Real Methods On How To Heat A Tent, Camping Edition

Hiker and canine companion getting tent warm and ready in winter camping location

How can you stay warm during your camping trip? This issue is unlikely to concern boon dockers and van lifers with plenty of electric devices they can rely on to fight the cold. Tent campers are not quite as lucky.

Fortunately, there are ways to stay warm, even in the absence of a power source from an RV or generator for electronic devices. Some sensible options include:


Brief jog or walk before sleep will keep you warm in tent

Staying warm isn’t just a question of heating your tent. You have to keep your body warm. That means finding ways of generating body heat. You can take a walk if your campsite is safe at night or jog in place.

If your tent is sufficiently insulated, the body warmth you generate will remain contained on the inside, contributing to the ambient temperature and allowing you to go to bed comfortably.


Camping location amongst wind barrier trees to keep tent warm

Identify a campsite that is naturally protected from cold weather. Look for locations with windbreakers such as trees.

Avoid valleys. Because cold air sinks, valleys usually are quite cold. On the other hand, even though hot air rises, the highest points are generally the windiest.

Make sure to find a location in between the highest areas and the valleys.

Avoid soggy places such as swamps. Even if your tent has a floor, the cold and moisture will invade the interior cabin and damping items like your sleeping bag inside your tent.

Make sure you find a dry stable surface upon which to position your tent without movement. This will give you the most definite chance of staying warm and dry.

Water (liquid) bottle

Hot water bottle for camping will help warm tent
Hot water bottles in combination with sleeping bags are the perfect duo to heat a tent without electricity. These heat packs require minimal prep, just add boiling water to the bottle to heat your tent

This is one of the most popular eco-friendly and effective methods compared to using gas heaters to keep a camper warm. You will need boiling water before pouring it in a bottle.

Holding the heated bottle close to your body will magnify your body heat with its own way to heat.

Apart from caressing the hot bottle, once its filled there are other locations you can place the heated bottle inside your tent to improve comfort.

Try placing the hot water bottle inside your sleeping bag or underneath your sleeping pad.

The heated bottle is a popular device to heat a tent and keep warm because it’s designed to provide quick results and is synonymous to nurturing loved ones back to health when at home with minimal effort.

It will generate heat almost immediately. It is perfect for cold campers that want to get warm quickly.


Warm hearty food like damper can help heat tent experience

The easiest way to heat a tent without electricity or equipment is to consume a heavy meal before you sleep. Your body will generate heat as it digests the food.

The colder the weather, the more calories you are encouraged to eat. Prioritize food items with a lot of fat.

You should also drink warm beverages like tea. Just like the warm liquid bottle technique, hot liquids will raise your body temperature quickly.


Wear warm clothes and a beanie to warm tent
Perhaps the easiest way to warm keep you warm inside your tent without electricity is winter clothing. Make sure to add a beanie to cap it off.

It isn’t enough to wear heavy clothing. Though, your attire matters. Campers are encouraged to invest in products that are made from organic materials such as wool and cotton.

Natural fabrics like cotton provide a means to trap body heat. They are also breathable and are less likely to be overbearing on warm days.

However, how you wear your clothing is just as important as what you wear. The head and feet are the essential parts of your body, where the temperature is concerned.

Most of your body warmth escapes through the head and feet. This is why you have to keep them covered.

Wear thick dry socks on cold nights. Avoid sleeping in the same socks you wore during the day as they will be damp from perspiration.

You should also find a covering for your head. The dampness created by your sweat will eventually steal your warmth. Always dry clothes outside your tent to avoid condensation.


An external or internal tent heater works to warm tent
A camping gas heater like Mr Heater are very safe today without any hint of carbon monoxide. There are tents with stove jacks that may allow a wood burning stove and propane heaters inside your tent but we recommend a Electric (inside) or Propane (outside).

If you don’t have an electrical tool to keep your tent hot, a heater is the next best thing. They are reliable devices that will radiate enough heat minus the carbon monoxide to keep the tent heated for as long as your propane tank lasts.

Most gas or electric heaters can keep a tent heated for several hours at a time.

You should know that heaters are bulky and come with a plethora of attachments and propane tanks.

They travel best if you have a camper-van or are camping with a group of companions. You can just divide the additional loads between the members of your party.

Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater By Mr. Heater
A safe indoor-portable propane heater for small spaces like bedrooms, living rooms, dens, etc. Equipped with a low-oxygen shut-off pilot system and accidental tip-over shutoff for indoor safety.


Tent insulation also includes sleeping pad, electric blanket, tent carpet and even being inside your sleeping bags to heat your tent. Small items like hot water bottles, gas heaters and a small wood stove on the outside, (we dont recommend a wood burning stove inside) can help as well. For fastest result always have a layer between the cold ground tent floor and yourself.

There is no point in buying a tent if you don’t intend to sufficiently insulated it. Heaters are designed to produce heat.

However, that heat won’t do you any good if it keeps escaping through the tent’s seams and openings.

You have to insulate the tent to keep all the heat contained. One way of insulating the tent is to add a carpet to the floor.

Another option involves attaching emergency blankets to the tent’s walls on the outside to repel heat back inside.

Hot Stones

Hot rocks an alternative method to heat a tent
Whilst not the best way, hot stones carefully placed inside the tent is an interesting and effective way to make hot tents. However when cold weather camping these stones cannot retain the heated air so instead use a space heater or electric blankets as a heat source as stones will only add bulk to your camping gear.

Hot stones work just like the hot liquid bottle technique. Place some smooth stones close to your campfire. Once they are warm, place them in the four corners of your tent.

They will radiate heat. This technique works surprisingly well when paired with an insulated tent.

The warmth generated has to be contained if you want it to make a difference where the cabin’s temperature is concerned.

If placement fails, just lay them directly on your body like you would at a relaxing day spa.

Six Large Essential Hot Stones By ActiveBliss
These Large Essential Hot Stones heat up quickly and retain heat. Great for improving circulation, remove tension, heal strains and aches, relax the body, comfort the mind and relieve stress.


Tent size shape and ventilation for heating tent
An adequately sized good quality tent is the best way in keeping warm. Once chosen you can then look for additions like a sleeping bag, heat packs and an electric heater to level up your winter camping experience

Tents come in various shapes and sizes. Their insulation properties also vary. Some tents are suitable for just one season.

Others are suitable for two, three, and even four seasons. 4-season tents are typically the best because they are compatible with both warm and cold weather.

If your objective is to remain warm in the winter, look for tents specifically designed to combat the cold.

Sundome Tent By Coleman

Coleman Sundome 2 is designed specifically for campers who want to stay cool during hot summer days. With its lightweight aluminum poles, this 2-person dome tent makes setting up camp fast and simple. 

These tents have durable, reliable walls, moisture-resistant finishes, seams that have been sealed to keep the heat from escaping, and a floor that keeps the user insulated.

Keep in mind that well made tents are usually heavier and come at a premium and are not necessarily suitable for people that travel long distances during their camping trips.

Staying warm at a campsite isn’t easy. But it isn’t impossible. Try experimenting with some of these tips and stick to the ones that you find successful in containing heat.

As you have noticed, you have several options at your disposal.

Hiker and canine companion getting tent warm and ready in winter camping location


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