Camping Stove Butane VS Propane

Camping Stove

The choice of fuel for portable camping stoves has always been a matter of personal preference. Propane is often considered superior to butane because it is less volatile and easier to install on the stove. Propane is stored as a liquid and has greater energy content than butane. The boiling point of propane is 30 degrees less than that of butane, so it takes less energy to heat up. Propane gas can also be stored longer without breaking down, and it is easier to convert the gas to a liquid. However, in cold conditions, propane becomes gummy and must be pre-mixed with small amounts of gasoline or oil as a lubricant. Several new portable camp stoves use only propane fuel without the need for lube or pre-mixing.

Things To Consider When Buying A Camping Stove

As we mentioned earlier, a stove is an essential item for any camping trip and can make or break your camping experience. There is a massive selection of stoves available in the market today, but choosing one that perfectly fits your needs and preferences takes up a great deal of time. In this article, we will discuss some of the important factors you need to consider before purchasing a new camping stove or deciding to upgrade your old one.

Number Of Burners

This is perhaps the most critical factor to consider when purchasing a new burner stove. You must determine the number of burners on your new stove, such as a single burner stove, two-burner camping stove, and Toptable stove, because this will define your cooking options and the amount of space required for the same. The standard campsite has four burners.

Burner Power & Size

This is an important factor to consider when choosing your camping stove as there are quite many stoves available in the market ranging from an inverter unit that only uses 1 or 2 burners to a full-fledged gas unit that features an impressive number of burners. Remember, not all stoves come with a standard power source, so you need to choose the stove with a sufficient power source for your needs.

Wind Protection:

Although most modern stoves are windproof, it is always better to choose one that comes with a windscreen. The windscreen will protect the stove from windy conditions and help prevent accidental fires or spills when cooking.

Simmer Control:

If you want to cook foods like eggs and pancakes, it is best if you choose a stove with cooking controls features.

Fuel Type:

There are two common types of fuel stoves currently available in the market, both using butane as their primary fuel source. One type uses butane for primary energy and propane for secondary energy. The other type is the reverse.

Adjustable Legs:

While most stoves come with four-legged legs that can be adjusted to fit on almost any surface, others come with a standard design and fixed legs. If you plan on camping for an extended period of time, we recommend that you go for a stove that comes with adjustable legs.

Tabletop Stove Or Freestanding Stoves:

Some stoves are to be placed on the table and others are designed to stand alone on their own legs. If you’re planning tarp or tent camping in extreme weather conditions, then you should go for a freestanding stove designed to stand alone.

Burners Vs Grill/Griddle:

One of the most common complaints against camp stoves is that they don’t have a grill or griddle. While there are some outdoor gourmet grills available that work well with camp stoves, you should always consider buying a stove unit that has an integrated grill.

Types Of Cooking Fuels For Camping Stove

Burners of a camp stove fuel should be highly efficient and reliable so that you can have the hassle-free cooking experience you were looking for. To help you select the best fuel for your stove, we have listed below the most common types of fuels used with camp stoves.

Propane Fuel: Propane is the most common fuel used with camping stoves. The reason behind its popularity can be attributed to the fact that propane is easy to install and propane camp stoves are easy to operate.

* Butane Fuel: Butane is considered superior to propane because it is less volatile and easier to install on the stove. If you are an avid camper, you should choose a butane camp stove as they are more durable and powerful than their propane counterparts.

* Isobutane Fuel: Isobutane is a synthetic fuel that is used to fuel most of the gas and electric camp stoves in the market. As an added advantage, isobutane is almost as stable as propane gas and does not need lube for the same.

* White Gas Fuel: White gas is another popular type of fuel commonly used to power gas burners for high-end camping stoves. The main advantage of using white gas is that it burns smoothly and almost smoke-free.

* Kerosene Fuel: Kerosene’s one of the most popular fuels used for camping stoves because it burns hotter than other fuels. The main advantage of using kerosene is its better efficiency when compared to the propane gas stove.

* Gasoline: Gasoline is yet another popular choice for powering most camping stoves. The main advantage of using gasoline as a fuel source is that it is highly portable and easy to install. Gasoline comes in different grades like unleaded, high octane, and mid-grade.

*Alcohol: Alcohol is quite a popular fuel source for portable alcohol stoves that you can carry around with you anywhere. The main advantage of using alcohol is its clean-burning property. Alcohol produces almost zero ash and residue unlike other sources of fuel.

* Liquid Fuel: You will be surprised to learn that liquid fuels like liquefied petroleum gases and jet fuel are currently available on the market. While they are still not as popular as other fuel sources, these fuels will definitely gain popularity in the future.

* Unleaded Gasoline: Unleaded gas is a popular type of fuel that you can use to power most camping stoves. The main advantage of using unleaded gasoline is its availability at gas stations in the market.

*High Octane Gasoline: High octane gas is considered superior to unleaded gasoline and is available for purchase in most hardware stores. The main advantage of using high octane gasoline is its burning properties and durability.

*Canned Gas: Canned gas that comes in cans or cartridges is known as carbon dioxide fuel, and contains no small amount of oxygen. Compared to other fuels, it’s generally considered more reliable and stable.

How To Choose The Best Camping Stove

The following guide will help you select the best camping stove for your next camping or glamping adventure.

  • Size And Weight: You should always consider the size and weight of the camping stove before purchase. Whether you are using it for your next hunting, camping, or fishing expedition, you will want to make sure that the stove is lighter weight and portable.
  • Portability: If you’re looking for a portable stove, then you should go for a unit that is already lighter weight and compact in design. You should also look for a model with a carrying handle to easily move it around. An ideal backpacking stove should weigh about 4 pounds so that you can comfortably carry it on your backpack during backpacking trips.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity and Type: Another important factor to consider is the fuel tank capacity of the camping stove. Most stoves come with enough fuel tank capacity to cater to cooking needs during a 1-2 days travel period. Some camping stoves have fuel tanks with a capacity that allows them to burn for up to 3 days. The fuel tank capacity should be measured in liters.
  • Chain Size: If you intend to use your camp stove outdoors, you must check the chain size as well. A good quality stove will have a 1-inch size of chain and not smaller than this.
  • Power: It is advisable to purchase the best camping stove that comes with a power output of at least 0.75kwatts or more. Most campers prefer powerful stoves as they generate heat faster and can be used with ease even in colder temperatures.

Which Fuel Is Safe For Camping Butane Or Propane

Which Fuel Is Safe For Camping Butane Or Propane Butane is perhaps the most common fuel used in camping stoves. It is widely available and quite cheap, but if you’re going to choose butane as your camping stove fuel, then you must remember these important things:

Butane is highly flammable and toxic even at low levels. It can cause burns and irritation on the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. If you choose butane as a cooking source for your camping stove then you should be very careful while handling it as it can explode or catch fire at any moment.

Cold Tolerance: Which Fuel Types Work Best At Lower Temperatures?

Propane is very safe to use and is readily available. It does not burn as hot as butane, but propane provides sufficient heat to cook outdoors even in extreme conditions. You can easily find propane tanks in the grocery store and for you to use your stove, you just have to screw a tank into it.

One of the best things that propane has is that it is odorless. It does not emit any bad smell from its tanks and there are no warning signs of its presence like with butane. Propane is also very cheap compared to butane, so if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, then propane may be the best fuel for you.

Ideal Activity For Propane Stoves

  • Camping Trips: Propane is perfect for camping because you don’t have to worry about carrying fuel with you and you can be used on your campsite.
  • Hiking Trips: Along with camping, propane is also great for hiking. It is user-friendly and the larger tanks are cheaper than butane.
  • Hunting Trips: Propane is good for hunting because it protects your hands from the heat of the flame by holding them away.
  • Backpacking Trips: Propane is ideal for backpacking because it is lightweight and has the best fuel economy.

Ideal Activity For Butane Stoves

  • Camping: Butane is a very popular fuel for camp stoves because it is easy to transport and can be used with ease at any time of the day.
  • Hiking: Butane is perfect for hiking because you can use it with ease even in freezing temperatures.
  • Hunting: Butane is also very good for hunting because of its clean and odorless nature. It allows you to keep your children at an equal distance from the heat of the flame as compared with propane while hunting.
  • Backpacking: Butane is ideal for backpacking because it produces more heat and has lesser fuel consumption. It is also easy to transport and light in weight.

How To Clean Your Camping Stove

After a long camping trip, it is advisable to clean your camp stove before you put it away for storage. Not only will this ensure that your stove remains in good working condition for years to come, but it also prevents food sticking and residue from building up on the stove. Failure to clean the stove after each use may lead to rusting of cooking areas and the accumulation of food bits in the seams of the gas ports. It is important to learn how to use a camping cookware set before you start cleaning your stove so that you don’t scratch or chip any of its parts.

Different Type Of Fuel Canisters

There are different types of fuel canisters or drums available on the market. These drums are designed to fit most types of stoves and fuel them with the corresponding gas. Here are some of the most popular types of canisters:

  • Propane Canister 
  • Isobutane Canister
  • Butane Canister
  • Methane Gas Canister
  • Propane Gas Canister
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas Canister
  • Kerosene Canister
  • Butane Stove Canister


This article summarizes that the choice between propane and butane can be difficult because there are advantages and disadvantages to each. When camping at a cold temperature, butane is a better choice because it provides more heat. Though the disadvantages of butane it froze in cold weather, the price is less than propane and it is also considered safer because it doesn’t have the odor that propane does.

The choice between the two types of fuel really comes down to personal preference. The pros and cons of each fuel type will help you decide on what kind of fuel you want for your camping stove. Hopefully, this article will give you knowledge about butane vs propane, and ultimately help you decide which camping stove is best for you.

Camping is not just about spending time in the woods or sitting by the fire. It also includes cooking food outside in the open and sleeping under the stars. If you are planning an outdoor trip with your friends or family members, then you must make sure that you carry camping gear like camping stoves since they will help to keep your food warm during outdoor trips.