If you want some added warmth and cosiness, then a tent stove is an efficient way to heat a tent in cold weather. During winter camping, heat retention is top of mind. A tent stove can help stave off the cold and keep you a little more comfortable.
There are also other benefits to having a tent stove. As well as keeping you a little warmer in the wild, it can also provide another place to cook meals or dry your clothes.
Consider the weight of the stove, the design of your tent (and ventilation) as well as the kind of stove for your needs.
In this article, we review the following tent stoves for camping:
- Camp Chef Alpine CS14 Heavy Duty Cylinder Tent Cabin Stove
- TMS Portable Military Camping Wood Stove Tent
- Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove
- Winnerwell Fastfold Titanium Tent Stove
- Shasta Vent Portable, Camping Wood Stove
Can you use a camping stove in a tent?
Using a stove in your tent is ‘hot tenting’. This can make your tent very warm. Yet, you need to be careful not to put a stove in any tent. The tent will need to be canvas or poly-cotton and also have an opening in the hot flue pipe (or chimney)
What are the benefits of having a tent stove on your camping trip?
Warmth, coziness & comfort
With a tent stove you can enjoy warmth, coziness and also the ability to cook. Your canvas or polycotton tent can become a very warm and inviting shelter with a tent stove. Stoves can generate a lot more heat than an electric fan heater or an oil-filled radiator which is a bonus.
With a hot surface, tent stoves are also perfect for a skillet, griddle or pot. These stoves get hot enough to boil water which is perfect for a warm cup of coffee or tea in the morning. Here are some easy camping recipes for your next trip.
Dry out wet gear with your tent stove
The dry heat of a tent stove helps to dry out wet or snowy gear. If you experience bad weather, a tent stove can help make you more comfortable as you wait out a big storm.
What features to look for when buying a tent stove?
Consider the tent stove’s weight, size and the accessories it comes with.
Traditional tent stoves are big and heavy. There are now many lightweight options available. The lightweight stoves are easy to pack, carry and set up.
It’s also important to consider if there is enough space in your tent for the stove. You still want to be able to fit your friends, family and gear in the tent alongside of the stove.
You should also consider what accessories your stove comes with. The core accessories include a wood grate, chimney, stove jack and spark arrestor. You will need these items to help run your tent stove.
Are there other tent stove accessories available?
But, there are other accessories available. You can get more from your stove with these items. These include:
Pipe damper. This is a flap damper valve in the stove pipe allow you to slow the flow of air through the stove.
Hot water tank /water heater. This hangs on the side of the stove pipe
Chimney oven. Allows for many cooking options (including baking).
Pellet or propane burner kits. With limited firewood, you’ll need to consider alternative fuels. Some tent stoves can burn propane or pellets.
What is a tent stove Jack?
The stove jack is a heat safe exit point. This allow the flue pipe of a tent stove to extend through the roof or sidewall of a tent. It can be sown into the wall or roof of any tent. It is a fire retardant material and designed to accommodate a tent stove.
The smoke from the camp stove can escape through the flue pipe while the stove jack keeps heat inside your tent.
Is it dangerous using a stove in your tent? Is carbon monoxide poisoning a risk?
Yes, this is dangerous and you need to be cautious. There is especially a risk with carbon monoxide poisoning that you should be mindful of. Carbon monoxide is especially dangerous when you are sleeping. As you are unable to recognise the early symptoms of poisoning.
Usually carbon monoxide is usually thought of with the home. But it can also be a risk when you are out in the woods camping. Faulty gas cookers can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. It has caused deaths. In these cases, people have used stoves in their tents without appropriate ventilation.
To avoid a dangerous situation, your tent must be well ventilated. You should be using a tent that allows airflow so you have a supply of fresh air.
It is also very important that you don’t leave your tent stove on through the night. If you want to do this, someone needs to watch the fire and ensure there is ventilation.
What type of tent stoves produce carbon monoxide? Do butane stoves or alcohol stoves?
Keep in mind that any flame can produce carbon monoxide. Alcohol is one of the safest fuels to burn indoors. Butane does not normally produce carbon monoxide. But, the ‘incomplete’ combustion of butane will produce some carbon monoxide.
Regardless of the type of stove, it’s always a good idea to be aware of ventilation in your space. Especially when cooking in a small tent area. Ensure adequate oxygen is available. This will prevent carbon monoxide from building up and you will stay safe.
How to use a tent stove safely?
You should always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using a tent stove. Never take a gas stove, light or heater into your tent, caravan or cabin unless it is a permanent fixture. Install and maintain the stove. Always check to make sure your tent stove is in good order with no damage.
Here are a few tips for staying safe while using a tent stove:
- Place a flame redundant mat around the stove in case hot embers escape.
- Roll back the tent’s groundsheet and place the stove on the ground.
- Place a spark arrestor on top of the flue to prevent hot sparks from landing on the tent
- Keep any combustible items away from the stove
- Keep a method of extinguishing the fire nearby
The Camp Chef Alpine Tent Stove comes with a damper, internal log grate, spark arrestor, accessory shelf and a five-piece nesting pipe. It also has adjustable legs for uneven ground. There is a 5’’ diameter chimney pipe with over 10 feet in total height. The stove also has a wire spark arrestor and a fire grate in the bottom to protect the base from overheating.
- Easy transport (removable legs)
- Pre-drilled hole for installing the pipe damper
- Easy heat control with a roomy cook top and door damper
- Designed to take a standard wood stove water heater (will nest inside)
- Only for wall tent or outside (no cabins)
The TMS Tent Stove is for an outfitters tent with a stove pipe vent. There are four interlocking flue pipe sections. The stove comes with a spark arrestor for added safety. Also, removable dual side cooking tubes are for baking potatoes and foil meals.
The stove has front and rear air flow regulators as well as an easy access bottom ash clean-out. The top grate hinges and doubles as a carrying handle when not in use. The grate folds to provide a flat heating surface on top of the stove. It folds for drying out items like socks and gloves.
- Easy to carry all the parts stored inside the stove
- 4 x extendable pipes and removable leg
- Stove tools are included
- Stove pipe cap for use in an outfitters tent
- Paint tends to burn off (not ideal for enclosed space)
- Light material is less durable
The Gear Guide Outdoor Wood Stove durable. It has a 2mm galvanized steel fire box with a high temperature finish. The cast iron door has an adjustable vent. There are five interlocking stove pipes that connect to form the 6.45’ height chimney. For added protection there is a cool-touch coiled handle. The dimensions are 12.5″w. x 19″d. x 7.75’h. including pipe with a weight of 43 lbs.
- Galvanized steel with high-temperature heat-resistant black finish
- Five 15.5’’ interlocking stove pipes with 3.375’’ diameter
- Front hinged cast iron door with adjustable air vent
- Top platform can be used to keep coffee and saucepans hot
- Easy storage and transport: pipes nest and entire stove fits inside itself
- No pipe cap
- Prone to rust
- Smoke may leak from door
This Winnerwell Tent Stove is ultralight and also easy to pack. It’s a good option for back-country skiers, hunters and explorers. It is lightweight with stove-compatible shelters such as pyramid and tee-pee tents. The stove folds flat and the flue pipe rolls into a compact tube. The entire kit weighs 4 lbs. With the top of the stove removed, the stove acts as an ultralight fire pan for river runners or backpackers.
- Titanium for superior heat transfer efficiency and ultralight weight
- Includes one Fastfold stove body, one rolled stove pipe, one tent protector sleeve, one spark arrestor, eight pipe rings and one carry bag
- Control burn rate with integrated airflow dampers in the door and the base of the flue
- Functions as an ultralight fire pan with stove lid removed
- Top plate where smoke pipe meets the stove is not sealed with welds
The Shasta Tent Stove is a portable wood stave with a 5 15’’ height of vent pipe and spark arrestor. The stove includes a damper in one of the pipe sections, allowing you to manage your flame and burn rate. The top plate is .080’’ thick with removable plate. You can also store the pipe sections inside the stove and the legs fold up and down secured by pins. Also included are a carry case, ash shelf and high temperature gloves.
- Extra thick carbon steel barrel and top plate
- Legs fold in and out
- Convenient storage of 15’’ venting pipe that fits inside the stove
- Spark arrestor cap with eyelets for attaching guy wires (not provided)
- Front access door with locking mechanism
- Convenient carry handle and bag provided
- Legs do not detach
- No flow regulator on the door
- Could get smokey
To wrap things up, my personal recommendation
A tent stove can offer you a warm shelter to relax as well as warm food and dry clothing. The tent stove you choose will depend on your personal preference. Consider the size of tent you are looking to heat and how far you need to pack the stove. Also, how much weight you can carry and of course the price.
If I had to choose my favourite stove from the above, I would recommend the Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove. If you want something to warm your tent, this stove will take nice pieces of wood to help get you toasty.
Compared to other tent stoves, this one is a reasonable price. This stove strong with tough galvanized steel and a high-temperature finish. It’s not enormous which might be good for a tent and keep you warm in winter.
As always, use your tent stove with care and safety. Make sure that you have proper heat shields with smoke detectors. Don’t leave your tent stove unattended and use common sense.