Camping in winter is a lot of fun. However, you can make it even more fun if you find out how to heat a tent without electricity.
This article may contain affiliate links. Also, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
As an outdoor enthusiast, you know that not even the snow will keep you indoors. However, wearing warm clothes for hiking or camping is not enough. You will need to keep extra warm at night to avoid catching pneumonia.
Keeping warm is a big concern for many people going camping in winter. Keeping warm is one of the ways of ensuring that you sleep comfortably in your tent. Thankfully, it is not too hard to do this, as you will see from the tips that I will share with you in this article.
A camping adventure in winter has many benefits. One of them is that you practically have the entire campground and campsite to yourself. Everyone else is at home. Thus, if you love some solitary camping,this is the best time to pack your camping gear and hit the road.
However, even all the fun in the world will not prevent you from freezing. Thus, you need to take some precautions that will keep you warm. This is possible if you read my article on tips for insulating your tent in winter.
One of the ways of keeping a tent warm is by heating it. For this, you can use various methods. For example, you could always make a fire close to the tent.
Please note that even when you choose the best tent for bad weather, you will still need to initiate certain measures to heat it up.
Tips for how to heat a tent without electricity
Or you could just buy a heater for heating the tent and be done with it. However, the solutions are never that simple and if they are, they are not a lot of fun.
So, apart from the obvious tent heaters that you can order online, what other methods can you use to warm the tent?
When we talk about ways for how to heat a tent without electricity, basically, what this means is just a few ways to keep yourself warm inside the tent.
You will find many ways in which you can keep quite warm without even having to use physical fire.
Use a small one or two-person camping tent
Keeping a small tent has its benefits.
One of the benefits is that such a tent is quite easy to keep warm. After all, you just need to insulate the space so that heat does not escape. When you have a bigger tent, it has a lot of open space overhead or on the sides. This therefore means more cold air hanging around, and more warm air getting cold with time.
If you are camping alone, just use a one, or two-person tent for camping. It will be much easier to keep warm.
You will need to seal all the areas where the cold air can come into the tent. Whatever options you are using to cold-proof your tent, it is easier if it is small.
If you are camping in fall, a 3-season tent will do just fine. However, if you are camping in winter, you will need a 4-season tent for camping.
Using a camping wood stove
Many camping enthusiasts do overlook this option quite a lot. However, it works, with certain precautions in place.
The camping wood stove you use must have an exhaust system. This would then be connected to the flue to get the smoke and the carbon monoxide out of the tent.
You must also know that a wood burning stove for camping cannot be used in just any tent. You can only use it inside a tent that is made with fireproof canvas. That way, you will not be at any risk of burning things up. Thus, before you take your wood camping stove with you, find out the best tents to use with a wood stove.
Thankfully, there are many tents that you can buy on Amazon that have an inbuilt flue flap. But that is not all either because you will still need a good floor for the tent, one that is fireproof. If not, you will need to roll back the tent floor before you can start using the stove.
If you are not sure that your tent is made for the use of a wood burning camping stove, it would be much better if you avoided this one and went with other methods of keeping the tent warm.
With a camping wood stove, you will need to do some work to keep the fire going. So bring a hatchet for splitting wood to make a fire.
Know how to insulate a tent floor
Most of the cold air in a camping tent comes from the floor. No matter how well you insulate the rest of the tent, if you ignore the floor, well, it will be all in vain. Besides, the floor is where you keep all of your things. You want to prevent frost.
There are various ways for insulating the floor of your tent. One of them is buying a tent tarp and placing it below the tent. This, coupled with your tent floor, should pretty much keep a lot of the cold out.
Tent floor tarps are not costly. Besides, you just need to buy the right size for your tent size. This is important because if a part of the tarp is outside the tent, it will not be protected from the rain or the snow. Thus, you will not be able to cold-proof your tent. Besides, the moisture will seep inside the tent.
Using a blanket on the tent floor
Carry a blanket and spread it over the tent floor. This will add to the insulation of the tent, thus enhancing the warmth of the tent’s interior.
Bring a spare blanket when you are packing your backpack. Space blankets are the most recommended ones because they pack small. These blankets are also more long lasting and they are made for durability. Thus, you will find that you just need to buy them once and then you can use them for a long time.
Natural fiber blankets are usually too bulky and they do not pack small. For example, wool blankets have good insulating qualities, but they are bulky when packing. Thus, if you go camping anytime of the year irrespective of the season, you can order space blankets for camping on Amazon.com.
A full tent rainfly
A tent for camping in the cold season must have a rainfly. Ok, this is not exactly a means to heat the tent without electricity, but it will help preserve the heat that you have inside the tent. One of the best ways to keep a tent warm is to prevent the heat from escaping.
But a rainfly will not only prevent warmth from escaping. It will also prevent the cold from coming in. This is why you should make sure the rainfly stretches all the way to the ground.
A rainfly not only prevents the rain from getting into the tent, but it also prevents sleet and snow from getting into the tent.
At the same time, this rainfly prevent the cold, icy winds from getting into the tent. You will feel much warmer when your tent has a rainfly than when it does not.
Heat rocks and keep them with you when sleeping
This is traditional method of heating the tent without using electricity. When you make a camping fire, toss in some rocks in the fire.
It is the simplest things that matter most of the time. Heating rocks and using them to warm your tent is so simple, actually, it is Stone Age-simple. So, why aren’t you doing it?
Instead of keeping a campfire going throughout the night, you can heat some rocks and take them into the tent with you. Keeping a fire running when you are asleep is dangerous. You never know when the wind will turn its direction.
It is a fairly simple process. Do not let the rocks get red hot. You are trying to stay warm, not to grill yourself like a lobster.
Take the rocks out of the fire and let them stay a bit to cool down. You can then wrap them with towels and then set them at points around the tent. These rocks will radiate sweet heat throughout the night.
If you have a big camping tent , you should use a big rock. Use small rocks for a small tent. The bigger a rock is, the more heat it will dissipate. And the longer it will keep you warm. You should try a 10-pound rock at least. Bigger is better of course.
Combine this method of heating a tent with other methods that we have discussed here. It is possible to keep the tent as warm as your own home. Also remember to make some hot coffee so that you r body can generate heat.
Carry portable camping tent heaters
These heaters use batteries. They are safe, and they are made for camping. Some are large, some are small. There is a portable heater for everyone.
To get the right one, consider the BTU capacity. This is the heat output capacity. To heat a bigger tent, you will have to use a heater with a high BTU capacity and vice versa.
These tent heaters may need to be recharged when the battery drains, so eventually, you will need electricity. However, their versatility and convenience earns them a place in list of how to heat a tent without electricity.
How to heat a tent without electricity – hot water bottle
If taking hot rocks into your tent is Stone Age-simple, well, using a hot water bottle for heat has been used for millennia. Women have used this method for thousands of years to relief pain from menstrual cramps.
Today, you can use a hot water bottle to heat your tent. It is not too hard either. You should just heat the water to a temperature that the bottle can hold without suffering damage.
Usually, the temperature rating of the bottle will be indicated and if it is not, then you have to take your chances. However, if you are using a plastic bottle, do not let the water boil. You can buy a hot water bottle though as it is cheap and lasts a long time.
When you fill your bottle with hot water, just place it by your side. However, make sure you do not place it near the spine, since that is not quite safe. The feet have a tendency of getting cold faster, so place the bottle near the feet.
The water will not stay hot through the night. However, it will do a perfect job of keeping you warm for the few hours that it will be hot.
Also bring your coffee mug that keeps coffee hot so that you can cook plenty and pour it in. That way, you can drink your mug of piping hot coffee if you feel too cold.
Cooking inside the tent with a camping stove
Well, it is not possible to light up a camping stove like this one throughout the night so that you can stay warm. However, you can cook with your propane stove inside the tent to warm it up.
Once you have insulated your tent well, you will find that it is very easy to retain that warmth for some time.
As you cook your food, the stove generates heat, which dissipates the cold from inside. The cooking stoves are safe so you need not worry about that. However, it does not make a lot of sense to use the stove to heat the tent when you are not cooking.
Besides, apart from safety, there is no reason not to cook inside the tent. Besides, you would feel much better with the aroma of food hanging over the air inside the tent.
The only thing that you need to worry about is carbon monoxide, same as you would with a wood stove for camping. Keep the ventilations of your tent open so that fresh air can get in while the carbon monoxide goes outside.
Use insulated inflatable pads
These insulated camping pads will serve two main purposes. One, they will insulate you from having to sleep on the hard, cold ground. Two, they will prevent the coldness of the ground from getting inside the tent.
In simple terms, this means that you should never go camping without a camping pad. Thankfully, there are many foam and inflatable sleeping pads for camping that you can buy. Just choose to go with the inflatable one, as it is more effective.
Pitch your tent in a fire pit
Make a camping fire, a big one, hours before bedtime. When bedtime comes close, you can then douse the fire, check it to make sure there are no hot coals buried in the soil. Remove the coals and remaining pieces of wood and then pitch your tent in the fire pit.
The soil or the rocks inside the fire pit will have gotten quite warm and throughout the night, they will continue to radiate warmth. Besides, there will not be a lot of cold air coming into the tent.
Be cautious though, make sure there are no hot coals remaining. A coal does not have to be alight to burn a hole through a nylon tent.
Thus, as you keep warm when camping, take due precautions. If you are not sure about a certain method, don’t use it.
As you have seen here, how to heat a tent without electricity is possible. This means that you can always camp where you like instead of just looking for campsites that have electricity supply. Besides, now that you know these tips, you should not let the snow and nasty weather keep you indoors. Camp any time you like, stay warm and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer at different times of the year.