How Do You Dispose of Backpacking Fuel?

By Alice Nichols

When backpacking, you need to take extra precautions when it comes to fuel disposal. Since backpacking fuel can be hazardous if not handled correctly, it is important to know how to properly dispose of it.

The first step in disposing of backpacking fuel is to make sure that the container is emptied and cleaned of any residue. Do not pour any remaining fuel down the drain or into a sewer system as this can cause environmental damage and even fires.

Instead, take the container outside and away from any buildings or flammable objects before pouring the fuel out onto the ground.

If possible, it is best to use a biodegradable cleaning agent such as soap and water or white vinegar to clean out the container before disposal. This will help reduce the amount of toxins released into the environment. Once the container is empty and cleaned, it can then be disposed of in an appropriate trash receptacle.

If you are using a liquid or aerosol-based fuel such as propane, butane or kerosene, then it must be disposed of at a hazardous material collection site. These sites are usually located at local fire stations or waste management facilities so you should contact your local authorities for more information on where you can safely dispose of these fuels.


It is important to take extra precautions when disposing of backpacking fuel as it can be hazardous if not handled correctly. Make sure that all containers are emptied and cleaned before disposal and that liquid or aerosol based fuels are taken to a hazardous material collection site for safe disposal. Following these steps will ensure that your backpacking trip remains safe and environmentally friendly.