How to Heat a Tent: a Definite Guide to Stay Warm for Campers

Are you camping at nightfall in the wilderness and snuggling up inside a sleeping bag which is not warm enough? Well, don’t worry because so many campers out there have the same problem, so you are not alone. Therefore, it’s very important for every camper to know how to heat a tent.

I don’t know about you but for me, being too cold in a tent is one of the worst things ever while camping. Just don’t let it ruin your weekend trip. Here are some ways for you on how to heat a tent throughout the night.

How to heat a tent

When it comes to how to heat a tent, it will be a very big mistake if you don’t mention tent heats. They are the easiest and simplest way for you to heat your tent. To be honest, I always use a tent heater for camping, especially during the humid and cold weather. Therefore, a tent heater is worth a try.

Here are two types of heaters for you to choose

How to heat your tent with electricity

Electric tent heaters

It’s obvious that they are the most common and basic option when you’re looking for a way to heat a tent. If you have access to electricity, then don’t hesitate to buy this one. First, they are portable. Second, they are very safe to use. Third, you can set it up easily for a long time if there are electric hooks up.

Electric tent heaters

Image source: Backpacking Mastery

Just turn on the machine, let it start heating the whole tent, and this process will take no time. Furthermore, some electric tent heaters have special features such as an auto-off switch or a timer once the temperature is right.

Electric fan heaters

As the name suggests, these heaters work as an electric fan, and they can warm the whole tent very quickly. Furthermore, they are completely safe, and you don’t even need to open fire. If you are camping with access to RV or electricity camping, just take an electric fan heater.

Electric fan heaters

Image source: Gumtree

Everything you need to do is to lug it into the car or electric outlet. Then the heater will immediately start blowing the hot air around the whole tent, making you warm in no time. In case you’re going to sleep with this machine turn on during the night, just buy one which can automatically shut off after several hours. This way, you can avoid unfortunate accidents.

Oil Filled Radiators

An oil filled radiator is another great choice for you to heat your tent without feeling stuffy. Additionally, with this one, you will feel warm even when you’ve already turned it off. However, a disadvantage of this machine is that it is quite uncomfortable to transport because of its heavy weight and big size.

Oil Filled Radiators

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Also, it will probably take you some time to heat the whole tent. Besides, sometimes, you will have to bring extra oil to fuel up this radiator. That’s the reason why it may cost you more money as well as effort to bring it to your campsite.

Underfloor heaters

Underfloor heaters are designed to be put on the floor of your tent. This will be the area where the heat comes from. These heaters are very comfortable and able to keep you warm through the night.

Do not think that this one works like a sleeping bag. This is because it can insulate your tent floor rather than your body only. Also, an under floor heater is very safe as it doesn’t require any gas or any fire-related items. If you are about to heat countless water bottles, just stop, and consider buying this one.

Halogen heaters

One of the advantages of these heaters is that they can work as a nightlight and you can easily heat a tent. Moreover, you can hang this heater on the tent. This way, you can keep it away from your kids and other hazards which can cause accidents.

Also, they are lightweight and can warm the tent very quickly. Just make sure you buy one which hangs because stand-up models are much more prone to fire hazards and other accidents.

Halogen heaters

Image source: YouTube

How to heat a tent without electricity

Catalytic heaters

These heaters are quite lightweight, and they can heat a whole tent easily. They are small and portable. Thus, it will be very easy for you to carry. Despite its compact shape, it can heat a tent with a propane cylinder.

Besides, the heater will never produce any fire. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about any accidents. However, it is still highly recommended for you to turn it off before sleeping. This will help you prevent the tent from breaking any item from melting because of the heat.

Another advantage of this one is that it will not produce poisonous gas as well. Everything you have to do is to set up the machine with a propane cylinder simply. Then by clicking a button, you can use it right away.

Gas Heaters

These are just like catalytic heater. However, they use gas instead. If you want to know how to heat a tent, just consider buying one.

Although a gas heater is effective in heating up a tent, it seems quite dangerous if left on since it’s flammable. Specifically, they might end up emitting carbon monoxide which can poison everyone around it. Therefore, you have to leave it for some minutes during the night before sleeping instead of the whole night.

Gas Heaters

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Body heat

Overall, our body can’t produce enough heat to warm the tent significantly. However, remember that insulating the tent can help reflect or trap enough heat for cutting the evening chill. Therefore, remember to put a sleeping pad in your sleeping bag and a ground cloth under the tent. This way, you can keep the warm air in there from leaking into the cold floor.

I have a tip for you: just choose a tent which is as small as possible because the smaller it is, the less air our body has to heat. Also, don’t forget to wear warm clothes such as long johns, socks, and a cap. They can’t help warm your tent, but they help you keep your body warm enough while sleeping inside.

Any experienced camper or backpacker will advise you to use a quality sleeping bag to stay warm in your tent. I agree with that idea.

Rock radiators

If all of the ways above are too complicated for you, then just forget them all. When it comes to how to heat a tent, it’s very easy and comfortable to use a tent heater. However, it is not the only way for you.

In details, you can heat your whole tent without any help from any heating machine. In fact, it is always possible for you to heat it with several warm rocks. They can radiate heat into the tent for a few hours because it takes them a long time to cool off.

Just find some decently sized rocks, place them near the campfire and they will warm up for hours. Then about an hour before you get into the tent, you can use a stick to push these rocks away from the fire, and they will cool slowly.

Right after you notice that they are cool enough for you to handle, just use a blanket or towel to wrap them. Now, place them in your tent and all you have to do is wait for the tent to be heated.

Hot water bottles

What happens if you don’t have a tent heater and can’t find any large rock to heat the tent? Well, don’t worry, it is not hopeless yet. Remember that you can also use your bottle to do this task. And please don’t tell me that you don’t have one while camping, that’s not funny at all.

You will see that using hot water bottles is not a common way to heat a tent. But trust me, one day, you will have to do it. All you have to do is go to bed with some hot water bottles in a sleeping bag, sounds simple, isn’t it?

You can easily purchase hot water bottles from any different places such as a local convenient store and pharmacy. In my experiences, two bottles are enough. Warm water over the campfire and then pour the water inside of the bottles.

Hot water bottles

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To use the water bottles, just bring them into the sleeping bag. Now, locate the places in the tent where you are coldest to place the sleeping bad there. The bag will start to warm the place, and with the warm spreading, you will feel very comfortable to fall into sleep.

Keep in mind that it’s not compulsory to buy bottles as you can make them yourself instead. For me, I prefer this way because I can get the bottles just as a nice thin layer so that it won’t burn my skin. Or you can wrap them in a small blanket or towel.

How to keep your tent warm in cold weather

Keeping your body warm in a tent during the night is important, but it is even more important in cold weather. Well, remember that a tent heater, warm water bottles, and rocks are not enough when you’re camping in cold weather.

In this case, the best way to do this is to use a lightweight stove that you can transport with ease. Especially, a lightweight stove is a perfect choice for family camping. Besides, a good stove should not be only for keeping toasty, but it also should be for cooking.

Final thoughts

Now you all already know how to heat a tent? All of the things above are the best ways for you to do that. Therefore, consider them all before you decide to camp in the wilderness at night. Lastly, hope you guys enjoyed my article and found it helpful for your next camping trip.