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.
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.
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.
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 blaze.so use caution while using candles! There is some good news in that they are quite inexpensive as well as tiny and light.
- The simpleUCO Original Candle Lantern is a fantastic, little option to consider.
- Because of the ease with which candle heaters operate, you might want to explore creating your own version.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
- Winter clothes and camping gear are beyond the scope of this essay, but the following are the most important considerations to keep in mind.
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.
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 done in order for the zippers to be close to each other while they are both laying face up on the ground.
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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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 solution I tried was theSeek Outside Redcliff Hot Tent, which costs $1,355, and is a large, pyramid-shaped silnylon floorless shelter that comes complete with a titanium wood-burning stove. The Redcliff can comfortably sleep three adults if you use the stove that comes with it, and it weighs only about nine pounds all together. You’ll have a package that’s light enough to carry into the backcountry but tall enough to stand up inside and spacious enough to take car camping. With its six-foot-ten-inch peak, it’s also tall enough to stand up inside but small enough to take car camping.
- It took a fair amount of trial and error to get the shelter up and running the first time, as it does with all tipi and pyramid structures.
- 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.
- The tent shape necessitates the use of multiple stakes that surround the pyramid, each of which must provide equal tension from all directions in order to keep the single carbon fiber center pole from becoming unstable.
- Assembly of each stake loop and guyout requires numerous adjustments, and it is something you will be working on throughout the night (and for the duration of any trip) in order to achieve the optimal level of tension.
- Using the Redcliff stove isn’t straightforward either.
- The correct diameter is about an inch.
- Any thinner, and it’ll burn up too fast.
- Any longer, and it won’t fit.
- Get the stove running just right, load precisely the correct amount of wood into it, and the longest you can expect it to burn unattended is about half an hour.
Once it goes out, titanium and silnylon retain very little heat. Restarting a dead fire involves making a whole new fire. That’s not much fun at 3 A.M.
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.
- Heater Little Buddy ($105) for around five hours.
- 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.
- (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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Most likely, the Planar portable 12V diesel heater will be the most cost-effective solution.
- 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.
- Additionally, diesel heaters require an electric power supply to begin operating and to operate their controller.
- They perform best when left permanently placed on a camper trailer.
- 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.
- 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 small amount that I could 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.
- 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.
- It’s also vital to note that batteries do not appreciate being exposed to temps below freezing.
- 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.
- However, you should expect to notice a change.
- 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.
How To Heat A Tent. 9 Great Ways To Make Your Tent Warm And Cozy At Night
When camping, there isn’t a readily available source of electricity to draw from. 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 have. With the advent of electric cars, however, this is beginning to change. 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 activity?
- I began researching electric blankets on the internet before embarking on this experiment.
- A warning was promptly issued, stating that the pad should not be folded, since doing so would cause the wires within to break, posing a fire risk.
- A 100 watt heated blanket meant for residential usage proved to be the next best thing, according to the evidence.
- To remedy this, I purchased an Amazon-exclusive Serta 100 Watt AC blanket ($60).
- You should also plan on bringing the battery inside the tent or storing it in a cooler to keep it warm throughout the winter months.
- In case of a power failure at the cabin, its 500 Watt-hour capacity is more than enough to keep camp lights and cell phones charged, as well as a few lamps running.
- It was build quality, rather than run time, that was the initial challenge.
It was clear from customer feedback that this was a widespread issue.
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 mistaking it for an optical illusion.
I was also sent a sample of Jackery’s new Explorer 1500 Solar Generator kit ($2,699), which I tested out around the same time.
According to the manufacturer, the kit has four 100-watt solar panels and all of the necessary gear, which will 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 house.
The utilization of a $2,699 solar generator to power a $26 cubicle heater seems a little silly, doesn’t you think?
On a single battery charge, those 1500 watt-hours provided me with enough power to operate the 100 watt blanket all night and for two nights on a single charge.
The majority of room-size electric space heaters can switch between settings that require 750 or 1,500 watts of electricity.
In comparison to apartments, tents are much smaller.
In the end, I got a teeny-tiny $26 cubicle heater that can be adjusted to draw between 100 and 250 watts of power.
In reality, the heater was using 225 Watts at the 250-watt level.
Six and a half hours on high and 15 hours on low is a total of seven and a half hours.
So I hauled the batteries, the blanket, and the space heater out into the snow, along with the Mr.
According to what can be seen in the video, the outcome was unexpected.
In its more efficient, 100 watt level, the space heater is now my go-to option for quickly heating a two- or three-person tent to a very comfortable temperature for a short period of time—around bedtime and in the morning—while delivering just a hint of additional heat throughout the night.
There are a few exceptions to this that I should point out.
Maintaining adequate ventilation to allow the water vapor produced by your breath, body, and clothes to escape overnight is still a concern for homeowners.
If you don’t want to take the Jackery with you into the tent, you may store it in a cooler with the wires going out the drainage opening.
In cooler temperatures, you should not expect to observe the same 24-degree temperature differential.
And that is a significant success for this camper.
For the foreseeable future, this solution will accompany me on every cold-weather automobile camping excursion.
How to heat a tent without electricity
If you don’t have access to power at your campground, there are various options for heating your tent. You may get around this by using a generator to provide electricity wherever you are. There are a variety of methods for heating a tent without using power if you wish to try it. Wood stoves and indoor butane/propane heaters are two prevalent methods of generating heat. However, there are also good old-fashioned methods, such as sleeping on hot coals and using hot cocks. A word of caution, though.
It’s okay to burn something inside your tent every now and again.
When you sleep in your tent, inhaling a cloud of smoke can be dangerous or even fatal.
It is also important to have adequate ventilation.
1 – Wood Burning Stove
The use of a wood burning stove inside your tent is an excellent method of keeping your tent warm. It is possible to purchase tents that have stove jacks built into them, which allow you to transmit a stove chimney through the tent’s wall or top. You should only use a wood burning stove within a tent that has been specifically made for the purpose. A wood-burning hot tent may be quite warm, and it can add an added touch of luxury to the experience of camping within. Tents with stove jacks are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from small 1 person teepee tents to large 20 person wall tents.
2 – Propane/Butane Heater
If you want to keep your tent warm, you can use a tiny butane or propane heater. Only use a heater that has been specifically developed for use indoors. Never use a fuel-burning heater indoors if it wasn’t intended for that purpose. There are two different models of these heaters. Radiant heaters and catalytic heaters are two types of heaters. Take care when putting any of these little heaters in a tight space. You don’t want them to be in a position where you might easily bump into them or knock them over while inside your tent, for obvious reasons.
Still, there is a possibility that a hot surface will fall on anything combustible and ignite when it flips over.
Catalytic heaters create heat through the use of a catalytic reaction with the fuel. A flame does not appear to be present in any of them.
Because there isn’t a flame, this is a little safer than the other. The disadvantage is that they are significantly more expensive than a radiant heater. Camco manufactures several outstanding catalytic heaters that are suitable for use in indoor environments.
Radiant heaters are the typical little fuel-burning space heaters that are still in use today. They generate heat by igniting the fuel, which is often propane or butane in this case. Make certain that the heater you choose is intended for indoor use. It is not recommended that you heat your tent with a portable fire pit or a gas burner. The gases from them are not intended for interior usage, and they may accumulate in your tent and cause you to suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning. Mr Heater manufactures a variety of excellent tiny heaters that may be used in tight spaces such as your tent.
3 – Candle Lantern
Candle lanterns are miniature lanterns that are lit by a single small candle (or several small candles). They produce a modest quantity of light as well as a little heat. They will not sufficiently warm your tent as effectively as a 4000 BTU Mr Heater Propane heater. If you’re in a tiny tent, they’ll help to take the edge off the cold. Always use caution while igniting anything inside your tent or any other tiny confined space, no of how small. Too much smoke from the combustion of anything is harmful to one’s health.
4 – Hot Rocks
Now we’ll have a look at one of the most rustic and old-fashioned methods of heating a tent. Rocks are extremely effective in retaining and radiating heat over an extended period of time. Rocks have a high density and are capable of storing a significant amount of heat energy relative to their size. To utilize hot rocks to heat your tent, you’ll need to find some rocks and place them on or near your bonfire, as shown in the picture. Allow them to heat up as you relax in front of the fireplace for the evening.
- In certain cases, wet rocks may have water accumulated within them, which can cause them to break or explode when heated in your fire.
- When you’re ready to retire for the night, check the rocks to make sure they’re not too hot.
- You should wait until your rocks have cooled down to the point where you can touch them without being burned.
- The video below demonstrates how to utilize hot rocks to heat your tent from the inside.
5 – Hot Water Bottles
The heat from the bonfire may be used to heat water bottles, which is another method of keeping your tent warm. As an alternative to placing hot rocks in your tent, you will be putting hot water bottles in your tent instead. Find several big bottles that you can fill with water and set them aside. Heat them up in the vicinity of your campfire. Never place the bottles directly on a hot surface; otherwise, the bottles will melt and become ruined. As soon as the water bottles become hot, remove them from the fire and place them in your tent.
If they are becoming a bit too warm, you can wrap them in blankets or towels to keep them warm. Before utilizing them, you should allow them to cool to the point where you can touch them without getting burned.
6 – Put your tent over a burned out fire
Planning ahead of time is required for this strategy. In order to keep your tent warm, you will place it directly over the hot embers from your campfire. Planning ahead of time is required for this strategy. Either you need to put your tent up immediately or wait until after you put out your fire. After you’ve set up your tent, you’ll need to move it over the hot embers. You must build your fire in the area where you intend to set up your tent. It is necessary to extinguish your fire at night.
Shovel a couple of inches of soil on top of the fire that has been extinguished.
This will also prevent the floor of your tent or ground covering from becoming soiled due to the carbon emitted by the coals.
Before putting anything on top of the fire, it should be cold enough that you can comfortably touch the soil above it.
How to heat a tent with electricity
In the event that you have access to power at your campground, there are a number of options for heating your tent using electricity. Space heaters, as well as heated blankets or ground cloths, are excellent options. If your campsite does not have an electric hookup, you may always use a small generator to power your campfire. For as long as you can get the generator to your campground, you will have enough electricity to heat your tent. If you want to utilize power around your campground, keep in mind that you will be in the great outdoors.
Avoid electrocuting oneself if at all possible.
7 – Electric heater or space heater
In the event that you have access to power at your campground, there are a number of options for heating your tent using electricity. Space heaters, as well as heated blankets or ground cloths, are excellent options. If your campsite does not have an electric hookup, you may always use a small generator to power your campfire. For as long as you can get the generator to your campground, you will have enough electricity to heat your tent. When selecting an indoor space heater, it is a good idea to look for one that has overheating and tip over protection features.
If it becomes clogged and begins to overheat, it will shut off automatically.
8 – Heated rug
You may use a heated rug to keep the floor of your tent warm and to keep you warm while you sleep inside your tent.
Heated rugs are available in a wide range of styles and sizes to suit your needs. When placed on extremely cold ground, they will radiate heat into your tent, warming it to a comfortable temperature.
9 – Heated blanket
You may purchase a heated blanket to use while sleeping. This will keep you warm throughout the night. You may put the blanket inside or on top of your sleeping bag, depending on your preference.
Can you use battery power to heat your tent?
There aren’t many battery-operated heaters available on the market. It is not practicable unless you draw an excessive amount of current. A large stack of batteries would not be able to last the entire night. You can use an inverter to power a very modest plug-in electric heater by grabbing the largest vehicle battery you can find and connecting it to the battery. In a matter of hours, you will have depleted the battery’s capacity. Although it appears to be a wonderful idea, you will not receive much in return for the labor of transporting a large 12 volt battery to your campground.
How to heat a tent FAQ
There are a variety of safe methods for heating your tent. You may utilize a variety of heating methods, including wood burning stoves, tiny propane heaters, electric heaters, and more. Only use a rake that has been specifically intended for use with a wood burning stove. Only propane heaters designed for indoor usage should be used. It is possible to safely heat a tent at night if you do not want to be cold in your tent throughout the night.
Q: What is the best way to heat a tent?
The most convenient methods of heating a tent are propane heaters, wood stoves, and electric heaters. It is dependent on whether or not you have access to power at your campground. A wood stove can only be used in a tent designed specifically for it, or one of the DIY methods of modifying a tent can be used.
Q: How do you heat an outdoor tent?
There are a variety of options for heating an outdoor tent. The following is a list of the most popular alternatives available.
- Heated rugs and blankets
- Wood burning stove
- Propane or Butane burning indoor safe heaters
- Hot rocks and hot water bottles
- Heated rugs and blankets
Q: How can I keep my tent warm without electricity?
You may use a wood burning fire or a propane-fueled burner to heat your home. If you are not comfortable with the idea of burning something inside your tent, there are other alternatives. You may heat up pebbles or water bottles and place them inside your tent to keep the bugs away. If you’re feeling very daring, you may pitch your tent directly on top of the hot bed of coals after you’ve extinguished the fire.
Q: Should you put a tarp under your tent?
The use of a tarp to protect your tent is highly recommended. A tarp can provide protection for your tent from whatever is on the ground beneath it. The cost of replacing a tarp is far less than that of replacing a camping tent. A tarp may be useful in a variety of other situations. Pile a bunch of leaves or pine needles under your tarp before putting your tent on top of it to insulate the ground beneath your tent’s flooring.
Q: Can you heat a tent with a candle?
You may use a candle lantern to heat the interior of your tent if you need to. Even while one candle will not provide much heat, it is preferable to nothing. It is possible that you will just want a candle lantern if you are in a tiny 1 or 2 person tent for the night. You should always use caution while burning anything inside your tent, regardless of the weather conditions.
Q: How much warmth does a tent add?
It will be warmer to sleep in a tent than it will be if you sleep outside in the open. It will shield you from the elements such as wind, rain, and snow.
Because most tents are not constructed of extremely thick material, the tent itself does not offer insulation. 4 Season tents, which are meant for winter camping, are constructed of heavy-duty materials. Some four-season tents are also equipped with insulated walls.
Q: How cold is too cold to camp in a tent?
In a tent, you can camp in any weather condition. If it becomes too chilly, there is no use in continuing. It is essential to be well-prepared and to have the appropriate equipment when camping in freezing conditions. Mountaineers have been camping on high mountain summits in sub-zero weather for years as part of excursions. They demonstrate that you can tent camp in any area if you have the proper equipment. More information may be found in our post on keeping your tent warm in the winter.
Q: How hot is too hot for camping?
Camping is an option if you can withstand the heat. A tent will give you with shade and shelter from the sun while you’re out on the water. If you are able to withstand being outside in the heat, you can camp in a tent throughout the summer. Drink lots of water to avoid being dehydrated. It is possible to utilize a fan in your tent to assist with ventilation and the transfer of moisture out of your tent. For additional details, please see our post on the best fans for tent camping.
You might also like:
- Helpful Guide to the Best Winter Tents with Stove Jacks
- The Best Camping Cookware for Open Fires of Helpful Guide to the Best Camping Cookware for Open Fires of 19 Practical Suggestions for Keeping Your Tent Warm During the Winter
- There are 22 great camping hacks that will come in handy when it rains. How to Live in a Tent for the Entire Year. 23 Tips for Making the Most of Your Tent Lifestyle
About the author
My name is Doug Ryan, and I’d want to introduce myself. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time in nature and looking forward to my next adventure. I try to spend as much time as possible skiing, riding, and paddleboarding. As a method of sharing my expertise and love for all things outdoor experiences, I decided to launch Endless Rush Outdoors. I hope that by doing so, I will be able to assist others in having as much fun as I do.
Recent Hike And Camp Articles
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.
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.
Straightforwardly, it can be shown that water has the greatest thermal mass of all the substances studied. 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.
Heating rocks to keep the tent warm
Large rocks 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.
- Don’t put them in the fire since you’ll have a hard time getting them out afterwards.
- Wrap the stones in a piece of fabric or any other textile material half an hour before you want to go to sleep.
- Make an effort to space them out as much as possible.
- It is expected that they will be quite hot if you wrap them properly, but the fabric should prevent them from melting the canvas.
This, along with some warm clothing, may make a significant impact. In this way, depending on how chilly it is outside, you may end up with pleasant temperatures and be able to keep warm till the next morning.
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.
- Camping would be impossible to do without one of these essentials.
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. In this section, we’ll look at a handful of suggestions for safe electric equipment that you may use while camping.
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.
- Electric blankets are typically constructed with a few small electrical wires woven into the cloth.
- If you can get one that is large enough to wrap around oneself, there is no reason to even bother with heating the tent.
- 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.
- It is possible to get more than 10 years out of a nice electric blanket, provided that it is solely used for camping.
- Now, let’s talk about the disadvantages.
- It can be used in conjunction with a generator, but they are expensive to purchase, and unless you already have one, I don’t think I should recommend that you purchase one solely for the purpose of using the electric blanket.
- Some of the heat created by the blanket must be allowed to naturally evaporate in order to prevent overheating from occurring.
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.
Furthermore, the heat has a more natural feel to it. 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 posts where people recommend using gas heaters or even stoves to raise 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.
Did you know that burning 5 lbs of propane results in the production of 3 lbs of water?
Everything in your tent, even your clothing, will be emptied by it.
Not to mention that, over time, this can cause mold to form in unexpected places.
People are under the impression that candles do not release carbon monoxide.
There is a significant issue with do-it-yourself heaters.
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.
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.