Propane consumption in the high desert?

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TomServo
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Propane consumption in the high desert?

Postby TomServo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:51 pm

Anyone have a formula worked out, as to how fast propane is consumed on the playa? Either per hour, or per person? When I have used propane, it was always in the 1 pound disposables, and was either too wasted or not around, to keep track of the usage. So, with a bigger camp this year, I'm tempted to go with the 5 gallon tank and a new stove...but have never used a non-disposable, except on my bicycle. Any advise?
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Postby Elderberry » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:59 pm

No clue, but a darn good question that got me googling:

http://www.propane101.com/consumerpropanecylinders.htm

That was my first find.
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Re: Propane consumption in the high desert?

Postby ygmir » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:59 pm

TomServo wrote:Anyone have a formula worked out, as to how fast propane is consumed on the playa? Either per hour, or per person? When I have used propane, it was always in the 1 pound disposables, and was either too wasted or not around, to keep track of the usage. So, with a bigger camp this year, I'm tempted to go with the 5 gallon tank and a new stove...but have never used a non-disposable, except on my bicycle. Any advise?


yer gonna have to give much better specifics, TS:

engine?
stove?
lantern?
cooking, heating shower water?

BTU's?

you can probably add 10% to any figure you get for sea level, due to altitude.

My 4kw propane powered generator, uses about 1/2 gal. per hour, medium load.
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Re: Propane consumption in the high desert?

Postby TomServo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:11 pm

ygmir wrote:
TomServo wrote:Anyone have a formula worked out, as to how fast propane is consumed on the playa? Either per hour, or per person? When I have used propane, it was always in the 1 pound disposables, and was either too wasted or not around, to keep track of the usage. So, with a bigger camp this year, I'm tempted to go with the 5 gallon tank and a new stove...but have never used a non-disposable, except on my bicycle. Any advise?


yer gonna have to give much better specifics, TS:

engine?
stove?
lantern?
cooking, heating shower water?

BTU's?

you can probably add 10% to any figure you get for sea level, due to altitude.

My 4kw propane powered generator, uses about 1/2 gal. per hour, medium load.


Primarily, kitchen stove. Dont know how often it will be used, BTU's (yet).
The altitude was a priority, Thanks! I think the model were looking at is the "Camp Chef?" model, sold at Big5. Any advice on disposable vs. non-disposable? one empty faster than the other, due to thickness of steel? I dont want to run out...yet, at the same time I dont want to be hauling out more propane than I should.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

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Re: Propane consumption in the high desert?

Postby ygmir » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:14 pm

TomServo wrote:
ygmir wrote:
TomServo wrote:Anyone have a formula worked out, as to how fast propane is consumed on the playa? Either per hour, or per person? When I have used propane, it was always in the 1 pound disposables, and was either too wasted or not around, to keep track of the usage. So, with a bigger camp this year, I'm tempted to go with the 5 gallon tank and a new stove...but have never used a non-disposable, except on my bicycle. Any advise?


yer gonna have to give much better specifics, TS:

engine?
stove?
lantern?
cooking, heating shower water?

BTU's?

you can probably add 10% to any figure you get for sea level, due to altitude.

My 4kw propane powered generator, uses about 1/2 gal. per hour, medium load.


Primarily, kitchen stove. Dont know how often it will be used, BTU's (yet).
The altitude was a priority, Thanks! I think the model were looking at is the "Camp Chef?" model, sold at Big5. Any advice on disposable vs. non-disposable? one empty faster than the other, due to thickness of steel? I dont want to run out...yet, at the same time I dont want to be hauling out more propane than I should.


still, not knowing how much it'll be used, makes it really tough to say how much propane you'll use.
But, if just cooking 3 meals per day, I'd think a 5 gallon tank would last.
And, I usually bring extras, or, could haul one out for you, if you need.
If you know the BTU output, you can figure gallons/min. then approximated mins used, I guess.
I'd go with re-usable, bbq type tanks.
way cheaper, IMHO.
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Postby phil » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:21 pm

There are so many variables, I'm not sure there's an answer for you from everyone else's experience. Louise and I bring 3 cannisters for our camp stove, and we've never used them all (we go through one and a fraction). We cook generally 3 meals a day on our 2-burner camp stove, including boiling a big pot of water for coffee every morning. We heat water for washing dishes 3 times a day; we heat water for bathing once a day.

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Postby FIGJAM » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:25 pm

Was makeing spagette at 5000ft and the water wouldnt boil till the noodles were added.
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Postby Trishntek » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:25 pm

We have a 2 burner self supporting stove which burns 40k btu per burner. 5 gallon bottles are usually easily tightened by hand. With the proper fittings, it is actually easier than the 1 pound bottles.

Usage depends on how many meals you plan per day and how many people per meal. Say 10 people meals per day equals an hour of burn time. At 91k btu per gallon of LP gas, we could burn nearly a gallon per hour. That gives us 5 hours of total full on twin burner time.

How long does it take you to cook the meal? How many meals per day?

My guess is one meal would use about 1/2 hour's worth of fuel. That would amount to 10 meals per 5 gallon bottle. I'm sure that is very conservative.
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Re: Propane consumption in the high desert?

Postby TomServo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:28 pm

ygmir wrote:
TomServo wrote:
ygmir wrote:
TomServo wrote:Anyone have a formula worked out, as to how fast propane is consumed on the playa? Either per hour, or per person? When I have used propane, it was always in the 1 pound disposables, and was either too wasted or not around, to keep track of the usage. So, with a bigger camp this year, I'm tempted to go with the 5 gallon tank and a new stove...but have never used a non-disposable, except on my bicycle. Any advise?


yer gonna have to give much better specifics, TS:

engine?
stove?
lantern?
cooking, heating shower water?

BTU's?

you can probably add 10% to any figure you get for sea level, due to altitude.

My 4kw propane powered generator, uses about 1/2 gal. per hour, medium load.


Primarily, kitchen stove. Dont know how often it will be used, BTU's (yet).
The altitude was a priority, Thanks! I think the model were looking at is the "Camp Chef?" model, sold at Big5. Any advice on disposable vs. non-disposable? one empty faster than the other, due to thickness of steel? I dont want to run out...yet, at the same time I dont want to be hauling out more propane than I should.


still, not knowing how much it'll be used, makes it really tough to say how much propane you'll use.
But, if just cooking 3 meals per day, I'd think a 5 gallon tank would last.
And, I usually bring extras, or, could haul one out for you, if you need.
If you know the BTU output, you can figure gallons/min. then approximated mins used, I guess.
I'd go with re-usable, bbq type tanks.
way cheaper, IMHO.


I think well start with a 5 gallon and a 2 gallon (to be safe), strictly for the kitchen. We'll just plan all the extravagant dinners early in the week...after that, its cold Spaghettios out of the can.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

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Postby ygmir » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:31 pm

Tnt has good info there.
Those are big burners, though, on his stove.
2 gallon tanks are hard to come by.
Do you have 5's, like for a bbq?
And, as I said, I usually have extra.
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Postby TomServo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:35 pm

phil wrote:There are so many variables, I'm not sure there's an answer for you from everyone else's experience. Louise and I bring 3 cannisters for our camp stove, and we've never used them all (we go through one and a fraction). We cook generally 3 meals a day on our 2-burner camp stove, including boiling a big pot of water for coffee every morning. We heat water for washing dishes 3 times a day; we heat water for bathing once a day.


We will probably have over 10 people in our camp....a first for me (other than Roller Disco, but I wasn't in charge of food...or the camp). It just seemed reasonable that we used most of our fuel, at the same time. I might just bring a couple disposables for perifferal shit.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

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Postby TomServo » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:41 pm

Trishntek wrote:We have a 2 burner self supporting stove which burns 40k btu per burner. 5 gallon bottles are usually easily tightened by hand. With the proper fittings, it is actually easier than the 1 pound bottles.

Usage depends on how many meals you plan per day and how many people per meal. Say 10 people meals per day equals an hour of burn time. At 91k btu per gallon of LP gas, we could burn nearly a gallon per hour. That gives us 5 hours of total full on twin burner time.

How long does it take you to cook the meal? How many meals per day?

My guess is one meal would use about 1/2 hour's worth of fuel. That would amount to 10 meals per 5 gallon bottle. I'm sure that is very conservative.


Thanks Trishntek! Im gonna have to crunch some numbers. Also bringing a charcoal BBQ/Smoker for special occasions.

Funny how I actually like these kind of headaches.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

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Postby Mojojita » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:04 pm

We have the camp chef stove and have it connected to a five gal tank. We had 25 people in camp last year and I discovered late in the week that on several occasions the burner was left on under hot water pot for LONG periods of time (wandered away and got distracted). As a result, we ran out on friday. I learned later that the guilty individuals were using the hot water for showers instead of warming water in our solar bags.

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Postby phil » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:04 pm

> I learned later that the guilty individuals

Lots of things go horribly wrong due to guilty individuals. Leaving the gas on is one example; using it for showers is another. If you don't control all the stuff, someone will figure out how to use it with unintended consequences, usually by using stuff up prematurely.

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Postby Elderberry » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:07 pm

phil wrote:> I learned later that the guilty individuals

Lots of things go horribly wrong due to guilty individuals. Leaving the gas on is one example; using it for showers is another. If you don't control all the stuff, someone will figure out how to use it with unintended consequences, usually by using stuff up prematurely.


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Re: Propane consumption in the high desert?

Postby oneeyeddick » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:46 pm

TomServo wrote:Anyone have a formula worked out, as to how fast propane is consumed on the playa? Either per hour, or per person?


I personally use about 6 gallons per hour for 4-7 hours every night. This might not be typical for everyone.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

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Re: Propane consumption in the high desert?

Postby Trishntek » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:47 pm

oneeyeddick wrote:
TomServo wrote:Anyone have a formula worked out, as to how fast propane is consumed on the playa? Either per hour, or per person?


I personally use about 6 gallons per hour for 4-7 hours every night. This might not be typical for everyone.


Yeah, but your usage comes with oddly entertaining consequences. We are pretty minimal when it comes to fire. Just cooking and cleaning,,, nothing more. Now electricity is my fun! Sparks from skin to skin are,,,, ummm pleasant. I'll leave the flame throwers to the experts.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:50 pm

You want skin to skin sparks?...use fleece blankets in your tent!
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

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Postby Sail Man » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:47 pm

The LEO's I work with always seem to get a gleam in their eye's when they un-holster their tazers :twisted:
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Re: Propane consumption in the high desert?

Postby Dustdevil » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:31 pm

[quote=

"Yeah, but your usage comes with oddly entertaining consequences. We are pretty minimal when it comes to fire. Just cooking and cleaning,,, nothing more. Now electricity is my fun! Sparks from skin to skin are,,,, ummm pleasant. I'll leave the flame throwers to the experts.[/quote]

I would suggest a stop a Brain Freeze camp and sit and relax for a while, in our electric chair, "Old Sparky". The results are quite unique....one interesting fact, our female visitors seem to get more enjoyment out of it than the guys do.
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Postby dragonpilot » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:31 pm

Mojojita wrote:(wandered away and got distracted)


That happens a lot out there. I once went for an ice run...came back about 3 hours later shitfaced...and no ice.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:38 pm

^^^^ that's awesome considering the ICE sales were literally right across the street from you^^^^^
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