How to Heat a Camping Tent

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Cold nights and frozen tents can ruin your camping trip. At that time, what you want most is a heater. In this article, we will introduce the way to heat your tent.

Heating your tent without electricity

Not every campground has perfect facilities. Some campgrounds do not provide you with electricity. In that case, you need some ways to heat your tent without electricity.

Heat your tent with a hot water bag

Using a hot water bag to heat your tent is one of the most primitive methods. Of course, you need to use a campfire to heat the water. The specific heat capacity of water is relatively large, it can store a lot of heat and release heat for your tent continuously for several hours.

For small tents, this method has good results. Put the heated water into plastic or metal bottles, then put these bottles in your tent and wait for them to heat your tent.

Heating rocks to keep your tent warm

Heating your tent by heating rocks is similar to heating your tent with water. As mentioned before you need to use the campfire to heat the water, you can also take the rocks by the campfire into the tent. The difference with heating your tent with water is that rocks do not release heat for long periods of time. Usually, you can easily find some rocks around the campground and near the river.

Place these rocks next to the campfire to heat them up. Note that you should not throw the rocks directly into the campfire. This is because it may be difficult to remove. In addition, burnt stones may have a bad smell. Before you go to bed, wrap these heated stones in cloth and lay them inside the tent. Cloth can prevent these stones from melting your tent.

They release heat faster than water! You will quickly feel your tent getting warm. Unfortunately, they may only last for 3 to 4 hours. Therefore, it is essential to have some warm clothes and a warm sleeping bag.

Insulate your tent

Using a polyester film blanket does a great job of reflecting heat from the tent back into the tent. This method of insulation works best in conjunction with other methods of heating your tent.

It keeps the heat inside the tent for a longer period of time. All you need to do is simply attach the mylar blanket to the tent walls.

Pitching a tent over an extinguished campfire

This may be a bold idea. It’s different from a regular campfire. You need to dig a trench and build a campfire in it. This trench should not be too deep. Match the size of the trench with your tent. After the campfire party is over, you need to fill the ditch and then set up your tent on it or move it to that spot. Eventually, you will get a night of warmth.

Note that please do not place any insulated sleeping mats on the tent floor. Because the heat is coming from the ground. Your insulated sleeping pad will block this heat. The biggest shortcoming of this method is that you need to set up your tent at night without sufficient light. In addition, you need to sacrifice your campfire.

Heat the tent with electricity

If you can use electricity in your tent, then the ways to heat your tent will become more diverse. Using these modern technologies, you can safely heat your tent. But you may need to carry a heavy generator.

Use electric blankets to keep warm

Using an electric blanket to keep warm is a way to save power. Although it doesn’t heat your tent, it can quickly warm up your comforter. Usually, they are set up with mechanisms to prevent overheating and you don’t have to worry about them catching fire.

Note that you can not put it directly into your sleeping bag, because it may make your sleeping bag overheat. Place a heat reflector pad under the heating pad so that you can isolate the cold air underneath and reflect the heat back into the tent.

Portable electric radiator

Portable electric radiators can make you feel warm quickly. They keep you warm by blowing hot air. However, when you turn it off, you may feel cold within 20 minutes.

Therefore, I recommend that you look for some oil-filled radiators so that you don’t have to put up with the noise of the fan. But this type of equipment requires a lot of power, and you may need to carry a bulky camping generator at the same time. And an oil-filled radiator isn’t portable because it’s filled with oil.

Methods not recommended for heating your tent

Many people might suggest using a gas heater to heat your tent. This way of heating your tent is certainly feasible. It is also more convenient. But the problem with it is that it is more dangerous.

Gas that does not burn sufficiently will produce carbon monoxide. This is a silent killer. With this type of heater, you want to make sure that the tent is well ventilated. In addition, they consume the oxygen inside the tent and produce water. Carrying a carbon monoxide detector can improve its safety.


You need to buy qualified, specialized camping heating products and read the instructions carefully. No matter which heating method you use, you need to make sure it’s safe. That way you can enjoy the outdoors safely and comfortably.


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