16.4 oz. Propane tanks space a typical energy source for camping stoves and small portable propane heaters. Although castle lightweight, convenient, and also easy come use, these propane canisters frequently frustrate campers and hikers who can’t keep track of just how much propane is left.

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You can inspect how much propane is left in her tank in a couple of different ways. It’s crucial to measure up your existing tank v one you recognize is full, though. If you desire to save track of your propane and avoid running out as soon as you’re in the backcountry, understanding how long the tank lasts.

Read on to uncover out how much propane a 16.4 oz. Tank holds, exactly how long that lasts under details conditions, and how you deserve to make an education guess about the quantity left in your current tank!


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 case there’s any confusion: propane cylinders aren’t typically rated by the ounce, however rather by pounds. A 16.4 oz propane canister is much more commonly described as a 1-pound propane tank. That ounce number is the network weight that the contents, so the propane within the tank weighs about 16.4 ounces.

1-pound propane tanks are supplied to strength camp stoves for grilling, frying, boiling, and also pretty lot anything rather you might do ~ above a standard stovetop. Friend can also power portable heaters and propane lanterns through them.

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

Alright, so there’s 16.4 ounces the propane by weight inside among these tanks, yet how much is that? Thankfully, science is below to aid us figure it out. Nothing worry, us won’t get into the facility stuff.

The very first thing you have to understand is a unit of measurement called BTUs, which represents British heat Units. One BTU is the quantity of heat compelled to advanced the temperature the one pound of water through one level Fahrenheit. If the sounds familiar, it’s since this is the U.S. Tantamount of the metric calorie, which is the quantity of heat compelled to warmth one gram the water by one degree Celsius. Back it’s type of a historic relic as much as measurements go, the BTU is still offered to measure up the revenue of herbal gas in the USA.

Propane has a BTU every gallon that 91,500. One gallon weighs about 4.23 pounds, therefore if we divide these two numbers us should have the ability to find the end the BTU of a one-pound propane tank.

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

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

How long does 1 BTU the propane last?

Since the bigger one-gallon tank has more BTUs and also therefore more propane, it’s not rocket scientific research to deduce that it lasts longer than the smaller tank. So what is the connection in between BTUs and also burn time?

Let’s shot to discover the many convenient way to connect the two. Friend can’t really well count backward from 21,631 to store track of just how much propane girlfriend have. What throws most civilization off is the the dimension of the grill greatly effects how lengthy the propane bottle will certainly last.

Thankfully, camp stoves don’t burn propane gas as quick as a big grill. A tool gas grill have the right to burn with a 20-pound propane tank in as tiny as 10 hours, but it usually lasts 18 – 20 hours. A 20-pound tank has actually 4.73 gallons the propane. From this information, we can shot to calculation a rough estimate of a per-BTU burn rate:

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

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

Burn rate for various propane accessories

If you’re making use of a backpacking stove quite than a full-on propane grill, the tank won’t have actually the exact same burn rate. The medium grill can have a burn rate of 24,000 BTUs every hour, but the smaller portable tank doesn’t.

Even a larger camping range will have a higher burn rate than a single-eye backpacking model. Understanding just how long that tank will last depends on how you’re utilizing it. Of course, us don’t require to figure out the burn price of a certain stove down to the decimal point.


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

Burn price for backpacking stoves

If us were to assume that a backpacking oven was as powerful, the 21,631 BTUs would last about 90% of one hour or 54 minutes. Generally speaking, though, her grill would have to be functioning pretty hard to burn the entirety canister at the speed.

Your grill should have its own burn rate in the information that came through it. You deserve to use that burn rate to discover out just how long the tank will certainly last according to the manufacturer.

Campers that really desire to understand their own devices sometimes measure how long that takes to boil a fixed amount of water, say one liter. You can use this details to calculate just how much fuel you’ll need once you recognize the burn rate.

Since these tanks aren’t that expensive, you can measure exactly how long it takes to boil water and keep it food preparation for the ten or 15 minutes needed to totally cook your meals, measure how countless meals you acquire in before you operation out, and then you’ll have a stormy per-meal burn rate. Friend can likewise measure how long each enjoy the meal takes to make if you desire a much more illustrative number.

How long do many 1-pound propane tanks last?

From ours experience, you can expect these little tanks to save working for between 1 and 2 hours of total burn time. The an ext you usage high heat, the much more propane you’ll burn and the much less time it will certainly survive before needing to be refilled.

Most backpacking stoves and little campsite cooking equipment will certainly last right in the middle, roughly 1.5 hours, operation on a mid-high warmth for boiling water and also slightly decreased to cook it because that 10 – 15 minutes. Together a concrete example, this is best on the money because that a Coleman propane tank used at medium warmth for reasonable lengths of time.

Bear in mind the you don’t need to spend one hour on her camping meals. The tank isn’t going to go out after a solitary day on the trail. In most cases, freeze-dried meals and also prepped meals that only require heating have the right to be ready in as little as 5 or 10 minutes, so friend should be able to get at least 8 and also as countless as 18 meals out of one tank.

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

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

Use Fire once Possible: Depending on where you’re camping, it can be basic to bring a firestarter and build a small campfire because that boiling water and staying warm. The propane tank can be provided as a backup or for stops during the day once you’re on the relocate or can’t otherwise make a fire.

Go easy On warm Drinks: Everybody loves a warm cup the coffee top top a cold morning, yet if you can’t construct a little fire to cook water for your coffee or lug a dedicated coffee machine, it would be finest to try and protect against too numerous cups.Rather than skipping cup altogether, you can try other techniques like leaving her water in the sun to heat up therefore the propane has less work-related to do. Prompt cold brew and also iced coffee that can be made through cold water is an additional option.

Weather conditions Have an Effect: Wind can blow the warmth away from your stove. Short temperature lowers the volume of propane, and frigid temperatures might affect how well her propane fuel cylinder proceeds to work. Water boils quicker at greater temperatures but food takes an ext time come absorb water.

Does propane go bad?

Great news if you worried around using your propane before it disappears: propane doesn’t expire. If your tank has actually been sitting somewhere dry and reasonably warm through the winter, it must be alright to usage it whenever you want. In fact, the propane have the right to probably critical much much longer than that. Steel tanks have the right to rust v and enable propane come leak out v the side. If a tank shows rust, don’t use it. That could additionally be empty due to a leak, but testing it can be dangerous if the tank isn’t completely empty.

The most important thing you deserve to do to save your propane audible even if it’s going to it is in sitting roughly for a little while is come make sure you use any protective cap the came v the design when it no in use. Ideally, these tanks should 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 competing brands come in refillable models through a distinct adapter that allows them to take an ext propane. Also if you have actually a rechargeable tank, return it come a expert who deserve to top it turn off for you.

There are plenty of tips and also tricks top top the web for refilling a disposable propane tank. Something around the small size of these tanks makes world think it’ll it is in alright to medical professional them.

In part cases, that can be the case. However it’s a substantial risk that’ll only save you a couple of bucks in the end. Plus, even if friend do acquire the tank refilled there is no blowing you yourself up, the legislation in numerous places provides it illegal to move that tank on any kind of public roadway. You’re better off with a brand new tank.

What should I carry out with old propane tanks?

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

Don’t ever before throw these things in the rubbish or leaving them outside anywhere. They’re tho pressurized and also present a peril to people. Plus, it’s a pretty big piece that trash to just leave lie around.

How to measure how much propane is left

If you nothing know exactly how much is left inside the canister and also you really don’t want to burn the rest off, you deserve to use among the adhering to tricks:

Weigh her Propane Tank & An north One: The distinction should be the load of the remaining propane. Sweet the tank as soon as you first get that so you have the right to see what percent of the complete weight girlfriend have. If girlfriend don’t have actually an north tank, the ‘tare weight,’ i m sorry is the load of the tank itself, should be created on the tank or in the information pamphlet. The difference in between the tare weight and also what you check out on the scale should be the load of the staying propane.

Place the Tank in Water: When a complete tank is in water, that sinks reduced down however it quiet floats. You can place your tank in water and also watch just how it floats come gauge exactly how much propane is left. Together the water line is lower on the tank (or the tank is greater in the water, yet you want to look at it) you have the right to see your propane it is provided decreasing. It could not provide you a an exact number, yet it should offer you a loved one indication.

Safety tips because that camping v propane tanks

The key safety advice we’ve currently discussed is to never, ever try to refill a disposable propane tank and also don’t throw them far in the garbage can.

When you’re cooking with a little propane cooking stove, watch your sleeves, feet, resting bag, or anything else that might get burnt. The wind is another large consideration. It’s more than likely not way to leave a propane tank burn inside her tent uneven it has the necessary safety functions to carry out that there is no burning the whole place down.

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If she in a tent v low ventilation, you can want to use the propane tank to warmth up hand warmers or simply take the sheet off prior to your 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 best escape route, those fumes deserve to have some destructive effects.