A weeklong backpacking trip requires preparation, especially in the cooking department, so how much canister fuel do I need?
This question has been asked by backpackers far and wide: How much canister fuel do I need? If you pack too much, you will carry unnecessary weight that can slow you down. If you pack too little, then you will run out and be forced to eat dried oatmeal, or worse, go hungry.
Fuel consumption depends on so many factors and varies depending on the backpacker. If you like to have a warm breakfast and drink a hot cup of coffee every morning, you might consume more fuel during a week than someone else who sustains on cereal bars.
Regardless, you should always be prepared and never feel like you will run out of fuel or food. Here’s how you can prepare to pack just the right amount of canister fuel.
Here at Primus, we carry 3.5 ounce, 8 ounce, and 16 ounce fuel canisters. If you’re on a solo weeklong backpacking trip, a 16 ounce canister would be considered overboard and not worth the weight. It’s safe to go with an 8 ounce fuel canister. Even in a week, you will likely not burn through the entire 8 ounce canister.
Now, if you plan to travel with two people, you might want to consider a 16 ounce canister, since the rough average is about 8 ounces per person per week.
Some backpackers can rely on a 3.5 ounce fuel canister, but they are likely just cooking one hot meal a day. When you first start out backpacking, stay safe and start out with an 8 ounce canister, then gauge your fuel consumption over the course of a few backpacking trips.
According to Eastern Slopes, an 8 ounce canister of fuel can burn on high for about three hours continuously. That can give you, as the camp cook, an idea of how long your canister fuel can last–depending on how long you plan to cook each day per meal.
Primus offers canister fuel that can goes as warm as 104° F with our Summer Gas, or as low as -7° F with our Winter Gas. Our Power Gas is the most versatile for almost all backpacking and camping.
Check out our list of advantages and disadvantages of various fuel types so you know what to bring for your next expedition.