Bye-bye butane

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Motomom34, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I am getting rid of my butane stoves. We bought them 5-6 years ago when we first started prepping. We have used them maybe 4 times. Last night I brushed the dust off the cover and decided it was time for them to go. I was thinking of taking them to a pawn shop or putting them on Craig's list. I looked around and there is other gear that needs to go.


    Our butane stoves look like that above. Nice carrying case and has a great in-home feel when cooking on it but it no longer seems practical. Our skills have changed and it seems silly to have something that would not be my go to. I could keep them and give them to others if SHTF but after the little cans of butane ran out, people would be knocking on my door again. And we do not want to encourage that.
  2. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    So they are basically worthless without Butane... will they work on Propane, or just those special Butane canisters?
  3. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I have a version that uses both butane and propane, but most are strictly butane. I insisted on having both, so like said, when the butane cannisters run out, I can switch to propane.
  4. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    These only work with those cans that cost $2.00 a piece. They were a waste of money. And now are a waste of space. I did not realize they make ones that can use propane also but the stoves we have take a specific can.
  5. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Yep, took a bit of searching on Amazon, they have both types. The dual fuel type has an added adapter tube to use the 1lb. propane cannisters. It's part of my preps, so I have a couple cases of butane cans. Saves my propane cannisters for my Buddy heaters.
  6. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I have four of those and maybe twenty canisters of fuel. I live in an all electric area and adding propane to the house means spending BIG $$$$ and adding a 500 gallon propane tank that will eventually run out as well. Currently looking at a new wood stove for heating, alternative fuel devices for cooking (could use the wood stove if I go that route) and the choices are very limited. Eventually in a SHTF situation, resources will run out and heating or cooking with wood will reveal your location as will a gasoline generator. A "Rocket Stove" might be an option, but I have yet to find one that offers more stealth than my wood fired stove or Solo Stove. Weather is an issue where I live with winter winds in excess of 70MPH, rains for three months almost continuously and just precludes being outside. Much like the conditions faced by the Corps of Discovery as they sheltered along the Columbia River.
  7. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    We had (well, still have) a Coleman liquid fuel stove. I bought a converter to allow it to run from propane. We later bought (on sale) a 3 burner propane Coleman and the hose for use on a 20 lb canister. We were gifted a 'tree' that allows 3 propane appliances to be attached to a single 20 ln canister.

    This will allow us to cook inside with a propane lantern for light should we suffer from an extended utility outage.

    We also have several Coleman white gas lanterns as the propane light and stove are nearly worthless in extreme cold. This situation is where the gasoline lanterns and stove, quite literally, outshine propane powered appliances...

    @Motomom34 - you do well to dump the butane stoves. While they have a place, the unrefillable fuel canisters make them errr, less than desirable.

    Yes, I have the widget to refill my 1 lb canisters, should that be needed - I figure this may be a barter item if nothing else....
  8. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I had 2 butane that took those disposable butane cans iway back when.
    A torch and a stove.
    The butane was at least double the price of propane the only advantage was the butanes metal canister weighted almost nothing compared to the propane canister.
    sec_monkey, Motomom34 and Gator 45/70 like this.
  9. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I don't think I would dump them - I mean - they are bought and paid for and are operational and seen very little use. They could be handy as a trade item or if you need a 'throw away' stove... I would purchase a couple cans of Butane (a case?) and keep them BUT I would also purchase the dual-fuel stoves. I like the new Coleman dual burner...
  10. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    What pray-tell is the difference in a butane vs a propane stove other than a label, Is it a jetting issue?
    sec_monkey and Motomom34 like this.
  11. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Butane won't vaporize at much below 0, propane goes down to around -40 or something. A lot of the high tech stuff used by greens is not really useful for long term survival. One thing to hike a trail staying in huts and resupplying every few days as being forced to live on what you can carry for a few weeks and hopefully allow you to at least have a chance to survive for a longer time. Weight of a full sized axe might be twice or more of a light weight hatchet, but many of our fore fathers cleared their land, built there buildings, fences, bridges and rafts, butchered their animals, built their furniture, and cut their firewood, etc, with an axe. Isn't the tool, it's knowing what to do with tool. I store propane and have a small stove that would allow me to have a quick hard to detect heat source to stealth prepare my long term storage food. Depending upon status of greenhouse and house tanks, might last a year.
  12. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  13. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Propane and butane will both burn identically (equally hot) in stoves. "Hybrid" stoves that burn either are a bit of a hustle. They also burn a mix of propane & butane--but when they do they burn all of the propane out of the mix first, then they burn the butane.

    So they can actually burn either fuel straight. The mix is not really needed.

    Cute gag, that.

    Here in Central Florida, the power goes out every time a drunk hits a pole--that's at least six times a year. Outage can be a few hours to three or four days, MOL.

    After hurricanes, we've gone two weeks without power.

    Whether it's an outage or an outing, propane is quick & convenient. It also minimizes stress during inconvenient situations like power outages, floods, and the like. That's way more important than it sounds.

    (I agree with DKR: Switch over to propane. Sell the other on Craigslist. At your leisure.)

    If you do yard sales, thrift stores, & auctions, you will occasionally find propane tanks super cheap.

    Campgrounds are a also great place to scavenge empty canisters. Most people just throw them away, often partially full, because they don't trust the valves to not leak after the tank has been screwed on to the stove.

    Refill your canisters outside in the dead of winter (so they fill really full) and then just put them away.

    Then put your propane backups some place that's not underfoot and just wait.

    Propane keeps forever, and the time will eventually come when your want portable cooking and/or light without the hassles of a campfire.

    Since you use your "portable" propane almost never, a couple of dozen canisters should be plenty.

    And since you almost never use it, the cost is really insignificant. They almost never cost you anything. And when they do, they don't cost much to top up.

    When, someday you want or need a propane stove or lantern, you'll be glad you kept yours.

    I have about three dozen canisters that I refill every generation or so--and two partly-full 100 lb tanks that I got for free. I also have three stoves and five lanterns because sometimes more than two people are on hand when the the grid goes down.

    Or because the grid went down.

    The rest of the time I don't even think about them. That option is covered.

    Note: "Full" canisters of propane can be a primo barter item, in times of trouble. And refilling them to order can be a real survival business when 9 to 5 is no longer an option.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    Gator 45/70, oldawg and chelloveck like this.
  14. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    I have about 10 of the 20 lb tanks. Speak kindly to the man at the dump and he gives me the ones that come in with the grills when they throw them away, use the gas in them if they have any, refill them if current or trade them in at a gas exchange if they aren't for one that is. Have had tanks stored in dry , cool location for 10 years that didn't leak off the gas and worked fine. Most have about 13 -14 lbs fill in my experience and that will run a single burner stove or a lamp for quite a while with an adaptor and a tree. Light makes a good heat source as well. A lot of the higher end grills have a side burner that has its own hose and controls that is a lot better for cooking on than a camp stove and if you can score one of the set ups for deep fat frying turkeys, they can even be used for canning.
    3cyl and Gator 45/70 like this.
  15. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Plus butane develops 0psi as you approach freezing.
    If it's 0F and your butane fuel canister was out side you are totally screwed.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  16. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I tried refilling the 1lb propane canisters with one of those widgets years ago. Over half of the one pound canisters leaked propane (from the relief valve on the top of the cylinder, off center to the the valve contained within the threaded portion of the cylinder) over a period of hours after refilling.

    It's not obvious that they're leaking until, after refiling, you pick up one of the cylinders the following day and realize that it is empty. Propane is heavier than air and can collect in pockets. I gave up on the idea due to safety concerns.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  17. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I had one do that after several refills,You could try re-seating the relief valve and as someone else posted here install a brass cap if leakage is suspected on the mouth ....or time to junk it.
  18. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Propane explained Texas style!
    SB21 and Altoidfishfins like this.
  19. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Butane bottles I"m familiar with are "not" refillable ,but propane bottles are, being threaded and a valve .
    I found brass caps to put on the 1 LB bottles to prevent/reduce leakage .
    Personally though I have a wood burning stove and propane gas burner IF I want that luxury .
    The wood stove is great during the winter months, but too hot to be running during the summer. so I have the Gas burner modified for it, as required .
    If during this time (summer) I need to run the generator , then cooking with the microwave is warranted, efficiently using the resources.
    I like having several sources I can generate energy in the event one fails .
    For lighting I've got both incandescent and florescent and LED lighting, much safer than flame lights .
    I have kerosene lamps as well, but that is just as a temporary fix .
    Like every one else I have some gas lamps too , but the gas is more for the generator and engine driven equipment.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  20. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Illini Warrior

    that popit Shrader valve "ices" up from the propane - especially if you bother bleeding the bottle to gain that extra headspace - you need to keep some warm water in a spray bottle or syringe type to help re-set ....
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
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