Propane vs. Gas: The Camper’s Debate
Although they say every “opinion” is worth about two cents nowadays (and if you’re career happens to be in politics it’s worth even less) there are some definite facts that come along with choosing what is easier and better, between propane and gas, to use in the Great Outdoors.
Let us begin with the issue of ease. It is absolutely true that propane is one of the easiest fuel sources to use. After all, you screw in the container, turn on the valve, and simply light the gas that’s exiting the burners; how much more ease can you ask for? Seeing as that propane is already under pressure, you do not have to pump it or do anything special. When you’re talking about white gas (Coleman fuel), you have to pump the container up, heat up a bit of the fuel, and then ignite it. So it obviously takes more time in the set up and start up categories than when speaking about a propane stove.
Propane stoves for the camper also provide the benefit of ease when it comes to transportation. There is no need to worry about filling it up, spilling fuel by mistake, or priming the stove, which makes it more fun and less of a chore for the individual when it comes to enjoying their camping experience.
Although this is starting to sound like propane runs away with the race, it is important to note that even with all the benefits, propane does have some definite problems that you will encounter with gas stoves. Propane is not able to be used in very low temperatures. Say you’re looking at a forty degree hunting/camping/fishing weekend. Or maybe you are an ice fishing lover and will sit in 0 degree weather or less; if that is the case, propane is definitely off your list and white gas is the one and only choice.
If we’re talking about backpacking instead of driving that RV or camper up to your site, propane also is not the one you want to go with. Although it’s easy to transport, that benefit falls apart when talking about throwing it into your backpack for the long trek. Propane containers are heavy and they are not disposable. Seeing as that garbage cans can usually not be discovered on top of the mountain, you will also be forced to carry those containers back down with you. When it comes to gas containers, they are lighter and smaller, which makes the backpacker far happier.
In addition, when it comes to refilling the propane canister – the small ones, that is – you will be unable to. You will be forced, instead, to trash them in a landfill, whereas white gas stove containers can simply be refilled.
When you get down to the brass tacks of cooking, another issue also crops up when speaking about cooking with propane. Simply put, when propane burns, heat, light, carbon dioxide, and water are produced. When the water vapor comes in contact with your food it alters the taste ever so slightly. This is why many choose to use charcoal to cook instead of propane, because the briquettes offer a great flavor to the food.
Keep in mind that there are three types of stoves to choose from: Canister stoves, which are easy-to-use, low-maintenance stoves that typically screw onto the threaded tops of self-sealing fuel canisters that contain two pre-pressurized gases (isobutane and propane). Liquid fuel stoves, which are extremely versatile stoves that connect to refillable fuel bottles, not only white gas. And, last but not least, Alternative-fuel stoves that is a category that continues to grow bigger with each passing year. More and more backpacking and camping stoves are being made that run on fuel pellets or actual wood.
Make sure that the size, ease of transportation, and the ability to run the stove in certain temperature are all issues you take into account before choosing what is right for you. Whereas propane might be perfect for that family camping trip, your backpacking excursion most certainly will call for the smaller, easier to carry gas options.
But no matter what, keep those Great Outdoors safe and have one heck of a trip!
Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle