Dangers of Cooking in your tent

After the tragic news this week that a six year old girl has died apparently Carbon Monoxide poising we thought that we better REPEAT our warning from last year about not cooking in a tent. (click here for story in the Daily Mail) and there were a few deaths last camping season from Carbon Monoxide, let’s make this the last one this year.

This girl should have been having the time of her life, playing in the fields, making new friends looking forward to going back to school after the Easter holidays and telling her friends all about her wonderful camping trip, but sadly this is not the case and I wouldn’t like to think what the parents are going through, as a soon to be parent myself I can’t imagine anything worse.

They had done the right thing by not cooking in the tent, but because the BBQ was next to the tent, I’m assuming the wind was blowing the gases straight into the tent, but why would you take the risk, cook away from your tent, I usually try and cook about 2-3 meters away.

There are two main issues with cooking in a tent.

Firstly: Your tent might be fire resistant but is everything else that you have put inside your tent, chairs, clothes etc. and if these set alit, by you accidently knocking over your cooker, and then this can set alight your tent.

Secondly: cooking in confined spaces can burn up oxygen and create carbon monoxide on this can be deadly, this is probably more dangerous than the first as you can’t see, taste or smell the gas. You may think everything is fine.

Key Info:

Carbon monoxide; Carbon monoxide (CO), also called carbonous oxideis a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air. It can be toxic to humans and animals when encountered in higher concentrations (source Wikipedia)

We have a clear policy and stance.

Never ever cook in your tent, / next to your tent, either cook in the rain if you have to or eat your food cold (if its safe to do, cold beans won’t hurt you, won’t taste great but at least you will be breathing in air and not carbon monoxide).

I know the temptations can be there especially when it’s raining, I’ve been tempted myself and I know the dangers, but I’ve never done it, and the more I read and learn, the more I realise the dangers and now I will NEVER cook in my tent, I would rather miss a meal than take the risk.

On a smaller note: where possible try not to eat in your tent, spilt food and crumbs attracts, insects bugs and rodents and you don’t want these in your tent, most people moan that this is the key reason why they don’t want to go camping, so by not eating in your tent you are reducing the chances of having insects in your tent..

So please don’t cook in your tent, and where possible don’t eat in your tent either.  

During the summer months of 2011, there were 3 reported cases on BBC.co.uk of where people had died from cooking in their tents, please people think about those when you next start cooking in your tent.

Please pass this onto everyone you know who goes camping, whether that’s holiday camping, night fishing camping or camping because of their job, cooking in a tent is dangerous, and that you should cook away from your tent.

We don’t want you to stop going camping, far from it, we want everyone to go camping and enjoy the great British countryside, we just want people to do it safely.

If you still need a camp site for 2012 Visit CampingSitesinBritain and enjoy camping, please just don’t cook in your tent.

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