How to Use a Wood Burning Stove In Your Tent

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Really, do you know how to use a wood burning stove in your tent?

Not many people know that you can use this camping and backpacking stove inside your tent. If you are camping in the rain, you might need to use the stove inside your tent.

However, you have to be very cautious.

A wood stove for camping is a fire risk in a tent. Flames and sparks from the stove can cause a fire while gas fumes can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

However, if done correctly, a wood burning stove can be used in the camping tent to give you warmth especially on those cold alpine nights.

Caution for how to use a wood burning stove in your tent

If not used carefully, the wood burning stove can turn into a hazard inside your tent. The good thing is that it is not too hard to use it safely.

Here are a few things to note:

1. Choose an appropriate tent for camping

You should not use a wood burning stove in any tent since some tents can burn easily. A good tent should be made of poly-cotton or canvas because these materials cannot burn easily and the tent can be well ventilated.

The design of the tent should allow fresh air to enter. It should have a chimney flue that allows fresh air to get in and gets rid of toxic gas.

Never use the wood-burning stove in a tent that does not have ventilation. Always make sure that the tent has a vent.

2. Be cautious with the stove

You should be careful when handling the stove since it can be dangerous and can cause a fire.

Place a flame retardant mat around the stove to provide protection in case sparks and hot embers escape. Do not place the stove on the groundsheet. Instead, roll it and place the stove on the ground.

The sparks can cause a fire if they land on the tent as they leave the flue (chimney). To prevent this, put a spark arrestor above the flue so that the sparks do not drop in the tent.

  • Do not place combustible items near the stove.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case there is fire.
  • Make sure you have cold water in the tent.

Now that you know how to take caution when using the wood burning stove in the tent, here is how to actually use it.

Using the wood stove in your tent

Before you start using the stove, make sure you set up your tent in a campsite that is not prone to fire. Ensure no deadwood and branches above the tent can catch fire. You don’t want sparks from the flue to ignite a fire.

You need a spark arrester

A wood-burning stove will produce sparks. These sparks can cause fire by burning the tent or the dead wood nearby. To prevent this, you should fit a spark arrester in the vent pipe at the top.

If you don’t have the arrester, poke holes on the top part of the stovepipe. The holes help to cool the sparks before they leave the stovepipe.

Insulate the stove

Prepare the wood-burning stove so that you can light it. Start by insulating the bottom of the stove with sand to protect the metal from coming into contact with burning wood and weakening it. Normally, the metal on the bottom of the wood-burning stove is thin and direct contact with the hot coals can weaken it.

Choose the right wood

Avoid woods that give out many sparks such as larch, pine, and spruce since they can cause a fire. Instead, use these softwoods sparingly as tinder.

Hardwoods such as oak are preferred because they form coals that produce heat for longer, unlike the softwood that has little coaling. Also, you can get more heat from a piece of hardwood than you would from a similar piece of softwood.

Hardwoods burn at a slower rate and you can get more heat for longer than you could from softwood since they burn fast.

The best place to put the wood stove is in a corner close to the door. This will make it easy to reach the wood outside and put it into the stove.

You do not want the wood stove to burn the fabric wall of the tent. As such, make sure that the stove’s metal is at about 2 feet away from the fabric.

Do not leave the stove burning overnight because of carbon monoxide poisoning. In case you want to leave it, have someone stay up to watch over is and ensure there is enough ventilation.

Why use a wood-burning stove

Knowing how to use a wood burning stove in your tent is good. But really, in this age of technology, why should you use one?

Well, there must be something good about it to make it a preferred choice by many for their heating needs.

There is the magic that comes with enjoying the warmth from wood fire when it is cold. A wood-burning stove provides you with warmth. It is also cleaner, more efficient and it can be accommodated in a small space, unlike the traditional fireplace. No wonder these stoves can be used in a tent.

Other than the euphoria of burning fire, here are more reasons why wood stove is a good choice.

Wood burning camping stove is eco-friendly

Firewood will always be there as long as we are planting trees. So, when you are warming your tent using a wood-burning stove, you are using a sustainable alternative. This will leave the environment clean unlike if you were using fossil fuels.

For the eco-conscious campers, you can buy an eco-friendly stove that is EPA certified since they are more efficient and they burn less firewood. These stoves are energy efficient. In fact, some models have an efficiency rate of up to 80% in comparison to traditional fireplaces.

The older non-certified models are not as efficient with an efficiency rate of 50% or lower. So, make sure you buy an EPA certified wood-burning stove. These they are more eco-friendly, efficient and with low emission levels.

You can save on energy costs

Heating bills shoot up high, especially in winter. It would cost you more to heat your tent using other means such as oil, gas or electricity than using wood. A wood stove can help you cut your energy costs by up to 40%.

Have low emission levels

Burning wood produces carbon dioxide emissions into the environment causing air pollution. Remember the smoke of old wood stoves? You had to use so much wood to get the desired heat and so came the smoke.

This is not so with the EPA certified stoves. They are more efficient and they produce less emission since they have low emission limits. They produce less carbon dioxide. That is why you can use a wood-burning stove in the tent without worrying about too much smoke.


That is it for why and how to use a wood burning stove in your tent. It is perfectly safe and it need not pose a hazard at all. Camping can never be complete without a fire blazing hot. Now, with these tips, you have this fire right inside the tent.