Can You Use a Camping Stove in a Tent? (Important Tips)

Can you use a camping stove in a tent? This is a question that many campers ask themselves.

The answer, unfortunately, is not always black and white.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of using a camping stove in a tent, find out the best tent stove set up, and highlight some important tips to do it safely.

Is It Safe to Use a Camping Stove Inside a Tent?

It is safe to use a camping stove inside a tent as long as it is designed for indoor use, properly ventilated, and set up according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Of course, there are some risks – mainly carbon monoxide poisoning and fire. Not to mention the smell of food produced when cooking can lure animals to your tent.

But, most of these risks can be mitigated by using a stove designed for use in a properly ventilated tent.

What Camping Stoves Can I Use in a Tent?

There are many different types and brands of camping stoves on the market today. More popular options include the MSR Windburner, MSR Reactor, and the Jetboil gas stove.

While these are great camping stoves that definitely have their place (I love them for backpacking trips), I would not recommend using them in your tent (contrary to what some others might say). While their design may reduce the risk of starting your tent on fire, they still emit carbon monoxide. So, it’s best to use them outdoors or under a vestibule tarp if it’s raining.

With that said, there are better options out there.

The best option for using a stove inside your tent requires two main things:

  1. A camping tent stove designed for indoor use that comes with a chimney or flue pipe
  2. A tent with a stove jack that provides an exit point for the flue pipe of the stove

The Winnerwell Nomad Wood-Burning Tent Stove is an excellent camping stove option designed for use in small indoor spaces (like a tent, yurt, teepee, etc.) that comes with the necessary hardware for proper ventilation.

Winnerwell Nomad Wood-Burning Tent Stove

Winnerwell Nomad Wood-Burning Tent Stove

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Combine that stove with a tent with a stove jack, and you have a safe(r) way to use a camping stove in your tent for heating and cooking purposes.

Russian Bear Winter Tent With Stove Included

Russian Bear Winter Tent With Stove Included

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But, even with the best setup, there are some important safety tips you’ll want to follow.

Tent Stove Safety Tips

As mentioned above, you can use a stove in a tent if you have the right setup.

With that said, there are still some important safety tips that will ensure the safest experience possible.

  1. Follow all the manufacturers instructions: This bears repeating. Read your camping stove owner’s manual. And read it again. There may be specific safety tips for your model of stove that need to be taken into account.
  2. Ensure proper clearance around the stove: The last thing you want is anything, or anyone, coming in contact with the stove while it’s in operation. So, ensure there is enough clearance around the stove to prevent a fire or burn risk.
  3. Keep a door or window cracked during use: Even if your tent stove is properly ventilated, it will still burn ambient oxygen. Ensure you have safe oxygen levels in your tent by keeping it ventilated whenever a stove is in use.
  4. Use a CO detector: No matter what type of fuel the stove uses (propane gas, butane, alcohol, wood, etc.), you’ll want to ensure that CO levels in the tent never get too high. Carbon monoxide is a gas that is odorless, colorless, and potentially lethal. Using a CO detector and learning about the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can aid in the prevention of carbon monoxide-related problems. A battery-powered CO detector is a must.
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher handy: Always have a fire extinguisher on hand when using a stove in your tent. It could mean the difference between a small burn and losing all your camping gear in seconds.
  6. Keep children away from the stove when in use: This goes for pets, as well.
  7. Be mindful of local wildlife: An often overlooked aspect of using a camping stove in your tent is the possibility that the smell will attract wild animals. When camping in bear country, it’s a good idea to separate your food prep and storage areas from your sleeping area.

Just remember, camping stoves are safe when used properly. Be sure to use them according to the manufacturer’s directions, in a well-ventilated tent (preferably with a stove jack), and heed any local warnings about cooking in areas with dangerous animals.

Camping Stove FAQs

Can You Put a Stove in a Normal Tent?

Putting a stove in a tent is a convenient way to cook food and heat a tent in winter. But, you can’t put a stove in a normal tent. You will need a stove with a flue designed for indoor use and a tent with a ventilation port or stove jack for the flue pipe.

Can You Cook in a Tent Porch?

Cooking in a tent porch or vestibule is a great alternative to cooking inside a tent if you have a camping stove that isn’t designed for indoor use. A porch will offer protection from inclement weather like rain while still allowing ample ventilation.

With that said, you still need to take the necessary safety precautions to ensure you don’t start a fire, burn yourself, or allow CO to build up.

Can You Use a Solo Stove Inside a Tent?

No, you can’t use a Solo Stove inside a tent as they are not only a fire hazard but they are not equipped with a flue to properly ventilate the smoke and carbon monoxide.

Can You Use a Jetboil Inside a Tent?

The Jetboil design makes it very portable and safer to use than an open flame stove. However, they are not designed for indoor use and should not be used inside a tent.

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