Can You Use A Heater In A Tent – And Is It Really Safe

tent arctic cold weather

The thing is I love camping in the winter season and so for many years I have been using tent heaters on my camping trips and the great thing is not even once I have had a problem with them so I decided to write this article.

Depending on the season and the campground temperature might get super-low inside your tent which makes you think it doesn’t worth to camp in the first place, yeah! this happens to most campers it is not only your problem.

So this will get you thinking about what you should do to make stay warm in your tent and there are many ways to do that and one of them is to use a heater but as you know tents are made of flammable materials like polyethylene so it makes you think it is 100% safe to use a heater inside a flammable tent.

Yes, you can use a heater inside a tent, most campers do use a heater but there are some circumstances that you can’t use a heater like if your tent is not a breathable tent, or if the heater is low quality and most of all you should never use a heater if you didn’t take a fire extinguisher with you.

Table Of Contents

Choosing The Right Heater

heater stove

As I have said getting a low-quality, cheap heater is not the right thing to do. heaters normally cost from $40 to $200 but it can go down to $20 and up to $300 sometimes but you don’t need something fancy like that you just need something that works well with just an average price.

You have two choices when it comes to the power source for the heaters the first one is electrically powered and the second one is a gas. Both of them are good as far as heating goes and their price doesn’t have that much of a difference.

Make sure you see reviews before you buy and if you are about to get a gas heater make sure it doesn’t have CO emission and if you are about to buy electrically powered make sure it has a stays a long time without a need of a power source.

Gas heater vs electric heater which one is safer for camping

Electric heaters are safer than a gas heater. a gas heater is more common in camping than electric heater but that doesn’t mean it is safer. Because of many factors I would suggest you to get an electric heater but in some cases, a gas heater might be better like some electric heaters are solar and so if you are camping on a winter season that is a bummer.

The first and the worst thing about gas heaters is that they have carbon monoxide(CO) emission. we will not go to the details but most gas heaters use propane as an energy source and if propane doesn’t have the right amount of air to go to combustion(right amount of ratio between propane and air) carbon monoxide will form. CO, as you might have known, is a deadly gas and inhaling it for a long time can cause headaches and in the worst cases it is fatal.

The third type of heater is kerosene heater which is not often used, kerosene heaters, as you can tell use kerosene and they are not safe they have many poisons end products so avoid them as much as possible

Besides the deadly gas CO heaters can cause fire, yes they can! and this is the last thing you want while camping there are things you can do to avoid this.

How to be safe while using heaters in a tent

  • Don’t put the heater close to your tent
  • Get a tent made with a fire-retardant material
  • Crack open some zippers for ventilation
  • Put the heater as far as possible from your sleeping area
  • Use high-quality heaters

Remember that anything you do is to decrease the probability, it doesn’t mean fire won’t break out, so it is wise to get a fire extinguisher whether you have a heater or not you have to have a fire extinguisher.

Get A Fire Retardant Tent

Almost all tents are sold as fire-retardant which is far from the truth most tents will burn very fast. and even some tents are very flammable. So as I have said avoid contact between your heater and the tent. So before you buy your tent make sure it is made with high-quality fabric and if you can, ask the seller if the tent is made with fire retardant fabric.

There is a standard set of the flammability of tents called CPAI84, it was set by Industrial Fabrics Association International but the problem is most fire retardant tents are canopies. It is hard to get a tent which is completely fire retardant for camping but you can find tents which are certified as fire-retardant.

Is Your Tent Breathable

Breathable tents are nice when it comes to ventilating air in and out, breathable tents allow ventilation which means fresh air will enter your tent which decreases the effect of carbon monoxide.

The problem here is that most breathable tents are not %100 percent waterproof which is a bummer if you are camping on a rainy season so you other choice is to open the door of the tent once in a while to allow fresh air into your tent or just crack open the zipper on the top part which also works well.

The second thing is that breathable tents are made for summer season camping and so if you are camping in the winter you might not like it! might get cold due to cold air entering from outside.

The Best Tent Heater for camping

If you have seen the above video, you can see that the heater is a propane heater but it doesn’t have CO emission which makes it super nice another thing is that it is not electrically powered which makes it perfect for all-season campers.

So if you are looking for a heater you can get this heater on amazon, in my opinion, this heater is one of the best tent heaters out there I have used it for a couple of years now.

The price is well around $130 it can go up and down depending on the season. the power source is propane you will have to take a gas tank with you. There are different size tanks and depending on the time of your stay and the tent size you have to pick the size that is suitable for you.