Camping Tips

Top 10 Tent Heating Ideas – Safe Tent Heaters For Camping


Spending a winter night at the surface of a frozen lake with a mug of hot chocolate is fun to do. But is that hot chocolate enough to keep you warm on a winter chilly night?

You might be wondering if it is safe to camp on a frozen lake. Yes, it is until the snow is thick enough. But what will keep your tent safe from cold winds while enjoying your winter camping? Don’t stress out. We have come up with the top 10 tent heating ideas to maintain a cosy winter camping experience.

Two methods to heat the tent

These 10 ideas include two methods to keep your tent warm safely and comfortably. One of them is the use of heaters, and the other nine includes some affordable tricks. Let’s discuss each of them.

Safe Tent Heating Ideas Other Than Heaters:

1. Make delicious food and keep yourself warm with a camping stove

Isn’t a camp stove must when you go camping? Or you rely on canned food for days? No, we can’t live on stored food for days. It’s okay for a day or two, but you have to make something solid for yourself when it comes to a week camp. For satisfying your hunger deals, you can not go camping without a camp stove. However, do you know that this camp stove can be 2 in 1? Yes, it can serve double. It can be a reliable tool to keep your tent warm. Just make sure that your tent is fire retardant. This choice can vanish your need for choosing campsites with electric hookups (EHU).

2. Drink hot water and keep the tent warm with hot water bottles

Using hot water bottles to keep your tent warm is an old idea, but you know old is gold. So this method is still helpful and safer than those dangerous life taking heaters. It also saves your space for packing a heater.

Who doesn’t pack a water bottle when going camping? After all, we are not camels who can live for weeks without drinking water. But when you’re going on a winter camping trip, you need hot water. So make sure to take hot water bottles with you. It will not only fulfil your drinking needs but keep you warm in freezing temperatures. Store them in your sleeping bag, and you’ll get up all warm in the morning.

3. Go for thermal blankets instead of regular blankets

Isn’t blanket the essential gear in winter? And when it comes to winter camping, we never forget it. But what if we replace an ordinary blanket with a thermal blanket? Yes, it would be a good idea. They are a great source of heat reflection.

When you line them up on the inside of your tent, they will make sure that the heat doesn’t get outside. Unlike heaters, thermal blankets generate heat from your body heat. They reflect 80 per cent of your body heat to you by working as an insulator between your body and the tent.

4. Use down-filled sleeping bags

Down sleeping bags are the best to provide you with a toasty winter camping. They have more insulation ratio than those synthetic ones. You can add further insulation by placing an insulated sleeping pad underneath. A closed pack cell foam sleeping pad serves the best. It creates more insulation from your body heat.

Make sure not to breathe in your sleeping bag because once it gets wet, there’s no use of it. It will lose its insulation capacity and take a lot of time to get dry. But you don’t want to spend your whole night awake like an owl.

5. Heat your sleeping bag with chemical heat packs

If you have tried the above method and not find it reliable, don’t stress out. We have another choice for you. Try these chemical heat packs. Keep them in your pocket. Though, the best idea is to place it inside your sleeping bag. It is an affordable alternative to those heaters. Moreover, it is also safe to use. But test it before use; it may irritate your skin.

These packs come in two forms, disposable and reusable. Disposable ones can heat up to 15 hours, and after that, they’ll cool down. However, reusable ones can be used several times. You have to keep them in boiling water before each use.

6. Place heating mat on the floor of your tent

When you’re taking care of all your essentials like blankets, sleeping bags, and pads, how can you ignore the floor? You have to place something on that chilly floor to get a peaceful night’s sleep. For this, you must need a heating mat. It will protect you from mud on the ground and keep you warm at the same time.

You might be wondering how a small piece of the rug will heat the floor. No, it won’t heat the floor. Instead, the carpet emits heat and makes sure that it keeps in the tent. Also, it acts as an insulator between the floor and you to prevent the cold air from getting in.

7. Heated stones can be a great choice

Did you ever know that rocks could be manipulated as a radiator? I never knew before I started camping. They say, ”Need is the mother of invention.” You’ll get to know everything when you’ll need it.

So how can a rock be used as a radiator? Some stones have a natural tendency to capture heat. They absorb heat and later on emit it. You have to place them in a fire and heat them for about 30 minutes. After that, wrap it in a towel or aluminium foil. Some people opt to place it at a suitable place near the tent from where the heat could get in. Yet, it’s safe to place it inside your tent.

8. Do not waste the leftover coals

You will probably use coals to light up your campfire. Most people opt to waste it or leave it wherever it was burnt. But you don’t need to do this. Be a genius, and reuse the leftover coals.
If you haven’t yet built your tent, build it over the leftover coals. Cover it with sand and place your sleeping bag on it. If you’re done with your tent already, then dig a pit in the centre of it. Now place the leftover coals in the pit and cover it with sand. Make sure that the coals are still hot.

9. Make sure to remove morning frost from the tent

One of the main issues you’ll face during winter camping is frost. The dew that falls at night might condense on the wall of your tent. They are actually the water vapours from the atmosphere that falls at night. The same goes for the frost. If the ice melts, you’ll wake up under a soggy tent. It will further lower the temperature for you. That is why clearing the frost is a good idea. You may use a tent brush to sweep the frost. Another piece of advice is to cover your tent with garbage bags to keep it from getting soggy. If your tent gets wet, make sure to dry it in the sunshine before the night arrives.


10. Safe Tent Heaters For Tent Camping

Whenever it comes to tent heating ideas, portable heaters are the first to pop your mind. It is the most authentic way to keep your tent warm. Here are some options among heaters that you can choose.

Electric heaters are the easiest method to opt for if you have an electric supply at your campsite. You have to turn the switch on, and within seconds you’ll get a 100 sq ft tent warm. Moreover, electric tent heaters are safe to use. Neither they require gas nor combustion. That is why they do not catch fire. So you don’t have to wake up every 10 minutes monitoring if you’re safe.

Most of the campsites do not have an accessible electric supply. For such cases, you may go for propane gas heaters. You might be thinking that you need a gas supply at your campsite to use this one. But no, these heaters come with propane tanks and are portable.

Beware! Propane gas tent heaters are not safe to use. They emit carbon monoxide that is hazardous for human beings. However, with proper ventilation, this issue can be resolved. Also, you can not leave it unattended as it can catch fire.

So no gas supply, no electric supply, what to do now? Still, you have the option! You can opt for oil-filled radiators, also known as convection heaters. They don’t draw enough heat to keep all your tent warm, but they secure you from those chilly winds. On the downside, oil-filled radiators are heavy and not portable.

If you find oil-filled radiators heavy and need a portable option, catalytic heaters are the best alternative. They are convenient to store in your luggage. And the good news is, you don’t have to worry about catching fire as they are fireless. However, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning with these heaters that could be solved with proper ventilation.

Halogen heaters are a good choice as their heat output is a lot more than radiators. And they consume just a small amount of energy for this. They are lightweight and attractive and can be used as a glowing lantern. High five! Double the game with this small impressive tool. But make sure to go for the one that is hangable. Standouts have a risk of causing fire hazards.

A candle heater is another portable and safe method to warm your tent. The best part is that you neither need an electric supply nor a gas supply to use this method. Candles are lightweight and can be easily stored in your luggage. They can not only keep your tent warm but add a natural glow to your tent.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to heat a tent without electricity?

Some campsites do not have electric hookups or supplies. Not the world ends here. You still have various choices to heat your tent in the absence of electricity. All you need is to be intelligent and technical. Here I will mention some ways to heat your tent without electricity.

• You can opt for portable propane gas heaters instead of electric heaters. They are comfortable operating as they come with a propane tank. They do not need any electricity supply.

• Wrap up yourself with extra warm clothes. Keep your body warm. The most important thing here is your feet! If your feet are warm enough, your whole body will get cosy. So keep an extra pair of socks with you if your campsite doesn’t have an electric supply.

• Invest in the right tent and accessories like sleeping bags, carpets, and sleeping pads. Your tent must be able to bear those chilly winds. Your tent’s fabric must be thick and waterproof so that it doesn’t get soggy at night due to dewfall. So choose a tent that is tested to withstand freezing temperatures.

• Another trick is to eat well before going to bed. It will help you to keep warm all night. A high-fat meal is the best in such regard. It will release heat in your body and make it toasty in the chilly weather. Don’t drink water 2-4 hours before going to bed. Don’t hold your pee. It will lower your body temperature.

How to heat a tent with a candle?

Heating your tent with a candle is the safest and easiest method so far. It doesn’t need an electric supply, no gas supply. Just buy a portable candle warmer, and you’re done. It will cut your worries about choosing a campsite with EHUs or packing those bulky heaters. You can even camp in the wilderness without any need for heaters when you have this magical flame by your side.

The good news is advanced candle warmers like UCO candle lanterns do not even possess a flame. Yes, they are flameless, which means no need to worry about fire hazards. Yet, they manage to increase the temperature up to 15 degrees inside the tent.

Some people think that heating a tent with a candle is not safe. Yes, I agree. But with the right care and use, you can make it safe. If you are using an original candle, make sure that the flame doesn’t reach your tent’s fabric. Otherwise, that paper-like fabric will burn. To cope with this case, you might use a flameless candle warmer.

You must light the candle at least 3 hours before going to bed for the best results. If you have a large tent, one candle will not go well. You have to choose the number of candles according to your tent size.

Besides heating, the candle will provide such a peaceful glow that no other LED lights can. We all need peace when we spare some days to enjoy nature. And if you choose a candle with an aroma, it will be another plus point.

How to insulate a tent for winter camping?

Insulating your tent is a good idea to save you from those chilly winds during winter camping. An insulation method is affordable and convenient in the sense that you’ll not need any expensive tools to keep yourself warm. The heat your body generates will be conserved when you use an insulation method.
Here are some tips and ways to insulate your tent in winter camping.

• Line up your tent with space blankets, so the heat doesn’t get outside your tent. You can also use garbage bags or some towels for this purpose. But space blankets serve the best.

• Reduce the ambient space of your tent. We need an open space and a large tent to accommodate even two people during the summer. On the other hand, four people can be adjusted in the same tent in winter. The closer you’re, the less cold you’ll get.

• The floor is the major site of attention when it comes to insulation. Please don’t ignore it. All your thermal linings, down-filled sleeping bags, tent coverings, hot water bottles, and insulated sleeping pads will get of no use if the floor is conducting cold. So don’t forget to cover it entirely with thermal carpets or rugs before placing your sleeping bag.

• Setting your tent in front of a windbreak is another great choice for insulation. Set your tent near a tree or a large rock. Also, you can make a DIY windbreak by preparing a Big snowman from the snow on the ground. It will save the tent from chilly winds.

How Do I Heat My Tent for Camping?

You can heat your tent with a bunch of stones in the middle of your tent and insulate your tent as well. The other option is to use thermal blankets and sleeping bags. A Coleman 0°F Mummy Sleeping Bag and Woolly Mammoth Woolen blanket are best for winter camping.

Final words:

Those freezing temperatures, icy winds, and frozen lakes can not stop passionate campers from camping. But you can not compromise your health in any condition. That is why you must pack your gear to fight those chilly winds coming your way.

We have tried our best to collect all the helpful information to protect from harsh weather conditions in winter. Gear up and head on to your favourite destination with our guide of tent heating ideas to keep you warm.

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