How Long Does a Butane Cannister Last?

How Long Does a Butane Cannister Last? How Long Does a Butane Cannister Last?

Packing the right gear when camping is essential. One very important item you don’t want to forget is a gas canister. Without a gas canister, cooking meals and drinking coffee or tea becomes much more difficult.

When packing, you will probably wonder, how long does a butane canister last? This is a great question. Depending on the length of your trip, you may need to pack more than one.

While there are a few factors that affect the durability of the canister, we will help you understand how long these butane canisters last on average.

How Long Does an 8 oz Butane Gas Canister Last?

8 ounces is the average, or most common, size of butane canisters. Generally, using a low flame, it will last you for three hours. Using a high flame, you can expect this canister to last for an hour and a half.

To calculate the durability of other canisters, you can remember that a 4-ounce canister lasts for a little over an hour, an 8-ounce canister lasts about 2.5 hours, and a 16-ounce canister lasts about four hours.

Coleman seems to be the leader in camping gear these days, and everyone wonders, how long does a Coleman butane canister last? Coleman’s numbers are on-par with other brands. The canister usually lasts between one a half to three hours.

Assuming you burn two grams of fuel per minute, you should be able to use one 8 ounce canister for about three days. Of course, this all depends on how many people you are feeding, what you’re cooking, and cooking time in general.

What Affects Fuel Consumption?

The type of camping stove you use affects fuel consumption. If it creates a very large flame and heats up quickly, it will use more fuel. Depending on the output of BTUs from your stove, these numbers can slightly change.

Also, if the burner is far away from the flame, it will use more gas and time to heat the pan or pot.

Additionally, in very cold weather, it will take longer for water to boil, which will also make you use more fuel.

Butane Canisters Safety: 8 Tips to Follow

As long as you use these stove fuel canisters correctly, they are absolutely safe. They can even be used safely indoors (with a corresponding stove).

Here are a few safety tips to follow:

  1. Do not leave a lit stove unattended.
  2. Keep the canisters away from children.
  3. Do not use pots or pans that are larger than your stove/canister was intended for.
  4. Use the canisters and stove on flat surfaces.
  5. Let your portable butane stove cool before unattaching the fuel canister.
  6. Always take out the fuel canister after cooking. Recap and store it.
  7. If you smell an intense gas smell, turn off the flame and stop cooking.
  8. Inspect your butane, stove, and hoses before camping.

Can Butane Canisters Explode?

Yes, it is possible, but not common, assuming you store and use them correctly. They should always be stored out of direct sunlight and away from open flames and hot surfaces.

When transporting them, do your best to keep them upright. When a butane can is empty, put the lid back on and dispose of it properly. Never throw it in a fire.

Do not use a pot or pan bigger than is recommended by the butane manufacturer or stove. This can cause the heat to be reflected back to the canister, therefore heating up the fuel and possibly leading to a disaster.

Like I said, a canister exploding is possible, but not likely.

How Should You Store Butane Fuel Canisters?

During your camping trip, you should be cautious to keep your canisters away from direct sunlight and away from extreme temperatures. In your pack, make sure they are not near anything that can spark or other high heat sources. It is also important to ensure that there is nothing sharp near that could puncture the can.

At the campsite, keep the canisters away from the fire, away from the butane gas stoves when you’re not using it, and, ideally, inside your tent. Inside your camping tent the canisters will be protected from direct sunlight and weather conditions.

At home, you should store the butane canisters inside your house, or in a basement that doesn’t tend to get over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. A typical garage is too warm to safely store these.

Is Butane Safe to Use Indoors?

With some caution and common sense, butane gas canisters are safe to use indoors. This is one of the reasons they are so popular with avid campers. Whether you are backpacking in the wild, or if you have lost electricity at home, you can still cook something.

When using a full canister indoors, ventilation is key. Without ventilation, you risk carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, make sure you set up your flame away from children, animals, curtains, etcetera.

How Long Does Butane Fuel Last? Does it Expire?

The fuel itself doesn’t exactly expire, but the quality of it can lessen over time. The only issue that this could cause is dirtying up your pots and pans or leaving a type of resin or gunk on them. However, it’s still safe to use.

The biggest thing to look for is if the butane canister is in good shape and rust-free. Rust can make opening the canisters more difficult and possibly dangerous.


Now that we have answered all of your burning questions including “how long does butane last?,” and “how long does a butane canister last?,” you’re a seasoned stovetop camper.

These canisters are a must-have for any multi-day trek and also useful to keep at home for emergency cases.

Now, it’s time to focus on recipes! What will you cook up?