Which is Better for camping, Butane or Propane Stove?

Which is Better for camping, Butane or Propane Stove?

You’ll need gas and a stove at some point, whether you’re on a family camping trip or on an expedition.

Cooking is required for self-sufficiency outdoors for more than a day, and you’re unlikely to venture out in search of wood to create your own natural slow cooker. Gas will be required. Gas stoves are essential in your camping gear, whether you’re in the lowlands or the mountains.

Which is, however, the most effective? What criteria do you use while making your decision?

Fuel consumption rate, temperature range, weight, and price are all considerations to consider when comparing butane vs propane burners.

All of the gases will function flawlessly in a campervan, but let’s look at the science behind each one.


Propane is more volatile than butane due to its lower boiling point. Its boiling point is amazingly low. Outside, it’s -45°C! This is significant because bottled gas transforms into a liquid and loses its ability to operate as a fuel when it cools below its boiling point.

Propane’s extremely low boiling point allows it to be employed in even the coldest environments. It will light easily even on the coldest days of the year, and it will not become unusable if exposed to extreme cold.

Propane is an excellent fuel for keeping warm and cooking in subzero temps. For mountaineering and extreme camping, propane is preferable to butane.

It’s also a good option for people who use gas as their primary source of energy because it can light and provide energy in any situation. It is not as safe as butane because of its high volatility, and it may not be acceptable for casual users.


  • Propane burns more efficiently at higher altitudes and in colder temperatures.
  • Butane is more expensive than propane.
  • Propane is more extensively utilized and is available at practically every outdoor store.


  • Propane is significantly heavier than butane and the majority of other heating fuels.


Butane is a better alternative to propane in terms of safety. It’s a little harder to ignite, and it produces a little less thermal energy over time. This means it may be kept and transported with a lower risk of fire.

Butane gas bottles are almost impossible to catch fire if you take adequate safety procedures.

Butane is great if you only need a gas for barbecuing or a quick camping trip because it does not require you to become a gas safety expert. Butane gas has a temperature of zero one degree Celsius as its boiling point.


  • Because butane is lighter than propane, it is easier to transport and store.
  • A bottle of butane will usually last longer than a bottle of propane of same capacity.


  • Butane does not operate in extreme cold or at high altitudes.

Which is Better for Camping, Butane or Propane Stove?

Most camping gas stoves use propane, butane, or a combination of the two gases. The fundamental difference between them is the temperature at which they work (their boiling points).

Gas stoves are amazing pieces of equipment, but they lose effectiveness at lower temperatures because the liquefied gas does not evaporate as efficiently. You’ll need a gas with a lower boiling point if you’re camping in colder weather.

Butane is a less hazardous fuel than propane, yet it has a 12 percent higher energy density. However, because its boiling point is 0°C, it cannot function in frigid temperatures and struggles in temperatures below 5°C. Butane is not the gas of choice if you’re camping in the winter or in cold areas, despite the fact that it can provide greater value for money.

Propane is lighter than butane, has a higher pressure, and a lower boiling point of -42°C than butane. Because of the increased pressure, propane burns hotter, which cuts down on cooking time, and because of the lower boiling point, it performs better in colder temperatures.

You can also get stoves that use a combination of propane and butane. This combines the benefits of both, such as butane’s higher efficiency and propane’s greater adaptability. As a result, many camping canisters have a mixture of gases.

Cost of Fuel

In terms of cost-effectiveness, propane is usually the next best option after white gas. Because it can be obtained in large containers, propane is the least expensive per pound of all the pressurized fuels.

Butane and isobutane, on the other hand, are the more expensive alternatives. Butane is often available for a low price at a hardware shop, but as previously said, it is not commonly available.

Efficiency of combustion

The burn efficiency of your camping fuel is crucial whether you’re trying to save money or reduce the amount of fuel you have to carry.

The burn efficiency you experience is mostly determined by the stove you use and the surrounding environment.

If you want to cook rapidly, butane is the way to go.


If you’re going on a short backpacking trip, use isobutane or butane. Alternatively, if you want to save money when car camping, propane is your best alternative.

Every type of fuel has its own set of advantages, but your camping style will determine which one you choose.