Part of the magic of cool weather camping is the crisp breeze once the sun goes down, and waking up to a brisk morning where you can see your breath. You open your tent and get to see the bright fall colors, or perhaps some snow on the ground. Either way, it can be more enjoyable that sweating your butt off in the heat of summer. But it does bring its own set of challenges, and staying warm in a tent can be a chore. Heating a tent can be quite difficult since the thin walls don’t insulate much, but knowing how to heat a tent properly can make a huge difference in your comfort levels.
If you frequently camp in places with electric hookups, your needs will be completely different than those who don’t have hookups or camp dispersed. Do you carry propane, and if so, is it a 1 lb. canister or 20 lbs.? Are you looking to only heat your tent, or would you consider keeping yourself warm outside and then crawling into a warm sleeping bag. No matter your situation, we’re going to break down the various options available to keep you warm, and have separated them into two categories – how to heat a tent with propane, how to heat a tent without electricity, and how to heat a tent with electricity.
How to Heat a Tent with Propane
One of the best ways to heat a tent is to use a propane tent heater that’s labeled as “indoor safe.” There’s several propane heaters that are perfect for camping, but one of the most popular ones is the Mr. Buddy Heater or the Little Buddy heater. They run using a traditional 1 lb. propane canister that can be found at pretty much any outdoor or sports store. There’s also a couple of products that double as a cooking stove and run using a connector hose to a 20lb. propane canister. You’ll need to decide for yourself which is the better option for your situation.
How to Heat a Tent Without Electricity
We’ve written a whole article on how to heat a tent with a candle, and it’s really quite interesting information. While the BTUs output for a candle is quite low, some consider it to be a safer option that a propane heater since it doesn’t emit carbon monoxide. It takes time and patience, but it does work!
Related Post: How to Heat a Tent With a Candle
A classic but effective way to heat up a tent involves pulling rocks from the fire pit and placing them inside your tent. These rocks can either be placed in the fire pit before the fire, or pulled from the fire ring at some point, but the best location to stash them for the night is under a cot or raised sleeping platform. They retain their heat for a long time, but it’s essential that they are within a safe temperature range – not too hot to melt anything, but warm enough to provide some benefit. You will need some type of glove to handle the hot rocks!
Solar Powered Tent Heater
We’ve seen some articles claiming that there are solar powered tent heaters out there, but that’s not really true, especially if you think about the fundamentals of it. Most people are going to want to warm a tent during the nighttime, when there wouldn’t be any sunlight to power a solar charger. If it happens to be needed during the daytime, there’s probably not going to be enough sunlight available to truly power anything. So if you want to use a solar powered product to heat your tent, the best thing to do is to purchase a large enough battery bank to store the amount of amps you need, then run the solar charger during the day. At night, you can connect things to the battery pack and pull power that way.
How to Heat a Tent with Electricity
When you have the ability to use an electric hook-up, generator, or large battery bank, your options greatly expand when it comes to heating your tent. Most anything electric can be used, such as an electric space heater and/or heated blanket.
How to Insulate a Tent
If you’re camping in winter weather conditions and need to break out all the tricks for keeping a tent warm, then one of the best options is to insulate the thin material on your tent. The thin material of a tent hardly prevents the transferring of heat across the barrier, leaving the inside of your tent almost as cold as the outside – unless you take matters into your own hands. This involves purchasing heat reflective pads for the ground and Mylar heat reflective blankets for the sides. Simply line the ground of the tent with the heat reflective pads, then cover the outside of your tent with the heat reflective Mylar blankets.
About the Author
Ashley is an adventurous soul who loves all things nature, especially warm sunshine, hiking, wildflowers, and mushrooms. If she isn’t writing content for Know Nothing Nomads, she’s probably in a forest looking at big mountain views and tiny pieces of moss on the side of the trail.