Category Archives: Coleman Camping

Propane Stove – Tips for Using It Safely

Propane stoves are great for cooking at camp because they’re clean, quick and easy to use. This type of stove is mainly favored by camping beginners as well as families but they’re also used by experienced backpackers on mountain expeditions.

However, there are some safety concerns when it comes to propane stoves and we will try to address them all here. These tips are specifically for propane stoves but most will also apply to other cartridge stoves and as well as liquid fuel stoves:

– Make sure that the stove is certified and tested so that you know that it has met the safety standards – look for a label from a testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories

– Read the manual for the stove thoroughly and follow them exactly

– Test your stove at outdoors home to be sure everything works perfectly before the trip

– Be sure you test the stove in a safe area.

– Never use a damaged camp stove

– Make sure the stove is free from leaks and damages. Leaks can be checked by applying soapy water on all connections. Inspect your stove periodically

– Avoid using a propane stove inside an enclosed area because carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to dementia or even death

– Only use a camp stove where it is allowed to do so in the backcountry

– If you smell rotten eggs, it is likely the propane from the stove. Exit the tent immediately and don’t light any matches. Turn the gas valve off and ask for help from your propane supplier or the fire department

– Be sure that the stove valve is turned off before connecting the propane cylinder

– Use a non-flammable surface as a base for the stove e.g. ceramic

– Keep gas cartridges upright at all times

– If your first attempt at igniting the stove fails, turn off the gas and wait for 30 seconds before trying again.

– When lighting the stove, keep your fingers and clothing away from the flame

– Never remove or connect propane cartridges when the stove is lit, hot to the touch, or near sources of ignition

– Never operate a propane stove or any other camp stove near the campfire

– Don’t store propane stoves in a hot vehicle or where temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

– Keep camp stoves away from children. Don’t let your children play within 3 feet of the cooking area

– Clean stoves with damp, warm and soapy sponge but never immerse the stove in water

– Never leave a lit stove unattended and never leave it burning overnight as a heater

– Never try to move a pan with burning oil. Gently place a lid over the fire and wait until it has cooled. Remember not to use your bare hands for this

– Keep the area around the stove free from flammable material

– A potholder is useful for handling pots without getting burned

– Always cook with adequate lighting

– Before you store or pack up the stove, be sure to disconnect the fuel cylinder

Jonsky Sicuna is a writer for He invites you to check out his site if you’re looking for a propane stove . Also read more about camp stoves.

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The Pros and Cons of Propane Stoves compared to Gasoline Stoves

While the propane stove is the stove of choice for camping beginners, it is far from perfect. There are many aspects of propane stoves that are less ideal compared to gasoline stoves but they have their strengths as well.

Heating Efficiency

Propane stoves are less efficient in heating because as the cartridge empties, it loses it’s burning efficiency. Temperature and altitude also has a big effect on efficiency. Colder temperatures higher altitudes make propane stoves less efficient and if it’s too cold the stove may not burn at all.


A backpacking stove must be able to take rough handling and still work perfectly. The more complex the stove, the more chances that something will break. Older versions of cartridge propane stoves use puncture fit coupling which I remember having a hard time with especially the first few times of using it as a boy scout.

Today’s propane stoves, however, are much more reliable with consistency in weight and pressure. Recent developments in design even make it usable in sub-zero temperatures. Reliability is a more of a matter of design rather than whether gasoline or propane is used for fuel.


Propane stoves may be lighter than gasoline stoves but you might end up carrying more fuel if you’re going to camp for a few days or more. If you use propane cartridge stoves for camping, use a bigger cartridge unless it’s going to be a really short trip. Bigger cartridges are lighter than many smaller cartridges holding the same amount of fuel.


Other than the weight problem there’s also the litter problem when you use propane stoves. You can’t reuse cartridge stoves and they need to be disposed when empty. In the backcountry, that means that you have to carry your litter until you can dispose it properly. Don’t throw it away on the trail like some irresponsible hikers.


Propane stoves are more convenient because there is no preheating required and you can have heat almost instantly. Cartridge stoves are also cleaner and less noisy.


The predictability in lighting up a propane stove make it the preferred stove for mountaineers because they’re safer to use under tarps or inside tents. This should however be done with caution and with good ventilation only. There are quite a few known cases of deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning inside tents. Not to mention that it’s a fire hazard as well. Never under any circumstances use liquid fuel stoves inside tents or you might end up without a tent.

Although rare, propane stoves are also known for blowing up due to damaged rubber tips or other parts. Again, more complexity equals more parts equals more potential problems so keep it simple.

Fuel Availability

Gasoline stoves can use many different types of fuels and white gas is widely available. Propane cartridges may not be as readily available.


Initially, propane stoves are a lot cheaper than liquid fuel stoves but the running cost of propane stoves is higher because the fuel is much more expensive. If you camp regularly, you might spend 5 to 10 times more on cartridge fuel.

Jonsky Sicuna is a writer for He invites you to check out his article on propane camp stoves and also check out these backpacking stoves .