How to Connect a Camp Stove to a Big Propane Tank
Camping stoves are alternatives to cooking over a campfire or full-sized grill. Some camping in Florida doesn’t allow or cannot accommodate campfires, so camp stoves may be your only cooking option. Fortunately, there are several models available from different manufacturers, so you can choose the style, color, and features you prefer.
Campers may prefer to use a camping stove for cooking because they are more versatile than the alternatives. You don’t have to wait for camp stoves to extinguish, though you should let them cool down before storing. A camping stove takes up much less space than a full-sized grill, so you save on storage.
The only downside to using a camp stove is the fuel. First, camp stoves tend to use small fuel tanks that don’t last long. Second, you have to choose between butane and propane. Each fuel has pros and cons, so it’s up to you to decide which works best for you.
Butane lasts longer than propane, but it is expensive and doesn’t work well in cooler temperatures. Propane gas is cheaper, but the camp stove propane tanks are small and difficult to refill. Fortunately, you can replace the camp stove propane tank with a larger propane tank.
Can I Use a Big Propane Tank with Camp Stove?
At some point, somebody realized you could pair a larger propane tank with a camp stove with the proper equipment. Trading out the small, inefficient tanks for larger, eco-friendly propane tanks opened up a whole new world for camp stove users.
Using a 20-pound propane tank is possible and more effective than the smaller tanks. You can use them with your camp stove or full-sized grill, and many places offer exchange programs, so it’s easier to turn in your empty canisters. The 20-pound canisters last a lot longer as well.
Adapting your camping stove to use a larger propane canister is one of many camping hacks that will make outdoor cooking a breeze. You don’t have to worry about an empty propane canister in the middle of a meal, and a propane stove is more affordable.
The only downside to upgrading the size of your propane tank is that you need some accessories to make the connection. We’ve created a comprehensive guide to help you on your way.
Choosing the Right Camp Stove and Accessories
The whole process starts with the right equipment. It’s a good idea to practice at home to make sure everything works before heading out to your campsite.
Choose Your Camp Stove
There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your camp stove. First, not every camp stove burns propane, so you want to eliminate any stoves that only run on butane or isobutane. You also need to know if your propane stove burns at high or low gas pressure (we’ll explain more later).
Pick a Propane Canister
You have a selection of propane tank sizes, so it’s a good idea to choose the size that works best for you and is easy to exchange locally. For many people, it’s a 20-pound propane tank because it’s the most common size.
Find a Compatible Hose
Regardless of the size of the propane tank and type of propane stove you chose, a hose is necessary. You may want to choose a high-pressure hose because your propane tank is high-pressure even if your camp stove is not. Be sure to select a hose that is long enough to reach between the camping stove and propane canister.
Do You Need a Camp Stove Propane Adapter or Gas Pressure Regulator?
This step may be the most important part of the process. It’s crucial that you know whether your camp stove burns at high or low pressure and that you have a high-pressure hose.
Gas pressure regulators control the amount of gas flowing from the propane tank to the stove. They prevent an overload of gas to your stove. Some propane stoves come with internal regulators, but if yours doesn’t, you need one to moderate the pressure from the propane tank.
You may also require an adapter for 20lb propane tank to camping stove to connect the high-pressure hose, especially if you have a low-pressure stove. Some manufacturers sell hoses that include camp stove propane adapters to make your life easier.
How to Use Propane Tank with Camp Stove
Once you have everything you need, it’s time to connect your propane tank and fire up your stove. Make sure your stove is on a level surface. Your camp stove should be off, and your propane tank valve closed.
Remove the caps from the propane tank and stove connections. Attach the high-pressure hose to the propane tank and the camping stove. Make sure the connections are secure before moving on.
Slowly loosen the valve on the propane canister to pressurize the camping stove. Listen for a hissing sound to alert you to a leak. If you don’t hear the hissing sound of propane gas, it’s safe to continue.
If your camp stove doesn’t have a self-ignite feature, you need matches or a lighter ready. Gently loosen the valve to release propane gas to the stove’s burners and light the burners.
When you’re done cooking on the stove, turn off your propane tank first. By shutting off the gas first, you allow all of the propane gas in the hose to flow out and prevent a buildup of pressure.
Additional Camping Stove FAQs
Is a 20-pound propane tank high or low pressure?
A 20-pound propane tank is high-pressure. Since many camping stoves are low-pressure, you need the proper accessories to connect to the high-pressure propane canister.
Can you connect multiple propane tanks?
While connecting multiple propane tanks is possible with a special adapter, it’s not recommended. Propane is highly flammable, and unless you have experience with combustibles, it may not be the best decision. Besides, a 20-pound propane tank can last up to 20 hours on a low-pressure grill.
Final Thoughts on Using a Camping Stove
Knowing how to use propane tank with camp stove can make your next camping trip more enjoyable. A canister stove is more convenient than campfires, and with a larger propane tank, they last longer.