Folding Kayaks Forum

Propane tanks material?
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Author:  Alm [ Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Propane tanks material?

Small propane tanks like these below, - initially I thought they were aluminum, but they look and weigh like steel (the first one is familiar to many, and the second one has the size of 0.75L bottle of wine, same propane and same thread:
Not that I'm worried about material - since I've converted isobutane Primus stove to propane fuel, it works fine for me. No problems finding propane in any midsize town of US, Can, Mexico (and even weird places like Bahamas, where the only sure thing to find is high prices and horrible service). Most hardware stores and autoparts stores have these tanks (also large grocery stores like Long's). One propane tank lasts 11 days with 2-3 hot meals a day and countless cups of tea or hot chocolate. So I only need 3 tanks for a month (it's hard to find a route where you don't get to see any hardware store for a month). Aluminum isobutane tanks by Primus or MSR are lighter, though.
Just wondering - if propane tanks are aluminum, I'll take it to recycling rather than to garbage.

Author:  john allsop [ Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Propane tanks material?

One thing about these propane tanks, thousands must be thrown away every year. Is there one of reasonable size and weight that can be refilled?

Author:  Alm [ Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Propane tanks material?

The smallest re-fillable propane tank is a 4-gallon giant, AFAIK. You can see them usually at hot-dog stands, BBQ etc. Easier yet to find than those smaller ones shown above. Somebody said that tank that big can be a deadly bomb in a kayak, and I only saw one guy that carried such a tank - Timo Noko. But he does many things in unusual way.

I think small aluminum Primus/MSR isobutane cartridges are not refillable either. Any refillable metal LPG cartridge (empty after the trip) would not be allowed in airplane, so this is out of the question for me personally. They only allow a cigarette lighter (one per person? don't remember) - because it's small and plastic, can't make much fire or kill you with shrapnel if blows up.

Author:  henry [ Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Propane tanks material?

Propane, Butane, etc - they're all STEEL tanks - none of them are Aluminium. The Propane tanks are heavier because a thicker steel is needed for the higher pressure.

Author:  john allsop [ Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Propane tanks material?

Henry i have seen a 5 LB refillable propane gas tank made of steel, but there are tanks made of Aluminium, the smallest refillable one is 10 lb. Of course i am not suggesting trying to take them on a plane but for us who don,t fly with kayaks and camping equipment they could save throwing away "disposable" tanks.To see them look at

Author:  henry [ Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Propane tanks material?

Yes John, those are expensive refillable tanks - quite a different beast from the disposable ones alex was talking about. The question was whether or not the spent tanks could be put in with Aluminium for recycling. I have a wide variety of propane and butane canisters in my garage (Coleman, MSR, Primus, etc) and they're all disposable, and all steel.

BTW Camping Gaz makes a 1lb refillable Butane canister - too bad it only fits such a limited range of stoves.

Author:  Alm [ Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Propane tanks material?

The smallest of those white refillable tanks is 4 or 5 gallons. There is no need to take them on the plane (and no airline will allow this), as they are available in many places, but I've only seen one guy who carried it in a kayak. Probably, people avoid them for safety reasons. Not to mention that even "smaller" 4-5 gallon tank won't fit into most of single kayaks. I've found this link, - some interesting news. Coleman makes 1lb or so aluminum propane tanks Powermax (not refillable), that work in sub-freezing temps (useless feature for most kayakers), but I really doubt I will find it anywhere except for big urban centers of the USA and Canada:

There are canister weights in this link too. My steel propane Coleman with 1 lb of gas weighs 31 oz total, and lighter MSR (propane/butane mix, about the same efficiency, unavailable in rural areas and higher price) - 23 oz. So this is 8 oz extra each, or extra 24 oz for 3 of them in a 1-month wilderness trip. No too heavy, even for a low payload of FC singles. I've just come from 23-day Baja trip, and thinking of much longer trips when retire, but there will always be some hardware store with propane within a week of paddling. Yes, disposable - well, let go to Mexican landfill. Still better than trashing the shoreline (which is already terribly trashed there).

Author:  krudave [ Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Propane tanks material?

How about fiberglass? Ten lbs of propane is about 2.5 gallons. Common size -- I've got one in steel I use for my backyard BBQ. Heavy!!!

Specs: Height: 15.24 inches
Diameter: 12 inches
Pressure Rating: 294 psi
Propane Capacity: 11 lbs.
Butane Capacity: 13.2 lbs.
Tare (empty) Weight: 7.48 lbs.

Aluminum? Here you are: More expensive than the fiberglass and heavier. Or, how about this unit: ... sh-/Detail 1.4 gallons Probably lighter tare than the previous one.

Do you guys know about this Google thing? I just typed in aluminum propane tanks and came up with a ton of links.

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