How To Keep A Tent Warm Without Electricity: 14 Best Tips

How to keep a tent warm without electricity

If you are an outdoor activity lover, especially winter camping, one of your main tasks for making your trip comfortable is to provide reliable and environmentally friendly heating for your tent.

There is a lot of camping gear that can easily make your sleep in a tent at times more convenient, but it is difficult to come up with a way how to keep your shelter warm without electricity just in field conditions.

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In this article we are going to consider in detail numerous natural tips on how to stay warm during camping trips in cold weather, say some words about the peculiarities of each of them and safety regulations.

1. Use a candle

This is the easiest and most budget way to heat a tent without electricity! But it can be challenging to raise the temperature inside the entire tent with the help of the candles, so this method is used for heating during lightest frosts (in spring or in autumn).

If you want to try this method, use a few household candles that are capable of burning for at least five-six hours. The effect depends on the number of candles that are burning at the same time.


It is strictly forbidden to keep your shelter warm with heat from the candles, if you are going to sleep after a long day on your feet! Use this method when you are staying awake or organizing the duty of a few people.

2. Use a portable gas heater

A propane heater is a hand-held device that is connected directly to the gas cylinders. Modern models do not take up much space, but they provide the stable high flame.

Of course, due to the open flame and high temperatures portable propane heater is among the devices with high fire risks. However, the market offers a lot of special ceramic or metal nozzles that ensure a high level of safety and allow you to heat cold air inside your tent.


Of course, the portable propane gas heater is the easiest answer to staying warm in a tent, but you need to keep an eye on it throughout the day and turn it off before bed to avoid a wildfire and electrical problems.

3. Choose a suitable sleeping bag

Keep in mind that a comfortable camping and staying warm in a tent are not always about heating you and your family members up, it’s also about stopping you from getting cold in the first place!

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One of the main heat sources during tent camping is your body heat. If you want to keep it in a tent as long as possible – do not forget about a properly selected sleeping bag specifically designed for camping in cold weather!

When you are preparing for your winter camping, keep in mind that your sleeping bags should be rated to temperatures below the ones you’re expecting.

You can make your good quality sleeping bag at times more comfortable and warmer by putting a hot water bottle inside your tent before going to bed – you can use it like a tent heater.

4. Provide a proper insulation for a tent from the ground on

Remember: well insulated tent comes first!

If you want to heat a tent, try to create a layer between the tent and the cold ground. Use a foam mat, an insulated sleeping pad or place some natural materials, like leaves and wood branches under your sleeping pad to reduce heat loss from your body.

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When you are outdoors, you can take your stick out of your backpack and put it under your feet. Place your excess clothing under your lower back to properly insulate against the cold ground.

With good insulation, it will be warm in your tent because this method can retain your body heat. Your tent will become a comfortable place to rest in cold weather after a long day on your feet.

5. Purchase a mylar blanket

This camping gear is loved by many tourists because it is a small budget solution to solve the problem with of cold air insulation and make a tent warmer without electrical devices when winter camping.

If you wish to raise the temperature inside your tent and heat a tent without electricity, you can also put the mylar blanket on the tent walls and ceiling of the tent to stay warm during the trip in cold season.

Do not neglect to coat your shelter with mylar blankets to create a so-called barrier throughout the tent to hold the cold out and the heat in.

This useful camping equipment will help you to feel comfortable while staying overnight in night due to its ability to reflect body heat back well.

If you use this heating method, don’t forget to ventilate the tent to keep it warm.

6. Do not forget about sleeping bag cover

After a quick workout, it is a real pleasure to lie in a warm sleeping bag with hot water bottles (optionally) and put a sleeping bag cover as an additional layer.

The air gap which occurs between your body and sleeping bag cover helps you to keep all body heat that you’ve collected during exercises and stay warm in a tent on cold nights.

7. Use hot water bottles during winter camping

There is another method that will help you to stay warm during winter camping and heat a tent without electricity – that is heat from the inside.

To use it properly, follow a step-by-step instructions:

  • firstly, boil water on a campfire,
  • fill the metal camping thermos with hot water or another hot fluid,
  • use it as a tent heater and put this hot water bottle inside your sleeping bag.
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A hot water bottle is a great option to warm a certain part of your body rapidly, but it cools down again closer to the morning.

This DIY tent-safe heater can help add more warmth to your sleeping bag to keep you warm during a comfortable night’s rest on your camping trip.

If you are going to make a hot water bottle during the trip, under field conditions, boil some water on a campfire, pack the bottle with something insulating like a scarf or a piece of fabric, and put this homemade heater in your sleeping bag.

8. Use stoves for solid fuels

The working principle of this method consists in the fact of adding some solid fuel to the combustion chamber.

If you want to use this camping gear for heating your tent, pay closer attention to the safety rules!

There is a big risk of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning so the tourist should keep abreast of the constant surveillance and adding more fuel if it is needed.

9. Use hot rocks

This is an easy and budget method to heat an entire tent without electricity that you can use at all seasons of the year! The heating effect depends on the hot stone size, heated area and the temperature outside.

To get maximum heating, you can put a few rocks in a campfire and shift them to a basket when they become red. Then put the basket with hot stones into your tent.

10. Purchase hand and foot warmers

A warmer is a portable camping gear that can serve you well and be a reliable assistant during winter camping. How to use it properly to get maximum heat?

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If there is a need to stay warm when staying overnight in the tent, place a few foot warmers near your foot and hold the other ones against your chest while you sleep or take a nap.

A little time-tested tip that experienced camping lovers like: use the warmers to warm up your sleeping bags before you go to bed. Try this life hack and thank us later!

11. Choose your place to stay overnight in a tent properly.

When you are preparing for a camping trip and choosing the location to stay overnight or have a rest in a tent, ensure that the chosen spot is suitable for camping. The ideal option is a dry and flat surface, sheltered from the wind and convenient to set up the tent.

Avoid lower areas such as a valley, because you can face moist air due to water streams and concentrated wind.

Never set your tent up on a hill or mountainside. Also we do not recommend pitching your tent in an open field. Pitching your tent in these areas gives you no protection from the wind and your trip will be ruined!

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The best place to pitch your tent is in an area surrounded by trees. The trees will help provide shelter and act as a windbreak.

12. Select a camping tent with mind

A properly chosen camping tent can greatly impact how warm and comfortable you will feel during staying overnight in cold weather.

It is really imploring to not economize financial resources and buy an expensive off-season tent, that is made of strong and durable thick fabric with air vents and a raincoat. These shelters hold the warmth inside and will not collapse and fall down because of snow.

Learn more about hot tents

All experienced tourists know that when it comes to a wood stove it is necessary to observe the important rule – do not put the wood inside your tent! Because during the combustion carbon monoxide is released that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

But there is an exception of this rule – hot tents with some tent-safe heaters inside! You should pay attention to the hot tents as they are modest and convenient models if you are going to have camping trips in cold weather on an ongoing basis.

These tents are made of thick fabric like heavy canvas for an excellent insulation and have a vent hole in an upper part to feed the stove’s flue pipe through the ceiling for proper ventilation, because we are usually use wood stove to heat a tent without electricity.

13. Make a campfire

It a really convenient to use the power of nature. The heat from the fire is the most effective, powerful and free (in the presence of dry fallen wood) to warm your tent without electricity.

But in this case it is especially important to observe safety rules!

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There are three methods how to use a campfire to heat a tent:

Method 1

First of all, you need to remove the upper layer of the turf around the perimeter of the tent. The resulting pit should be 20-30 cm deep. Make a campfire using thick branches. When the wood burns down, you should level the coats and sprinkle them with some soil.

Method 2

In the case the soil in the setting location is frozen solid or raw, you do not need to remove the upper layer of the turf. Just make a campfire.

When the coats have burnt, set them aside. The surface can be lined by spruce branches.

Then set your tent up.

Method 3

The heating of your tent is made with the help of the tube. You will need a tube lenght of several meters (this method is suitable for people, who are travelling on their own vehicle).

The principle of the heating consists in the fact that one end of the tube is placed in your tent, the other end of the tube is a little bit lower and placed near the campfire.

Then the heat from the campfire is radiated through the tube, the warm air comes naturally inside the tent. If you want to heat a tent using this complicated method you need to spend a lot of time, prepare properly and support the process of wood’s burning

14. Use heating packs

Heating packs are small and really convenient camping gear that can not only help to raise the temperature inside your tent but also can warm you up more than a tent.

Safety guidelines

If you want to heat a tent without electricity and make your camping trips at times more comfortable, you need to read our tips!

  • Before installing any safe-tent heater you should read its instruction and make sure that you understand how to use this device;
  • Be concerned about proper tent ventilation Every experienced tourist knows that providing a tent ventilation is a really critical moment in camping because it avoids the appearance of condensation. If we are talking about standard terms, the human body can produce from 25 to 60 grams of moisture.
    This measure can be value in accordance with body weight and health condition.Keep in mind that in case your shelter is not ventilated properly, you will face waking up in wet and cold clothes.
  • Heating surfaces of the heaters should not come into contact with other items in order to avoid fire;
  • If you are going to use stand for your heater make sure that it is made of non-combustible material;
  • In order to avoid accidents it is not recommended to left heating devices running when you are sleeping;
  • Buy carbon monoxide sensor In case you prefer chemical heaters, like gas heaters, instead of electric heaters in your warm tent, you can purchase a carbon monoxide level’s detector to avoid poisoning. You will receive a signal if the content of the carbon monoxide in air is increased.
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How to keep a tent warm without electricity: Conclusion

We hope that our article will help you to answer the question that constantly excites even experienced outdoor and winter camping lovers!

We wish you a comfortable and warm camping trip! Now you know how to heat your tent without electricity.

Please read also other articles about cold Season Camping:


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