The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide While Camping

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is still a real issue for campers.

Around 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.

In the past few years we’ve heard of tragic stories of people in tents, and more recently a family on a private boat, dying from carbon monoxide poisoning,

How can you make sure you are protected against this?

Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when gas or charcoal (or fuels like them) fail to fully combust due to a lack of oxygen in their surroundings.

The stories we have seen on campsites around this subject are generally down to campers cooking inside tents, or leaving a gas burner on inside the tent for heat. Carbon monoxide is undetectable by smell or taste; which is why many may incorrectly think that they are safe to do this. If you inhale enough Carbon Monoxide the outcome can be fatal. In smaller doses, carbon monoxide can cause symptoms similar to flu or food poisoning. Symptoms to look out for look out for include: dizziness, headache, nausea and drowsiness

To avoid accidents; follow these simple rules:

NEVER cook inside a tent or enclosed camping spaces.
If you need a sheltered cooking area, consider a gazebo or a tent porch with sufficient air circulation and ventilation.

NEVER use gas stoves/fuel burners to heat your tent when cold.
All gas powered items need plenty of ventilation to prevent producing carbon monoxide.
To stay warm, make sure you layer your clothing, and pick up a warmer sleeping bag.

NEVER operate petrol/diesel powered engines in confined/enclosed spaces.
Carbon Monoxide alarms are available, but these are no excuse to ignore the above rules, do not leave the reliability of a device in charge of your health.
The Camping and Caravanning club, offer a great video on the subject:
For more information on Carbon Monoxide poisoning, please visit: