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Carbon monoxide is a threat in the backcountry too

You don't have to be in your home to get carbon monoxide poisoning.

BOISE, Idaho — Carbon monoxide can be life threatening - not only in your home, but in the backcountry as well. 

The gas is colorless and odorless so there's no way to know it's there unless you have a carbon monoxide detector.

Deputy Chief Romeo Gervais with the Boise Fire Department showed us how a simple camp stove could have deadly consequences if it's not used properly. 

"The fuel source is compressed gas," Gervais explained. "Well, just like your gas stove at home, this burner creates gas and can produce carbon monoxide. So whether you're dealing with a home or a tent or a cabin or you're out backpacking you're still producing carbon monoxide when you're burning things."

RELATED: Two teens survived a freezing night in the Idaho backcountry. Here's what they did right.

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Gervais says to make sure you use heat-producing products - like portable stoves - in well-ventilated areas and make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector in your camper just like you would your home.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu: 

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

Gervais says if you are outside in the fresh air and you're feeling better that's a sign you could have been exposed to carbon monoxide.

MORE: Turn up the heat: How to safely keep your home warm this winter