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  1. #1
    Walking Stick glessed's Avatar
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    Default Cooking inside tent

    When it's raining or extremely cold is it reasonable to cook inside a tent? Is there a recommended stove that works well for this purpose or is it taboo (dangerous)?
    Hiked from Springer to just North of Hot Springs and the flip flopped to Massachusetts and hiked South until Labor Day in 2010. Plan to continue in 2011.

  2. #2
    Registered User Egads's Avatar
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    Not a good idea

    Tents are flammable

    Food spills and odors attract critters

    Better to set up a tarp outside your tent
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

  3. #3

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    I've done it and got away with it. Doesn't make it any smarter. Please don't.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  4. #4

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    Better to have an uncooked meal than a burned tent.

  5. #5
    Registered User Ramble~On's Avatar
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    I've cooked inside my tent many times. A Jetboil works great.
    There are risks....carbon monoxide is one.
    "Going to the woods is going home" - John Muir

    "Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truely get into the heart of the wilderness" - John Muir

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by glessed View Post
    When it's raining or extremely cold is it reasonable to cook inside a tent? Is there a recommended stove that works well for this purpose or is it taboo (dangerous)?
    not in the tent but in the vestibule. i've done lots of times

  7. #7

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    I always cook in my tent vestibule, and when it's raining I prime the Simmerlite in the open and then scoot the works inside and zip up the vestibule. I've only actually moved the pad and cooked inside the tent one time due to truly crappy weather: friggin' cold temps.

    There's too much that can go wrong with cooking inside the tent, the main one being an errant ember reaching the Thermarest or the sleeping bag. Burning down the tent? Naw, but then again, I had a Svea 123 blow off it's pressure valve once and "explode", thankfully away from the tent.

  8. #8
    Garlic
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    I once saw a mountaineering tent designed for cooking. It was large, three or four person, had a removable floor panel so you could cook directly on the snow, and an extra ventilation chimney. This was for climbers who might die if they went outside to cook. For the typical three-season hiker, cooking in the tent is not a smart idea. Just think of what could go wrong and decide if the risk is worth the reward.

    My solution has always been to bring along plenty of food that does not require cooking. Instant mashed potatoes and refried beans rehydrate OK with cold water. You can eat ramen without cooking (eat like a cracker or soak a while). Extra trail mix, tortillas, cheese, etc. can round out a cold dinner. That has worked so well, the last few years I haven't even brought a stove, but that's a different story.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  9. #9
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    Cooking inside the usual backpacker's tent sounds like a great way to experience shrink-wrapping from the inside!

  10. #10
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    Concur with Lone Wolf and Tipi Walter- carefully inside the vestibule. I use an alcohol stove.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    Concur with Lone Wolf and Tipi Walter- carefully inside the vestibule. I use an alcohol stove.
    I too will occasionally cook in my vestibule. If you're going to do so with an alcohol stove (which I don't really recommend), absolutely DO NOT EVER try to add fuel to your stove because it looks like the flame has gone out. If you need more cooking time, snuff the flame out entirely and restart the stove.
    Drab as a Fool, as aloof as a Bard!

    http://www.wizardsofthepct.com

  12. #12
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    Default Yikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester2000 View Post
    I too will occasionally cook in my vestibule. If you're going to do so with an alcohol stove (which I don't really recommend), absolutely DO NOT EVER try to add fuel to your stove because it looks like the flame has gone out. If you need more cooking time, snuff the flame out entirely and restart the stove.
    Yes! Only Jonathan Storm of the Fantastic Four is allowed to yell "FLAME ON".

  13. #13

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    I also cook in the vestibule -- with appropriate care.

  14. #14
    Registered User ShelterLeopard's Avatar
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    Um, not so good an idea. I carry a small tarp to use to cover my cooking area in the rain. (Made from an emergency blanket)

  15. #15
    Registered User Bags4266's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikes in Rain View Post
    Cooking inside the usual backpacker's tent sounds like a great way to experience shrink-wrapping from the inside!
    LOL, that was pretty funny!!!

  16. #16
    Registered User schnikel's Avatar
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    Here is another vote for the vestibule. Check with the tent you have, my vestbule has 2 zippers so in foul weather I will unzip it from the top down to the middle or so. It has worked for me many times.
    Schnikel

  17. #17
    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    I use a JetBoil, get her started but place it outside the vestibule until it boils. Cover and turn it off and wait for dinner.

    The ballistic nylon we use for tents, quilts, bags and packs is extremely flammable. It will adhere to skin as it burns. It is a nasty way to start a very bad night.

  18. #18
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    If you're gonna do it, you should have a tent with a decent sized vestibule. One that has plenty of room to keep flames away from silnylon. And be very careful even then.

    Or . . . carry a 5x8 tarp with you. Put that up away from your tent and make it your kitchen and dining room. The whole set-up should weigh about 10-14 oz.

    An even better idea: Carry some no-cook foods with you and eat those on the most miserable-weather nights. Summer sausage, cheese, tortillas, energy bars, fresh fruit if you can carry it—you get the idea. Your basic lunch menu. No, it won't be a hot meal but it will be good enough and you'll live another day to enjoy hot grub.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShelterLeopard View Post
    Um, not so good an idea. I carry a small tarp to use to cover my cooking area in the rain. (Made from an emergency blanket)
    This reminds me of those little tiny tents Mt Hardwear or someone sold just for cooking inside. Weird, really, Sort of a mini-me camp with Ken and Barbie.

  20. #20
    Registered User ShelterLeopard's Avatar
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    Seriously? For hikers? How weird... And there's no liability involved with selling tents in which you cook?

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