Camping can be an incredibly fun and rewarding experience at the best of times. However, it’s definitely no fun spending a night outdoors if you’re chilled to the bone, which is why tent heaters can be such a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to limit their camping experiences to the warm, summer months. Whether you’re in need of some extra heat for your hunting camp or any other reason, there are a number of excellent options for tent heaters that can help you stay warm and toasty in even the most frigid of conditions.
Types of Tent Heaters
When looking for a heater for use inside your tent, you’ll basically only have two options for your fuel source—electric or propane. Propane heaters are by far the most common, as they can be used anywhere. Still, they do require you to pack bottles of propane around with you, although this normally isn’t much of a problem considering the myriad of other common camping items that also use this fuel source, including lanterns, grills, stoves, and more.
Electric tent heaters on the other hand need to be plugged into an electrical outlet, meaning you likely won’t be able to use this type of heater in the middle of the woods. Still, if you do happen to be setting up your tent in a place where you can use extension cords to plug the unit in, they might still be a decent option. Additionally, you could also plug the heater directly into a generator if you happen to have one handy.
For most cases, the propane tent heaters are definitely the best option, as they will allow you much more freedom to get the heat you need, wherever you need it. That is, provided you remember to bring along enough propane to keep it running.
Are Tent Heaters Safe?
One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to camp heaters is whether or not they are safe to use, as tents are known to be quite flammable. Since you don’t want to risk your tent catching fire when you’re asleep, you should definitely look for what’s known as a catalytic heater, as this type doesn’t use any flames, thus reducing the risk of fire.
Still, no matter what type of heater you happen to be using, you should still make sure that the area around it is clear so that you don’t run the risk of anything combusting. For additional safety, you also ought to consider purchasing one of the higher end models, as these come with more safety measures such as an automatic shut-off should the heater ever tip over.
What Size Tent Heater Do I Need?
How much heat a unit will produce is measured in BTU’s (British Thermal Units) and there’s a simple calculation that will allow you to determine how many BTU’s is sufficient for your needs. Firstly, you need to calculate the square footage of your tent by multiplying its length, width and height. Then you’ll need to multiply this number by your insulation rating, which is a number between 2 and 8.
To determine your insulation factor, you first need to consider the quality of your tent and how cold the weather will be when using the tent. A well-built, higher end tent would have an insulation value of 2 in normal weather, around 5 in moderately cold conditions and an 8 if the temperature outside is below zero.
After multiplying the square footage of your tent by your insulation factor, you should arrive at a number that will roughly correspond to how many BTU’s you’ll need to provide sufficient heat to keep your tent warm.