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Author Topic: CO2 in Tents  (Read 1502 times)

Offline APPaul

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CO2 in Tents
« on: December 19, 2017, 09:31:20 am »
Just an article about CO2 in tents. It's mostly about using gas stoves to cook, but applicable to wood stoves too.

https://gearjunkie.com/carbon-monoxide-gas-cook-heat-tents

Offline Jawax

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Re: CO2 in Tents
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 10:09:50 am »
A good reminder about the dangers of CO (not CO2) in tents.  Most of the accidents I've heard of involved fuel burning stoves in smaller tents, but the wood burned in our somewhat leaky woods stoves also produce CO.  It's crossed my mind before to set up my tent close by sometime and see if I can talk the local gas guys to come out and use their high quality CO meters to measure different places in the tent. 

Offline rbinhood

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Re: CO2 in Tents
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 10:16:13 am »
My concern would be with nylon tents repurposed to use as 4 season winter tents. Aside from a zipped shut, tight tent not providing much ventilation, the tight weave of the nylon fabric does not breathe much, and gets worse if water vapor condenses and freezes on the inside. The frost can turn such a tent into a tomb.

The simplest solution is to bring a battery operated CO alarm along. Might be overkill, but there is not a lot of room for error with carbon monoxide poisoning.

My own story is years ago I built a steel sided ice shack that I went to great pains to seal with expanding foam in all of the cracks. I put a 3 burner gas cook top in it that I salvaged from an old pop-up camper. What I did not know was the cook top has a pilot light that lit once you lit one of the burners with a match. I was in the shack one night after I had cooked dinner on the cook top and began to feel woozy. It came on real fast, and I was sitting next to the door, which I quickly opened. I immediately felt better with a blast of fresh air. I didn't have the heat on in the shack when this happened, so I knew that was not the problem. I went over to the cook top and pulled off the upper cover, and there was the culprit in the form a glowing yellow pilot light. Over the course of an hour after I stopped cooking and ate dinner, it had been spewing carbon monoxide into the shack. I am lucky I did not go to bed with it burning because I doubt I would have been alive in the morning.

Charcoal heaters, kerosene heaters, propane heaters, gas or oil heaters, and yes, even woodstoves can all make carbon monoxide. Be careful. Be very careful. You may not get a second chance.
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Offline kinguq

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Re: CO2 in Tents
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 10:22:27 am »
My concern would be with nylon tents repurposed to use as 4 season winter tents. Aside from a zipped shut, tight tent not providing much ventilation, the tight weave of the nylon fabric does not breathe much, and gets worse if water vapor condenses and freezes on the inside. The frost can turn such a tent into a tomb.

I think this is overstated when using a wood stove (as opposed to any non-chimneyed stove). A wood stove is constantly sucking air out of your tent, and that air has to come from somewhere. If the tent was airtight the stove would quickly run out of oxygen and extinguish, long before you would. Not to mention that the tent would collapse inwards as the air pressure inside was reduced.

Of course the danger is all too real when using any non-chimneyed gas stove.

Kinguq.

Offline Bothwell Voyageur

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Re: CO2 in Tents
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 10:43:59 am »
Probably one reason, among others, why running a stove at night is not a great idea.

At least most of the wood stoves used by folk on here run out of wood after a fairly short space of time.
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Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: CO2 in Tents
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 11:07:56 am »
I think the big problem is if you run a stove when sleeping, in a tente that have little ventilation, if you run your stove(I'm talking non gaz stove here no chimney, cook stove.) to prep meal and that you have ventilation hight and low, the chances of getting enough CO to kill you is moderate, but of course if you have the same stove or a space heater on while you're having a nap w/o any openings in the tent cause it is windy and cold outside then your nap might become a long sleep...

I also think that a tent with a  floor is also more of a problem than a floor less tent. We have our stove running as long as we can in the winter and have friends that keep theres running all night all the time and the risk is there for sure I guess, I think it is moderate in a canvas floor less leaky tente!

Offline trapmusher

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Re: CO2 in Tents
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 11:29:44 am »
My concern would be with nylon tents repurposed to use as 4 season winter tents. Aside from a zipped shut, tight tent not providing much ventilation, the tight weave of the nylon fabric does not breathe much, and gets worse if water vapor condenses and freezes on the inside. The frost can turn such a tent into a tomb.

I think this is overstated when using a wood stove (as opposed to any non-chimneyed stove). A wood stove is constantly sucking air out of your tent, and that air has to come from somewhere. If the tent was airtight the stove would quickly run out of oxygen and extinguish, long before you would. Not to mention that the tent would collapse inwards as the air pressure inside was reduced.

Of course the danger is all too real when using any non-chimneyed gas stove.

Kinguq.

I agree. A person could close up their tent, with the stove lit, and check to see where art was coming in to replace the air removed through the chimney. This could be done by checking for airflow with a piece of down tied to string or even a very frayed thread (in case you don't have down.)

It might help indicate if there is a problem due to inadequate air flow.

Offline Bkrgi

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Re: CO2 in Tents
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2017, 12:37:49 pm »
With a wood stove and combustion exiting out via the stove pipe I highly doubt there is any chance of CO2 buildup. The draw out the pipe creates a lot of air exchange. If there was no air exchange happening your gonna know very quickly by how the stove is behaving.

For gas stoves that are not ventilated directly to the outside .....be very very wary. At best soak in the radiant heat and let the warm air escape to create ventilation/air exchange. For stoves that are ventilated to the outside be aware for everything that leaves out the pipe has to be replaced so a cold air intake is needed in a sealed environment. Problem with gas is one may never know it is misbehaving till it is too late. At least a wood stove will likely smoke you out before turning your lights out

With wood stoves I would be much much more concern/aware of igniting other combustibles creating a fire hazard long before CO2 becomes a issue

My advice ...be aware, think and act wisely.....and a little luck always goes a long long way in life
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