If you consider yourself an outdoorsy person then you probably don’t care how the weather is, you’re going to get out there and explore Mother Nature regardless without even considering how to heat a tent. Whether it’s hot or cold, hard-core adventurers always find a way to continue hiking, camping, fishing etc.
But, it’s always a good idea to take safety precautions to keep yourself warm in extreme weather conditions so you can stay warm while camping. If anything, the inside of your tent should be warm even if it’s minus 10 degrees outside.
The good news is there are actually various different methods that you can use to increase safety and warmth in your tent during the cold winter season so that you don’t freeze your toes off.
How to Heat a Tent Safely
There are various tent heating methods that you can use, whether you’re traveling solo, with a partner or as a family. The best way to figure out which method is appropriate for you, consider the essentials you’re going to need such as camping clothes and if they are accessible to you.
In the following guide on how to heat a tent, we’re going to share some of the best and safest ways to heat a tent. With many options to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find a solution that works for you.
1. Make Your Own Tent Heater
What you’ll need to make your own heater is a couple of materials, including a pulse width modulation controller, a cycle battery, a 12-volt fan, dryer flange, a sheet metal box with a hollow inside, wood logs or charcoal, and a military-style wood stove.
Start by placing the stove just outside of your tent and top it with the sheet metal box. Then, connect a dryer flange on the heather’s duct and install it in the metal box.
Next, place the 12-volt fan in the opposite direction of the duct and add the modulation controller to regulate the speed of the fan. The controller needs a cycle battery in order to work but it doesn’t use that much power, especially if you make sure to control the speed properly. If you don’t know how to do this, get a portable camping air conditioner for your tent so you can stay comfortable.
2. Get a Propane Heater
You’ll need a propane heater and a propane tank combo. Now, you might be concerned that the presence of propane in your tent could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning which is obviously bad for your lungs and overall health. But, according to research, there’s no need to worry. When used properly, a propane heater can keep your tent warm without becoming a health hazard.
To safely apply this method, the propane tank should be placed just outside the tent and only the heater should go inside your tent. Just make sure the heater is kept near the enclosure to be on the safe side. Use a hose pipe as a connection between the tank and the heater.
For best results, opt for a smaller heater because it’ll be easier to pack and travel with it in your backpack while hiking.
3. Invest in a Sleeping Bag
The market is full of all kinds of different hammock tents and sleeping bags designed to make your outdoor lifestyle that much more comfortable.
However, if you’re hiking from one spot to another and sleeping in between then you should definitely invest in a sleeping bag. Although pricey, a good quality sleeping bag is a guarantee of warmth when camping and you shouldn’t skimp on it at all.
Be sure to buy a sleeping bag based on the expected weather conditions of your campsite. Also, make sure it’s king size that covers your whole body, including your head and ears so you can feel nice and toasty all night.
4. Try Heated Rocks
Want to learn how to heat a tent without weighing yourself down with a lot of gear in your backpack? Get one large rock or several smaller rocks and use them to heat your tent.
No skill is needed to heat your canvas tent using this method. All you need to do is place the rock/s in your campfire while cooking or just relaxing around the fire for a few hours.
Then, take the rock/s out of the fire while preparing for bed and let them cool a bit before you place them inside your tent.
5. Use Candles
Candle lanterns are highly recommended. You can use pretty much any type of candle lantern with this method, including the tea light variety. The smaller the candle, the easier it is to use a lantern.
You can keep the lanterns in your tent in order to generate the heat needed to keep you warm. To improve the safety of this method, simply place the lanterns in tin buckets.
The best way to ensure the effectiveness of this method is to light the candles at least 2 to 4 hours before you enter your tent or settle for bedtime. Although safe, this method might make you feel nervous if the idea of sleeping with candles on sounds dangerous to you.
That’s why it’s advisable to light the candles at least 3 to 4 hours before you sleep so you can generate the heat you need before you sleep and turn them off once you’ve settled in for the night.
6. Insulate Your Tent
Tent insulation will work with any of the other heating methods mentioned so far. The key is to trap the warmth in your tent so that you don’t have to use anything else to keep it warm. There are many ways to insulate your tent and we’ve shared some of them here.
7. Use Liners
To keep yourself even warmer, add two liners to your sleeping bag. The first one is for your sleeping bag and the other one is for your fleece. For best results, use two sleeping bags, a zero-degree sleeping bag inside a lightweight model. This will keep even the worst cold out.
That’s because the liner will protect the actual bag from getting wet and/or cold. The fleece liner should be placed beneath your sleeping bag for maximum warmth and don’t forget to use a reflective closed-cell foam pad to help attract heat to your sleeping bag as well.
If the place you’re at is really cold, then you should top this with an inflated pad which will act as a sort of mattress to keep you as far from the ground as possible.
No matter how warm you are, body heat is not enough to keep the inside of a tent warm during the winter. We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide on how to heat a tent, and will use one or more of the provided methods to keep warm while camping this winter.