Consider this scenario: You’ve just spent a beautiful day in the great outdoors, sitting around a warm fire, and it’s time to slip into your tent for a restful night’s sleep. Nothing beats the aroma of pine in the stillness of an alpine lake or a beautiful sky flecked with stars against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
You may enjoy the most breathtaking scenery but this will not compensate for a horrible night spent camping in the cold weather conditions. Hopefully, you’ve arrived prepared, and this article will give you a head start on how to keep warm in a tent.
How To Keep Warm In A Tent?
Stay Warm With Electricity (or Generator)
Using Tent Heaters
- 4,000- to 9,000-BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 225 square feet. Approved for indoor/outdoor use; clean-burning; nearly 100-percent efficient
- When operating the heater at altitudes over 7,000 FT above sea level the heater may shut off.
- Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if detects low oxygen levels. Fuel Consumption/Burn Rate (Gal/Hr) at 4000 BTU = 0.044 Gal/Hr, at 9000 BTU = 0.099 Gal/Hr
- Fold-down handle; swivel-out regulator; connects to propane tank (not included); Run Time (Hrs at Max BTU): 3 Hours
This is arguably the simplest but most effective technique on how to stay warm camping in a tent. These heaters are designed for a camping trip on a cold night. However, we don’t recommend leaving the heater on all night. Instead, we suggest turning on the heater for a few minutes before going to bed, then turn it off before turning off the light.
What Kind of Tent Heater Is Safe to Use?
- 360 DEGREE ALL AROUND WARMTH – Use the Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater in small to mid-sized rooms for additional comfort. This space heater features an adjustable thermostat as well as 2...
- SAFETY MATTERS: This small heater offers multiple safety options including a 360-degree tip over switch, 2x overheat protection, an auto-off timer option and an easy grab, cool touch carry...
- INCREASE YOUR COMFORT – Always be comfortable, no matter what season it is. This personal heater has fan forced technology and provides 360-degree, all around warmth. As a small space heater,...
- SMART SAVINGS: A portable heater is an easy way to add warmth to any space. By turning down your whole house thermostat a few degrees and heating the room you are in, a space heater for...
In theory, no tent heater is entirely safe to use in a tent. There is always the risk of fire, poisonous gas, or other catastrophic malfunctions when you use a heating device. However, most campers will simply say gas heaters, electric heaters, or portable propane heaters would be the best option. There are numerous options available, all of which provide spectacular ways to maintain the temperature comfortably while it is frigid outside. They also guarantee the protection of your tent’s interior.
Try an Electric Blanket and Thermal Blanket
- SOFT AND COZY MATERIAL: Our cozy, extra soft Fleece keeps you warm and comfortable throughout the night or as you relax.
- FIND YOUR PERFECT SIZE: Twin Size measures 39" x 75", Full Size measure 54" x 75",Queen Size measures 60" x 80", King Size measures 76" x 80"
- CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Machine wash in warm water and tumble dry on low setting or hang dry
- THERMOFINE WIRING: Our exclusive warming system senses and adjusts heat to deliver consistent warmth while you sleep
Although it depends on the heat output of the electric blanket and the volume of the tent, this type of heating solution will primarily heat you rather than the entire tent. On the other hand, an electric blanket may be unnecessary if you dress warmly and utilize a hot water bottle inside your sleeping bag.
Electric blankets, in any event, require a power outlet. In comparison to the bigger heaters, they have a few advantages. They are less expensive and are simple to roll, store, and carry. Electric blankets are available in various sizes, and you can even charge some of them via USB!
Stay Warm Without Electricity
Well, you have all of the greatest quality gear, but the camping area has no electricity. Now you must consider how to keep a tent warm without electricity. Don’t worry, these options will provide you with enough heat sources for cold temperatures.
Use a Candle Heater
- 9-hour white wax candles for use in UCO Candle Lanterns; ideal for camping, hiking, outdoor adventures, survival kits, and emergency preparedness
- Each 3.5-inch candle burns for nine hours
- High-melt temperature minimizes dripping and soot
- Cotton wick is sized to maintain ideal flame height and optimize burn time
A candle heater or warmer is meant to give just the right amount of heat to your tent without jeopardizing your safety or health. It is one of the safest ways to stay warm while staying outside.
They’re healthier and more practical, and because they don’t have a flame, you won’t have to worry about black markings from candle flames when burnt. Traditional candles release toxic smoke to humans and your beautiful pets, which you may not be aware of.
If you get a scented one, you’ll be able to enjoy a pleasant perfume while staying toasty outside. For you, the adventurer, it’s a double win!
Keep Your Tent Well Insulated
And, there’s tent insulation. You should consider this one as an option along with other approaches. So, how does it work? Warmth is trapped inside an insulated tent and directed back at you. Tent insulation is sufficient on its own if a summer night is not too cold. Simply said, it will trap your body heat inside. Tent insulation may work well with one of the best camping air conditioners if you need your tent to cool down.
This procedure is similar to the one used with the bottles. Using hot stones have an advantage over the bottles because they will quickly warm your tent. On the other hand, they do not hold heat for an extended period.
Look around your campsite for a few suitable stones. They’re also common near water sources. Place the rocks as close as possible to the campfire. Do not put them near the fire! You don’t want the stones to become so hot that they burn you or cause your tent to melt. After heating the rocks, wrap them in towels to make them easier to handle.
Keep your Tent Ventilated
Most people are unaware that you must ventilate your tent at night. It may appear odd at first, but there’s an excellent purpose behind it! During the night, heat from your body and air within your tent can cause condensation to form, making everything in your tent somewhat damp.
You can prevent dampness and condensation by keeping your tent aired, keeping you and the interior of your tent dryer – which keeps you warmer throughout the night.
Set Up Your Tent in a Good Spot
The way you set up your tent can have a significant impact on how warm it is. It is something that many tent campers, particularly newcomers, ignore.
If possible, avoid pitching your tent on a hill, slope, or any other spot that rises above the region where you’ll be camping. You want something to buffer the wind, yet setting up your tent on higher ground invites frigid wind gusts to smash your tent. Avoid putting your tent in an open field, as this will have the same effect as pitching it on the side of a mountain, with nothing to block the wind.
Try a Hot Water Bottle
Using water bottles made of metal or strong plastic is one of the most common ways to keep a tent warm without electricity. The water should be nearly boiling, and a typical plastic bottle from the shop will not withstand this. More water equals more heat stored, so get the biggest bottles you can find.
Fill the bottles with hot water that has been heated over an open flame in a skillet or pot. Place the bottles in various locations throughout the tent. During the night, the heat will slowly dissipate, and the indoor temperature will climb. This method is a low-cost, low-tech way to keep your tent warm. In the morning, the water may still be warm. Another option is to take a couple of those bottles and keep them close to you. As you wake up, this will provide you with a surge of warmth, making your overnight camping experience much more comfortable.
Purchase a High-Quality Sleeping Bag
- Mummy-style adult sleeping bag for camping in temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit
- Can accommodate most people up to 6 feet 2 inches in height
- Semi-sculpted hood tightens with a drawstring to seal in heat
- Quilting construction, insulated footbox, and Thermolock draft tube for warmth and heat retention
If you’re only going camping in cold weather, any sleeping bag, together with these tips, should keep you warm enough for the night. However, if you plan on camping in severely cold temps, you’ll need a sleeping bag developed expressly for this purpose.
When buying a cold-weather sleeping bag, look for one that is best for the temps you’ll be camping in. Regrettably, these scores aren’t very accurate! If the sleeping bag you’re considering has a temperature rating of 20-25 degrees, you’ll want to go with one in the 10-15 degree range.
Also, if you can afford it, invest in a down sleeping bag. When compared to its synthetic competitors, they are well worth the extra money.
Use a Self-Inflating Mat
- NO MORE BACK-PAIN : The only foam camping mat you will ever need! Say goodbye to back pain because your weight is supported by the UltraFlex Memory Foam mattress. Roll over or sleep on your side.
- COMPACT & LIGHTWEIGHT : Self-inflating convenience meets air mattress comfort to create the perfect camp mattress for you. Your hiking trips will be comfortable and you will be sleeping like in your...
- REVOLUTIONARY DESIGN & TEAR RESISTANT : Provides a good balance between comfort and durability. This camping pad is waterproof, tear-resistant and insulates heat. Use this camping mat in any weather...
- EASY TO INFLATE AND DEFLATE : Self-inflating technology makes it easier for you to use this pad. Come rain or shine or even snow, the WELLAX UltraThick FlexFoam Sleeping Pad will bring you the comfort...
To protect oneself from the ground, use foam or an inflatable sleeping mat. Use foam cushions or thin inflatable mats like SIM (Self Inflating Mats) for the best results. An air mattress that is 6 inches thick will not work. You’ll lose body heat trying to heat the air gap because the air cushion is too thick. The air gap will cool quicker than your body can warm it, stealing warmth from your body.
Insulate From the Ground Up
An insulated sleeping pad is fantastic, but it may require some assistance from time to time. The heat from your body might be sucked away by the cold ground. To improve the heat retention in your tent, try putting a foam exercise mat under your sleeping pad.
Alternatively, instead of bringing another pad, arrange a layer of leaves and pine branches beneath your sleeping surface. It shouldn’t be too difficult to locate these in the woods! If that’s the case, you’re most likely camping in the wrong place!
Purchase the Appropriate Tent
- 【WATERPROOF 4 SEASON TENT】The Geertop 4 season tent is made of high quality material which is fully rain proof and extremely light weight. Rugged 210T anti-tear checkered polyester resists wear...
- 【DOUBLE LAYER TENT】Features two layers for excellent weather protection and ventilation. Inner layer can be used alone in warm, dry weather for great ventilation and maximum enjoyment of the...
- 【LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING TENT 】This 2 person 4 season tent weighs only 6.4 lbs. DIMENSIONS Inner layer: 78(L) x 55(W) x 41(H) inches. Storage duffel bag: 17.3(L) x 6.7 inches in diameter
- 【EASY SET UP】Quick and easy set up by one person in a few minutes. Comes with a lightweight storage duffle bag. The Geertop 2 person dome tent is perfect for camping, hiking, backpacking, outdoor...
Like your sleeping bag, you’ll want to be sure your tent can withstand the rigors of cold-weather camping, especially if you don’t have access to electricity. The majority of tents are either three seasons or four seasons. The 4 season tent is made for all types of weather, including cold. However, if you plan on camping in freezing weather, your regular four-season tent from Walmart may not be sufficient.
Place your tent atop a campfire (after the fire dies)
We’ve never done this, but some campers swear by it. This is how they would go about doing it. They’d make a trench and build a fire in it. The trench should not be too deep, but it should fit the width of the tent as precisely as possible. Burn as much firewood to get as many coals as possible. When the party ends and you’re ready to set up camp, fill the trench with dirt and top up the tent.
Remember: Don’t use an insulated sleeping mat on the tent floor if you do this. They function by reflecting heat to their source, so instead of heating your tent, you’ll be heating the ground.
Simple Ways on How to Stay Warm
Wear Warmers for the hands and feet
- SAFE, NATURAL LONG-LASTING HEAT - Odorless, Disposable, Single-Use Item, Do Not Apply Directly to The Skin. TSA Approved. Made in the USA using domestic and imported materials.
- TO ACTIVATE - Remove warmer from outer package, shake to activate. Warmer heats up in 15-30 minutes. If heat decreases, expose warmer to air and shake. After use, dispose with regular garbage....
- MULTIPURPOSE WARMERS - Single use air-activated heat packs that provide everyday warmth and are ideal for keeping your body warm when the temperature gets cold. They’re available in several styles...
- WHEN TO USE: Tailgating at Events, Outdoor Sporting Events, Hunting & Fishing, Camping & Hiking, Working in The Yard, Jogging or Taking Your Pet for A Walk. Convenient, Compact, Portable.
Chemical hand and foot warmers keep your hands and feet toasty warm. They can last up to 10 hours, allowing you to sleep for an entire night. If you suffer from cold hands or feet frequently, put on a pair an hour before going to bed. It will have them warmed up in time, and you’ll have a chance to check that they won’t be too hot when you fall asleep. You can also put on a doubled pair of socks if you do not have warmers available.
Put on a Hat
Now, this one may seem obvious, but it isn’t. We may not realize it, but one place where you can lose body heat is your head. Wearing a hat is also preferable compared to burying your head in your sleeping bag. Breathing causes condensation in your sleeping bag, which leads to, you guessed it, moisture! And I’m sure you already know what moisture means!! (Hint: it’s cold.)
Wear a balaclava or a scarf
- ULTIMATE PROTECTION for YOUR FACE and YOUR BODY – Achiou balaclava face mask is made from high quality fabric, comfortable and lightweight. Very effective for providing face protection, primarily...
- WARM BREATHABLE & KEEP DRY – Achiou ski face masks are tailored to your head and face to ensure that the part to cover the nose not falls down easily. Complete head face neck mask for summer and...
- VERSATILITY & BEST GIFTS – Can be worn as full face mask or hat, open balaclava, sun shield masks, half ski mask , neck gaiter or saharan style & ninja hoodie. Wear your balaclava on its own or...
- ULTIMATE COMFORT: Achiou ski mask provides all-day comfort by keeping you warm and dry. It has a stretchy, lightweight and breathable fabric that protects your face while wicking away moisture....
A balaclava is a type of textile headgear that wraps around your head and neck while leaving your face exposed. Wrap one of these or an essential scarf around your head and neck before going to bed. Using one of these keeps your mouth and nose out of your sleeping bag while still providing coverage when needed.
We couldn’t end this list of techniques for staying warm in a tent without mentioning one of the simplest (and personal favorites) of them all! Camping with a special someone? To generate body heat, snuggle up and spoon. It’s both valuable and enjoyable, which is exactly what camping is all about.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How cold is too cold for tent camping?
It is a difficult question to respond to. People have camped in the Arctic and Antarctic, after all. As a result, you can theoretically camp in temperatures as low as minus 70 degrees.
The comfort level of the majority of people will be their limit. When you don’t have to, you don’t want to spend your weekends shivering yourself to sleep. People can feel comfortable in colder temperatures with the necessary equipment, such as winterized tents, four-season sleeping bags, and appropriate outerwear and base layers.
If you’re seeking a specific number, ‘cold weather camping’ is commonly defined as temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be dangerous if you aren’t prepared for the hard climate and haven’t done it before. As a result, 40 degrees could be considered the lower limit for casual camping.
Can you heat a tent with a candle?
Believe it or not, using a candle (and a little ingenuity) is an effective way to keep warm in a tent.
A candle won’t give the same amount of heat as an electric tent heater, but it can help keep you warm if you don’t have access to electricity. But first and foremost, we must address the most important issue: safety. Most of your camping gear, including your tent, is made of 100% flammable fabric. Because specific candle lanterns, such as the UCO Candlelier, have made lighting and warming the inside of your tent relatively safe, some mountaineers and campers have begun to consider them necessary. Just remember to use extreme caution while using a candle (or another flammable source) to heat your tent, and never leave a candle heater unattended.
Does Body-to-Body Warming Work?
The “standard of care” of two individuals in a sleeping bag to cure hypothermia doesn’t have a lot of scientific support. Although it doesn’t seem to help much, it also doesn’t seem to hurt. Share body heat with someone else if it’s safe (and comfortable). The warmth of another person’s breath or the warmth of another person within arm’s reach can assist keep your core body temperature from going too low.
As you can see, there are various options on how to stay warm camping in a tent. Feel free to pick the one that best fits your needs. Never compromise because heat is an extremely important commodity outdoors.
Make sure you use the right tents for cold weather and you know how to use your heater, what safety features it has, and how to keep yourself even warmer using the recommendations we’ve included at the end. Perhaps you’ll come up with some of your ideas for how to keep a tent warm without electricity. Stay safe (and warm)!