November 17, 2023 4 min read
A camping stove may seem like the easiest part of glamping. All you have to do is place it in your bell tent/glawning, right? There are much more pressing matters, like actually getting to the campsite, finding the perfect spot and pitching in all sorts of weather (fingers crossed for sun!). Throw a few logs in, light a match and Bob's your uncle…if you remembered your kindling and firelighters!
There are, in fact, a few things you’ll want to consider before using your portable wood burning stove at a campsite. Not to worry - these are very simple.
So, let’s go back to basics:
Lighting the fire
Firstly, what’s the best material to burn in your camping stove? We swear by kiln dried hardwood, the kind we use on our home wood-burner. One fuel that is also quite popular, and that many glawning stove customers use, is well-seasoned firewoods such as Lekto. They're extra dry, sustainably sourced and they can be a cheaper option compared to kiln dried wood.
However, you may want to scrap wood altogether and go down an eco-friendlier route now that more options are becoming available. If so, biofuel may be the choice for your camping stove since it emits fewer harmful carbon gases and reduces air pollution (we'll do another blog on that in due course!). Making this simple change could benefit the environment all around you.
Our glawningGLOW woodburner is suitable for burning wood or biofuel, but we avoid coal; it burns too hot and can decrease the longevity of the stove.
Before you light a fire always think safety first. We recommend having a small fire extinguisher, fire gloves, a fire blanket, a carbon monoxide detector, fire guard etc nearby for peace of mind. Check the weather forecast. If Storm Debi is on the way think twice. These tents and stoves are not made for extreme weather although they do perform much better than your average awning due to their structure. Your stove comes with printed safety instructions for your perusal before use.
Testing the camping stove out
Now you’ve chosen your source of fuel, and lit your stove…wait, take a step back. Make sure you’re testing your stove for the first time outside your tent/Glawning and light it up a few times before your trip. It’s common for some smoke to be produced with the first use as the paint cures, so it’s best to burn it outside and avoid creating the smoky tavern effect or leaving your tent with an ‘ash tray’ aroma. These stoves make excellent garden stoves too e.g. on the patio or decking so have a play at home first. Our gloven has a BBQ function that can only be used outside. All of our stoves can also be fitted in summer houses so they double up as a good investment for both home and away.
So, we’ve covered fuel and pre-burning, what's next? Well…let’s work from the ground up. We recommend popping something under the camping stove to protect your lovely matting - a heat mat, a rug or barbecue mat would do the job well. Better still our stove platforms as they will really stand the test of time. Although the stoves are designed to produce little downward heat, there's always a chance that a few hot embers will escape when you open the door to top up the fuel so make sure you have something coming out far enough at the front to catch any rogue sparks.
Some ‘glawners’ have had the ingenious idea of using a dog crate for stove safety. The base tray can be placed under the stove to protect the matting and the crate itself can double up as a fire guard around the stove to protect small kids and pets.
Okay, one last thing.
Now that you’ve got your stove resting comfortably in your Glawning/bell tent, you’ve tested it out and all seems fine, it’s time to consider the chimney.
A flashing kit is first needed to finish installing the stove in your tent.
Anyone buying a glawning during the last couple of years will have a pre-fitted stove jack on the polycotton tents and glawnings we now sell. You need to do some cutting but not much and there is a guide on our YouTube channel and one for fitting a larger flue pipe here on Tik Tok. It's a good idea to install a double walled flue on these as it increases the longeveity of your flashing kit.
For those of you with our original 100% cotton canvas tents without a pre-fitted stove jack all of the installation information for ‘cutting the hole’ is available here .We have written a handy blog and created a video on the very topic of installing your flashing kit - you can read it here and watch our video.
Don't forget to give your flue a regular clean to ensure optimum air flow – our professional hack is to shove a dirt cheap loo brush up the pipe....giving your tent a wide berth whilst doing so!
In light winds it's a good idea to pop a jubilee clip at each of the joins to make sure the flue can't be pulled apart by the wind flapping the canvas. Avoid use in strong winds to err on the side of caution.
Now sit back and relax with the warmth from the fire, regardless of the weather. Crack open the beverages, fry up your steaks on top of the stove, toast those marshmallows. Happy Glamping all year round!
PS. Don't forget to book the Campsite
To see our extensive list of campsites who welcome glawnings & wood-burners, click: here! Call it a cooking stove when booking because that's what it is. Campsites don't like open fires as they scorch the grass but these stoves are all fully off the ground, enclosed, and flued out safely.
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