How Much Propane Do I Need For Camping

Propane is a popular fuel for campers, especially those who use it for cooking. Propane is also excellent for other activities such as heating water and space heaters. However, learning the amount you need before you go camping is essential. So, how much propane do I need for camping?

The answer is relative and dependent on several factors. And in this piece, we will consider each. Also it’s helpful to know how often you’ll be using propane and whether or not you have a source for refilling it.

Factors That Determine How Much Fuel You Need

Several factors determine how much fuel you need. The most important is the climate of your camping location, followed by the number of people in your group and then how much heat each person consumes relative to the others. Let’s explore these variables further:

The climate of your camping

When purchasing propane for your camping trip, it’s essential to consider the climate. The colder it gets outside, the more propane you’ll need. If you’re in a tent and not using a heater or cooking with an oven, then less propane will be required than if you were staying in an RV with all of its heaters and appliances on at once.

The number of people

The amount of propane you need depends on how many people will use the stove, heater, lanterns, and cooking. These are all things that require propane fuel.

If 2 or 3 people will be camping with you and they only plan to use the stove occasionally, then a 20-pound bottle will last several days. If there are several more people in your group and everyone is going to cook meals at one time, consider getting an additional 20-pound bottle so that everyone can have unlimited access to hot water for dishes or coffee making.

If there are children in your group who may use lanterns throughout the night when playing outside at night, then it would be wise to purchase extra lantern fuel as well as propane for cooking since children tend not to keep track of how much fuel has been used up by their activities while camping.

How much heat each person consumes

One of the most critical factors in determining how much propane you’ll need for camping is how many people will use it. The amount of heat each person consumes depends on several things, including:

  • Their weight and height. Larger campers use more fuel than smaller ones, so if you have a large family, you need to make sure that there’s enough propane for all of them.
  • Their age and activity level. Some people are heavier than others, and some are older than others. All these factors will affect how much energy they use when generating body heat through exercise or just moving around in general. If someone is more active than another person who stays put in their sleeping bag all night long, then each one will consume different amounts of energy throughout the day as well as during sleep time.

Frequency of use

The frequency of use is the number of times you use your camp stove. If you are only using your stove during nighttime, then your frequency of use will be low. But if you’re using it multiple times during the day, then your frequency of use would be higher. The amount of propane a person uses also depends on what types of meals they prepare and how many people are in their group.

Tank capacity 

Tank capacity is a vital factor to keep in mind when determining how much propane you’ll need. The size of a propane tank is determined by its shape, which can be cylindrical or polygonal. The volume of liquid contained within the tank can be found by multiplying the area (A) of its base by its height (H). This gives you an idea of how much fuel you have and if it will be enough.

What Quantity Of Propane Should I Bring Along When Camping?

One pound of propane provides about 21,000 BTU of heat. One pound is equivalent to roughly 3/4 to 1/2 gallon, depending on how much space the propane takes up in the tank. If you use a 20-pound propane tank, you could use it for five days without refilling if you used one pound per day. Your max camping time for a 40-pound propane tank would be ten days before needing to fill the tank again.

A 100-pound propane tank holds 23.6 gallons and weighs 184 pounds when full. These large tanks are best for camping trips with many people, especially if you have a stove or other device that requires more than a small amount of fuel at once. They’re also heavier than smaller tanks, so they may not be ideal for shorter trips or hikes where weight is an issue.

Either way, keep tanks away from heat sources like campfires or grills that might cause a spark if you have an open flame nearby. Never store propane near food or other flammable items like gasoline cans or cleaning supplies. These materials create explosive conditions when combined with pressurized gasses like those found inside fuel tanks.

What Alternatives Can I Use In Place Of Propane?

Wood-burning stoves are the most obvious alternative to propane. They’re slow and inefficient, but they don’t require special equipment. Another option is alcohol stoves. These burn very hotly, so you can cook faster with them, but they are less popular among campers because of the danger posed by open flames in a campsite and also because they produce less heat than wood or propane stoves do.

If you prefer something more traditional, other options like pellet or charcoal grills can give you a similar experience while eliminating some of the danger inherent with their open-flame counterparts and saving money on fuel.


The amount of propane you need for camping depends on what you plan to do during your stay. If you’re going on a short trip or need the proper equipment, then buying more than enough propane will be good. On the other hand, if you plan to cook meals with your camp stove and grill food over an open flame, having enough propane can save you the headache of worrying about quantity.


Similar Posts