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Cooking in a tent

(22 Posts)
Whowherewhywhat Tue 14-May-13 15:51:46

Hi, camping virgins here! We have bought a tent and are going through the process of making a list of everything we need, with the empahsis on as much comfort as possible!! (so any comfort advice much appreciated!)

However, what I don;t know is about cooking. I am planning on a 2 burner stover with grill and a kitchen unit to put it on with storage etc under it. Any views?

More importantly, I have visions of standing INSIDE tent near front door, cooking bacon etc (with sun shining etc, mmmmmmm) but from what I've been reading this is a zseriously bad idea, and of course, makes sense! Therefore, where do you guys cook? Do you use an awning? We have already bought a mahoosive tent so an awning as well? Dont think mwe'd get a pitch big enough?

Advice very much appreciated....

burberryqueen Tue 14-May-13 15:53:53

just please do not do that, you must cook outside, myself and three friends nearly went up in fflames when a gas canister being changed caught fire from another one.

worldgonecrazy Tue 14-May-13 15:56:40

Cooker as far away from tent as possible, maybe take a small gazebo if you're bothered about the weather. It's not just the risk of fire, the fumes can kill you.

CMOTDibbler Tue 14-May-13 15:58:46

We cook well outside the tent. If its raining, then the cook uses a big brolly

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 14-May-13 16:01:18

We have a Coleman event shelter to cook under which is open and provides shelter. However, if your tent is massive and has no awning itself, perhaps consider a tarp of some sort (Decathlon do a good one for about £25) which you could attach to the tent entrance and it would provide shelter from the rain when you cook? A windbreak will be useful too to stop the flame burning out in windy conditions (that is, any time you are cooking on a campsite).

Definitely do not cook in the tent itself, as burberryqueen illustrates rather scarily shock.

expatinscotland Tue 14-May-13 16:02:01

NO. As far away from the tent as possible. In addition to fire risk, I know two people who have died of CO poisoning cooking in/too near the tent.

Callofthefishwife Tue 14-May-13 16:11:23

Unless it is a canvas tent with the proper inbuilt ventilated kitchen extension and a minimum two completely large free and open exits the dont even consider cooking in a tent. Even this is risky but is built into the tent for this purpose.

I do cook in the proper cooking/kitchen extension of my canvas tent, taking certain precautions including those mentioned below. However I will not cook in my nylon tent which has no proper inbuilt cooking/kitchen extension. I cook under a canopy/tarpaulin close by.

Where ever you cook should be well ventilated but shielded from wind and obviously no children/people in any tent and always check that your fire bucket is full of water or you have the correct fire extinguisher and blanket available.

Whowherewhywhat Tue 14-May-13 16:21:34

Gosh, thanks for replies! I havent heard of a tarp? I've seen the coleman outdoor thing, and we have a Coleman cabin so will match smile But seriuosly, do you not bother cooking if its raining and just eat out?

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 14-May-13 16:31:26

Nope, we cook in all weathers but just under a tarp or other shelter.

The one I mentioned is here: Our friends who have a Coleman family tent attach it to the entrance of theirs to form a shelter for cooking and eating under.

Nothing wrong in eating out though grin

Quenelle Tue 14-May-13 16:47:21

We have exactly what mummypig describes. The Decathlon tarp attaches to the tent with pegs and the kitchen goes at the furthest point from the tent entrance.

Poledra Tue 14-May-13 16:52:32

One the (few, very few) reasons to go camping is eating out at every available opportunity. Unless it's nice weather then I might condescend to cook. Outside the tent of course.

Whowherewhywhat Tue 14-May-13 17:13:50

Thanks for that, I think evening meal eating out is way to go as much as poss!

Just thinking of brekkie and lunchtime (am still having vissions of cooking our own bacon/ sausage rolls,) but that is probably the extent of it!!

Thankss for the tarp link do you know where they join it (may seem daft question but I have no camping sense whatsoever!). We also have the extension (dining room as far as I'm concerned, lol!), will be attached front of tent so would you attach it to that?

Whowherewhywhat Tue 14-May-13 17:16:06

One other thing, have been reading lots of threads re sleeping. I plan to have a foam mat under each blow up bed, a blanket on bed, then sleeping bag, then duvet, I have 3 dc's 7,5 and 4 so dont want them to get cold, do you think that will be ok?

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 14-May-13 17:41:03

Sleeping arrangements sound great. I usually put DD (3) in thermal (or warm) pyjamas and a fleece onesie over the top. She is always warm then even if she comes out of her sleeping bag/blanket.

My friends have one of the shorter sides of the tarp stretched over the tent entrance and attached to the ground on either side using guy ropes. The other end of the tarp is held out in front at both corners using the poles which come with the tarp. That creates a fairly large and rectangular covered area, if that makes sense? If you have an extension, then I would use the front of the extension in the same way my friends use the entraine to the tent.

DewDr0p Tue 14-May-13 17:44:32

When are you going OP? In the summer I usually put the dcs in their warmer (ie winter) PJs and then they sleep in their sleeping bags on thermarests with a big old blanket spread out underneath. we are usually all toasty warm.

Whowherewhywhat Tue 14-May-13 22:41:37

Dewdrop, we are looking at going for the first time on the may bank holiday weekend, am getting worried its going to be freezing based on current weather!
Many thanks for the explanation mummy pig, we are going to have our 2nd practice of putting tent up in back garden this weekend to improve on our time, will practice will look at tarp then.
Good idea re onesie will have a look for those. Was also thinking of an electric heater with a thermostat to try and keep edge off temperature at night?

Beamur Tue 14-May-13 22:47:00

How would you power a heater? You must be really really careful about possible fire risks and suffocation - sadly quite a few people have died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning so do be careful.
Better to go for means of keeping warm that are as low risk as possible, warm clothes, extra blankets, hot water bottles even. You get quite used to the lower temperatures and will tolerate being much colder than you would do indoors - honest.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 14-May-13 23:08:58

Thermals are definitely your friend when camping. I put mine under my clothes early in the evening and then don't have to get completely undressed to put them on before bed. That way, you don't get cold.

If you are thinking of an electric heater, I assume you will be having a proper electric hook up at the site you are going to? In that case, you don't need to worry about gas risks with the heater but I still wouldn't leave it on unattended or after you go to sleep, just because of the fire risk, however low that seems.

Gas heaters are all a bit dodgy as Beamur says. We had one which worked with the butane cylinders, but I was never very confident about it. Now we have DD, I am even less happy, and we tend to jump into bed ASAP to avoid the cold.

Wear a hat in bed too if it is very cold. That makes a huge difference. As you can tell, camping is not that conducive to glamour or seduction. Certainly, any romance involves the penetration of a substantial number of layers - you need to be fairly determined.

Whowherewhywhat Wed 15-May-13 21:15:43

Beamur, I have booked an electric hookup, so was planning on an electric heater, but thinking about it! I don't think we should leave it on overnight either! I just don't know how cold it's gonna get, just have to wait an see how it goes I suppose. Am more worried about children getting cold, especially as our Ouse is always sub tropical!!!

AriaB Thu 16-May-13 08:23:36

Hello. I went camping a few weeks ago. I was roasty toasty in bed- I had a picnic blanket, then airbed, then fleece fitted sheet, then normal fitted sheet, then me with a duvet and open sleeping bag on top. With hot water bottle inside on my feet. I was snug as a bug BUT my face was FREEZING, the air in the tent was so fricking cold you have no idea!! I really wish i'd taken a little eleccy heater, I've seen them at Go Outdoors, they won't keep you warm but they will take that edge off the air.

Also, re: cooking- it always surprises me when I see on MN that nobody admits to cook(ing) in their tent. Cos every site i've been on i've seen it loads. For a weeks camping trip I take a pop up living room (base seconds) and stick it on the front of the tent (zipping up the tent door first to keep the smells out!) which is worth it's weight in gold. Was a bit annoying buying something that cost the same price as the tent but it's worth it. However on weekend trips, in the rain I have cooked in my tent... always non smelly food like simple pasta. I've got a base seconds 4.2 and there's a flap at the back which opens so it's got great ventilation without you getting wet at all. It's barbecues inside a tent which cause carbon monoxide poisoning, not cooking. It's the fire risk which is the danger.

Callofthefishwife Fri 24-May-13 23:16:35

I have used an oil filled radiator and a fan heater with my EHU before now. Both better than gas and safer imo. They are also fab for helping to dry off damp towels etc.

I never sleep with them on. I do aim the heat into the bedroom pod and find by the time I climb in its warm.

Be careful with heaters in non cotton/non canvas tents as they will increase condensation.

Hot water bottles, hats and bed socks help too.

Callofthefishwife Fri 24-May-13 23:20:42

Cardboard is a campers best friend. I always visit the local supermarket and help myself to boxes. Flatten them and use them under airbeds. Cardboard works better than any "proper" insulated stuff and is free and disposable (no transport worries - space is an issue for most campers).

Its fab in door ways when it rains. Great to put shoes/wellies on etc.

Not pretty but blummin brilliant. I never feel complete until I have a good stash f cardboard in my tent grin

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