How to Measure Fuel Canisters

**Editors note: We partnered up with John from Intense Angler to share this Tip of the Week on how to Measure Fuel Canisters. For more great outdoor tips check out John's YouTube Channel: Intense Angler. **

Have you ever been in the backcountry and wondered how much fuel you have left? You don't want to waste your last bit of fuel heating some luxury tea if you won't be able to cook dinner. We're taking the guesswork out of it with this great idea to help you learn how to measure fuel canisters. Check out this video or keep reading to learn this quick tip.


How Much Camp Fuel Do You Have Left?


First of all, you'll want to measure your fuel canisters at home. You could weigh your canisters on a scale but in the outdoors you won't have a scale so instead, place the canister in a tub of water. Be careful to not get an air bubble caught under the canister. It's best to measure it upside down or place the canister in sideways and roll it over to let the air out (see video above).

Measuring Fuel Canisters

Once the canister is floating in the water use a marker to mark the waterline. Do this with a full canister and again with an empty canister. You'll see that the full canister sinks deeper into the water and the empty canister is more buoyant.

Assuming you buy the same brand fuel canister (and they haven't changed the label), you can mark on a canister where it is when it's full and where it'll be empty. While you are out on a camping or backpacking trip, you can now place your fuel canister in a pot of water can see how much is left.

how to measure a fuel canister

You could also mark a canister before and after cooking a dinner so you know how much fuel each meal uses. This is only an estimation, but it will help you get a much better idea of when you'll run out of fuel.
*Tip: Be sure to dry the canisters off once they've been in water because the metal canisters may rust.

Give it a try and let us know what you think. Do you have any other quick tips for camping and backpacking? Enter them in the comments below.

Take an Additional 25% Off Backpacking Gear


Want more backpacking information? Check out these links:

Liquid Fuel vs. Canister Stoves
How to Pack a Backpack

Backpacking Gear List
Backpacking Meal Plan
Hiking the John Muir Trail
Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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