heat a tent while camping

Many people enjoy the outdoors and nature, but there are still some hazards, such as cold weather. One of the biggest concerns is how to heat a tent while camping. 

There are many ways to solve this problem; you can use lanterns with oil, heaters that are electric or propane powered, and use chemical warmers and wear extra layers of clothes.

The ways to heat a tent while camping each have unique advantages and disadvantages.
This article will discuss different ways to heat your tent during winter camping.

1. Propane Heaters

Propane heaters are the most common and used among campers. They are found in different sizes and styles for an immediate need of heating a tent. Typically, propane heaters are portable appliances to warm the cabin or sleeping area. You can use self-contained units with burners and tanks with fuel or pre-connected hoses and vaporizers connected to the gas lines in the campground.

Advantages Of Using Propane Heaters

  • They are portable
  • Easy to use
  • Relatively affordable and not too complicated

Disadvantages Of Using Propane Heaters

  • Not suitable for cold weather and harsh weather conditions,
  • It takes a while to get the tent warm
  • Make a lot of noise

2. Electric Heaters

Electric Heaters

There are two types of electric heaters; fan heaters and radiant heaters. A fan heater sends heat in all directions, so you may need more space if you use this type of heater. If you want to save electricity and avoid using it too long, you can also turn off the fan after everything is warmed up. On the other hand, Radiant heaters go on heating the tent area with a fan that circulates inside the tent. It is designed to circulate air, especially in the vestibule.

Advantages Of Using Electric Heaters

  • Energy efficient
  • Quiet
  • Easy to control
  • Predictable performance.

Disadvantages Of Using Electric Heaters

  • Limited heat output and efficiency
  • Have more wires making it more expensive and taking up space.

3. Chemical Warmers

These are good to use in cold weather and offer a quick and efficient way to heat the tent. It is well-equipped with an adjustable thermostat that works on temperature rather than time. These work on chemical heaters, which heat up with chemicals used as fuel or propellant in an open flame.

Advantages Of Using Chemical Warmers

  • Heat up to temperatures in a short time
  • Energy efficient
  • Only need a small amount of fuel which is easy to replenish and safe.

Disadvantages Of Using Chemical Warmers

  • Expensive to use and buy
  • Not very reliable in high-temperature environments
  • Require more attention and safety when using

4. Candle Heaters

Candle Heaters in tent

These are just like propane heaters but use a wick that burns a candle instead of gas. They are also safe to use and provide a constant flame. In some cases, you may have to light it every time you want to start using it, but it does not produce any harmful fumes.

Advantages Of Using Candle Heaters

  • Safe for everyone,
  • Eexhaustless and clean heat output in the tent area,
  • Reliable performance in high temperatures.

Disadvantages Of Using Candle Heaters

  • It is messy when the wax gets dropped,
  • Some models require you to light the candle before use
  • Inefficient heat output

5. Use More Clothes

The simplest way to keep warm is to wear more clothes. The first four methods mentioned above are purely mechanical and electrical, but this last one is simpler and least costly. When you go out camping, especially during wintertime, you should always bring extra layers of clothes. You can wear as many of them as you need to cover your body.

Advantages Of Using More Clothes

  • Extra insulation
  • The easiest and cheapest way to get warm
  • Expendable and easy to carry

Disadvantages Of Using More Clothes

  • It is only effective if worn correctly, which may take effort on your part to know how to wear it correctly

6. Hot Water Bottles

If you want to stay warm in your tent, you can use heat sources that are usually safer and more comfortable. You can start by using hot water bottles in your sleeping bag or mattress. This is done by placing a thermos-like container on the tent’s floor, which is then filled with hot water. These containers contain thermally insulated material which keeps the fluid very hot while preventing the container from getting cold even when it has external contact.

Advantages Of Using Hot Water Bottles

  • Keeps the whole body warm,
  • More natural and safer compared to other methods.

Disadvantages Of Using Hot Water Bottles

  • Limited capacity,
  • Slow heat rise in the tent area.

7. Hot Rock Wrapped Up In A Towel

Another way to warm up a tent is to place hot rocks wrapped in a towel on the floor and the mattress or on the bottom of the sleeping bag. By doing so, you are slowly raising the temperature of your tent. It would be best to pre-warm those rocks because it will take longer for the tent to get warm.

Advantages Of Using Hot Rock Wrapped Up In A Towel

  • Safe and easy to use

Disadvantages Of Using Hot Rock Wrapped Up In A Towel

  • Relatively slow in warming up the tent
  • Time-consuming.


If you’re going to go camping during wintertime, you should prepare yourself by considering some of the above ways to keep warm in your tent. It will be easy for you to stay safe, comfortable, and warm in any weather condition anytime you want to as long as you are prepared.