (for unplanned contingencies), but I wouldn't want to carry four canisters if I only need 1.


(Login mlegendre)
AA Forum Group

Re: Coleman Propane canister ...... how long does it last?

June 8 2009, 5:31 PM 

Hi Rob,

Before anyone else tells you, please don't forget, what ever you pack in you have to pack out. Please do not leave your empty propane tanks in the park. I've been to several campsites that are littered with propane cylinders. Most of us on this website use stoves that use Naptha and leave no trace of our being there by leaving empty cannisters left behind. Having said that, four is probably enough, but please pack them out with you. Have a great trip, Algonquin is really a special place, let's all try to keep it like that!


(Login danot)

Re: Coleman Propane canister ...... how long does it last?

June 8 2009, 6:36 PM 

We usually use one full canister within 7 days, that's for 2 guys and we boil 2 pots of water a day...cold spring water which take's longer to boil than summer water.


Mark S
(Login MarkScarlett)
AA Forum Group


June 8 2009, 7:46 PM 

Once upon a time, I used propane canisters for a few years, but gave up on the bulk and weight and dealing with the empties, which must be carried out. For sure, if that is all you've got now and you are planning for your immediate needs, abide by the advice you get here. But for the future, you may want to consider more efficient liquid fuels with containers you can reuse. They may take more conscientious care and feeding, but are less expensive and mor environmentially friendly in the long run.

Sorry to interject a PC whine here. It's surely a miserable job, but someone has to do it.

Mark S.

http://www.ABRweb.ca .. Algonquin Backcountry Recreationalists - Caring for Algonquin's Backcountry

(Login aChemist)
AA Forum Group

Re: Coleman Propane canister ...... how long does it last?

June 9 2009, 6:12 PM 

If you are portaging my suggestion is to take less than you need and only use it spareingly so that you use a fire for the bulk of boiling water - a major energy drain. This will help to hone your skils for future trips.
If propane appliances are all you have then you need to take them. As you get more trips under your belt you will adjust your gear. I started with a cast iron fry pan- it is great to cook with but man is it heavy on a poratge. I think it went for 2 years before I got the cash and experience to lighten up with an aluminum platter.

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