One of the best features of wall tents is that you can safely heat them with a wood stove. You no longer have to worry about adding ten layers of clothes to get a decent night of sleep. Just pop some logs in the stove and wait for your wall tent to reach that perfect snug temperature.
With so many tent stove options out there, how do you know which one is right for you? Our guide helps you choose the right tent stove for a comfortable camping experience during any season.
Rather than telling you which stoves are “the best,” we’re going to give you the tools to choose your own based on what’s important to you and your family. These are the most important factors to consider when buying a wall tent wood stove.
What Is a Wall Tent Wood Stove?
A wall tent wood stove is a portable stove that burns wood as fuel. Most wall tent stoves include a few basic parts:
- An enclosed firebox with a feeding port and vent
- A chimney pipe with a flue and damper
- A flat surface for your cookware and food
- Storage panels or warming trays
It’s a fairly basic design that’s evolved and perfected over hundreds of years. The stove sits on the ground of your wall tent, with the chimney pipe sticking out through a stove jack. The stove jack allows you to burn wood without filling the tent up with smoke. The hot air from the fire is released through the stove’s vent, heating your tent to perfection.
Using a tent stove is pretty simple:
- Open the feeding port door to access the firebox.
- Stack your firewood and kindling inside the firebox.
- Check to make sure the chimney damper and door vent are open.
- Use a lighter or match to start your fire.
- Close and latch the feeding port door.
There are four types of wood stoves made for canvas wall tents. Each design offers unique features and benefits for your heating and cooking needs.
1. Steel Stoves
Steel stoves are sturdy, durable wood stoves made from heavy rolled steel. They’re heavier than other types of tent stoves, weighing up to 75 or 80 pounds. But they’re one of the most effective options. They can heat large spaces, making them ideal for larger wall tents, like the 16’x24’ Alpha Wall Tent. Most steel stoves can burn up to sixteen hours straight. They’re made with high-quality materials that will last a lifetime. Steel stoves are best for large spaces, extended winter camping trips, or glamping structures.
2. Lightweight Stoves
Lightweight stoves, or military stoves, are almost as effective as heavy steel stoves. Due to their material, they’re easier to pack and transport. They’re made with one or two layers of galvanized metal, like aluminum or titanium. They’re reliable but probably won’t last as long as a heavy-gauge steel stove. Lightweight stoves usually weigh between 12 and 35 pounds, with the ability to heat a small to medium wall tent, like the 14’x16’ Alpha Wall Tent. Most lightweight stoves can burn up to ten hours. They’re best for large groups of people and weekend camping trips.
3. Collapsible Stoves
Collapsible stoves are similar to lightweight stoves, but they fold up for easy mobility. They’re made with galvanized metals, so they weigh about the same as a typical lightweight stove. And since they’re roughly the same size, they can burn just as long. Some collapsible stoves have foldable legs and stove pipes, while others are completely collapsible. Collapsible stoves are easy to pack and store, making them an excellent choice for weekend campers with limited space.
4. Backpacker Stoves
Backpacker stoves are the lightest, most portable option available. They’re usually made with featherlight titanium, weighing less than ten pounds. Since backpacker stoves are smaller and lighter than other wood stoves, they’re not as efficient at heating large spaces. But they can burn hot for up to three hours in smaller wall tents, like the 8’x10’ Alpha Wall Tent. Most backpacker stoves are a single firebox design, so there’s no need for a chimney pipe. They’re a great option for backpackers, quick trips, and wall tents without a stove jack.
Why Do You Need a Wall Tent Wood Stove?
Wall tent wood stoves serve multiple purposes. They’re the most efficient way to heat your wall tent, cook your food, dry your damp clothes, and reduce condensation. Using a wood stove in your tent during the winter is called “hot tenting.” It’s the best way to endure the frigid winter temperatures. And with our handy firewood log carrier, using a wood stove is as easy as ever.
Most wall tents come with a built-in stove jack. The fact that stove jacks are a standard wall tent feature indicates the importance of using a wood stove in your tent. Even if your tent doesn’t have a stove jack, you can make a DIY stove jack and still enjoy the benefits of a wall tent wood stove.
You can use a wood stove any time of the year, but they’re handy during the colder months. They’re the best way to stay warm while you’re camping in the winter. Depending on the size of your wall tent and stove, you can reach cozy temperatures in a few short minutes. You have complete control over the internal climate of your wall tent, with the ability to add wood and adjust the door vent. Camping with a wood stove is the only surefire way to make sure you stay comfortable throughout your trip, day or night.
Tent stoves are also great tools for cooking. Most stoves include a stovetop surface and warming trays so you can cook your meals to perfection. They’re also effective drying mechanisms. Many tent stoves come with side racks, which are perfect for drying out your cold, damp clothes. And just having a wood stove in your tent reduces condensation and humidity, two of the most common things that contribute to discomfort.
Whether you’re using your tent stove for heating, cooking, or drying, you’ll appreciate what it can do for you in myriad ways.
How Do You Choose the Best Wall Tent Wood Stove?
Wall tent wood stoves can be a valuable investment that adds even more joy to your camping experiences. It’s important to choose the best wood stove for your wall tent so that you can get the most bang for your buck. Here are some things to look for when you’re in the market for a wall tent wood stove.
Multiple factors play into the weight of your wall tent stove. Size, material, and mobility are the main three. Heavier rolled steel stoves usually weigh between 20 and 80 pounds. They can heat larger spaces but are difficult to transport and store. An 80-pound wood stove will likely take multiple people to carry and set up. Lightweight stainless steel or titanium stoves weigh between 10 and 35 pounds, so they’re easier to pack, move, and assemble.
Collapsible stoves are a great compromise, weighing between 15 and 40 pounds. They’re made with lighter metal that’s still durable enough to last many years. Backpacker stoves can weigh as little as three to four pounds, making them the most lightweight option.
If you’re trying to heat a large space or focus on long-term durability, aim for a lightweight stove. If mobility and storage are concerns, opt for a collapsible stove. And if you’re trying to reduce overall weight, check out a backpacker stove.
Stove shape, wall layering, and size are also important factors in deciding what kind of wood stove is best for you. Cylinder stoves are generally lighter when compared to box stoves. And single-wall stoves are lighter than double-walled stoves.
Heavier steel stoves are usually larger than lightweight stoves, so if size is an issue, consider opting for a smaller stove. It’s up to you to decide what kind of tradeoffs you’re willing to make to ensure you get the most out of your purchase.
The material of your wall tent wood stove is important. You want to make sure you choose the right stove for your wall tent. It should be functional, reliable, and safe. The three most common materials for wood stoves are steel and titanium.
If you’re looking for a durable, long-lasting stove, look no further than a heavy-duty steel stove. They heat your tent faster, keep it hot longer, and will last many generations. Stainless steel stoves are a great midpoint between utility and durability.
They’re still pretty tough but aren’t quite as indestructible as a traditional steel stove. They can warp over time if the metal isn’t galvanized and lose heat faster than a steel stove. Titanium (or aluminum) stoves are lightweight and easy to use, but they don’t last as long as rugged steel stoves.
If you’re camping near your vehicle, you won’t need to worry as much about mobility. Most standard wall tent stoves fit comfortably into your car or truck for transport. But if you’re heading into the backcountry or short on space, think about the mobility and portability of your tent stove.
Transporting a wall tent wood stove can be cumbersome if you’re carrying a 60-70 pound steel stove. Consider a lightweight, collapsible stove for easier transport. And if you’re traveling long distances—on foot, horseback, or sled—you’ll want to lean towards an even lighter option. Aim for a fully collapsible stove that fits into your backpack or bag, like a backpacker stove.
There are some basic features to look out for when you’re in the market for a wood stove. These are the most common features that can make or break your tent stove experience.
Stove legs. Make sure your wood stove comes with legs. They help raise the stove off the floor for better heat circulation.
Wood grate. For an efficient fire that burns longer, you’ll need ample airflow through your fire. A wood grate or ash rack lifts the wood off the bottom of the firebox, allowing air to flow through underneath.
Door window. Though not essential, it’s nice to have a window on the front of your firebox door. That way, you can keep an eye on your fire and make adjustments as necessary (without energy loss).
Spark arrestor. If you want to avoid causing a forest fire, you’ll need a spark arrestor (or spark guard) on the top of your chimney pipe. The spark arrestor catches sparks and cinders that fly up the chimney. It ensures they don’t float into the air and catch fire or burn holes in your tent. If you’re camping in wet conditions, consider adding a rain cap to your spark arrestor, so it doesn’t get clogged.
Stove jack. A stove jack is necessary for preventing damage and fire hazards in your tent. Most high-end wall tents come with a built-in stove jack, but if your wall tent doesn’t have one, you’ll need one.
Warming tray. A warming tray gives you a place to safely set aside your meals so they can stay warm for a while. Plus, they give you more surface area for cooking and cleaning.
Water heater. Some higher-end tent stoves come with an optional water heater tank you can attach to the side of your stove. The capacity ranges between two and five gallons, depending on the size and ability of your stove. A water heater is great to have in the winter. It quickly heats the water you can use for cooking, bathing, and morning coffee.
Chimney pipe. The chimney pipe, or stove pipe, is an essential part of your wood stove. It allows smoke to rise up and out of your tent so you don’t suffocate from smoke inhalation. You’ll also want to attach a pipe elbow to the chimney.
Pipe damper. Another vital part of your wood stove is the damper. It controls airflow in and out of your firebox, allowing you to adjust heat output. It also helps improve fuel efficiency, so you burn less wood.