How to Heat a Tent Without Electricity?

Camping is fun and exciting, but winter camping requires more preparation.

Cheap or expensive, there are many alternatives to electric heating.

That is where this article comes in, where we discuss different ways to heat your tent without electricity.

How to Heat a Tent Without Electricity

Hot Tents

People who like to fish or hunt often like hot tents, which are warm because they have a wood stove inside.

These heavy-duty canvas tents have a fire-resistant stove jack and a hole in the ceiling for ventilation.

Four-Season Tents

The best thing to do is use four-season tents that are made to withstand camping trips in cold weather.

For example, the Naturehike Cloud-Up has features that are good for winter camping, such as:


It keeps the ground under the tent dry by preventing snow and rain.

When it’s cold, you can use a tent’s inner and outer layers to make it waterproof and windproof.

When it’s warm, you can use just the inner layer to make the tent airier.

The 20D Rip-Stop Nylon and Polyester with a PU 4000 coating are waterproof.

Mylar Blanket

A Mylar blanket doesn’t keep heat in but sends heat back out.

It can also keep out water and wind.

When heat from an outside source hits the shiny surface of a Mylar blanket, it bounces off.

You can use space blankets to either reflect heat away from or back toward an object making heat, like your body.

The best method to use this blanket in a tent in the summer is with a wool camp blanket.

Propane Portable Heater

You could get a radiant heater like the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy as one option.

The Mr. Heater Buddy line of heaters comes in many sizes, but the 4,000-9,000 BTU model is a classic.

This is enough to keep your tent warm even on the coldest nights.

But using a portable gas heater like a Mr. Heater Portable Buddy has one drawback: you must bring enough propane.

If you drive to your campsite, this isn’t a problem, but it could be if you stroll a few miles off the usual road.

If you run it on low, a small 1lb gas can only last about 4-6 hours.

This means you must bring a lot of canisters just to heat your tent for one night.

Be careful when using any type of gas-powered heater.

All gas heaters can make carbon monoxide in small amounts.

Even though none of these units will hurt you or your family, you must always follow the directions.

Well-sealed Tent

Well-sealed Tent

Gas heaters aren’t the only way to heat a tent.

When the camper’s body heat is considered, a well-insulated tent can almost heat itself.

One of the best ways to keep my tent warm on cold nights is to line the floor with a piece of all-weather carpet from Home Depot or, even better, a tent mat made for cold weather camping.

Drymate is a good material for a tent floor.

Even though it costs a bit more than a regular all-weather carpet, people think it does much better.

A foam sleeping mat is another way to add even more insulation to your tent and keep you off the cold ground.

You will not only sleep better, but you will also stay warm.

Warm Water

Putting a few hot water bottles in your sleeping bag is an excellent way to make your tent a little warmer.

The extra heat will keep you warm and comfortable, especially when you go to bed for the first time.

But remember that this is only a short-term solution that won’t keep you or your tent warm for a long time.

Just make sure the quality is good!

You don’t want it to burst while you’re sleeping and pour water all over you.

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Alcohol Camping Heaters

One of the few lightweight options for backpackers is alcohol camping heaters.

It’s a small radiant heater that goes on top of your ultralight backpacking stove.

Battery-powered Heaters 

Battery-powered heaters are very expensive because they need a lot of power to work.

A portable power station will cost you a small fortune.

For example, if you pair a Jackery 1500 (1534 watts) with a Honeywell Cubicle Heater (100-250 watts), you’ll have heat for 6 to 15 hours.

Cheaper power plants won’t be able to keep your heater going for long.

Butane Heaters

Butane heaters are similar to propane heaters, but there isn’t a clear reason to use butane instead of propane.

Although it costs much more, butane burns a little hotter than propane.

Kerosene Heaters 

Kerosene is easier to find and less expensive than propane, but it’s a dirty fuel.

The fuel lines will need to be taken care of regularly.

Candle Lanterns 

You often use candle lanterns for light and mood, but they elevate tent temperature by 10 to 15°F.

Combining the two makes a big difference because a 3-Season tent is 5° warmer.

You can also heat up small amounts of food and water on the heat shield above the flame.

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are safer and easier to operate than propane heaters, but you can’t take them into the backcountry.

Electric heaters are great for campgrounds.

Electric heaters are great for campgrounds with electrical hookups (Class A/AA/AAA Sites) or if you’re using a generator.

It’s perfectly fine to choose a cheap 350-watt-plus cubicle heater because it’s portable.

Any electric heater will work, though, as long as it is hot, even without a thermostat.

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Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you should still mind your budget or what works well for you.

You can use more conventional alternatives when you become more experienced with the camp location.

Just make sure never to forget the risks, and stay safe.