5 Things To Do With Your Nearly Empty Gas Canisters

Camping stove canisters in grass

I was rooting around in the shed the other day, cant remember what for now to be honest. Whilst in there however, I noticed that I had accumulated a fair few gas canisters from my various hiking/camping trips. I say a fair few I mean bloody LOADS!!

These aren’t totally empty gas canisters but ones with just a little bit left in. Not enough to risk for a camping trip but too much to just empty and recycle. I really hate the idea of taking two on a wild camp; it goes against all my weight saving, lightweight instincts.

So I have come up with 5 ways in which you can use these canisters and recycle them safely.

1. Day Hiking

Take one or maybe a couple of half empty gas canisters out on a day hike. You’ll probably have enough for a couple of coffees or even enough to make a cup soup or pasta. If you run out halfway through, no big deal, make do with your trail mix and enjoy the rest of your walk.

2. Extra picnic stove

Let me tell you I take no better joy than setting up my “array” of camping stoves and having a “cookout” with the family at any given picnic spot. You can see those jealous faces peering at us over their soggy cheese and tomato sandwiches….it’s great.

I have a larger gas stove for a picnic but there’s nothing wrong with taking nearly empty gas canisters and adding another ring to your outdoor kitchen set up. This can be used to boil your kettle while your main stove cooks the good stuff..

3. Indoor Marshmallow Toasting

Obvious risks and general common sense aside. This a great way to use up those dregs. Horrendous weather will stop even the most arduous of adventuring kids, but they don’t have to miss out. Simply set up the stove somewhere safe.(I normally use a wooden chopping board on top of our kitchen table) and we all sit around and blaze through those gas canisters by toasting marshmallows. My kids love it!!

4. Gas Lantern

You can get some awesome LED lanterns on the market nowadays but you can’t beat a traditional gas lantern. Obviously, I strongly DO NOT recommend using gas canisters or lanterns inside your tent. I’ve seen some people online say they do. Just don’t. Keep it for outside use only and you’re good to go.

5. Get Technical

Listen, no-one likes a smart arse but I’m a bit of a geek and I think this is pretty cool. You’ll need some scales and a year 7 level of maths (I struggled haha!).

Part 1.

Take a totally empty gas canister and weigh it. This is the “unladen” weight. Write this unladen weight on each of the gas canisters. If you subtract this weight from the weight of any canister that contains gas you will get your NET weight (the weight of the gas only). This will give you a good idea of how many grams of gas are left in each one.

Part 2.

Each time you go out with your stove, measure the weight of your canister before and after each trip. This will give you a good idea on how may grams you use on an average trip. Environmental temperature will obviously affect these measurements so record summer and winter separately.

However, you will eventually know whether what you have left in your old canister will be enough to take out on a trip.

Or, if you can’t be bothered, just blast the hell out of marshmallows in the house with it as per tip #3.

Then Recycle

Once your canisters are empty you can puncture and crush them safely for the recycle bin using this nifty little tool from Jetboil.

For a quirky way to cook your food on a hiking stove using a metal teapot check out the pictures in my first wild camp to Roseberry Topping.

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