Camping Tent Heater: 5 Best Heaters for Tent Camping and Alternative Options
Getting a good camping tent heater can make your trip much more enjoyable, there’s nothing worse than a cold and miserable night in a tent. Something that’ll keep you warm and toasty, in a safe way, is an essential accessory for any avid camper. Having one means you can head out even in more extreme weather conditions and enjoy the outdoors year-round.
What To Look Out For
There are a couple of things to look out for when choosing your camping tent heater, which we are going to go through before diving into the top five products. It is also essential to follow all of the manufacturers’ safety instructions upon purchase, as an accident with a heater can be dangerous.
Most camping heaters cannot be used inside small tents, as the area needs to be well ventilated for safety. Some have been designed for outdoor use only, so it’s worth doing your research before making a purchase.
BTUs stands for British Thermal Units and is how heat output is measured. The higher the number, the warmer you’ll be. Just remember that as the BTU increases, so does the amount of gas or electricity used.
You’ll need to transport whatever heater you choose to your campground. While a larger heater is likely to give off more warmth, it will also take up more room in transit. Also, consider how much gas you will need to carry and how much space this will take up.
Safety is critical when choosing a camping tent heater, especially if you’re travelling with children or pets. Look for safety features such as an automatic shut off when knocked over and for low oxygen levels.
Types of Camping Tent Heaters
The most common camping heaters are powered by gas. This is the main reason that your space needs to be well ventilated to ensure there is no build-up of carbon monoxide. Gas is an efficient and low-cost way to run a heater and is safe when used correctly.
Either propane or butane can fuel a heater. Both are fine to use, but if you’re already carrying one for your cooker, then it would make sense to get a heater that uses the same fuel.
If you’re camping somewhere with access to electricity, then an electric heater is a good option. They’re often cheaper, safer and more efficient. Unfortunately, electric heaters do require a lot of power, so they are not currently compatible with most battery packs or solar setups.
Top Five Camping Tent Heaters
The first camping tent heater on our list is the Porlae Heater, a butane model. This compact heater is the perfect companion to keep you warm on camping trips, offering up to 10,000 BTUs. The heater can run for up to three hours at a time and uses either a small butane canister or a larger butane gas bottle.
As well as providing you with warmth, you can cook meals or boil water on this heater! The two in one function is great if you want to travel light, as you don’t have to pack a gas stove as well as the heater. Notably, the Porlae heater also has a tip-over safety shut off, so if it gets knocked, it automatically turns off.
The Porlae comes in at $67.69.
If you’re looking for a small, personal outdoor heater, then the Texsport could be the one for you. This heater emits less heat at 2890 BTUs, but it is smaller, making it easier to transport and perfect for one person.
The Texsport Portable Screws on top of either a 14.1oz or 16.4oz propane fuel cylinder; such a simple design means that there is no wasted weight to lug around. However, there are minimal safety features, so you need to be careful when using the Texsport Portable. As well as being compact, this is an affordable option at $42.74.
Mr Heater F232000 is a great little camping tent heater. It gives off plenty of heat, up to 9,000 BTU, which will keep you nice and toasty. The heater runs from a propane tank that connects to the unit, making it easy to carry, using the handle provided.
This heater comes with two brilliant safety features, as well as the integrated safety guard. The heater automatically turns off when knocked over, or if it detects low oxygen levels. This smart feature ensures carbon monoxide isn’t generated. However, it does mean the heater won’t work at a high altitude of 7,000ft or above, due to the lower oxygen levels.
Mr Heater F232000 is a fantastic choice if you want something portable and with more safety features. It comes in at $105.46.
If you camp at campgrounds that offer an electricity supply, then you could go for a small electric heater. Electric heaters are slightly safer than gas heaters as there is no gas fuel involved. However, they do use a lot of power, so you need a mains electricity source, which often isn’t practical when camping.
If you do have electricity, then this heater is a brilliant option. It is a ceramic heater with a fan function to blow air outwards. The heater oscillates, ensuring heat goes in all directions. This feature also means you can use it as a fan during summer. The electric space heater is a cheap option at just $26.99.
Lastly, on our list to find a camping tent heater for you, we have the Camco Olympian Wave-8. This heater is a larger model that offers up to 8,000 BTU. As well as the heater itself, you will need to pack a butane gas canister to connect it to. If you’re looking for something larger, then this is the heater for you.
The Camco Olympian Wave-8 also has an automatic shut off, so if it gets knocked over, it turns off. You can use this heater as a portable heater, or you can mount it to the wall if you decide your RV needs some extra warmth. Due to its size, this heater is slightly more expensive at $ 391.10.
Alternative Ways To Keep Warm
If it’s too late for you to get a camping tent heater in time for your trip away, or your tent is too small for one, then don’t worry as there are other ways to keep warm. People have been camping long before tent heaters existed, so there are many tried and tested methods. Good quality equipment will ensure you stay warm and get a good nights sleep.
The easiest way to stay warm when camping is to wear layers, even when you’re heading to bed. Put on as many layers as you need to feel warm and to keep in your body heat. If you wake up in the night, make the effort to get up and add an extra jacket, you’ll sleep much better for it.
If you get cold easily, then you might want to invest in a thermal base layer. They are designed to keep you warm, and you can easily pair them with more items.
Pack A Hot Water Bottle
A hot water bottle is a cheap and effective way to stay warm throughout the night. Once filled with near-boiling water, they can stay hot all night, just make sure you pack a cover to ensure it does. Tucked inside your sleeping bag, a hot water bottle will make you feel super cosy and ready to drift off into dreamland.
Get A Winter Sleeping Bag
If you are a regular camper, then you might decide it’s worth investing in a good winter sleeping bag. While sleeping bags can be pretty expensive, they are the best way to stay warm in cold climates. Some of the best winter sleeping bags are designed to keep you warm and safe in temperatures as low as -40°C (which is also -40°F!). If that’s not extreme enough for you, then I don’t know what is!
If you don’t regularly camp in cold temperatures, then investing in a winter sleeping bag may seem a bit pointless, as they are pricey. Chat to your local outdoor store to find the right sleeping bag for you that is best for the type of camping you do.
Pack Extra Blankets
If you don’t often go camping in winter and already own a lightweight sleeping bag, then you could consider bringing along extra blankets instead. This is only really an option if you are heading to your campground in a car as they would be too bulky to carry otherwise. If you are arriving with your vehicle, then chuck a couple of extra blankets in the trunk so you can use them if needed.
Although blankets aren’t as technically good as specific outdoor gear, they will still help you keep warm through the night!
Wear Gloves and a Hat To Bed
Heat escapes most quickly through your head, so if you are camping in cold temperatures, then make sure you pack a hat! Choose a thick, comfortable hat that covers your ears to wear through the night; you’ll be surprised at how much difference it makes!
Also, consider wearing a pair of gloves. If you move a lot when you’re asleep, then your hands are sure to find their way out of your sleeping bag before long. A pair of gloves will stop them from getting cold and waking you up even if this happens. You can also tuck the sleeves of your top into your gloves to prevent it from riding up and exposing your arms.
Utilise Body Heat
One of the best ways to stay warm is to cuddle up to someone else. So its time to get cosy with your camping partner- think of them as a giant hot water bottle! Sleep close together to provide each other with some warmth.
If you want to get out there in all weathers, then a camping tent heater can help you do that more comfortably. If you take your car on your camping trips, just chuck one in the back, you’ll never know when it’ll come in handy!
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