When Brittany helped me settle into the tiny house a few weeks ago she left me a propane tank with a little bit of fuel. At the time my host had said “one of these days you’ll be cooking dinner and – poof – your propane will be out.” I knew she was right but felt like I had too much else on my mind to worry about it.

Tonight was that night. I was half way through cooking my pasta when the propane ran out. Luckily I was able to finish it in the host house kitchen and it gave me a chance to visit with my neighbors. So I guess it’s time to figure out how to get a propane tank filled.
This, like so many other errands, would be much easier if I were a car owner. I have never owned a car because I don’t really like driving. I know lots of people actually enjoy driving but I think it’s stressful. And while I certainly appreciate the freedom and convenience, I don’t want the troubles of owning a car either. My commitment to being car-free is sometimes an obstacle to my determined self-sufficiency, but I like that it requires me to come up with alternatives. I can usually find a creative way via foot, bike, or bus to move myself and the stuff I need to and from. (I know someone who moved her entire apartment with her bike and a bike trailer!)
But a propane tank is heavy and I don’t think the bike trailer is a good idea for transporting flammable liquids. I recently joined Zip Car so this may be my first adventure with car sharing…
Follow up: My neighbor plans to be out and about running errands tomorrow so she offered to fill up the tank for me. Thanks! I do think this would be a good car share errand though. I plan to periodically rent a car for the afternoon to get a bunch of errands done so this sort of hauling task will go on that list!
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6 Responses to Pro-pain!

  1. Logan (at) says:

    >Great story! Carrying fuel by bike was one of the main concerns Tammy and I had when we considered propane. We ended up choosing to use denatured alcohol for our cooking. Its more expensive than propane but its easier to find, fill, and transport. Plus, we hope to one day construct a solar still as a DIY cooking fuel project. :)

  2. Lina Menard says:

    >It was great to see your little stove when I visited this weekend. I'm so glad you've found a system that works well for you two!

  3. Eva says:

    I too live in a tiny house and use propane for cooking. I have a spare, full tank as a back up. One tank lasted me 7 or 8 months for cooking but that was partly in the winter with a wood stove for some cooking.

    • Little Life says:

      Hi Eva, do you prefer cooking with propane or a wood stove? I’ve never used a wood stove but I know some tiny house folks have them. I really enjoy cooking with propane after using electric coil burners most of my life. I think it’s nice that gas responds to adjustments more quickly. I haven’t been paying close enough attention to know just how quickly I’ve been going through a tank, but I think I’ve gone through two 5 gallon tanks plus a little more in the eight months I’ve been living in a tiny house. A friend loaned me a spare tank, so it’s nice to have a back up so I don’t end up needing to refill it in the middle of cooking dinner!

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