Tent heaters

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Tent heaters

Postby OzeBoy » Wed May 20, 2009 12:26 pm

I'm heading away camping in a few weeks and love camping in cold weather.
I am wanting to take out the chill of the tent (6 man) so I can sit in bed reading before getting up and getting the fire going again. So I don't want to heat the whole tent for hours on end.
Are there any sort of heaters you can get that are safe?
Are these okay? http://www.colemanaustralia.com.au/temp ... egory=1171
or: http://www.raysoutdoors.com.au/product/ ... adiator/64
Many years ago I boiled the kettle in the tent (i know i know), but it heated the whole tent in 2mins. Is there a safer way of doing this?
It's just for the morning for a little bit.
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Re: Tent heaters

Postby Smileandhug » Wed May 20, 2009 12:44 pm

Mate has one that he attaches to his gas bottle likee the second example on your post. Gives out heaps of heat and uses it for the same purpose. To warm up in the morning. Just one thing, make sure it all works before ya put it in the tent. Nothing like a flash fire in a tent.
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Re: Tent heaters

Postby funnyfarm » Wed May 20, 2009 3:24 pm

We have a little butane heater for our tent. Only usually use it first thing in the mornings for a couple of minutes just to take the nip out of the air for the kids (5 and 2). I was advised this one over the gas ones you showed only because the shop assistant told me that if the gas ones get knocked over, the gas can flare and shoot a flame across the room (very unsafe with 2 littlies). The butane one i have cuts off switch if knocked over. Also we use a butane cooker for short trips so always have butane cannisters with us anyway.
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Re: Tent heaters

Postby garbage » Wed May 20, 2009 6:28 pm

I'd probably stay away from the gas ones if you are planning to use it inside the tent because of the dangerous by products of the combustion process.
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Re: Tent heaters

Postby snake_dr » Thu May 21, 2009 9:29 am

i just camp with power in the colder months and take a normal 240v heater

gas products should never be used inside the tent, gas burning produces that bad stuff that will kill you, cant remember the name
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Re: Tent heaters

Postby Derek Bullock » Thu May 21, 2009 10:30 am

I recall several years ago a couple were found dead in their tent. Not sure if kids were involved or not.

It was a nylon tent and they fell asleep with the gas heater going. My memory of the incident as reported in the papers was that the heater used up the oxygen in the tent because the material was not breathable and they never woke up. You will find that all gas camping heaters now come with warnings attached.

Is it worth it? I know I would not use one.
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Re: Tent heaters

Postby markcrook » Thu May 21, 2009 12:26 pm

We used to use an elecric fan heater in the UK but again would only put it on in the morning or evening and would never run it overnight. Just used lots of layers and decent sleeping bags. You also need a powered site.

The problem with anything that uses gas is carbon monoxide poisoning :# http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_monoxide_poisoning

Also any heating in a tent carries a big risk of fire, I would recomend lots of layers including thermals, a couple of pairs of socks and put them on before you get cold to maintain the heat rather than waiting to feel cold 'cause then it is harder to get warm.
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Re: Tent heaters

Postby OzeBoy » Thu May 21, 2009 12:53 pm

Thanks for your replies everyone.
What about a small butane stove like this one: http://www.raysoutdoors.com.au/product/ ... ane+Heater.
Or shall I just surrender to having no portable heater ever in the tent. I'm not one for powered sites.
I'm just curious as to what my options are. Been plenty of times without a heater but had the heat from boiling water in the middle of the tent with the gas stove.
Can someone explain the actual danger from gas in a tent? Besides the carbon monoxide poisoning and leaving the gas unattended. If you boil water in the tent on a gas stove with bottle in the middle of the tent and are sitting and watching it the WHOLE time, why is it unsafe? Is there a danger of an explosion?
Excuse my lack of knowledge - still learning :)
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Re: Tent heaters

Postby mr_grumble » Thu May 21, 2009 1:32 pm

I Personally would stay well away from Gas heating inside a tent.

The obvious is the combustion issue, but like Derek said, if your tent is well sealed, you risk depleting the oxygen in the tent as well as some of the by-products given out when burning propane / butane. Thats why it is strongly recommended in buildings not to use gas heaters over a particuler size without a flu to take away the harmful by-products.

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Re: Tent heaters

Postby markcrook » Thu May 21, 2009 1:59 pm

At the end of the day the decision is yours but I found this website - http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv ... ety_issues

which includes this info
Never use an unflued gas heater in a bathroom, bedroom or caravan. Toxic gases may cause serious health problems in these situations.
Never use an outdoor appliance inside (this includes barbeques and patio heaters).


Also this - http://books.google.com.au/books?id=M8O ... t&resnum=1 look at page 67 for info on heating a tent.

I would be very careful using a camping stove in a tent - aren't they intended for outdoor use? Also I wouldn't like to leave a pan of boiling water in the middle of my tent - I have two kids, and if they didn't knock it then either myself or my wife would!

If you are looking at finding somebody who says "yea, go for it it will be fine" then you may have asked at the wrong place - as far as I can see the radiant gas type heaters are meant to be used outside like you would a patio heater.
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Re: Tent heaters

Postby mr_grumble » Thu May 21, 2009 2:07 pm

What ever happened to the good ol Hot Water Bottle ????

We still have ours and use them religiously every night when camping

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Re: Tent heaters

Postby Derek Bullock » Thu May 21, 2009 2:17 pm

mr_grumble wrote:What ever happened to the good ol Hot Water Bottle ????


Or a camp oven full of hot coals. :***

Oh that's right they will melt the floor in a tent. :oops:
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Re: Tent heaters

Postby markcrook » Thu May 21, 2009 2:31 pm

A hat or beanie is always a good idea, as a large % of heat is lost through the head (I cant remember the exact figures). We have had many a night dressed in multiple layers, wearing beanies, snug in a mummy bag with the hood - a fantastic form of contraception ::() :***
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Re: Heating Your Tent

Postby haovnp2 » Thu May 21, 2009 3:08 pm

As the temperature continues to drop and winter creeps closer the urge to go camping starts to wane with the thoughts of twenty-degree mornings. Your down or Polargard mummy bag will keep you toasty warm, but you're going to have to get out of that bag and get dressed sooner or later, and having to get dressed when you can see your breath is not exactly the best experience camping has to offer.

Of course a roaring fire and a good sleeping bag aren't the only ways to stay warm. If you are sleeping in a tent it is important to have a barrier between you and the ground. Although air mattresses and inflatable sleeping pads are convenient, they aren't going to insulate you well if the temperature drops below 40 degrees. As a matter of fact, they can start sucking the heat away from you. A foam sleeping pad will provide the best insulation, and when combined with an air mattress the most comfort. Wearing socks and a hat will also help keep you warm while you are in your tent.
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Re: Tent heaters

Postby funnyfarm » Thu May 21, 2009 10:18 pm

OzeBoy wrote:Thanks for your replies everyone.
What about a small butane stove like this one: http://www.raysoutdoors.com.au/product/ ... ane+Heater.
Or shall I just surrender to having no portable heater ever in the tent. I'm not one for powered sites.
I'm just curious as to what my options are. Been plenty of times without a heater but had the heat from boiling water in the middle of the tent with the gas stove.
Can someone explain the actual danger from gas in a tent? Besides the carbon monoxide poisoning and leaving the gas unattended. If you boil water in the tent on a gas stove with bottle in the middle of the tent and are sitting and watching it the WHOLE time, why is it unsafe? Is there a danger of an explosion?
Excuse my lack of knowledge - still learning :)


This one is similar to what we have. Ours is only used for rougly 5 minute periods as it doesn't take long to take the nip out of the air in the tent in the morning and makes it more pleasant for the kids getting dressed etc for the day (easier to coax them out of their sleeping bags if there is a heater near). Haven't needed to use it for long periods of time but our main purpose was for cold mornings so it seems to be working for us.
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