Most tent stoves feature a damper at the stove’s outlet that can be closed to force the exhaust through an after burner at the top of the stove. Using an enclosed tent stove initially requires leaving the damper and air vents open until a bed of coals has been formed. After that, the damper is closed and the air vent can be regulated to control how quickly the wood or coal is burned. A properly loaded and controlled air-tight stove will burn safely for eight hours or more without further attention.
Correct air flow and ventilation are critical to efficient and safe burning. The safe operation of a tent stove requires regular maintenance such as emptying ash pans beneath the wood grate. Routine cleaning of the stove pipes and chimney is also needed to prevent chimney fires. Creosote and soot gradually build up in stovepipes. Build-up could damage the chimney pipes and spread fire to the surrounding structure, especially the roof. When soot blocks the airflow, smoke can build up in the stove pipes and in the tent through the stove.
Fuel accelerants such as coal, grease, oil, gasoline, kerosene, plastics, etc., must never be added to firewood in a wood-burning stove, since the flames produced may easily overwhelm the wood compartment and stove pipes, and create a fire outside of the stove. However, most wood burning stoves are able to burn coal if an iron grate is added to the bottom of the stove to protect the bottom from burnout.Tent stoves are meant to be used in larger tents such as the military MGPTS tent, canvas wall tent, canvas bell tent, Arctic Oven, Ultimate Alaknak tent, teepee, Vital Dome, Turtle Tuff shelter or GeoShelter. The important things to note when deciding on a wood-burning stove for your tent is the size of the tent you’ll be heating. A smaller 10×12 to 12×14 ft tent would require a small stove. A 12×14 to 14×16 ft tent would require a medium-sized stove. A 14×16 to 16×24 ft. tent would require a large stove. For tents larger than 16×24 ft, consider purchasing multiple stoves. Most larger tents have multiple stove jacks(the hole in the top or side of the tent that the pipe goes through).