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Subject Topic: Tent Heaters Safe??? Advice please
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25/3/2010 at 10:14am
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Hello, we are in the process of getting our 1st set of gear together. One of the things that I am looking at is the campingaz blue cat heater.

I am slightly concerned about the safety of these in a tent. They say theres 'no smoke without fire' but I'm hearing theres 'no fire without carbon dioxide'!!!!

Am I being overly cautious? Is it a case of use within a ventilated space....windows/vents open?

Also, are they any good?

Thanks in advance

David



25/3/2010 at 10:41am
 Location: Severn Valley
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Are you meaning carbon MONoxide, David?  I would have thought the average tent would be draughty enough not to worry, since these burners are designed to work in a tent, and if they work correctly, (which a new one will), there shouldn't be a problem.

I wonder if you can get a Carbon Monoxide alarm which works on batteries, just to put your mind at rest?  Someone here will know.

FoO



25/3/2010 at 10:52am
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Lol yep dont know where 'di' came from there...back to school for me

I was thinking the same about the ventilation being enough, just wanted some user feedback really. The tester idea is a good one, I have one at home so will just pop it in the tent when we go this easter.

Thanks for that FoO



25/3/2010 at 10:55am
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As FriendOfOwls says, if the heater is designed for use in a tent then there shouldn't be any problem. We used the small gas camping heaters on several occasions last year without any issue. Providing you have ventilation, which to be honest is never normally an issue when under canvas, there really should be no problem!



-------------
Apr 2011: Wicks Farm, West Witterings, Hampshire
May 2011: Nunnington Farm, West Witterings, Hampshire
Aug 2011: Gwithian Farm, Hayle, Cornwall
June 2012: Wicks Farm, West Witterings, Hampshire


25/3/2010 at 11:09am
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Not tried the Bluecat personally, but we've cooked inside on gas without any problems.

The main thing to remember is that any flame inside a tent *can* be dangerous and even flame-retardant tents will burn given enough encouragement. The problems I'd worry about are children/pets knocking over or obstructing the heater. Provided you're careful and don't do anything crazy like changing gas cannisters in your tent, you should be fine :)


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25/3/2010 at 2:06pm
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I'd never worried about this problem untill recently. Once the doubt had been put in my mind I became cautious. I have now bought a battery powered carbon monoxide alarm for 15. Tesco sell them, although I got mine from an ebay seller. Mine is called a FireAngel. Can't wait to go camping again now, so I can run all my gas and oil fired cookers and heaters inside the tent to see how long it takes to go off. I'll stand outside though, just incase.


25/3/2010 at 6:10pm
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i have a carbon monoxide detector but got worried when while practicing with the Cobb it went off...the cobb was sited in my porch off the kitchen with the door to the garden open and with 3 rooms and 3 closed doors between the cobb and the detector...how sensitive are they?? at that rate it will go off when the tent in the next field starts cooking...lol


25/3/2010 at 6:56pm
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We have the Blue Cat and use it in our Vango Tamor.  We place the heater on a  picnic table and near the door with the zip down on one of the doors a little to make sure no fumes build up.  We used it for the first time last Easter in Scotland and we were warm as toast

 



25/3/2010 at 7:14pm
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Only thing I would add is that ideally you want a mix oh high and low ventilation. Low level would only be an issue with a SIG!

Glen



25/3/2010 at 10:26pm
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there was a big post last year about carbon monoxide poisoning last year. Tents with a SIG do not allow the heavier than air carbon monoxide to dissipate and there is a danger of CO poisoning. The consequences are quite severe so be very careful with any gas appliance in tents

-------------
.........
John


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26/3/2010 at 2:19pm
 Location: Germany
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hi....

We used last year the outwell hanging patio tent heater... if you have a hanging hook this is brilliant...it was my favourite piece of kit...It lit up the tent really well and made our Maryland really warm and was completely safe and out of the way of our 3 kids...


Of course you would need EHU and a hook.....

I loved ours.. but it is quite bulky as well but still it made our holiday!!!!

-------------
take care CJ


26/3/2010 at 5:51pm
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WHilst I hate to correct anyone...

Carbon Monoxide (molecular weight 28) is almost the same density as air (molecular weight 29) - actually about 3% lighter. In practice it will tend to rise from a warm heater with convection but will be mixed with other gasses from the combustion and will diffuse throughout the tent.

Hence my statement re. needing high and low ventilation!

Glen



27/3/2010 at 12:19am
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Hi there we had a faulty gas lamp about 18mths ago in our Monty 6.  Basically it was leaking, we felt really sleepy and very heavy (like we were pinned to our camping chairs)- we couldn't understand why we were so sleepy at 9pm, but went with it &went to bed - fortunately switching off the light (which you would) and woke up feeling as norm the next day - it was only when we got home & noticed how much gas had gone & got a carbon monoxide tester on it that we realised what had actually happened.   If this had been a heater left on all night rather than a light then I dread to imagine what could've happened.  We still use gas equipment but are now very very careful and would advise that something like a gas heater be used with extreme caution and never left on overnight. 


27/3/2010 at 7:29am
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Thanks for the input everyone,

I do have a SIG so low level ventilation will be harder to acheive, but as I'm sure you can tell, I am approaching this with some consideration and will ensure there is plenty of airflow. I do only intend on taking the chill off with the heater for 20 mins before the kids get tucked into there sleeping bags.

I am rather glad I posted this question. It has at least confirmed to me that I am not going 'health and safety' mad and other campers have had the same thoughts.

Thanks everyone

David



27/3/2010 at 6:11pm
 Location: Yorkshire
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We used one last year a couple of times. Made sure there was plenty of ventilation and it was pretty toasty. I was always worried about the 'poisoning' aspect but would take an alarm if I used it again. The downside was TERRIBLE condensation, dripping off the roof, even though ventilated, but that might just be my style/brand of tent.

-------------
Pally

The pen is mightier than the sword - but only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp...


05/9/2010 at 7:32pm
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Hi, bought a colemans black cat with the intention of using it in our tent. We used it outside the tent on an evening but felt most of the heat was lost. We then put it in our tent (4 man) and it did warm up very quickly. Ultimately we were a bit concerned about using it in the tent after reading the instructions which suggests you shouldn't because of possible risks from carbon monoxide. (possibly being a bit paranoid) and so we decided to return it. Back to the duvet jacket I think. Any comments?



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