Today I have something really important to share…
An Ultimate Guide To Finding, Buying & Using Tent Stove
Because you don’t have to suffer cold nights inside a tent!
Instead, add a tent stove to your camping gear.
And while traditional tent wood stoves are heavy, there are now lightweight options…
Stoves you can pack, carry, and set up with ease.
TOPICS IN THIS GUIDE… ↓(click to jump)
- 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
- Dispelling 5 Common Tent Stove Myths
NOTE: This post is primarily about wood tent stoves – we also have a post on tent heaters that covers propane and electric options.
Tent stoves come in a variety of shapes and sizes and offer a wide array of accessories.
However, the best hot 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.
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.
- 5 pipes
- detachable legs
- assembly hardware
- ash rake and fire poker/door opener
↓ Guide Gear Wood Stove
This gravity-fed SHTFandGo Tent Stove is Made In The USA.
It's a heavy-duty gravity self-feeding stove.
It includes a well-positioned 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 heavy-duty steel 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.
↓ Bullet Proof Rocket Stove Demonstration
This is one heavy-duty tent wood stove.
And it's full of useful features such as:
- A wide form shelf | drying side racks
- 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
↓ Camp Chef Alpine Heavy-Duty Cylinder System
If you have to carry your stove far, then a lightweight tent stove is only sensible.
These stoves are designed to take advantage of lightweight galvanized steel (or even a stainless steel stove).
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.
This rugged, 304 stainless steel stove is crafted with precision to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at it.
This bad boy won't rust or corrode, making it a top pick for tough outdoor environments!
It includes one sturdy stove body and a set of five chimney pipes, each 2.5 inches in diameter, to channel smoke away.
It also comes with a spark arrestor to keep things safe and an ash scraper for easy cleaning.
Size-wise, when packed, this stove is a compact 15” x 8” x 8”, but don't let that fool you.
Once you set it up, it expands to 15” x 20” x 90” — yep, that's 90 inches of total height, including the chimney, so you're getting plenty of exhaust space.
And the firebox? A spacious 800 cubic inches for a roaring fire.
But here's the kicker: it's super portable.
The stove has a 4-leg nesting design that folds flat, and the chimney pipes? They neatly stow away inside the stove body.
Plus, it has side shelves that double as a carry handle.
All this, and it only weighs 20 pounds!
Lastly, it's perfect for heating and cooking in small spaces.
Whether you're in a canvas tent, teepee, yurt, shack, or even a tiny home, this stove's got you covered.
↓ Winnerwell Nomad Review
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.
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!
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.
Weighing in at just 4.4 lbs., this stove is a game-changer for your outdoor adventures.
It boasts a compact design measuring 14x7.8x7.48 inches, extendable to 10.9 inches with its sturdy legs.
So it all neatly packs into a laptop-sized carrying bag.
The door features a tough 4.5x2.7 inch glass window made from 4mm thick glass, tough enough to withstand outdoor rigors.
This stove is crafted entirely from TA1 titanium.
That means it's about 60% lighter than your typical stainless steel stove and won't easily warp, even under high temperatures.
The stove itself has a robust 0.6cm thickness, with a super-thin yet durable 0.1mm chimney.
It's a breeze to set up and foldable in just 2 minutes, thanks to its rivet-fixed structure, eliminating any worry about losing screws.
The 'H' style legs ensure stability on uneven terrain, and the top panel can support up to 22 lbs – perfect for heating or cooking.
Cleaning is easy too, with a handy hook to clear out the ash.
Plus, there's a spark arrestor to keep your tent safe from stray sparks.
↓ Danchel Outdoor Titanium Tent Stove
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.
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 stove.
Right then, I was a tent stove convert!Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.
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 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.
Most tent stoves (other than the ultralight models) come with a few core accessories:
- wood grate
- stove jack
- spark arrestor
But there are other accessories out there that can make a winter camp even better.
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.
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 hot tenting 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.Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.
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:
- 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.
Myth #1: “Tent Stoves Are Too Heavy to Carry!”
Sure, some old-school tent stoves can be heavy.
But there are plenty of lightweight options out there nowadays.
Modern materials like titanium, stainless steel, aluminum make ’em much easier to lug around.
So don’t let weight be your excuse to freeze in the wild!
Myth #2: “Tent Stoves Are a Fire Hazard!”
These tent stoves are designed with safety in mind.
Many come with spark arrestors, heat shields, and sturdy construction to keep the flames where they belong.
Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and you’ll be safe and WARM!
Myth #3: “Tent Stoves Are Too Expensive!”
It’s true that some top-of-the-line tent stoves can break the bank.
But there are budget-friendly options out there that’ll still keep you warm.
Plus, think of it as an investment in your comfort and survival – ain’t no price tag on that!
Myth #4: “You Need a Large Tent for a Tent Stove!”
While big tents are great for spreading out, there are plenty of compact stoves designed for smaller shelters.
So you can cozy up without needing a mansion-sized tent.
Myth #5: “Tent Stoves Are Hard to Set Up!”
They might seem a bit daunting at first, but with a little practice, you’ll be setting up your tent stove like a pro.
Most come with clear instructions.
And there are plenty of videos online to help you get the hang of it.
Just remember, anything worth having takes a little effort.
Winter camps don’t have to be a bleak, cold experience.
A well-built canvas wall tent and a roaring fire in a tent 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.
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