There are a few reasons to consider using a camping stove indoors instead of outside while on a camping trip. However, it’s very important to realize that is only safe with certain types of camping stoves and only in well ventilated conditions.
In other cases, trying to use one of these indoors could lead to utter disaster. Safety must come first in all situations, even the type of emergency situations that might result in using a camping stove inside as a necessary option.
Generally speaking, most camping stoves are perfectly safe to use indoors as long as there are open windows and ventilation in order to prevent the build up of carbon monoxide, though it’s generally not recommended unless there are no other options. The exception is a charcoal burner camping stove which should NEVER be used indoors under any circumstances.
Read on for information on each type of camping stove, what you need to know before using any indoors, and safety considerations before using these so you can get the right one for emergency situations and understand which camping stove is best for your preparedness kits.
Can You Use a Propane Camping Stove Safely Indoors?
Propane is one of the most common fuels when it comes to camping stoves. In fact, despite being one of the most common types of camping stoves it’s also the fastest growing styles of camping stoves in production. The classic camping stone with two burners and a decent fuel tank will be propane based the majority of the time.
This is why classic brands like Coleman are widely known for this style of outdoor camping stove, which is the same reliable model and design that many other companies also follow.
Experts generally agree that propane stoves are among the safest camping stoves that can be used indoors during emergency situations. However, proper ventilation is critical as any camping stove used in completely unventilated indoor area is potentially deadly.
Propane is one of the safer and cleaner gasses, but you don’t want it in the air. That said, if there is airflow (windows open, ideally with a fan or a very strong wind coming through or both) then you should be alright.
This is not advised as a long-term solution for a broken oven or stove, but during a long-term emergency due to things like natural disasters, this can be a viable way to cook food, boil water, and take care of those necessities until power returns.
Can You Use a Coleman Propane Camping Stove Indoors?
You should treat a Coleman propane camping stove the same way as any other propane based camping stove. The issue isn’t the brand, it’s the fact that you don’t want to use gas indoors. Especially without proper ventilation in an area.
If cooking on a porch or outside is a viable option, that is better. However, if there are no other options then a Coleman propane camping stove is just as safe as any other propane stove to use indoors.
Arguably possibly even more so because they are a reliable brand known or quality and that matters a lot when treading gray lines for safety. Better a reliable brand like Coleman as opposed to some drop shipping stove that may or may not have been tested to local safety standards before overseas shipping.
Can You Use a Butane Camping Stove Safely Indoors?
Most butane camping stoves are rated as safe to use indoors as long as there is proper ventilation. This is important to note because butane can cause serious issues in an indoor space that doesn’t have breeze or a wind going through.
Butane is a highly flammable gas, and it’s a potentially highly toxic gas especially in closed-in areas. Because of this a butane camping stove should not be used indoors if there are any other options.
If they are to be used inside, they should NEVER:
- Be used in a house with smokers
- Be left on for any amount of time
- Be near flammable curtains or other items
- Be in rooms that don’t have ventilation (preferably with serious fans)
- Be used indoors when there isn’t an absolute emergency
Butane is a great fuel source for camping stoves when those stoves are being used as intended, but they’re not a good option for emergency indoor use. The propane camping stoves are a much better option in that particular situation.
Can You Use a Backpacking Stove Indoors?
Most backpacking stoves will be propane in nature, which makes them one of the best options if you are going to use a backpacking stove indoor. However, depending on the design you may have open flames which is always something that you want to be incredibly wary of inside even if you do have the proper ventilation setup.
If you don’t have proper ventilation in a room then no, it’s not safe to use a backpacking stove indoors there regardless of the other details.
If you are using a small propane backpacking stove, like the one in the picture to the left, this can be a bit safer with the right setup, especially if it’s by a window in a well ventilated room.
Or if by inside you mean a screened-in porch.
Can You Use a Solo Stove Safely Indoors?
Solo stoves are really awesome and incredibly well-designed portable wood burning stoves that use a specially engineered design to take a small amount of wood (twigs and sticks in fact) and create a hot long lasting fire that can be used for warmth, for cooking, for emergency situations.
I’m a huge fan of this design and it’s something that I love to use while out camping. In fact, most mentions of a solo stove by me will be just effusive with praise.
However, that’s when the solo stove is being used out in the wild while camping, cooking outdoors, or otherwise outside in the great outdoors preparing the next meal.
These can even be pretty handy in emergency “I’m this close to hypothermia” situations because once a small fire is going the Solo Stove does a fantastic job of getting heat off of a fire.
However, Solo Stoves should not be used indoors. The reason is simple: open flames. You never want to use open flame sources inside a house or apartment so while these are a great buy, it’s a terrible idea for indoor use.
Now if you want an interesting unique outdoor stove that is perfect for your next weekend out at the lake, then definitely check these guys out and what they have to offer. There are even models that are used for portable outdoor fire pits.
Can You Use a Liquid Fuel Camping Stove Indoors?
Liquid fuel is too general a term. Are you talking kerosene? Propane? Butane? God forbid, some type of gasoline jerry rig (if it is that last one for the love of God – NO!!!)
The fuel type being used matters a lot, as does the type of camping stove. Different stoves and fuel sources will put off different fumes and pose different dangers if there is a flare up or things get out of control.
The general rule of thumb is this: don’t use camping stoves indoors and especially don’t use liquid fuel camping stoves. The “traditional” liquid fuel camping stoves are older, and part of the reason they have fallen out of popularity is the instances of fuel cannisters that leaked.
That’s not just annoying because of a lack of fuel from a previously full tank but that can also be a safety issue even outdoors, much less in an enclosed living area.
If you have to use a camping stove of some type indoors, make sure to go with propane if at all possible.
Can You Use a Charcoal Burner Camping Stove Indoors?
Under no circumstances should you ever use a charcoal burning camping stove indoors. The fire is dangerous, the gas coming off is dangerous, and there will be soot and ash. There are no circumstances where this makes sense or is safe.
While other camping stoves can be used indoors with good ventilation, this isn’t one of them and having open flames inside is just a bad idea even in emergency situations like a natural disaster, there are better options. Use these outside on a porch, a deck, but never inside the house.
Open flames and long burning pieces of charcoal don’t belong anywhere indoors and they just simply are not safe for indoor use whether it’s an emergency situation or not.
Just don’t do it!
The type of camping stove used matters a lot when deciding whether or not a camping stove is safe to use indoors or not. While it’s true that cooking fires and wood burning stoves used to be inside, keep in mind housing was designed around these methods, it makes a difference. You don’t want to be burning gas in an enclosed area without ventilation.
Can this be done in rooms with open windows and some decent ventilation?
Yes. Generally this is only for an emergency situation like the power grid being down for an extended period of time, but it is an option for these situations. Use common sense, follow all instructions for each camping stove, and make sure to be safe first and foremost!
Other articles you may also like: