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

Camping stoves can provide a convenient way to cook outdoors, but is it safe to use a camping stove inside a tent? The answer is generally no, as camping stoves pose a significant fire hazard. There is an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and the flames from the stove can easily ignite the tent material.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The biggest safety concern when using a camping stove inside a tent is carbon monoxide poisoning. Camping stoves use fuel such as propane or white gas and this fuel produces carbon monoxide when burned.

This gas is odorless, colorless, and extremely toxic. Even in small amounts it can cause dizziness, headaches and nausea. In large concentrations it can be fatal.

Fire Hazard

Camping stoves produce open flames which can easily ignite any combustible materials that are nearby. This includes fabrics such as sleeping bags and tents as well as other items like paper or cardboard boxes. If your tent catches on fire it could quickly spread throughout the campsite endangering people and property.

What You Should Do Instead

The safest way to cook while camping is to do so outside of your tent. Try to find an area that’s at least 10 feet away from your tent where you can safely set up your stove. Make sure there are no combustible materials nearby and be sure to keep an eye on the stove at all times while it’s in use.


It is not safe to use a camping stove inside a tent due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and potential fire hazard. The safest way to cook while camping is outside of your tent at least 10 feet away from any combustible materials with constant supervision of the stove in use.

Photo of author

Alex Wright