How To Heat A Tent Without Electricity

man keeping his tent warm

Being outside is healthy and the fresh air can not only have a healing effect, but it can also make us really happy. So it is understandable that many camping enthusiasts do not want to go without camping, even in winter.

The main problem with winter camping is the harsh cold weather.

Most campers get around this by using an electric heater, however, this is not always an option as you may not have access to electricity.

So today, we will be looking at how to heat up your tent without using electricity

Camping with and without electricity

There are many ways your tent can be heated. There are, for example, gas bottles, an electric heater, or a radiant heater. And even with a candle.

However, not all of them are also suitable for proper heating when camping and many also involve a certain risk when using them.

Heating with electricity is of course always safest, even when camping. However, it works relatively seldom in the tent, because there it would only work with a generator or a car battery. The former, however, is quite bulky and the car is not always near the tent.

However, if you are on a campsite, there is usually a connection to electricity. In this case, an electric heater can be used. For all other situations, gas is probably the better choice.

Using Gas

gas heater for campingThe most common way to keep yourself warm in the tent is definitely heating with a gas cartridge, i.e. a container filled with liquid gas and completely without electricity.

They are handy and easy to take with you, which makes them perfect for camping, and usually have a decent output. The cartridges can be exchanged without much effort

Sometimes they also have a timer and an emergency shutdown function, which ensures more safety when heating. Nevertheless, you should always secure the cartridge well so that no gas can escape and possibly poison the tent.

In addition, modern models no longer have an open flame due to the principle they work with, which is why they are safer. Nevertheless, one should always be careful when heating with gas. The cylinders can be quite heavy and care must be taken when connecting and setting up the gas cartridge.

Safety factors when heating a tent

The most important thing about heating in a tent is that nothing works without ventilation. Every type of heating requires oxygen, regardless of whether it is gas or electricity. The oxygen needs to be brought into the tent and to the heat source, while the stale air needs a way to leave the room.

In addition, no patio heater or heater should be used when camping. These options are not suitable for camping in a tent because it is an enclosed space and the patio heater works by burning oxygen. Here again, the problem of insufficient ventilation arises.

In addition, patio heaters can get extremely hot and thus ignite the tarpaulin above, which is very dangerous. In general, you should always pay attention to the instructions for use and safety regulations for the heating option, because heating in the tent is not without it and requires caution and attention.

When using a heater of any kind, make sure you leave enough space around it so you won’t accidentally knock it over. This is especially important when camping in a tent with a dog.

Other Ways To Keep Your Tent Warm

Using a tent heater is not the only way to keep warm.

Here are a few other ways to stay nice and warm while tent camping

Insulate Your Tent

By properly insulating your tent, you can use your own body heat to keep your tent warm.

If you have not yet bought your tent, I would go for a four-season tent that is pre-insulated as this will take out all of the hassles of doing it yourself.

The insulated tent that I use is the Crua Duo Maxx 3.

If you already have a tent then the easiest way to insulate it is to throw a few thick blankets over your tent, as well as putting one down on the floor.

It would also be wise to invest in a foam sleeping matt to put on the cold ground, both for extra insulation and also added comfort.

Wear The Right Clothes

warm clothesNow, this is a no-brainer, but I thought I would list it anyway.

Wear some warm clothes.

Some good quality thermal clothes and underwear can make the world of difference when camping out in the harsh winter weather.

Try and get yourself a decent thermal hat too as this will be perfect for keeping your head warm as you sleep.

Heat Up Some Stones

This is kind of an odd one, but hear me out.

Heat up a few large stones using your campfire and place them on a metal tray inside your tent.

Stones can heat up quite quickly and will give off a decent amount of heat for hours at a time, thus providing you with a cheap way to heat your tent.

Just make sure that you give them sufficient space inside the tent as the last thing you want is to melt a big hole in your camping tent.

A Decent Sleeping bag

Another no-brainer here, but one that some people seem to overlook is to get a high-quality sleeping bag.

While this won’t provide you with a warm tent, it will ensure that you are warm when it comes to bedtime.

The sleeping bag that I use is the Kelty Cosmic 20 Degree Down Sleeping Bag.

I absolutely love it as it has kept me nice and warm in the cold weather, plus it is one of many down-filled sleeping bags so it not only provides you with protection from the cold, but it makes for a comfortable night’s sleep.

If you already own a sleeping bag and don’t want to buy a new one, you can always put a couple of blankets inside it to help you stay warm.

Use A Hot Water Bottle

One thing that I always take with me on any camping trip is a hot water bottle. Even when summer camping, just in case the temperature drops through the night.

By using water that has been heated up using your campfire, you can fill up the bottle and either put it inside your sleeping bag or just keep it lying around in your tent.

By doing the latter, you will be able to raise the temp of your tent by a few degrees (depending on your tent). Just make sure to keep your tent closed so you don’t let in any cold air.


That is it for today, I hope I have given you enough info to help you keep your tent warm while winter camping.

If I discover any new techniques or helpful camping gear, I will update this page to let you guys know.

Ben Ross