How To Heat A Tent Safely

How to (Safely) Heat a Tent

When you join up for Outside+ today, you’ll receive a $50 discount off an eligible $100 purchase at the Outside Shop, where you’ll discover a variety of brand-name goods handpicked by our gear editors. When it’s freezing outside, I want to be as warm as possible. That goal is straightforward, yet it remains frustratingly elusive. The previous two years have been devoted to researching and testing every possible tent heater, in the hopes of discovering one that would neither suffocate me in my sleep nor cause me to catch fire, nor force me to expend enormous amounts of labor or spend massive sums of money to construct.

The Trouble with an Ultralight Wood Burner

The first alternative I explored was theSeek Outside Redcliff Hot Tent, which costs $1,355, and is a big, pyramid-shaped silnylon floorless shelter that comes complete with a titanium wood-burning fire. The Redcliff can comfortably sleep three adults if you use the stove that comes with it, and it weighs just approximately nine pounds all together. You’ll have a package that’s light enough to carry into the bush yet tall enough to stand up within and large enough to take car camping. With its six-foot-ten-inch height, it’s also tall enough to stand up inside but small enough to take car camping.

It required a considerable bit of trial and error to get the shelter up and running the first time, as it does with all tipi and pyramid structures.

  1. After storing it on its long side, it must be flattened and rolled the other way to form a seven-and-a-half-foot tube with the help of some wire loops when it is needed for use.
  2. The tent design necessitates the use of several stakes that circle the pyramid, each of which must deliver equal stress from all directions in order to protect the single carbon fiber center pole from becoming unstable.
  3. Assembly of each stake loop and guyout requires several changes, and it is something you will be working on throughout the night (and for the duration of any trip) in order to get the optimal level of stress.
  4. In addition, operating the Redcliff stove is not uncomplicated.
  5. The proper diameter is around one inch.
  6. Any thinner and it will burn up far too quickly.
  7. It won’t fit if you leave it much longer.
  8. If you get the stove up and running perfectly, and you put just the appropriate quantity of wood in it, you should be able to leave it unattended for around half an hour.

Once the flame has been extinguished, titanium and silnylon retain relatively little heat. Restarting a dying fire necessitates the creation of an entirely new fire. That’s not very entertaining at three o’clock in the morning.

The Trouble with Propane

I became disillusioned and abandoned the concept of hauling a heated shelter into the woods, opting instead to concentrate my efforts on vehicle camping instead. I started with a solution I knew was a horrible idea, but because it was being used by so many people, I wanted to give it another shot just to be sure I wasn’t overlooking something important. The benefit of propane is that it can store a significant amount of energy in a relatively compact and widely available form. That means you may use a propane heater to provide a great deal of heat for an extended period of time without spending a lot of money.

  1. Heater Little Buddy ($105) for around five hours.
  2. Because I currently use a Power Tank bracket ($130) to attach a five-pound propane bottle to my spare tire in order to operate my huge stove, I reasoned I could use the larger 9,000 BTU Mr.
  3. (Propane destroys rubber with time, making it more difficult to employ in systems that rely on it.) Not only did this provide greater heat, but it also allowed me to use a refilling bottle that was large enough to last for several nights at a time.
  4. Heater Buddy is a propane-fueled space heater (Photo: Nathan Norby) While the Buddy did help to keep my tent warm, the quantity of heat it generates is quite low for its size.
  5. Unless you’re seated right in front of the hot element, you’ll be unhappy with the results.
  • Open-flame heat sources can cause fires, which are potentially fatal. Carbon monoxide is produced when propane is burned, and it can be fatal. In order to protect you from carbon monoxide poisoning, high-quality propane heaters are equipped with an oxygen sensor. That, if it’s functioning properly, will shut down the heater once the oxygen level falls below a level roughly similar to around 7,000 feet in elevation. As a result, they will not be able to run at heights more than 7,000 feet. They shouldn’t, or at least they shouldn’t
  • To avoid death, you must switch off your gas heater before going to bed. The combustion of propane releases a significant amount of water vapor, which will soak everything and everyone within your tent. Once you switch off the heater, you’ll find yourself sleeping much cooler than you would have if you hadn’t used the heater in the first place. Hypothermia has the potential to be fatal.

My expectations for the quantity of heat provided by the Buddy were not met, and I want to avoid death at all costs, so I gave up on using propane.

The Trouble with Diesel Heaters

Nonetheless, because of the high energy density, using a liquid or gas fuel to operate a heater appears to be a shrewd decision. So I experimented with a diesel heater, which was fitted into a $50,000 Black Series camper that was leased to me for the summer. Diesel heaters function by combusting fuel in order to heat up a heat exchanger. After that, a fan sucks in fresh air from the outside through a pipe, passes it over the heating element, and blows it out the other end. Because the heated air and diesel exhaust do not combine, this results in a safe, dry supply of warm, forced air that is not contaminated by contaminants.

  1. Most likely, the Planar portable 12V diesel heater will be the most cost-effective solution.
  2. The first is that you must have an additional supply of diesel fuel on hand, which may be a major hassle if you don’t drive a diesel-powered vehicle.
  3. Additionally, diesel heaters require an electric power supply to begin operating and to operate their controller.
  4. They perform best when left permanently placed on a camper trailer.
  5. Some very excellent diesel heaters claim to be able to operate at altitudes of more than 14,000 feet if you fiddle with them long enough to get them to perform properly.
  6. No matter how hard I tried, I could never get the heater in the Black Series calibrated to the point that it would operate for more than 15 minutes at any altitude.

The gasoline will need to be transported separately. What a large sum of money, and what a large amount of material to transport. I wanted a heater that was simple and quick to set up and operate in order for it to be effective for me.

The Lux Option: The SnowTrekker Basecamp

When it comes to canvas wall tents, simple and quick are perhaps the opposite of the terms that come to mind when thinking about them. SnowTrekker, a small mom-and-pop firm based in Wisconsin, however, does not make such products. This firm is managed by a mother and son team: Duane and Margot Lottig run the company and sew all of the tents, while their son Jonah manages marketing and logistics for the company. A proprietary seven-ounce cotton canvas, which is less than half the weight of fabrics used in other wall tents, and a lightweight Easton aluminum pole system, which is more similar to that of a backpacking tent than the non-collapsible frames that are typical of the space, make up the body of their tents.

A one-of-a-kind guyout system implies that the only stakes you’ll need are those that connect to the horizontal wall poles through wires.

In less than 20 minutes the first time I tried it, I was inside, warming my hands over a blazing wood stove, after just briefly fast forwarding through a YouTube movie.

Consequently, with the wood stove burning inside (this time, a large enough to support a real fire for hours), any moisture that enters the tent through the cold ground or your wet clothes is forced outwards by the heat, resulting in an extremely warm and dry interior that’s ridiculously comfortable to be inside for extended periods of time.

You can prepare a proper supper on the large stove, put your camp table and chairs inside, and enjoy a degree of comfort I’ve never known before or since when camping in cold, rainy weather.

However, at $2,300, it is too pricey.

While I hope to acquire one of these in the future, I prefer to add comfort to a standard tent that is both smaller and easier to move in the meanwhile.

The Simple Option: Battery-Powered Heating Sources

When camping, electricity isn’t the most obvious source of power. When you’re out in the great outdoors, you don’t always have access to an electrical outlet, and batteries have never been able to compress nearly as much energy into a storage medium that is as dense or as inexpensive as liquid or gas fuels. However, as we’ve seen with electric vehicles, this is changing rapidly. Would one of the new portable battery packs that are currently being offered to outdoor enthusiasts be able to power a heated blanket, or possibly a portable space heater, for the duration of a night’s camping trip or other outdoor activities?

  • I began my investigation on electric blankets by looking them up on the internet.
  • As a result of the numerous write-ups on it, a warning was issued that the pad should not be folded since doing so may cause the wires to break and constitute a fire danger.
  • A 100 watt heated blanket meant for residential usage looked to be the next best thing, according to the experts.
  • As a result, I got a Serta 100 Watt AC blanket (which cost $60) from Amazon.
  • You should also plan on bringing the battery inside the tent or storing it in a cooler to keep it warm throughout the winter.
  • When the power goes out at the cabin, its 500 Watt-hour capacity is more than enough to power camp lights, charge phones, and keep a couple of lamps running.
  • The first issue I encountered was not with run time, but with the quality of the build.

A analysis of customer feedback indicated that the issue was widespread.

With the power cord plugged in and plenty of time to warm up, I thought I detected some heat from the device, but it was such a little quantity that I may have been deluding myself.

Around the same time, Jackery brought over a sample of their new Explorer 1500 Solar Generator set (which retails for $2,699) for me to evaluate.

According to the manufacturer, the kit has four 100-watt solar panels and all of the necessary gear, which can charge the battery from zero to 80 percent in four hours in direct sunlight.

I want to utilize the Explorer 1500 to keep the lights on and the appliances operating at the property.

If you’re going to use a $2,699 solar generator to power a $26 cubicle heater, that seems a little crazy.

On a single battery charge, those 1500 watt-hours provided me with enough power to operate the 100 watt blanket all night for two nights on a single charge.

The majority of room-size electric space heaters can switch between modes that consume 750 or 1,500 watts, respectively.

Tents, on the other hand, are much smaller than rooms.

As a result, I got a teeny-tiny $26 cubicle heater that can adjust between 100 and 250 watts of power demand.

The heater was set at 250 watts, but it was actually drawing 225 Watts.

On high, that’s six and a half hours, and on low, it’s fifteen.

So I brought the batteries, the blanket, and the space heater out into the snow, along with the Mr.

According to what you can see in the video, the outcome was unexpected.

In its more efficient, 100 watt setting, the space heater is now my go-to solution for quickly heating a two- or three-person tent to an extremely comfortable temperature for a short period of time—around bedtime and in the morning—while providing just a touch of additional heat throughout the night.

  1. There are a few caveats to this, which are as follows: To begin, while the space heater does provide dry heat, it does not have the same quick drying impact as the big wood burner found in the SnowTrekker, which produces a lot more heat in a shorter amount of time.
  2. It’s also vital to note that batteries do not appreciate being exposed to temps below freezing.
  3. And, while I was able to raise the temperature within the tent to a pleasantly warm 60 degrees, the outside temperature was a chilly 36 degrees.
  4. However, you should expect to notice a change.
  5. If you already have or plan to purchase a big solar generator to assist you during power outages, then the addition of a $26 cubicle heater will allow you to keep warm while it’s chilly outside, while still being outside in your heated tent during power outages.

From now on, I’ll be bringing this solution along with me on every cold-weather vehicle camping trip I go.

7 Safe Tent Heating Ideas That Work

Thailand is a great place to go camping in the winter. If you are anything like me, you despise the time when chilly nights and a freezing tent threaten to spoil your otherwise great camping trip by ruining your perfect camping experience. To keep from freezing to death, check out these seven tent heating techniques that I discovered to be effective throughout the winter or cold weather seasons. They’re completely safe to use, and it only takes a small amount of creativity to get them to work on your tent structure.

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Warning I’m going to have to warn you right now.


To attain the greatest outcomes, it is possible that you may need to combine some of these strategies.

How to heat a tent without electricity

I prefer the concept of camping in the woods and not having to rely on any sources of electricity or other equipment that could interfere with my ability to fully enjoy my time there. Yes, it is possible that bringing in some technology can help you heat your tent more quickly, but is it worth the trouble? When it comes to heating a tent without using electricity, I can only come up with seven alternatives that are both effective and non-hazardous. In no way, shape, or form will I urge you to make a fire inside your tent.

  • Is it possible to heat a tent in a safe manner?
  • Thermal mass is defined as a material’s ability to absorb and store heat from a heat source (such as the sun, a bonfire, or another source of heat) and release it slowly over time.
  • Taking a look at the chart above, you’ll see that it has a list of typical materials together with their thermal mass figures.
  • With that in mind, let’s look at how we can use water to heat our tents without wasting any time.

Heat your tent with hot water bottles

This is a concept that is often used by farmers. A few barrels and a lot of water are being used to heat enormous greenhouses on the farm. So let’s take this strategy and adapt it to our camping needs to see if we can make it work for us. This will require the use of strong plastic bottles or metal bottles in order to be effective. Because you must heat the water to near boiling point, typical store plastic bottles will not function properly in this situation. In addition, a boiling pan or something similar will be required to heat the water.

Advice An sage piece of advice: The higher the capacity of the container, the longer the water will be able to hold and release the heat it has stored.

If done correctly, they should be able to emit heat for several hours at a time, gradually raising the temperature inside your tent.

During the night, if I notice that they are not very warm, I rapidly bring a couple of them near to me in order to warm my body. It worked wonderfully for me, and in my view, this is the safest and most effective way to heat a small tent in the winter.

Heating rocks to keep the tent warm

Large boulders are being heated in order to keep my tent warm at night. The premise is the same as with the water bottles, but the technique is different. This approach can heat the tent even more quickly than the water bottles, but there is a catch: it is more expensive. Stones do not retain heat for an extended period of time. This is how I discovered that this strategy was effective. Locate a few stones in and around your camping location. The best place to discover rocks, if you’re having problems finding them, is generally beside a stream or a river, if you’re having trouble finding them.

  1. Don’t put them in the fire since you’ll have a hard time getting them out afterwards.
  2. Wrap the stones in a piece of fabric or any other textile material half an hour before you want to go to sleep.
  3. Make an effort to space them out as much as possible.
  4. It is expected that they will be quite hot if you wrap them properly, but the fabric should prevent them from melting the canvas.
  5. This, along with some warm clothing, may make a significant impact.

Insulate your tent

To be clear, this strategy is most effective when used in conjunction with any of the other methods listed above. When you insulate a tent, you are attempting to keep warm air inside while reflecting it back to yourself. If it isn’t too chilly outdoors, good insulation ensures that the tent remains warm simply by absorbing the heat generated by your body during the night. If you’re interested in learning more, you may read my piece on how to insulate your tent for the winter.

Set up your tent on top of a campfire (after the fire dies)

I’ve never done this, but it seems like it should be a good concept in principle. This is the method I would use. I’d dig a trench and build a bonfire in the middle of it. The trench shouldn’t be too deep, but it should be large enough to accommodate the breadth of your tent’s footprint. I would recommend burning as much firewood as possible in order to collect as much coals as you possibly can. When the party is finished and I’m ready to set up camp, I’ll fill the trench with dirt and erect the canvas on top of it to make a shelter.

  • It is not recommended to use an insulated sleeping mat on the tent floor if you do this.
  • What gives me confidence that this will succeed, and how did I come up with this idea?
  • This has been going on for a long time.
  • The region should be heated for a long period of time.
  • The first and most inconvenient of these is that you will have to wait until the wee hours of the morning to set up.
  • The second disadvantage, at least in my opinion, is that you must give up the use of the fire.

The whole point of camping, in my opinion, is to sit around a campfire. Camping would be impossible to do without one of these essentials. To keep you warm, I would look into alternative solutions, unless you wish to create a separate fire.

Electric heaters for tents

If you have a large tent that you need to keep warm during the coldest nights of the year, you’ll most likely have to resort to contemporary technology in order to do this. However, you must be aware of which devices are appropriate for usage in a safe manner. When you go camping, you want to take in the scenery, spend time with your family, and get a good night’s sleep. You don’t want to think about not touching the hot radiator while you’re trying to sleep. You certainly don’t want to be waking up every ten minutes out of fear that your tent would catch fire as a result of the electric items in your room.

Use an electric blanket to keep you warm

I already know what you’re going to say. Instead of “cocooning” myself with a blanket, the purpose of this piece is to discuss heating my tent. However, there aren’t many alternatives for properly heating a tent, and I don’t want to advise you to go out and purchase a propane gas heater or a tent stove just because they’re available. There are a plethora of horrific anecdotes involving these kind of incidents. This concept has the potential to be extremely successful. The goal is to discover one that does not consume an excessive amount of electricity.

  1. Electric blankets are typically constructed with a few small electrical wires woven into the cloth.
  2. If you can get one that is large enough to wrap around oneself, there is no reason to even bother with heating the tent.
  3. However, you’ll discover that a temperature that’s a little warmer than your body temperature is the most comfortable for the majority of people.
  4. It is possible to get more than 10 years out of a nice electric blanket, provided that it is solely used for camping.
  5. Now, let’s talk about the disadvantages.
  6. It can be used in conjunction with a generator, but they are expensive to purchase, and unless you already have one, I don’t believe I should recommend that you purchase one only for the purpose of using the electric blanket.

Warning Safety tip: Do not use the blanket that comes with your sleeping bag as a pillow. Some of the heat created by the blanket must be allowed to naturally evaporate in order to prevent overheating from occurring. In some cases, placing it inside a sleeping bag might lead to overheating problems.

Underfloor heating carpets to use with your tent

I’d been looking forward to receiving these for a long time. And now they’re finally here. They operate in the same way as electric blankets, with one exception: here’s a pro tip. You can use a sleeping bag and lay this across the entire tent floor without having to worry about it being too hot. The following is a clever advice on how to put it up: Under the heated carpet, I would place a heat reflective mat to reflect the heat. The cold air rising from the ground will not be able to enter, and the heat emitted by the carpet will be reflected back into the tent rather than being used to heat the ground.

Portable electric radiators

This is what I refer to as a “false heat.” This is why I’ve never been a huge fan of radiators in the first place. The heat that they provided was somewhat fictitious. Once you turn off the device, it will be completely frozen in 20 minutes. It is likely that all of the warm air will rise and depart the tent, leaving you with a cold body and disrupting your excellent night’s sleep. However, if you enjoy them, I recommend that you hunt for some oil-filled radiators to use. Because of this, you won’t have to deal with the unpleasant fan noise that most of them produce.

However, because they take a lot of electricity, you’ll almost certainly need a camping generator to run them, and I’m quite sure that because they’re filled with oil, they’ll be difficult to transport.

What not to use to heat your tent

For example, there are dozens of blog entries where individuals propose using gas heaters or even stoves to boost the temperature in their homes. I highly advise against using any type of heat source that emits carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. This is the most lethal gas on the market, and it is commonly referred to as the “silent killer.” Whenever a heat source releases carbon monoxide, it must be equipped with an adequate ventilation system that allows the gases to escape. Without sacrificing the insulation (and there’s very little insulation in a conventional “tepee”), I can’t think of any way to accomplish this in a tent.

  1. Did you know that burning 5 lbs of propane results in the production of 3 lbs of water?
  2. Everything in your tent, even your clothing, will be emptied by it.
  3. Not to mention that, over time, this can cause mold to form in unexpected places.
  4. People are under the impression that candles do not release carbon monoxide.
  5. There is a significant issue with do-it-yourself heaters.

They are the most dangerous of all of them. If the heater you want to use has not been thoroughly tested and does not have built-in safety safeguards, it is not worth your time to purchase it. Don’t take risks that aren’t absolutely essential.


Staying safe is the only conclusion that I can come up with at this point. Make use of procedures that have been tried and proven and provide little to no danger. If you don’t want to rely on nature to keep your tent warm, you should do your homework before purchasing a portable camping heater. No matter the kind of heating you pick, you must make certain that you are using the correct tent for the appropriate time of year. In addition to this article, there is further material available. If you have any suggestions for safe ways to heat a tent, please share them in the comments section below.

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How to Heat a Tent

Please keep in mind that this content may contain affiliate links. Please see our complete disclosure policy here. Nobody like being cold, but winter camping is fantastic, which is why I’m going to tell you how to heat a tent. However, there is no single ideal technique to heat a tent; rather, there are a number of strategies and tricks that will all contribute to keeping you warm and comfortable even in the coldest of conditions. Utilizing some of the techniques discussed here, you’ll most certainly fall in love with cold-weather camping and become an expert in how to heat a tent.

Tent Placement

The location of your tent throughout the night can have a significant impact on how warm it will remain during the night. In order to keep your tent as warm as possible throughout the night, selecting a suitable site is an important first step to take. If you’re attempting to keep your tent warm at night, the wind is going to be your worst adversary. Camping along ridgelines or at the top of hills is not recommended due to the high winds in these places. For the same reason, do not set up tent on open fields.

One clue that a region does not frequently freeze is the presence of bracken (fern), which is why you’ll generally find them in low-lying places.

Camping amid bracken and trees that will provide shelter from the wind is a nice option if you want to keep a little warmer.

Get a Hot Tent or Insulated Tent

A hot tent is a type of tent that is specifically designed to accommodate a wood-burning stove inside. In order to install a wood burning stove in a tent, the tent must be equipped with a stove jack that allows a chimney to be run through it. Due to the fact that hot tents are specifically designed for this function, they are slightly breathable and frequently coated with fire-retardant material. You may learn more about the hot tents I recommend by visiting this page.

Another alternative is to purchase an insulated tent. Crua Cocoon is a company that creates excellent insulated tents. Camping in the Crua Cocoon insulated tent Instead of purchasing a new tent, there are several methods to insulating your existing tent for less money.

How to Insulate Your Tent

You should be quite cautious if you want to insulate your tent yourself, since you must ensure that there is sufficient ventilation so that the tent does not get too stuffy or even deficient in oxygen while you sleep. When it comes to insulating a tent, it is not simply a matter of thickening the walls and roof of your tent. You must also take into consideration the terrain. Starting from the ground up, here are some suggestions for insulating your tent:

Insulate Under Your Tent

Even a little layer of insulation between your tent and the ground will be beneficial, as the earth will be drawing heat away from your body continuously throughout the night. Before you begin putting up your tent, lay down a tarp. This is a very thin coating, yet it may make a significant difference. Make a bed of leaves or soft pine branches and then place your tarp on top of it to provide even greater insulation. To avoid sleeping on any bumps, make sure the surface is as even as possible while laying down.

Insulate the Gap Between Your Tent and the Ground

Covering the gap between your tent and the ground will help to limit the amount of draft that enters the space between the tent and the ground. Pack items such as gear, leaves, or even moss around the perimeter of your tent to conceal this area.

Throw a tarp over the top of your tent

The additional layer will aid in the retention of warm air. Just keep in mind that tarps are airtight and do not allow for proper ventilation, so you do not want to entirely cover a tiny tent with a tarp. Otherwise, you run the risk of having too much CO2 build up in the tent, which can be hazardous to the health of the occupants.

Use Space Blankets or Foil

Space blankets or even reflective bubble wrap may be used to completely insulate your tent throughout the winter. In order to connect it, you’ll need to devise a method (duct tape works well if you’re not too concerned with appearances). If you want adequate insulation, cover as much ground as possible; nevertheless, remember to leave enough space for ventilation for breathing.

How to Heat a Tent With a Heater Safely

Use of a gas stove that has not been authorized for indoor use in an enclosed location such as a tent is not recommended. The vast majority of cooking stoves release carbon monoxide, which is harmful and accumulates in confined environments with inadequate ventilation.

Propane Powered Heaters

Mr. Heater manufactures excellent little propane heaters that are allowed for use indoors. They are equipped with a safety shutdown that detects low oxygen levels. Additionally, several YouTubers have analyzed carbon monoxide levels while using these heaters, and the results have consistently shown zero levels. Mr. Heater is available in a variety of sizes. The tiny Mr. Heaterwill most likely suffice for a small tent, but you may want to consider upgrading to a larger Mr. Heaterfor a larger tent or camper.

Heater’s little gas heater is suitable for use inside a tent provided there is adequate airflow.

Candle Heaters

When it comes to increasing the temperature inside your tent, candle heaters might be a terrific option. Even while they may get rather warm and are pleasant to snuggle about in, you shouldn’t expect them to significantly raise the temperature of the air in your tent by much more than a couple of degrees. As with every candle, there is always the possibility of it falling over and causing a use caution while using candles! There is some good news in that they are quite inexpensive as well as tiny and light.

  1. The simpleUCO Original Candle Lantern is a fantastic, little option to consider.
  2. Because of the ease with which candle heaters operate, you might want to explore creating your own version.
  3. This is an excellent video on how to construct one: As shown in this video, many individuals utilize bread pans instead of a tiny tray to hold the candles instead of a small tray.
  4. When burning candles in an enclosed location, it is important to ensure that there is adequate ventilation.

The candles deplete the oxygen in the room, and any burning might result in the release of carbon monoxide. In order to keep the candle flame tiny, only a minimal quantity of ventilation should be required.

Electric Heaters

If you are camping at a site with power and want to put an extension cord inside your tent, there are a plethora of alternatives for tiny electric warmers. Because the subject of this essay is on heating a tent without the use of electricity, I will not go into detail on electric heaters. I can note, though, that the Honeywell Ceramic Heat Budis a fantastic low-cost alternative.

How to Heat a Tent Without Electricity

Beyond the previously listed measures (insulating your tent, utilizing a tent with a stove-jack, or purchasing a tent heater), there are still a few techniques to keeping a tent warm without the use of an electric heater. First and foremost, you will require a heat source.that is, a fire. You’ll need a technique to securely transfer the heat into your tent without bringing the fire inside your tent, which is the next step. You may transfer heat from a fire into your tent by heating up anything that will remain warm for an extended period of time after it has been heated.

The term “specific heat capacity” simply refers to the ability of something to retain or lose heat when exposed to heat.

The specific heat capacity of objects is low, which means they will heat up easily but will also cool down easily.

1. Water

Water has a very high specific heat capacity, making it an excellent medium for holding large amounts of heat and expelling it slowly over an extended period of time. The difficult element is ensuring that the water is stored in appropriate containers that can withstand the heat and do not leak. How to go about it: A metal water bottle or plastic container that is capable of holding hot liquid will be required. The greater the size, the better. And the more you have, the better it will be for you.

Bring them into the tent after that, but be sure they won’t leak or melt the tent fabric before you do so.

If you keep them close together or touching one other, they will stay warm for a longer period of time.

One additional perk is that, if you wake up and the bottles have begun to cool down a bit, you may bring one of them into your sleeping bag with you (one with a very trusty, non-leaking lid).

2. Stones

Stones have a high specific heat capacity and may maintain their heat for several hours. Putting them in the right spot so they don’t melt your tent is the key to success. Bring a cookie sheet or two, and you’ll have the ideal answer. Assuming you are unable to bring a cookie sheet with you, you will have to get creative and come up with something else to set the stones upon. It is necessary for this approach to work effectively for the stones to be rather warm, and they should likely be warm enough that you do not want to place them directly on the floor of your tent.

Wet rocks or boulders that are too close to a river should not be used since they may contain small quantities of water deep within them.

How to go about it: Collect a number of stones weighing between 1-2 pounds.

If you don’t have a large campfire, you may have to essentially cook them over the fire.

Please make certain that it is out of the way and that nothing will fall onto it. As with water, this will not make your tent toasty warm, but it will help to raise the temperature a few degrees. Keep the stones close so that they may retain their heat for a longer period of time.

3. Soil (pitch your tent over an burned out fire)

This strategy involves a significant amount of effort and forethought, but if executed properly, it may be quite beneficial. It is most successful with tiny tents, but it may also be used well with large tents with a little more effort and planning. How to go about it: Dig a shallow trench that is the length and breadth of the area where you would sleep, and about 4-6 inches deep in the middle. Many hot coals or small heated stones should be spread at the bottom of the trench, and they should be covered with at least 2-3 inches of earth.

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Keeping Yourself Warm

Maintaining your own body temperature will reduce the amount of energy required to warm the rest of your tent. Your first point of consideration should be the clothing and equipment you already have. If you don’t have the proper clothing and equipment, staying warm might be difficult. Following that, there are a few techniques to keep oneself warm in a frigid tent for the duration of the night.

Clothing and Sleeping Gear

Although a comprehensive study of winter clothing and camping equipment is beyond the scope of this article, the following are the most important considerations:

  1. Make Sure You’re Insulated From the Ground– one of the most common misconceptions people make is believing that a nice sleeping bag would suffice to keep them warm at night and that a sleeping pad is only for comfort purposes. The primary function of a sleeping pad is to provide insulation between you and the ground. If you don’t have one, the earth will suck all of your warmth away from you all night. Keep your sleeping bag at a higher temperature than you think you need since temperature ratings on sleeping bags are confusing.and misleading. The degree rating they claim is almost always far lower than the level of comfort you will actually be able to achieve. When the temperature is 32°F, a bag with a 32°F rating will not keep you comfortable at that temperature. In such circumstance, you’ll probably want to stick with a bag that’s 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue to Dress in High-Quality Clothes– It is far simpler to keep oneself warm than it is to warm yourself up after being cold. However, when people are unsure about how much clothes to wear, they tend to err on the side of caution and wear too little. I recommend that you dress in several layers and remove one at a time if you start to feel overheated.

The Water Bottle Trick

Water is excellent at retaining heat for an extended period of time (it has a high specific heat for you chemistry folks). You might be surprised at how much heat a water bottle full of warm water can generate when placed in your sleeping bag. What to do: before bed, boil some water and pour it into a water bottle that isn’t prone to leaking and is capable of holding hot liquid. Nalgene bottles work well for this, or you can get one of these handy hot water bags that are specifically designed for this purpose.

Snuggle Up

Extremely effective heat exchange occurs between two persons! Snuggle up as close as possible to your camping companion if you don’t mind being snuggled up to them. If you are unable to sleep in this position, try sleeping on your stomach or “spoon.”

How To Connect Two Sleeping Bags

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that two sleeping bags will zip together until you’re out in the cold struggling with two zippers that just don’t work properly together. You might purchase a double-wide sleeping bag, but they are often not approved for use in really cold weather conditions. Except for theTeton Sports Tracker Double Sleeping Bag, which should keep you pleasant and toasty in the following ways: Teton Sports Tracker Double Sleeping Bag (Teton Sports Tracker Double Sleeping Bag) Many rectangular sleeping bags can be zipped together, although they are not normally designed to withstand cold temperatures.

This is so the zippers will be adjacent to each other when they are both laying face up.

Purchasing two sleeping bags of the same model might be really beneficial.

Using a zipper to join two sleeping bags of various models or brands is not a simple task. You must first determine whether or not the types and sizes of zippers used in each sleeping bag are compatible.


Most tents are not built to hold in a lot of heat, so if you want to stay warm in the winter, an insulated tent, a tent with a stove jack, or a camping heater that utilizes gas or candles can be beneficial. You’ll want to put your tent in a strategic area as well, preferably one that is not too exposed to the elements. Hot water, stones, or pitching your tent over some buried embers may all be used to keep your tent warm during the evening and night. And, of course, ensure that you are adequately dressed and equipped for the cold.

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Best Ways to Heat a Tent Without Electricity

Camping in the winter is one of the most amazing experiences a person can have. There are no pests or hot, humid weather to worry about, so I can enjoy the beauty of everything blanketed in white snow without having to worry about them. Furthermore, any perishable food that I bring with me remains refrigerated by nature during the trip! Winter camping, on the other hand, can provide its own set of difficulties. Before I began camping in the winter, I was always curious about how to keep a tent warm without using power.

Fortunately, I’ve discovered several effective techniques to heat my finest winter-weather camping tents with excellent results.

What Is the Best Way to Heat a Tent?

When asked what the best way to heat a winter tent is, the majority of campers would simply say that an electric or gas heater is the best option. When I asked how to heat a tent without electricity, the first thing that sprang to me was a heater, which is also what I suggested. However, I find that using a gasoline or propane heater in a winter tent makes me feel too uneasy because of the potential safety dangers it presents. All heaters, whether electric, gas, propane, or diesel, have the potential to emit carbon monoxide.

  1. Rather of pumping more and more air into an uninsulated tent and allowing it to escape, I’ve found that prioritizing insulating the tent itself is far more successful in terms of efficiency (or, if necessary, just my sleeping bag).
  2. Despite the fact that a three-season tent may be used for winter camping, it will lose heat at a greater rate than either a four-season or winter-specific camping tent.
  3. In addition to selecting one of the best backpacking tents for winter camping, I usually go the extra mile to insulate the tent even more.
  4. Even after purchasing a fully-insulated tent, I was still perplexed as to how to remain warm in a tent when there was no power.

In most cases, though, I discovered that my own body heat was sufficient to keep things pleasant. If it didn’t work, I could always try running a heater for a brief period of time or using any of the techniques and tactics listed below.

How Do You Heat a Tent for Winter Camping?

I’ve discovered that the majority of artificial heating systems will successfully raise the temperature of an insulated tent to a suitable sleeping temperature for the night. The quickest and most efficient way to heat a tent is with a heater, although I prefer to avoid taking this path if possible. If you decide to use a gas or propane camp stove, make sure to carry along a carbon monoxide monitor just in case something goes wrong. At the time I was thinking about how to heat a tent without electricity, I was under the impression that a nearby bonfire would be sufficient heat source.

  • Instead, I like to take advantage of the indirect benefits of a nice campfire.
  • While a single hot water bottle is unlikely to warm a whole tent, much alone one intended for many people, it works well when snuggled into my sleeping bag with me at night, especially in the winter.
  • Ideally, large boulders that are not too heavy are used for this purpose.
  • They won’t keep you warm for as long as a hot water bottle, but they’ll keep you warm for several hours by releasing tremendous heat.
  • As an alternative, I place them in a container, on a thick carpet or blanket, or on a hard surface within the tent.

What Kind of Heater Is Safe to Use in a Tent?

Technically, there is no tent heater that is completely safe to use in a tent. When you use a heating device, there is always the possibility of a fire, hazardous gas release, or other catastrophic malfunction. However, since the purpose of this post is to discuss ways to heat a tent without using electricity, there are a few additional possibilities to explore. Our discussion on propane-powered tent heaters and camp stoves has already concluded. I tend to avoid using them since they should only be used in well-ventilated places, and because a well-ventilated tent is a chilly tent, I avoid using them whenever possible.

  • A catalytic tent heater differs from a conventional heating device that uses combustion to generate heat.
  • Catalytic heaters are significantly safer than other types of heaters to use in a tent since they do not burn the fuel to generate heat (just the energy to run the operation).
  • They should never be used unsupervised, either, according to the manufacturer.
  • They are costly, but because they burn fuel considerably more slowly than combustion stoves and heaters, they will pay for themselves over time if you use the heater frequently enough.
  • As previously said, they still require monitoring (no sleeping with the heater turned on, no matter how tempting it may be), and they have the potential to melt or ignite anything if they approach too close to the heated element.

However, if a heater is required, they are the most cost-effective solution when power is not readily accessible.

How Can I Keep Warm in the Winter Without Electricity?

I believe that the most effective way to keep a tent warm in cold weather is to insulate it and plan ahead of time. My decision not to use combustion stoves in my tent when I first started made me question how I would remain warm in a tent without them. I was right. Currently, when I depart on a camping trip, I usually make a point of gathering everything I could need to be warm. I double-check that I have everything I need, as well as a little more in case of an emergency, and that all of my equipment is in good working order before leaving the house.

When I’m hiking at my campground, I put on long underwear underneath my clothes, and when I go to bed, I put on long underwear.

The use of thick, warm socks (but not too heated that they cause your feet to sweat) and a well-fitting winter cap is also recommended.

When the weather is especially cold, I frequently wear my socks and a winter hat to bed; this helps me keep warm and cozy throughout the night.

Some three-season sleeping bags can suffice, but for me, a four-season sleeping bag is usually preferable, especially on colder vacations.

In certain cases, the issue of how to heat a tent in cold weather isn’t the one I should be asking.

Despite the fact that I’m cuddled up in my sleeping bag with my thick socks and long underwear, warm cap, and warm water bottle, the cold air in the tent can’t get in the way of my slumber.

The use of one or two pairs of thick sleeping socks is sufficient, and a down sleeping bag will keep you far warmer than a synthetic sleeping bag.

Final Thoughts

I’ve experienced several awful winter camping nights where no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get warm enough to stay comfortable. Overpacking with garments, blankets, and other insulating goods has resulted in my sweating inside my sleeping bag for the majority of the night on a few occasions. Maintaining that delicate balance between being too warm and being too chilly may be difficult when the weather outdoors isn’t consistent.

However, I am certain that I will be able to make it through my treks and camping vacations as long as I carry along any necessary materials. I’ve had enough of experience to assist me figure out what I should bring and what I should leave at home.

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