In the cold season: in early spring, autumn and even winter, before going to bed, it is necessary to warm the tent. And how often do you face the problem of heating a cold or damp tent from the inside? This is a huge disadvantage – you can accidentally set fire to the tent and strong excessive gas consumption. Check out this comprehensive guide on “how to stay warm while camping“.
Why you need a good temperature inside a tent
A tent in winter is a necessary thing, it protects you from wind and rain, but not from frost. After you buy a tent, the question arises of how to heat the tent in winter.
You can use gas tent heaters, gasoline and light gorilla stoves. Well, how to heat a tent in winter?
Most camping people use economical candles or dry alcohol tablets in a suitable jar for a day of winter camping to keep their tent warm. It heats the tent to -10 degrees outside. Open fire in a small tent space requires some caution.
Is Dry alcohol good for heating a tent?
Dry alcohol, although it emits a lot of heat, but strongly smokes and emits carbon monoxide. Also, the tablets burn quickly and must be constantly thrown away.
Household candles are more suitable for heating the tent, they emit little heat, but it is enough to keep the tent from freezing.
For tent heaters, whether it will be gas stoves or dry alcohol you decide, they have their pros and cons. Small gas cassettes used in many ovens freeze at low temperatures. Five-liter cylinders are not very convenient, because you will not see how much gas is left in them.
In addition, filling such a cylinder in many cities is a problem, they do not have low weight and often smell of gas.
Best tips on “how to stay warm while camping”
1. Huge twigs with moss and spruce
If there is a fear that the upcoming night will be especially cold, then it makes sense to warm the bottom of the tent. Before installing the tent, place the dry moss or frozen branch on the site.
It is very important to insulate yourself from the cold and moisture coming from the ground. In cold weather, use the cream thicker or rubber mat. You can additionally spread extra clothes on the carpet to better warm the floor.
3. Sleeping bag
To avoid freezing in the camp, you must have a comfortable sleeping bag. There are sleeping bags with different temperatures. However, it should be borne in mind that the numbers quoted by the manufacturers are usually measured for the average person in thermal underwear and also do not always correspond to reality.
When choosing, pay attention to the comfort temperature, not the extreme temperature. If it is written that the extreme is -20, then it means that at a temperature of -20 you have a chance to spend a night without sleeping in a sleeping bag and not die from hypothermia.
4. Shake the sleeping bag
Regardless of the type of filling of the sleeping bag, it will be compressed after unpacking. Shake it well, whipping it with sharp movements like a pillow. This will straighten and evenly distribute the filler inside the sleeping bag.
5. Fleece Chain
For emergencies, you can buy fleece lining for your sleeping bag. This is a fleece bag that is inserted into the sleeping bag for extra warmth.
6. Warm-up before bed
Warm-up before bed. Simple exercises will help to disperse the blood and warm the body. Take a few jumps and pegs near the tent, just make sure the sweating does not start, otherwise, you will freeze at night. If you get into a sleeping bag when you are cold, there is a chance that you will not be able to warm up.
7. Filling the body
Do not forget to have a snack before bed. The abdomen produces heat during work. It is recommended to eat something hot. Give preference to fatty foods, as foods are digested longer.
Avoid sweets and caffeine, they stimulate the narrowing of blood vessels.
8. Water balance
The body must have enough water to heat itself. Drink water for an hour or two before bedtime. But do not overdo it, at night you will often have to run to the toilet. If nature calls in the middle of the night, you should get up and leave. If you don’t respond to nature’s call, you will be even colder. Drinking plenty of water at bedtime can serve as a natural wake-up call.
Change clothes if possible. What you have been walking all day will probably be a little wet and it will be cold to sleep. If you do not have the opportunity to change clothes, try to heat and dry the clothes around the fire. A great solution would be a set of thermal underwear, which not only heats up but also removes moisture from the skin.
Do not wear all available clothes at once, you risk sweating and freezing then all night. It is better to dress lightly first, and to prepare extra things and put them aside. If you freeze, you can put them on quickly.
10. Look for a hat
Most of the heat in the tent we usually lose through the head. Therefore, always take a jumping hat. Perfectly protects from the cold at night.
11. Warm socks
If you are cold in the legs, wear a special pair of wool or wool socks. Necessary work in the campaign! Wear them only for sleeping before entering the sleeping bag.
12. Legs in a backpack
Being in a sleeping bag, you can add warm the lower limbs by holding them in an empty backpack. Sleeping in this position may not be very comfortable, but your feet will get an extra layer of thermal insulation.
13. Warmer in a sleeping bag
To maintain the temperature in a sleeping bag, many use single-use catalytic or chemical heating valves.
Alternatively, you can heat the water in the boiler, pour it into a bottle and wrap it in a T-shirt. You must put this device in your sleeping bag. It is unlikely that the water will heat up all night, but for a few hours of warm sleep, it is enough.
When the bottle is completely cold, it is better to take it out of the sleeping bag. If water inside the bottle is cold it will not warm you.
14. Do not put your nose in the bag
The mouth and nose should be kept out of the sleeping bag. The heat that comes from breathing is deceptive! Breathing inside a sleeping bag, you will make the clothes and the bag itself. A well-designed cocoon sleeping bag will allow you to fasten so that only your nose and mouth will be left out.
15. Lie down closer
Lie down closer in the tent. I am assuming that you are having company. Sleeping more than one person inside a tent is beneficial to warm up a tent.
Why you should buy a heater
How important is a heater in a camping tent? Imagine: you go on a hike, beautiful natural scenery. The starry sky is incredibly beautiful, it is cold to sleep under it in a tent! And you feel uncomfortable and there is no sleeping bag to save you from feeling totally cold.
To heat with candles or to put a tent in the place of cooling fire – this is the last century! A tent heater will save you: it will turn even on a dark and cold evening into a warm and cozy atmosphere and will give you a comfortable night’s sleep.
How to choose a tent heater for 3 or 4 seasons?
What types of heaters are best used during the trip?
Only convenient things, reliable tools and portable devices are welcome in the campaign – so it is easiest to use the propane device. Such devices could not be better suited for such a relatively small space as a tent, for two reasons:
- Cheap gas;
- Soft place heat, enough to warm a few people in a tent.
Such gas heaters can be either for indoor use or labeled “outdoor use only”. If you go camping and there is electricity there, then it is possible to use an electrical device. But since this is less common and not quite a “tourist” portable option, today we will not look at these devices.
How is a “hot water” bottle of propane better than kerosene?
Propane heaters are believed to be one step ahead of obsolete kerosene. This fact can be treated differently, because now you can find and buy a keratin heater. Another thing – the price of fuel. Propane is much cheaper and easier to use and is used to power various devices: heaters, grills and so on. So the choice is almost obvious.
What is the heat of the heater for different types of tents?
The answer seems obvious: the bigger the tent, the more energy it will take to warm up (especially if there are fewer people than places). In any case, it makes no sense to buy a heater less than 3000 BTU. But not everything is so simple. It largely depends on the type of tent itself, as they differ in shape, purpose, number of layers, and season of use. So:
- Summer tents are often thin and well blown – so if they are suddenly used out of season, they will require a powerful heater.
- Tents for 3 seasons (spring-summer-autumn) are well enough protected from wind, rain and warming them is not difficult.
- Tents for 4 seasons are safe, can be used even in cold weather, and a small heater is enough for them.
Price of a tent
The more expensive your tent is, the better the manufacturers have worked on it – and the better it is able to protect you from moisture and cold. The second is performed due to “breathing” second layer, thick fabric, solid construction and so on.
Such serious purchases indicate that you need to spend a minimum of money on additional heating. So, small tents of 4 seasons suggest that you can stay there for the winter – without a heater or with a small capacity to maintain a comfortable temperature.
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How to calculate how many gas cylinders to lift?
Knowing this indicator, you can estimate how long the gas will be sufficient: the more BTU, the faster the gas is consumed. Of course, the costs will vary: one is to go on a day trip, and the other is to be located in the camp for 3-4 days.
Some of these devices are powered only by small standard propane cylinders; others can also be connected to a larger cylinder. A large tank is obviously enough for the whole trip, but a small spray can rarely last more than 6 hours.
7 tips for safe use of propane heaters
Your safety is paramount, so below we provide the most important rules and tips for the safe operation of propane heaters:
- Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions! In addition to information on assembling and connecting the fuel cylinders, it clearly states whether it is possible to use the device in the tent or whether it is intended for the street only.
- Including such a device in the tent, take care of good ventilation – do not fully attach the tent or open the ventilation window. Air leakage is mandatory if you do not want to be poisoned with carbon monoxide gas, which inevitably results from the combustion of propane. Even with the safety features of the device in the form of automatic shut-off when the oxygen level drops, common sense follows! At the slightest discomfort in the form of headache and suffocation, switch off the appliance and leave the tent.
- Be sure to install the heater on a flat, hard surface. It should not be bent, near walls or on a very flammable surface.
- Do not leave a working heater alone in a tent. for a long time, and also alone with small children and pets.
- Do not use the device while sleeping in a tent – its operation should be performed only under your control. Ideally, turn it on to the desired warm-up to sleep, turn it off at night and turn it on again after waking up. The exception is street heaters like the Zodi Outback Gear X-40 hot water heater – you can turn them on at night.
- Use the heater only for its intended purpose – heating tents. Do not cook on a metal grill from the food processor, do not dry directly on things and camping equipment.
- Tips for extreme cases: If you realize that gas reserves are not enough for the rest of the boost time, leave the heater running at minimum power t. Thus, the gas will be slower to pass. The tent, of course, will not be too hot, but a constant temperature above the street temperature will remain.