Best Tent Stoves To Go From Frigid To Cozy Winter Camping

By Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: July 13, 2022

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Tent Stoves You Can Buy

Tent Stoves

You no longer have to suffer cold nights inside a tent!

Instead, add a tent stove to your camping gear.

And while traditional tent wood stoves are big and heavy, there are now many lightweight options.

Stoves you can pack, carry, and set up with ease.

Not to mention the latest tent stove accessories like;

  • water heaters
  • chimney ovens
  • warming trays

When you are done reading this guide, you’ll be a convert, just like me.

So today, we’ll be covering the following topics:


Different Types Of Tent Stoves

Camping Life Before Tent Stoves

Reasons To Get A Tent Wood Stove

Best Tent Stove Accessories

Camping Stove Safety Advice

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Note: This post is primarily about wood tent stoves – we also have a post on tent heaters that covers propane and electric options.

Types Of Tent Stoves (plus 7 recommendations)

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and offer a wide array of accessories.

However, the best tent stove for you comes down to 4 main factors:

  • The size of the tent you want to heat
  • How far do you need to pack the stove
  • How much weight you’re willing to carry
  • And as always, the price

So let’s break down the different types of tent wood stoves and touch on each of these 4 factors.

Heavy Steel Stoves

Heavy steel stoves are generally made of thicker rolled steel.

With the added mass, they hold heat for longer and provide more even heating.

Thicker walls also resist warping.

This means the doors seal better and keep smoke from leaking into the tent.

Most heavy steel stoves also have an integrated stovetop, which gives you a place to heat water and cook meals.

Many of them also feature cold-air inlets and stovepipe dampers.

These features help control airflow and allow for longer burn times.

Of course, they weigh more (a wall tent and heavy steel stove are generally a full load for an ATV or packhorse).

And are often more expensive than other stove types.

But they’re far more durable, so the investment can be worth it.

Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Burning Stove

The Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove is built to last.

Keeps coffee and saucepans hot on top, brings water to a boil, and cooks bacon and eggs!

The legs detach, the pipes nest and the entire stove fits inside itself for easy storage and smooth transport.

Contents include:

  • 5 pipes
  • detachable legs
  • assembly hardware
  • ash rake and fire poker/door opener
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↓ Guide Gear Wood Stove ↓

SHTFandGO Bullet Proof Stoves

This gravity-fed SHTFandGo Tent Stove is Made In The USA.

It's a super heavy-duty gravity self-feeding stove.

It includes a well-positioned carry handle for easy transportation, and this stove includes an extra-wide base for stability.

It's a perfect stove for camping, preppers, and survivalists!

And this stove can be used as a tent stove in a pinch (IF you make sure to use a chimney to aspirate to the outside).

You only need a few sticks (the size of your thumb) to operate the rocket stove.

It's also heavy-duty steel so that it won't warp over time like stamped steel stoves.

The cooking grate is wide enough to support large pots - making it perfect for survival cooking

It comes painted flat black with a high heat resistant 1200*F paint. 

Accepts standard 3-inch venting pipe.

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↓ Bullet Proof Rocket Stove Tent Heater Demonstration ↓

Heavy Duty Cylinder Tent Stove

This is one heavy-duty tent wood stove.

And it's full of useful features such as:

  •  A wide form shelf/drying rack
  • Adjustable legs for uneven ground
  • All parts store inside for easy transportation
  • water tank brackets (tank sold separately)
  • 5-inch diameter chimney pipe (over 10 ft. total height)
  • Wire spark arrestor
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↓ Camp Chef Alpine Heavy-Duty Cylinder System ↓

Lightweight Stoves

If you have to carry your stove far, then a lightweight tent wood stove is the only sensible option.

These stoves are designed to take advantage of lightweight galvanized steel.

This alone cuts nearly half the weight of a comparable steel stove.

This makes a difference when you’re calculating loads for a horse. Or having to make multiple trips to get all your gear to camp.

With the lighter weight, you generally sacrifice some of the durability.

The stoves don’t hold heat as long as heavier models.

This is offset by a lower price point, which can be an attractive tradeoff, especially if planned usage is occasional.

Gstove Heat Camping Stove - Starterpack

The G stove is a great tent stove for starters.

It's both lightweight and efficient.

Meaning it doesn't take much wood to get some nice heat generation.

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↓ Best Wood Stove For Winter Camping!! ↓

Collapsible Stoves

As the name suggests, a collapsible one is designed to fold or disassemble.

This makes them much more convenient to pack.

Their construction is usually similar to lightweight stoves.

These stoves are made of galvanized steel and with thinner walls.

These stoves are great if space is an issue, such as packing into boats or aircraft.

They’re usually a little more expensive than a standard lightweight stove.

This is due to the engineering involved in the collapsible features.

And the collapsible stove body, the stovepipe often telescopes – saving space.

Uncompahgre Collapsible Pack Stove

The Uncompahgre Collapsible Pack Stove measures 23"x14"x11" at the firebox and stands 19" tall when assembled.

It has a 4" round stovetop flue hole and a control damper in the door.

Built with 20 gauge black steel and coated with 1200-degree stove paint. It won't bubble and peel off when hot.

The total weight for the Uncompahgre is just 32- lbs!

folded up tent stove

So it fits perfectly in a pannier for packing in on horseback.

The Uncompahgre Collapsible Pack Stove comes with 5 pcs of nesting stove pipe that is 20" long each and a mesh spark arrestor.

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tent wood stove from far away

Camping Life Before Tent Stoves

Winter Camping

Those two words bring chilly memories of frozen boots and morning tent frost.

As a Boy Scout, I spent a lot of nights dreading the morning.

You know, that moment you must leave your toasty warm sleeping bag.

Shivering uncontrollably until the sun gets over the tree line.

Hunkering around a small fire – warming your hands while waiting for breakfast.

It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way

Since moving west, I’ve upgraded my camping gear.

I’ve switched to mountaineering sleeping bags and pads. I’ve even bought a cold weather tent.

Yet I still spent my share of freezing cold nights dreading the morning.

That is until an elk hunting trip showed me what I’ve been missing out on…

The Hunting Trip

If you’ve ever spent time in the mountains during the fall, you know the weather can change at the drop of a hat.

When you’re planning a hunting trip months in advance, you must be ready for anything.

From blazing sun to dumping snow.

Now, some hunters are lucky. They have a cabin in an area with elk herds nearby.

Others bring motorhomes or travel trailer rigs.

But some of the prime areas are located in the deep remote wilderness. I’m talking about locations far from the nearest road and accessed only by horseback or ATV.

In these far-flung hunting camps, a canvas wall tent (like this one from Elk Mountain),  is a common sight.

When we arrived at my friend’s family hunting camp, the snow had been falling for several hours.

The temperatures were dropping fast. I had packed for a cold camp, but I was starting to worry our canvas tent wouldn’t be enough. But those fears disappeared the minute I stepped inside.

I was met with a blanket of warm air from a roaring tent wood stove.

Right then, I was a tent stove convert!

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

wall tent stove in canvas tent

Reasons Why You Should Get A Tent Wood Stove

In extreme winter conditions, the need to stay warm and dry is critical to comfort and survival.

And nothing beats a tent stove for a warm portable shelter in the worst conditions.

Warmth and Comfort

First, you can sleep comfortably and get up easily.

Stoking a fire before heading to bed means a smooth start to the morning.

With a quick fire to heat up the tent while you get dressed and ready to head out for the day.

Easy Camp Cooking

We all know it can be a challenge to make a warm campsite meal in the winter.

And MRE meals just won’t cut it for my camping trips.

But with a tent stove, you harness the stove’s heat to cook some delicious meals – in a warm camping tent.

Better yet, most tent wood stoves include a cooking surface.

That way, you can start the day with a warm breakfast and hot coffee!

Dry Out Wet Gear

Speaking of getting dressed, a wood stove’s dry heat helps dry out wet or snowy survival gear with ease.

The bottom line is:

Don’t underestimate the power of dry clothes, warm food, and a warm space to relax.

Best Tent Stove Accessories

Most tent wood stoves (other than the ultralight models) come with a few core accessories:

  • wood grate
  • stovepipe
  • stove jack
  • spark arrestor

But there are other accessories out there that can make a winter camp even better.

Pipe Damper

A flap damper valve in the stovepipe helps slow the airflow through the stove.

This reduces the fuel burn rate and allows a load of firewood to last all night instead of just a couple of hours.

Some tent wood stoves come with one, but a pipe damper is a worthwhile addition if it doesn’t.

Hot Water Tank / Water Heater

A stove water tank hangs on the side of the stove pipe.

These units ensure you have warm water available (whenever the stove runs).

Hot water is ideal for washing up or starting another pot of coffee.

Just keep it topped up to prevent warping.

If you have one of the Elk Mountain heavy-duty cylinder stoves (or a 14″ cylinder stove in general), check out this 3-gallon hot water tank made for that specific model.

Chimney Oven

A chimney oven allows many other cooking options, including baking.

It uses the waste heat from a tent wood stove to warm a small oven.

Allowing you to bake mini pizzas, rolls, casseroles, whatever!

It’s one of the best tent stove upgrades.

Fresh biscuits with breakfast? Excellent!

Pellet or Propane Burner Kits

You’ll need to resort to alternative fuels in areas with limited firewood.

Some are rigged to burn propane or pellets.

Just make sure you check the specific alternative fuel compatibility before you purchase.

Alternative fuels are “extra” accessories, not all these stoves can accommodate.

Stove Mat / Tent Shield

This 3’x5′ stove mat and/or tent shield is a worthwhile accessory as it helps protects your tent from the heat.

They are made from silicone fiberglass and have grommets in each corner, so you can either stake it to the ground or hang it up.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Camping Stove Safety Advice

Finally, no discussion about stoves inside tents would be complete without a BIG warning.

Make sure your stove is well maintained and vented to the outside.

Burning ANY fuel produces carbon monoxide and other combustion gases.

These toxic gases can cause:

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • breathing issues
  • death (in high enough concentrations)

Be sure to inspect your stove pipe regularly.

Make sure all connections are tight.

You can’t afford a mistake.

If correctly set up and maintained, no smoke should escape into the tent.

Do this with care to prevent a tragedy.

 Final Thoughts

Winter camps don’t have to be a bleak, cold experience.

A well-built canvas wall tent and a roaring fire in a tent wood stove can make camp a warm refuge.

It can keep you safe from the bitter cold, snowy, or wet weather.

They can provide a safe space to dry out, cook a hot meal, and gather and relax at the end of the day.

If your plans include an extended stay in cold weather, do yourself a favor and get a tent stove.

Do it now before unzipping your sleeping bag for one more icy morning.

Note: I’ve also published an article on portable tent AC units for those who want to beat the heat in the summer camping season.

Jason K.

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