One thing that has remained fairly constant. In order to efficiently cook, provide hot water, and manageable light, an efficient camping fuel choice had to be made by the powers that be.
While Butane / propane mix fuels are a good match for mid to high elevation,warm temperature ultralight campers, and 1 lb propane cylinders likewise for heavier camping gear, for light weight, although not ultralight, to heavyweight camping, to maximize the efficiency of camp, particularly in groups, nothing beats liquid fuel camp appliances, particularly at higher elevations.
Depending on your use, I have found a single gallon of Coleman fuel / Ozark Trail Camp Fuel / White Gas gives me the same amount of burn time / meals prepared, nights of light from lanterns as 1.5 20lb cylinders of propane!
What I find shocking is how few new campers chose liquid fuels until they either venture to low elevations or cold temperatures, and discover the non financial drawback to canister fuels.
Gaseous, canister based fuels such as butane / propane mix, or straight propane work off of the pressure differential between the gas inside the canister, and the outside environment. Thus the higher the pressure inside the canister, or lower the pressure outside, the easier it is for fuel to be pushed out of the canister and through the appliance.
Several factors impact this pressure differenential, these include.
- Elevation. Air pressure is greater the lower you go (more air above you, weighing down on you, and that gas canister).
- Amount of fuel in the gas canister. The less fuel there is, the lower the pressure.
- Temperature of the outside air, and the gas canister.