5 Ways to Make Your Camping Fuel Canister Last Longer

Exactly how long does a camp stove fuel canister last? Frustratingly, that depends on a number of factors including temperature, altitude, weather conditions, your camping or backpacking stove, your cookware, and how you use it. You can buy the exact same fuel canister twice, use it with the exact same camping stove and cook pot both times, and the fuel canisters will last for different amounts of time. That being said, there are ways to make your fuel canisters last longer.

Protect your stove from the wind

The wind decreases your camp stove’s fuel efficiency. Normally, your camp stove burns a steady, consistent, and efficient flame. Whipping winds, however, cause your camp stove to flutter and sputter. Sometimes the wind blows your flame out altogether, releasing your fuel into the air.

Needless to say, the wind’s trickery means that you go through more fuel to boil water or cook meals. Create a windscreen to keep a steady flame on your stove, and improve fuel efficiency.  Stack rocks, create a barrier with your backpack, or bring a portable windscreen with you.

Don’t bother boiling

You don’t necessarily need to boil water for meals and beverages. You can’t drink beverages when they’re boiling anyway. Many foods that “require” boiling water can be made with water that’s hot enough to form “fish eyes”. Bypassing the boiling point can really help make your fuel canisters last longer.

Scalding hot water may help cook food better, but backcountry meals don’t need to be culinary masterpieces. It’s OK if your dehydrated meal is a little crunchy. Consider it al dente.

Keep your fuel canisters warm

Cold temperatures decrease the burn efficiency of your camp stove fuel canister. The lower the temperature of the fuel canister, the lower the internal pressure, and the more difficult it is for the liquid fuel to vaporize.

In colder weather, warm your fuel canisters by using your body heat. Place a fuel canister in your sleeping bag for efficient burning in the morning, or stuff a canister in your jacket 10-15 minutes before cooking.

Also, keep your stove off the ground. You’ve probably noticed that your fuel canisters get cold while your stove is burning. This is normal, but you can help insulate your canister and improve the fuel efficiency of your camp stove by putting a towel down between the canister and the ground.

Conserve your fuel

Conservation is key. Make a point to use as little fuel as possible. In other words, don’t crank your stove up to 11. Use medium heat rather than high heat, and turn off your stove sooner than you normally would. Just taking these simple measures can help extend the burn time for your fuel canisters.

Get a nice cook pot

Another way to get more out of your fuel canisters is by investing in a high quality camping cookware. The construction and the materials of your cook pot or pan directly affect cook times. Shorter cook time mean less burn time, which in turn makes your fuel canister last longer.

Look for wide, thin cookware made from metals that conduct heat well such as titanium or anodized aluminum.

Are you looking for fuel canisters, camping stoves, or camping cookware in Northwest Arkansas? Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters and check out our selection of lightweight backpacking stoves, camping stoves, cook pots, and fuel!

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