You are here because you want to use a camping stove indoors but you aren’t sure whether it is possible or not, which is an important question but the problem is it doesn’t have a definitive answer to it.
Can you use a camping stove indoors? yes and no. you can, if you use it in a proper manner. Your biggest concern is CO poisoning, but if make you sure there is enough ventilation you can definitely use them indoors. The second thing is to make sure you use high-end stoves because they have higher efficiency which results in less harmful end products.
Besides CO poisoning our biggest concern is gas leakage and some dangers related to that. Most camping stoves work by compression(by compressing gas like propane inside a strong metal) which means if there is a hole and the pressured gas will find a way out which is not safe in unventilated space.
There are many types of camping stoves* propane, isobutane and many more, I have tried to cover all of them in this article and I have put them on a scale of 1-10 on which is the safest and which is the least safe.
Table of Contents
Types of camping stoves and which the safest
propane stoves are the most common types of stoves, they are used for cooking in many parts of the world and they are probably the safest among different types of stoves that use compressed gas.
propane burns at a lower temperature than kerosene and it doesn’t have a smell as kerosene too which make it more safer and friendly to use. the other things is most High-end propane stoves have almost 0 CO emission, which is probably why they are the most common camping stoves.
Comparing propane camping stoves to other types of camping stoves besides kerosine they burn at a higher temperature and they have a longer stay, they are cleaner when they burn too.
what you have to know is propane stoves that are designed for camping are a bit different from the ones that we use in our home. the thing that makes them different is their size but other than that they have the same function.
the second thing you have to know is you have to know is propane stoves can sometimes get dangerous, why? they have explosive nature if there is any kind of leakage.
Propane will ignite if it is heated up to 920°F(493°C) so you have to be extra careful when dealing with propane stoves especially in a place where there is not enough ventilation.
If you ask me to put it on a scale of 1 to 10 for indoor use, 1 being unsafe and 10 being an electric stove?.
I would give them 7.
Isobutane has some similarities with normal butane but they area bit superior in many ways and more pricey too.
Isobutane has an odor that is somewhat similar to petrol and it can sometimes be used interchangeably with propane.
Are they safe for indoor use, they would probably be the safest next to propane.
Talking about carbon monoxide, isobutane stove is probably the second-worst next to kerosine. you should never use them in a closed space and besides that, you should make sure there is no leakage or any broken passage.
I would isobutane stoves 6.
Many campers love alcohol stoves because they are lightweight, they are not costly and in a sense they are eco-friendly, but they also have high CO emission which makes them unusable in tight space like a cabin or tent but in a bigger house, they are perfect.
What you have to put in mind is they are not a heavy-duty at all you can boil half a liter of water but it is hard to cook with an alcohol stove and due to their small size there isn’t much large amount of CO nither there is nothing to leak so alcohol stoves are of the safe side.
I would give them 9.
kerosine stoves are not common these days. they have a strong odor, they have the highest CO emission, they are expensive and that’s why they are almost out of the market.
Some people choose them because they burn for a long time with a good amount of heat.
I wouldn’t recommend you to use kerosene stoves indoors, but if you are going to, ventilation is a must!
I would give them 4.
petrol stoves are not common and I would say they are safe for indoor use too. they have a very strong smell which is said to causing cancer at high levels
besides that their CO emission is high which as I have said is not healthy
I would give them 5.
This completely depends on the type of solid fuel you use. you can use wood, charcoal, coal, peat, Hexamine fuel tablets. I wouldn’t recommend using any kind of solid for indoor use but if it is a must you can use Hexamine fuel tablets, but the rest aren’t just made for indoors.
I would give them 5.
Leakage and safety
There is some potential leakage in most types of stoves, especially propane. There are many cases of propane leaking from stoves, and these gases can cause an explosion and a fire break out besides that they are harmful gases and they can affect your health.
Carbon monoxide poisoning & CO monitoring kit
CO poisoning is one of the biggest problems you might face if you try to use an outdoor stove for indoor purposes. for most camping stoves they have CO as their end product. CO is a dangerous gas you can pass out from it and it can be fatal in some cases.
CO is formed when there is incomplete combustion of carbon(which is found in every organic compound) newer models of camping stoves have tried to avoid this by trig to create complete combustion of carbon which is ORGANIC MOLECULES + O2 = CO2 + WATER + HEAT.
The amount of CO emission depends on the type of fuel and the stove you use, some have way more harmful end products, some have almost 0 but all this can be avoided by ventilation.
CO is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas so you need a CO monitoring kit to check if there is a significant amount of CO, anything more than 50 PPM(parts per million) is not good safe.
If you want a CO monitoring device you can check this on amazon, I hope you find it helpful.
The key to using your camping stove indoors is proper ventilation and being extra cautious.
If you are using a stove that emits CO, you have to make sure there is enough ventilation. If you are thinking of using it in a tent make sure the tent is breathable(which allows ventilation) or crank open the door’s zipper a little bit or if you are in a house make sure there is enough ventilation by opening your door or window.
Which one is the safest? I would probably say propane stoves are the safest because they don’t have that much of CO emission. And the least safe one is using a stove that uses solid fuel indoors.