canvas tents

Tent Stove Safety


I always recommend purchasing a fire treated tent to reduce the possibility of a fire.  Every year someone calls and says they need a tent due to a tent fire. Normally, the person has no idea how the fire started because they were hunting when the fire occurred.  Be very cautious when using a stove. Tents can be replaced. You are not replaceable.   Rich

WATER TANKS.  Do not remove a water tank that is hot.   If you accidentally lose your grip or if the tank does not become disengaged  properly from the tank bracket you will spill boiling water on yourself and require immediate medical care for extremely painful 1st degree burns. 

STOVE JACK FLAP ON YOUR TENT - CAUTION.  Insure you tie your flap up as far as possible away from the stovepipe.  If your flap touches a hot stove pipe your tent will catch on fire. 
All spark arrestors will become clogged with ash and soot. 
Using soft wood and lower temperature stove burns will cause the spark arrestor to be clogged sooner. A clogged spark arrestor will cause smoke to escape from the stove door intake and when opening the door, and in extreme cases, a stove pipe fire which can start your tent on fire.
You will need to clean spark arrestor daily if you have a slow burn or use soft wood.
Burn your stove hot at least one hour per day to reduce creosote and ash build up in your stove.

CREOSOTE BUILDS UP IN YOUR STOVE PIPE: The more you damper the stove pipe down and/or reduce the air intake on the stove door the more creosote build up you will have in the stove pipe and spark arrestor. Burn your stove hot for an hour a day to remove your pipe creosote.
If you get too much creosote in the stove pipe you will have an extremely hot creosote fire in your stove pipe.  Flames will come out of your stove pipe like a torch, just like a creosote fire in a fireplace chimney. Creosote fires are extremely dangerous. When breaking camp, remove the creosote in your stove pipe by gently banging the stove pipes together to loosen the creosote.
Clean your spark arrestor every 1-2 days or more if spark arrestor becomes clogged.  

STOVE PIPE ABOVE RIDGE OF TENT: It is best to have your stove pipe long enough to extend 6 inches or more above the tent ridge. Having the stove pipe above the tent ridge allows the wind coming from any direction to blow sparks away from the tent roof thus reducing the possibility of spark holes being burnt in the roof.

NEVER USE FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS TO START A FIRE IN YOUR STOVE. Position your tent so the stove jack is on the down wind side of prevailing directional winds. If the winds normally blows from the east, the stove jack should be on the west side of the tent so the winds blow sparks away from your tent, which then reduces the possibility of sparks landing on your roof.  If you have a synthetic floor such as carpet or vinyl, or a wood or grass floor a fireproof mat under your stove is required.  The hottest part of your stove is at the stove bottom where the coals are.  You do not want the heat at the bottom of your stove or hot stove legs becoming so hot that it starts a fire below the stove.  The mat should extend a minimum of 6 inches out from the stove side legs and stove back legs. The mat should extend a minimum 18 inches to the front of your stove in the event you open the door and a log falls out, or a spark pops out at you. 

FLY will prevent spark embers from burning holes in your tent. A quality fly or tarp will protect your roof will not catch on fire when sparks on it. However, a spark will sometimes cause a small burn hole. I have talked to hunters that have had their tent burn down when they are gone hunting with no idea how the tent caught on fire. My guess would be it was a hot spark that landed on the tent roof without a fly and started the roof on fire, or a spark arrestor became totally clogged from non cleaning and combined with a creosote fire and had flames hooting up the pipe, like you occasionally see in a creosote fire in a house fireplace.

WEAR GLOVES when assembling a wood burning camp stove.  Sometimes there are sharp edges on the stove, pipe or water tank that can cut you.

 HEAT SAFETY DISTANCE: Always have at least a 2 foot area around your wood camping stove where there are no flammables. Also, sometimes sparks might pop out of the stove air intake openings if there is not a screen covering the openings. Be careful when opening the stove door as sometimes a spark will pop toward you or a small piece of burning wood might fall out of the stove.

 WARNING: Tent wood stoves are designed for use in tents and outside only. Use of tent stove in a cabin, workshop, etc., is at your own risk. Special double wall pipe is required for any camping wood stove installation in any type of building. Contact your local stove dealer for state and federal requirements for pipe requirements/stove jack going through a roof or a wall. Insure you have fireproofed material underneath all camping wood stoves and have proper heat standoff distance from walls.