Can You Use a Camping Stove Indoors? What Are The Risks

portable stove

Who would want to eat cold Dehydrated Food, not me for sure. That is why most people invest in portable stoves to eat a somewhat fresh food while they are camping or hiking, but our question here is can you use the stove in an indoor space?

It is possible to use camping stoves indoors if carefully regulated, but it’s best to monitor the levels of carbon monoxide nearby just to make sure. The best practice is to install a carbon monoxide detector near where you have natural gas burning.

Besides carbon monoxide poisoning our biggest concern is canister explosion and leakage, yes butane stoves might explode! now let me explain how to prevent explosion and I will also compare all types of potables stoves.

Which type of camping stove is the safest for indoor use?

Butane/Isobutane

watch this video explaining how to prevent butane canister explosion

Butane is a colorless gas with a faint petroleum-like odor. It is one of the most common gases used in stoves, especially in portable stoves, there is also an Isobutane stove they are like butane stoves– however, they are a bit superior and more pricey too. So our question is are butane stoves safe for indoor use?

It is possible to use a butane stove indoors– however, there are many cases where a butane canister exploded because of canister overheating, So to prevent that companies came up with a technology called CRV(countersink release vent), so always make sure your butane canister is CRV listed before you use it indoors.

What this technology does is when the canister is overheated it has holes around the top of the canister which will start to release the heated butane and will prevent an explosion. so always before you buy your butane tanks make sure they are CRV listed.

Another big concern is carbon monoxide poisoning, when using butane stoves indoors it is very important to make sure there is adequate ventilation. It is best if you have a CO monitoring kit that way you can monitor if there is an unsafe amount of carbon monoxide.

Propane

A KETTLE ON A CAMPING STOVE

Propane is a highly flammable and compressible natural gas that we get from oil refining. propane is used widely in many household stoves it is also common in portable stoves.

people prefer propane stove when in colder conditions however it is heavier to pressurize so it tends to be bulkier than butane canisters that is why butane stoves are much preferable than propane stoves– however, propane stoves are as much common as butane stoves so no wonder people want to know if they can use them indoors;

You can use portable propane stoves indoors, they function similarly to propane stoves used in many households– however, make sure there is adequate ventilation, and don’t use them in a very tight space.

Propane Leakage and safety

how to check if there is a propane leak

If you suspect there is a leakage, what I meant by that is if you smell propane I mean propane is an odorless gas it is the chemical called mercaptan that gives it its distinctive “rotten egg” smell, anyways if you smell that there is a leakage and you should be cautious.

Propane leakage might be caused by two ways; one is if there is a problem with the valve if that is the case you can close the tank -however, if the issue is with the canister it is crucial that you don’t try to repair the tank any further by yourself and let a professional determine a time to come to your place to do a system check or pick up the tank.

In this case, where the propane tank is portable, it is best if you take it outside where there is ventilation and airflow.

The second and most common issue is carbon monoxide, when propane burns with enough oxygen it produces co2 and h2o– however, when there is no enough o2 which is most of the time unless you are in a laboratory-controlled condition there is going to be carbon monoxide, so it is very crucial to make sure there is enough ventilation.

Denatured Alcohol

alcohol stove

Denatured Alcohol is probably the third most common type of fuel used in portable stoves nest to propane and butane stoves. People love alcohol stoves because they are super cheap and in a sense they are eco-friendly, but they also have high carbon monoxide emissions which makes them unusable in tight spaces like a cabin or tent but in bigger spaces they are ok.

The thing with alcohol stoves is they aren’t made for heavy-duty cooking they just do simple things like boiling small water and heating a small amount of food, so why would you even want to use them if you aren’t in a tough condition.

kerosene

kerosene stove

kerosene is probably the oldest fashioned fule to use. It is very unhealthy it produces many unhealthy gases that are harmful and most kerosine stoves are aesthetically unpleasing. I don’t even get the reason to buy them in the first place.

The only advantage you get with kerosine stoves is they are powerful and they burn at a high temperature, if not for this advantage they are of no use.

One thing I would tell you if you are looking to buy a kerosene stove is to sell it😂

Solid fuel

I don’t think anyone reading this article is thinking of using solid fuels when reading this article but in case you are there are a variety of solid fuels that can be used some of them are harmful some of them aren’t it is going to be hard to list them all but as always ventilation is key.

CO poisoning & CO-monitoring kit

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is toxic to humans and animals. if the concentration of carbon monoxide is more than 35 ppm it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, check this article to read more about co poisoning.

A `CO-monitoring kit is a device that makes a sound when there is an unsafe amount of carbon monoxide present in the air.

Having a co-monitoring kit around your portable stove is a nice way to make sure if the concentration of CO is safe. If you want a CO monitoring device you can check this on amazon, it is the highest-rated one on amazon.

Ventilation is the key

I can’t emphasize this more, for instance, if you are using a butane stove if it is CRV listed and there is adequate ventilation there is literally no reason you can’t use it in any place you want. If you are using a propane stove and even if there is leakage ventilation can save you from danger.