How To Hot Tent: A Guide To Camping With A Portable Wood Burning Stove | Homecamp (2023)

How To Hot Tent: A Guide To Camping With A Portable Wood Burning Stove | Homecamp (1) Homecamp Tipi & WorkTuff Stove by Brook James

First up, this is not meant as an exhaustive guide and you should do your own research before embarking camping with a hot tent setup. The gear you use and the type of terrain, environment, weather conditions and temperatures you will encounter will dictate the appropriate precautions and preparedness required.

That being said, we here at Homecamp are big advocates of creating a warm and welcoming space to camp in the wilds – making adventures all the more pleasurable and in turn, more frequent!


How To Hot Tent: A Guide To Camping With A Portable Wood Burning Stove | Homecamp (2) Homecamp Tipi & WorkTuff Stove by Brook James

What is a hot tent?

A hot tent is simply a term used to describe the use of a woodfire stove within a tent. With quality gear and the right prep work – creating a hot tent set up can be a transformative outdoor experience.

Why hot tent?

Keep your abode toasty warm

Adding a heat source to your tent offers all sorts of possibilities of extending your stay when camping in cold conditions. You will have a homely and welcoming base with which to stay comfortable for longer periods. Importantly, you will have a warm space to dry wet clothing, boots and gear (having dry socks when camping in Winter is a must).

Cook a hot meal

Being able to easily cook hot food and having hot water on tap inside your tent has obvious advantages and being in a warm environment means you will need to burn fewer calories, and so, require less food. Most stoves have some sort of provision for cooking – generally, a flat surface on the stovetop, even the ability to remove a top plate so you can cook directly over an open flame – see the Winnerwell Nomad Stove.

(Video) Tent Stove Camping Guide: Longer Burn Time and Firewood Type Choices 2023

Conserve energy and wood

In inclement, stormy and wet weather, starting an open fire can be difficult and time-consuming. Having a stove makes lighting a fire a straightforward process. Compared to an outdoor fire, a stove will burn wood much more efficiently so you will need to source less fuel. As you will have a protected dry spot inside the tent and a steady heat source, you also have a dependable way of drying and storing wood.


Aside from the practical reasons for camping with a hot tent, it gives you a relaxing and uplifting respite away from the elements – a simple hot meal inside a cosy tent whilst it is pouring down outside tastes superb and there is the pleasing ascetic of fire gazing and natural ambience created by a fire inside your tent – checkout the Winnerwell View series or WorkTuff stove which have glass sidewalls that create an awesome cosy vibe.

How To Hot Tent: A Guide To Camping With A Portable Wood Burning Stove | Homecamp (3) Winnerwell Nomad Stove by Andrew Northover for Homecamp

The stove

Woodfire stoves are a firebox set on legs that has the ability to draw in fresh air, burn fuel safely and efficiently, and then exhaust the smoke and gas fumes outside your tent via a pipe (aka flue or chimney) system. See our Flashing Kits.

There should be an adjustable air-intake vent set into the door opening which controls the amount of oxygen drawn into the firebox. To help regulate airflow there will be a ‘Damper’ mechanism inside the stove exit or flue. In combination with the front air vents, Dampers are airflow controllers that help adjust the fuel burn rate and are useful for keeping the heat in the stove instead of escaping out via the pipe system.

Once the stove pipe exits the tent then it should end with a spark arrestor to reduce the risk of burning the outer tent.

There are many stoves available that are ideal for a hot tent, ranging from lightweight but expensive Titanium stoves through to larger and stronger stainless or black steel stoves.

Some reputable brands that manufacture stainless or black steel stoves are WorkTuff, Winnerwell (both stocked by Homecamp and highly recommended!), Kni-Co, Bereg, GStove, Four Dog and Australian brand Ozpig. For Titanium stoves check out the Winnerwell Titanium Fastfold Stove or stoves from Kifaru, Luxe Hiking 3W and Seek Outdoors.

Some accessories available for stoves are hot water tanks (having hot water on tap is a game-changer), pipe or folding ovens (pizza or fresh bread anyone?) and a built-in thermometer is handy.

(Video) Hot Tent Tools & Tips | Tent Stoves | CanvasCamp

How To Hot Tent: A Guide To Camping With A Portable Wood Burning Stove | Homecamp (4) WorkTuff Stove by Padraig Croke for Homecamp

The tent

Large tents are best suited for hot tenting as you can keep a safe distance between yourself and the stove. Cabin or Wall Tents are often used in the USA/Canada for winter hunting expeditions. With the correct precautions, Bell, Tipis, Yurts, Esker and Laavu tents are good options but you should check on the compatibility with the manufacturer.

With the right precautions (Flashing Kit, Double Wall Pipes, Fireproof Matting) most tents can be used with a hot stove, however, if you are using a hot tent commercially or continually as part of a semi-permanent set-up, we recommend a tent that has been manufactured using a fire-resistant weaved canvas or another material with a special fire-resistant coating. Check out the Homecamp range of Classic Bell Tents.

Lightweight tents tend to be made from Nylon or Polyester and you will need to pay special attention to how they are constructed for use with a woodfire stove. Again, if in doubt ask the manufacturer if they are compatible with a stove.

See our range of Hot Tent Bundles which includes everything you need to get set up.

How To Hot Tent: A Guide To Camping With A Portable Wood Burning Stove | Homecamp (5) Homecamp Bell Tent & WorkTuff Stove by Padraig Croke

The set up

Having a red hot stove in your tent presents real risks which should not be taken lightly. You will need to evaluate your gear (and competence level) for this type of camping. These risks can be reduced by doing the appropriate research and taking a commonsense approach to safety precautions.

(Video) How to Install a Tent Stove Jack - CanvasCamp

The most obvious risk is fire. It’s strongly recommended to position the stove within your tent somewhere that ensures good clearance from combustible materials such as the tent wall or bedding, allowing at least 1.2 m of space for people to move around the stove. Always use a fireproof mat or another type of fireproof flooring beneath your stove and leg extensions can be useful for getting more clearance beneath your stove.

You will need to consider how the stove chimney exits the tent – usually via a built-in stove jack or a silicone Flashing Kit. The beauty of using a Flashing Kit is that allows you to choose the exit point of your stove chimney and therefore better control the layout of your stove within the tent. Once you have gotten over the shock of making an incision into your tent canvas to create the hole, it’s a simple process to install the kit.

If your whole tent is not made from fire-resistant canvas then ideally the area or panel where your stove flue exits the tent should be made with a fireproof material (best option) or treated with a fireproof coating – there are many fire retardant sprays made especially for fabrics, we recommend Burnblock or similar.

There will need to be a way of keeping the hot stove pipe insulated from coming into contact with your tent canvas, this is usually done by incorporating a double pipe section or tent protector where the flue exits the tent via the flashing kit.

We recommend that the end of the flue has a clearance of at least 1m above your tent and use a spark arrestor on the last section of the pipe chimney, this will keep your tent protected from any errant sparks that make their way up the chimney system. Guy ropes can be used to securely anchor your spark arrestor in place and help maintain stability in high winds.

How To Hot Tent: A Guide To Camping With A Portable Wood Burning Stove | Homecamp (6)

How To Hot Tent: A Guide To Camping With A Portable Wood Burning Stove | Homecamp (7) Homecamp Tipi & Winnerwell Nomad Stove by Andrew Northover

Other potential dangers

Probably the most common danger in hot tenting is being burnt by the stove itself. If you are camping with kids or multiple people then please incorporate a fireguard in your setup. Don’t handle the stove or other parts without wearing fireproof gloves (welders gloves are useful and inexpensive).

(Video) Best Wood Burning Tent Stoves - Top 5 Portable Tent Stoves 2022

When you position the stove, think about your access to the rest of the tent and the position of the stove in relation to the tent door and ventilation is important. Stoves deprive your tent of oxygen as they use it to burn fuel, so it’s important to provide plenty of ventilation in your tent whilst the stove is in action.

Don’t place the stove somewhere that will inhibit your exit or somewhere you will need to move past too frequently. You will need to be mindful of not having flammable gear near the stove. If there are a few people in a confined space with a stove then get used to sharing tasks and being mindful of each other’s movement. Having a small fire extinguisher on hand is a sensible safety precaution in case of fire as is sleeping with a knife nearby in case you may need to cut your way out of the tent in an emergency.

Carbon Monoxide

Do not underestimate the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide is odourless and colourless and therefore is difficult to detect.

You should keep your tent well ventilated – windows or even doors open whilst the stove is in use – ensuring there is a continuous cycle of fresh air in your tent.

Exhaust fumes can escape your stove system into the tent either because there is some sort of blockage in the pipes or strong wind is blowing directly into the exit pipe. You should regularly clean your stove and pipe sections to remove creosote that may block the chimney. It pays to keep your Damper open so that carbon monoxide is continually drawn out of the firebox up through the chimney flue and you should invest in a battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm – they are inexpensive and can save your life.

We DO NOT recommend sleeping with your stove lit but if you do plan to have your tent blazing overnight then taking turns for a fire vigil is recommended with each member of the camping party can take turns keeping watch.

How To Hot Tent: A Guide To Camping With A Portable Wood Burning Stove | Homecamp (8) Homecamp Tipi & Winnerwell Nomad Stove by Andrew Northover

Is it worth it in Australia?

Naturally snowy regions in countries such as the northern states of USA, Canada, NZ, Northern Europe and Japan call for this type of camping, however, having a warm, dry environment to head back to on a cold and very wet Victorian alps adventure has plenty of attraction. There is no reason that a Hot Tent setup shouldn’t be considered for our varied climate here in Australia and some of the bigger stoves are suited to use outside of a tent as a controlled fire and can double as a fire pit or bbq in your yard when not in use camping.

Whatever you do make sure you research and evaluate the risks before going on a Hot Tent trip. If well prepared, the benefits can truly enhance your camping experience, ensuring a longer camping trip, especially in the underrated seasons.

(Video) Fitinhot Hot Tent Wood Stove First Burn

Back to all stories


How To Hot Tent: A Guide To Camping With A Portable Wood Burning Stove | Homecamp? ›

Many manufacturers recommend rolling back the tent's groundsheet and placing the stove directly on the ground. You'll want a spark arrester on the top of the flue to prevent hot sparks from landing on the tent. You'll need to keep combustible items away from the stove as they get very hot.

How do you heat a tent with a wood stove? ›

Many manufacturers recommend rolling back the tent's groundsheet and placing the stove directly on the ground. You'll want a spark arrester on the top of the flue to prevent hot sparks from landing on the tent. You'll need to keep combustible items away from the stove as they get very hot.

Can you use a portable stove in a tent? ›

Using a stove in a tent is possible but very dangerous. Unless you use a stove system specifically designed for cooking in a tent and have taken proper safety precautions, it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or the tent catching fire.

How do I keep my hot tent stove burning all night? ›

Close air vents

Once the flames have been dampened down, close your stove's air vents to control the levels of oxygen getting to the fire: by doing this, the fuel will burn for longer. Once the embers are glowing orange, you can leave your wood burning stove for the night.

Can you use a camping stove to heat a tent? ›

If you use a camping stove in your tent, there's a very real danger that you could set it on fire while you're inside it and severely damage or destroy it. Not having a shelter in cold or stormy weather because you've burned it down, can be as life-threatening as being burnt and seriously injured.

Can you sleep in a tent with a wood stove? ›

Always make sure that your tent is well-ventilated; keep a door open and don't go to sleep when it's lit. We strongly recommend installing a carbon monoxide alarm along with you when you go camping. The alarm should be located centrally, at head-height, and 1 meter away from the wood-burning stove.

How do you prevent carbon monoxide on a wood stove? ›

How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
  1. Have wood burning stove professionally installed and maintained.
  2. Don't slumber or shut down a log burner for long period of time.
  3. Use dry wood and avoid burning other materials.
  4. Regularly clean and inspect chimney or flue.
  5. Install CO detectors in every level of the home.
Jan 28, 2023

Can you use portable stove in parks? ›

Portable stoves may be used in designated areas. It is the responsibility of every visitor to use extreme caution with any burning materials, including tobacco. All fireworks are prohibited.

How hot can a portable stove get? ›

Most burners can reach temperatures up to 400 degrees F, while some are higher depending on the size of the stove.

Can you sleep with a wood burning stove on overnight? ›

yes! You can leave your wood burning stove on overnight, and in most cases, this is actually safer than trying to extinguish the flames manually.

Should the air vents be open or closed on a wood burner? ›

When lighting your stove, open both air vents fully. On initially lighting, it can be an advantage to crack the door open slightly to provide additional air flow through the firebox. Once the fire is established, close the door and then close down the bottom air vent gradually.

Do tents get hot at night? ›

The “greenhouse effect” means tents trap warm air during the day. The sun can pass through your tent fabric and heat up the air inside, but the warm air can't get out again. As a result, your tent gets warmer and warmer throughout the day, retaining that heat long into the night.

What can be used to heat a tent? ›

Heat a tent without a heater:
  • Hot water bottle – fill a plastic bottle with hot water right before bed and place it in your sleeping bag.
  • A mylar blanket or space blanket can be used on the floor of your tent to help insulate it from the ground.
  • Hot rocks heated around the fire are a simple way to add warmth too.
Jun 23, 2021

What kind of heat can you use in a tent? ›

Staying Safe: A Guide to Safe Heaters for Tents

In this section, I'll cover what to do and what not to do with the 3 primary types of heaters for tents: catalytic propane gas heaters, electric heaters, and portable stoves. Additionally, I will tell you what safety features to look for when shopping around.

Is it safe to heat a tent? ›

Carbon monoxide levels aren't the only reason to not operate a tent heater while sleeping. There is also a risk of fire with any fuel powered heat source. For all of these reasons, we strongly advise against using a tent heater while sleeping inside your tent.

What should you not keep in a tent? ›

Never leave food, trash or other scented products inside your tent. Never leave your food unattended. Jays, squirrels and chipmunks can quickly snatch food in broad daylight, and other animals come foraging at night.

What to do with a wood stove when you go to bed? ›

Limit the air intake for the fire

Don't shut off the air vents completely but close them right down as this will limit the amount of air that gets into the chamber so the fire will slowly die out. Once the embers in the fire start to go orange then you then it will start to die and you can sleep without worrying.

How do you sleep in a tent safely? ›

10 tips for getting your best night's sleep in a tent
  1. Invest in good gear. ...
  2. Don't sleep too tight. ...
  3. Don't go to bed cold. ...
  4. Repurpose your water bottle. ...
  5. Locate your toilet. ...
  6. Stay up late. ...
  7. Podcast your way to sleep (just make sure you take a portable power bank). ...
  8. Don't ever forget ear plugs.

What is a hobo camp stove? ›

A hobo stove is a style of improvised heat-producing and cooking device used in survival situations, by backpackers, hobos, tramps and homeless people. Hobo stoves can be functional to boil water for purification purposes during a power outage and in other survival situations, and can be used for outdoor cooking.

What is a portable camping stove called? ›

Uses. Stoves differ widely in their size and portability. The smallest models are generally termed backpacking stoves. They are designed for use in backpacking and bicycle touring, where light weight and small size are paramount considerations. Backpacking stoves consist only of the burner, fuel tank and pot supports.

What are the advantages of portable stove? ›

Benefits of Using Portable Stoves in Modern-Day Camping
  • Easy to ignite. ...
  • Waterproof. ...
  • Even cooking. ...
  • Easy to figure out. ...
  • Carry your stove in a comfortable hiking backpack.
Sep 16, 2022

What are two warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning? ›

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning? The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you.

Do you have to worry about carbon monoxide with a wood stove? ›

Carbon monoxide is a concern with any appliance where combustion is present especially wood burning stoves so installing carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home is highly recommended. When installing carbon monoxide detectors in accordance with your wood stove, proper placement is crucial.

Do you need carbon monoxide detector with wood stove? ›

Carbon monoxide is an odourless and colourless gas, therefore undetectable. The stealthy nature of CO is why it's vital to ensure that you have a detector fitted when installing a gas fire or wood-burning stove.

Are portable camping stoves safe? ›

"It might be tempting to use a camping stove or barbecue indoors to save on energy costs, but doing so is not only a fire risk, it could also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning," LFB said in a post on Twitter. "Only use these items outdoors."

Why is portable stove important in camping? ›

Portable gas stoves are a very handy appliance to have when camping. They allow you to cook outdoors when fire bans are in place, bad weather sets in and campfires can't be lit, and they are known to lessen the impact of the environment as there is no wood to burn.

Can you use a tent stove in any tent? ›

Almost any canvas tent can be fitted with a stove jack to accept a tent stove. The more space inside a tent, the more heat you will need to raise the temperature.

How warm does a tent stove keep a tent? ›

A good wood stove can keep the inside of the hot tent at a comfortable 60-70°F (15-20°C) when the outside temperature is well below freezing. The fire also helps to keep the inside of the tent and your clothing and gear dry.

What is the fastest portable stove? ›

Jetboil Flash

BOTTOM LINE: While integrated stoves aren't the lightest backpacking option, they're by far the fastest and most convenient stoves. Among this stove type, the Jetboil Flash is one of the most affordable and dependable options.

How long does a wood stove stay hot? ›

In an extended fire, you load large pieces of wood into your wood burning stove, tightly packed, so the fire slowly spreads from log to log, extending your burn for 6 to 8 hours or more. You won't need to reload any time soon. This sort of burn maintains a low, steady heat that can stay burning all night.

Can you burn a wood stove with the door open? ›

The simple answer to this question is yes, the stove will work, but it can be up to 60% less efficient than when the door is closed. The fact is that wood-burning stoves and multifuel stoves are designed for use with the door closed. Why?

Should you leave ashes in wood stove? ›

Ash is extremely acidic and, when combined with moisture, can be extremely destructive. It is best to remove all ashes from your fireplace and stove at the end of the heating season to prevent this from happening.

Does wood stove burn hotter with door open or closed? ›

With the door closed, your stove is up to 60% more efficient than if you have the door open. That means more heat in the room and less expense for you.

What is an outside air kit for a wood stove? ›

All stoves require adequate air for combustion and an external air kit provides air directly into the stove, without the need for an air brick. Air is ducted to the kit from outside, either through the wall behind the stove or under the floor.

Does a wood stove burn hotter with the damper open or closed? ›

Once your fire is going, you should also always make sure the door is closed properly, too. Keeping it open won't help provide more heat for your room – on the contrary, keeping it closed ensures the stove gets hot enough inside to radiate heat out into your room.

What Colour tent is coolest in hot weather? ›

White is the coolest canopy in color because it's a great reflector of the sun. So, if you're concerned about the heat during the summer, design a canopy that's primarily white but with your logo and any other artwork on the valences.

How cold is too cold to sleep in a tent? ›

30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 to -4 degrees Celsius) is generally considered too cold for camping in a tent, especially for those less experienced or not equipped with the right gear.

What do you put under a tent for warmth? ›

You can use foam pads, newspaper, or other materials as long as they will stay dry and trap heat. An emergency blanket can do the trick if you don't have any thick materials. Best of all, it's lightweight and easy to carry in and out of your campsite.

Do hot tents stay warm? ›

How Warm Is A Hot Tent? Hot tent temperatures depend on the tent, the type of stove, and outside conditions. In below-freezing conditions, many achieve an average of 60-70 degrees inside. However, above freezing, hot tents can get hot, above 80.

How can I keep my tent warm without a heater? ›

  1. Use a winter rated sleeping pad. ...
  2. Use a winter rated sleeping bag. ...
  3. Wear plenty of layers. ...
  4. Use A Wood Stove Or Camping Stove. ...
  5. Choose The Right Tent. ...
  6. Use Hot Water Bottles. ...
  7. Choose The Right Camping Location. ...
  8. Use Candle Lanterns.

How can I heat my tent without carbon monoxide? ›

Many propane heaters are lightweight and fold up into portable cases. Besides, they are much safer than wood stoves and do not produce carbon monoxide. Some models feature oxygen level sensors that signal them to shut off once the oxygen level drops. Apart from propane heaters, there are portable oil heaters.

Are tent stoves worth it? ›

A tent stove is 10 to 20 times more efficient at burning than an open fire. Where the heat from an open fire rises and dissipates into the open air, the materials the tent stove and flue pipe are made of capture heat emitted by the fire and smoke.

How do you keep your face warm in a tent? ›

To keep your face warm, wear a balaclava or wrap a scarf around your face. 11. Roll the moisture out of your bag each morning when you get up (roll from foot to head), then leave it open until it cools to air temperature. If weather permits, set it out to dry.

Are portable stoves safe? ›

Portable butane gas stoves with integrated gas canisters (also known as lunchbox cookers) can pose significant safety risks. These stoves are commonly used for camping and outdoor activities. If the butane gas canister overheats and the shut-off valve fails, the stove is likely to explode and cause injuries.

What is a tent with a stove called? ›

What is a Hot Tent? The term 'hot tent' is a common way of describing a canvas tent set up with a portable wood burning tent stove. 'Hot tenting' refers to be the activity of camping with a tent and tent stove.

Can any tent be a hot tent? ›

It is essential to use a fire-resistant tent for hot camping. The most common material is treated canvas because it doesn't melt. But there are some synthetic hot tents that can withstand high temperatures. However, converting a regular tent is dangerous as its fabric might not be robust enough to handle the heat.

Where do you put a tent stove? ›

Placing the stove and pipe near the tent wall that often flickers or moves is not a good idea. Because of this, we have placed the stove-jack as close to the center of the tent as possible so that the stove and pipe are as far away from the tent-wall as possible.

What temperature is comfortable tent camping? ›

The quick answer is this: Nighttime temperatures in the high 30s/low 40s Fahrenheit is too cold to go tent camping for inexperienced campers with cheap gear. Nighttime temperatures of about 50°F to 65°F are most comfortable for camping.

What temperature is too cold for tent camping? ›

How cold is too cold for camping in a tent? 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 to -4 degrees Celsius) is generally considered too cold for camping in a tent, especially for those less experienced or not equipped with the right gear.


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