When you are in the middle of winter, do not be put off by the cold, but organize a pleasant excursion with a camping trip. If you equip yourself properly, camping in any month of the year as well as being feasible can also be quite comfortable. So, you can safely sleep in a tent in the mountains, even on the coldest nights.
However, it can happen that sometimes the temperatures drop so much that even a top-quality thermal bag, insulating blankets or your favorite pair of socks will not keep you warm.
On such cold nights, you may want to know how to make a tent warmer.
There are several ways to warm a tent. Although some of these could pose a danger, if you take the right precautions, you can do it reasonably safely.
Placing a small electric heater inside the tent is the most immediate way to heat the indoor environment. However, these heaters require access to the electric current, which is often only available in campsites for campers.
One solution, if you want to bring an electric warmer with you and you don’t have access to electricity, you can connect it to a small power generator or a power inverter connected to the car battery.
In any case, this solution would require the transport and installation of extra equipment during camping. But if you think this is the best solution for you, you can find electric heaters of some major brands on the market.
There are also hot air generators that work through propane use and are easier to transport and use in tents. Although they emit co2 and for this reason, they are more dangerous than electric heaters.
But with proper ventilation, which is generally built into most curtains, carbon release inside your tent shouldn’t be a problem.
If this worries you, you can open the curtain while the propane fan heater is on: part of the heat will dissipate, but you will have the security of air recirculation.
On the market, there are propane heaters to be explicitly used in tents, and most of them are made by COLEMAN and Mr. Heater.
These are catalytic heaters and therefore produce flameless heat. But, in any case, if you choose to heat your tent in this way, never turn on the stove while you sleep.
Instead, turn on the stove an hour or half an hour before going to sleep. And as soon as the room is sufficiently heated and return to the tent, turn it off. If necessary, turn it back on when you wake up in the morning.
Warm the Tent with Candle Lanterns
Candle lanterns represent another effective way to heat your tent without the inconvenience of an electric heater or the danger of a propane heater.
These are devices that use an open flame inside the glass to provide light. As long as it is not extremely cold or windy outside, they can increase the temperature in your tent from 10 to 15 degrees.
Of course, since it is an open flame, this must be handled with care. You should never fall asleep with a lit candle lantern. Use the same method that we have illustrated before for the propane heater.
So, put the lantern inside the tent before going to sleep. This will ensure a warm and welcoming environment when you enter: at this point, you should immediately blow out the candle.
Light A Fire on A Sandy Base
If you are camping in a sandy area and you have some time to waste, follow this way. You can place about twenty rocks on the fire, and while you wait for them to warm up, dig a hole about one foot deep.
Once the rocks reach the right temperature, put them in the hole and cover them with a little sand.
You will then have to place your tent on the ground above this hole: your tent will heat up through the heat flow coming from the stones for most of the night.
Make sure the hole is at the correct depth. It is crucial because otherwise, the heat of the rocks could burn the tent.
The sand, for heating, is essential. Its consistency allows the heat to rise more quickly than through the earth and make your night in a tent more comfortable.
Chemical Warmers: A Little Comfort That Makes the Difference
Light and effective immediately: chemical warmers can offer temporary relief from extreme conditions. Together with the insulated clothing, they can make the difference during a long night under the sky swept by the icy winds that blow on the Nanga Parbat.
Once activated, they can warm hands and feet and be inserted into the inside pockets of jackets to increase body temperature.
Always avoid keeping the warmers in direct contact with sensitive body parts to avoid small, but unpleasant burns. Fundamental to use together with feather boots to warm the toes.
Fill A Non–Plastic Bottle with Boiling Water
Lastly, before going to sleep, you could fill a bottle of boiling water to prevent it from cooling if it was filled too long before.
Once the water is boiled, you will need to store it in a non-plastic bottle. Put it in the lowest part of the sleeping bag, near the feet. In this way, the warm air will spread from the bottom of your cover to the upper part, keeping your body warm enough.
But be careful not to sleep with sources of heat directly in contact with your torso. This could overheat this part of your body by evaporating the water present in your internal organs representing a severe danger to your kidneys.
Also, be careful not to drink the hot water inside a plastic bottle, even when the water has cooled down.
Use Hot Stones
Using hot stones is a small piece of advice, but it can be instrumental if done correctly.
The principle is roughly the same as the hot water inside the bottle unless you need more time to heat the rocks.
But more importantly, it takes even longer to radiate all the heat contained until it is exhausted and, as a result, this will keep you warm for longer.
What you will need to put this useful little trick into practice is:
- A bonfire
- Some socks
- Few rocks of the size of a hand’s fist and which have a smooth surface. The stones with rough and angular surfaces can cut the socks in which they are wrapped. Besides, it would be annoying if they were to come into contact with the body.
Once you have taken everything, you need you can proceed. Place the rocks about 10-20 cm away from the camp fire taking into account their size and the size of the fire.
Turn them over from time to time to make sure their center is heated from every angle.
Make the rocks reach a temperature where you can no longer touch with bare hands. This is the time you know that the center has been heated sufficiently and to the right degree.
In any case, it should take about 2 hours for the stones to be adequately heated.
At this point, insert a hand into a sock, up to the tip and thus grab a stone by spilling the sock on it. Then wrap it and proceed in this way with the remaining stones.
You can now place the heated and wrapped stones you prefer: 4 of them, for example, you could place them at every corner of the tent. Or place them all in the center, around the sleeping bag. Or, if you prefer, keep them even inside the sleeping bag, just like boiling water.
Again, don’t put them very close to your torso.
Reduce the Curtain Volume as Much as Possible
If your tent contains less air and therefore is less extensive it will be more accessible to heat: the more air it can contain, the longer it will take to heat it.
For this reason, try to use your tent by reducing its volume (some curtains are adjustable in this sense) or buy a smaller tent, and you will have solved the problem.
Remember: Humidity = Cold
By letting your tent ventilate well, you can reduce the humidity and condensation that can form and accumulate inside. In this way, both you and the inside of the tent will be dry. This will help to maintain a higher temperature during the night.
Equally important is avoiding sweating. So if you wake up at night and notice you’re sweating, remove a few layers of blankets to keep yourself dry. The ideal is to maintain a constant temperature that should not be too high so as not to suffer from the heat in your winter tent.
10 Tips to Keep You Warm on Camping Nights
Before we finish this article, why not some advice on how to keep yourself warm on a cold night. Because you, it is equally important to keep yourself warm as keeping the tent warm. By following some simple rules, you can do so.
Here we propose some tips that will help you sleep warm when you go hiking on these cold days. It is worth considering:
- Put a thermos of hot water on your feet: seriously, this is something that most mountaineers do. Always before sleeping, fill your thermos with hot water and put it to the bottom of your sleeping bag. This will allow the blood in your feet to stay warm and so on circulating quietly while you sleep. And if you have warm feet, you can keep your whole body warm.
- Take hand & toe warmers: hand and foot warmers are fundamental for anyone who wants to go camping in winter. Whether it is skiing, walking, taking photos, having a picnic, they are essential to put them under your gloves or socks and keep your limbs warm.
- Do ten pigeons jumping before going to the tent: you may think that you will look ridiculous doing this. But you will realize that you will be the only one who will not die of cold. It is an excellent recommendation if you are freezing. To warm your bones and muscles, do this a little before getting into the sleeping bag. Your body will not have to struggle to make the blood circulate.
- Sleep with the layers of thermal clothing on thermal clothing will keep you warm at night, so you don’t waste energy shaking.
- Sleep with a hat on and thick socks: so, you can keep your ears warm too and, obviously, the head. The same for the feet.
- You do not feel on cold surfaces: this cools your bottoms and legs and then struggles a lot to warm up again.
- Use a pad to sleep: it is essential not to put the sleeping bag directly on the floor of the tent since the cold on the surface will enter quickly. So, we recommend using a sleeping pad, which will prevent the cold from passing into your sleeping bag.
- Camp with who you love most: nothing produces more heat than human heat. It is much better to sleep with a friend or partner to keep each other warm.
- Eat high–fat foods: a little greasy in the body, will undoubtedly keep you with an extra layer of heat. Here forget a little about the diet. These foods can be healthy, such as peanut butter, for example, or chocolates.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol: although one of your favorite reasons is to enjoy a good wine under the stars, remember not to overdo it. Even if you think it will keep you warm for a while, don’t forget that alcohol dehydrates us. There is nothing worse than dehydrating yourself in the mountains, and this will make you colder.
These were some of our ideas on how to make a tent warmer. Hopefully, this will help you with your camping adventures. If you liked this article, keep following us.. See you soon, friends!