How Long Does a Butane Canister Last?

Propane is a popular fuel for the outdoors and is particularly famous among campers. Butane canisters are lightweight which gives them an edge over heavier propane tanks for short duration camping [Read: Butane vs Propane].

The most used 8 oz canister is compatible with portable butane camping stoves. If you haven’t seen one before, it’s just like your normal body spray can. You can carry a bunch of them in your backpack and use them with the butane portable stoves. But how long does a butane canister last? You might wonder.

How Long Does a Butane Canister Last

How long does a butane canister last?

The 8 oz butane canister will last for 1.5 hours on high flame and 3 hours on low fame when used with a 7650 BTU portable butane camping stove.

But if you are using a different BTU rated stove or equipment, you can easily calculate your burn time using this simple tool I created. Since the most used stove among campers is the 7,650 BTU stove from Coleman, I have taken it as a sample case for demonstration. The below table shows the run time for a few popular stoves when used with an 8 oz butane canister.

Stove ModelMax. BTU8 oz Can. run time
Gas ONE GS-10007,6501.5 hours
GAS ONE GS-370010,0001.2 hours
Iwatani 35FW15,00048 minutes
Coleman Portable7,6501.5 hours
Camplux72001.7 hours
Chef Master 9001915,00048 minutes
Run time of 8 oz butane canister with different stoves

Available sizes for butane canisters

Butane canisters are available in different sizes suited for various applications. Below are a few items that are widely used in the kitchen, on camping or for other refill purposes.

Camping Stove Can: Camping stove canisters normally come in 8 oz or 8.8 oz sizes. The 8 oz size is probably the most well-known size among outdoorsy people. It is compatible with a lot of portable butane stoves (check the table above) and can be purchased from any hardware store or from Amazon. You can either get a single canister or buy in bulk based on your need and camping duration.

Refill Canister: Butane is also a fuel of choice for butane candles, butane kitchen torches and portable lighters. These items can be used with or refilled from butane canisters that usually come in 5.07 (for butane torches) and 2.5 oz or 1.48 oz for lighter or candle refills.

How to store butane canisters?

Butane comes in thin canisters because of its low-pressure storage requirement but that doesn’t mean you can toss the Cans around without any precautions. To safely store butane canisters, keep the following points in mind.

  1. Butane canisters should not be stored in such away that any pointy object or metal piece can puncture the thin aluminum Can and release the gas. Specially during travelling, do not put your butane Cans with kitchen knives or other pointy items.
  2. Always keep the Canister away from direct heat, spark, open flames or hot surfaces or even in direct sun or hot car. These Cans can explode if the temperature exceeds 120 °F (49 °C). Any heat source that can increase the pressure inside can result in a fatal explosion.
  3. While travelling to your camp site, it is best to store the Cans in such away that they are away from the direct sun and Engine heat. You can put a few clothing items on top and bottom to provide insulation. If you are backpacking you can also carry them in carry bags like this one.
  4. At the campsite, you can store the Cans inside your tent so that they are protected from direct sunlight. Never keep the unused butane Cans near your stove where they are explosion risk.
  5. If you are camping during extreme winter, butane Can pressure drops below its boiling point (30.2°F or -1°C) if kept in open and you won’t be able to light up your stove. That’s why, keep your Cans inside your warm tent where they are at normal room temperature (25 °C). If possible, carry Propane instead of Butane for cold camping.

Apart from these general safety guidelines, Butane is a very safe and reliable fuel source for campers around the world. Some manufacturers like the GasOne include a safety feature in their Cans called CRV (Countersink Release Vent) which releases the gas through perforation around the neck when the pressure goes over certain safety limits. CRV canisters have a CRV sticker on the back as well as a blue color line around the neck. The below video shows how the CRV safety feature works

Can butane canisters be refilled?

Butane canisters are designed to be disposable and cannot and should not be refilled. Refilling a cylinder is a professional job that takes into consideration the design of the cylinder, its current conditions and intended use. The Butane cans are not designed for multiple uses and should only be used once and then disposed of properly.

Where to buy butane canisters?

Butane canisters are widely available online as well as on any hardware store, Walmart or Home Depot. Below are a few famous brands that make great butane Cans for camping (8 oz size).

  1. Coleman (Amazon Link)
  2. GasOne (Amazon Link)
  3. Sterno (Amazon Link)

If you want to be a little safe from any possible explosions (which are quite rare), I would suggest getting a CRV cans from GasOne (with blue cola

FAQS

How long does a 227g butane canister last

227g butane canister will last for 1.5 hours on high flame and 3 hours on low flame if used with a 7650 BTU stove.

How long does a 110g gas canister last

110g butane canister will last for 46 minutes on high flame and 25 minutes on low flame if used with a 7650 BTU stove.

How long does a 230g gas canister last

230g butane canister will last for 1.5 hours on high flame and 3 hours on low flame if used with a 7650 BTU stove.

Does a butane canister blow up when used for several hours straight?

No. You can safely use a butane canister continuously for as long as you need and it will not blow up. As you use the gas, the pressure and temperature drop inside the Can which mitigates the risk of explosion.

Can butane canisters explode?

Butane canisters can explode if they are exposed to direct heat, flame spark or sunlight. Any heat source will increase the pressure inside the Can beyond its design limits and can result in a fatal explosion.

What are the disadvantages of butane?

Butane is a good camping fuel but it is practically useless in sub-zero temperatures. Butane becomes liquid below 30.2°F or -1°C and will not burn your stove. It is better to carry Propane during winter camping.

Is butane gas lighter or heavier than air?

Butane gas is denser than air and will sink to the bottom of the container or room if leaked

Recommended Camping Gears: I have compiled a list of my favourite camping gear in one place. The selection is based on my own personal experience using them for many years camping as well as feedback from fellow campers. Check them out on my Recommended Camping Gears page