Staying Warm in the Great Outdoors
The best thing about tent heaters for camping is its usage in a range of applications. But, you need to look out for certain things while planning to buy one. These include some features such as a tip-over switch, overheat protection, and so on.
During camping, you may feel the fresh air, listen to the melodies of chirping birds, and watch the beautiful sunset. Nature can be nice and beautiful, but remember that it can become hostile too. The nights could be cold, especially when you’re camping during the winter months.
Your blanket may not be able to cut the cold temperature. As such, you need a tent heater for your comfort while you enjoy the wild. Apart from providing warmth to your sleeping area, you can use portable tent heaters for hunting blind, fishing hut, and even boat.
Yes, they are versatile! But, how to know whether you are choosing the right one? Well, all your questions will be answered in this review. This article gives you an overview of the important things you need to consider when you are buying a portable tent heater for camping.
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Are tent heaters safe for camping?
If you love camping, you won’t allow the cold temperature in your indoors. Perhaps you know about the discomfort of moving around in your sleeping bag while you shiver and try hard to get warm. Besides a high-quality sleeping bag and a tent, the next big thing for keeping you warm is a tent heater.
But, are they safe? Because any kind of heating device you may use inside a tent can possess some threat, or may give way to potential risks. An improperly operated or a poorly made tent heater could be dangerous. It can cause a suffocation hazard or a fire hazard.
A heating source whenever it comes to contact with any kind of inflammable objects can result in a fire. Certain type of tent heaters that depends on actual flames to generate heat are the most dangerous of all. Even when you have an electric tent heater, the quantity of heat released could cause a tent or a sleeping bag to catch fire.
Propane heaters, on the other hand, maybe safe from catching fire but there is a danger of getting suffocated. Carbon monoxide along with other dangerous gases are the byproducts of the burnt fuel in a propane-powered tent heater.
Therefore, in an enclosed area such as a tent, the levels of carbon monoxide with other hazardous gases can become toxic. As a result, these gases can cause severe illness, and may even lead towards death.
What are the different types of tent heaters?
It is very important to know about the types of tent heaters. That’s because it can help you to determine the right kind that would suit your needs. There are two types of heaters, and here is a detailed examination of them.
Propane heaters – Propane tent heaters are considered to be the best for camping purposes because of their portability. They are manufactured by different companies. You can find them in different sizes and shapes.
Some of them can heat a massive space while some others can heat small spaces. The automatic turn-off feature is very common among most of the propane heaters. They can provide heat for about 7 hours. Some models may even last beyond that. It depends on the propane tank’s size.
Remember that propane-powered heaters need proper ventilation in the tent while working. If there is not sufficient ventilation, you may suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, you need to watch out for any chances of fire that may arise from the heat after coming in contact with combustible material.
Electric heaters – When your tent is near a power supply, an electric tent heater may serve your purpose. You’ll need an EHU or a hookup when you’re off-grid. In short, these kinds of heaters require electricity to function properly. Electric heaters can be radiant or convection in nature.
Radiant heaters are the best option for small spaces. The heat is released as infrared rays. Convection heaters, on the other hand, depends on fans so that it can circulate warm air throughout the room and provide heat. These are perfect for big rooms or spaces.
When it is about heating the room faster, electric heaters are the best. They are much safe as compared to propane heaters. Especially, the ones with ceramic heating elements. Most importantly, they have mechanisms that can avoid fire accidents. But, it can leave you with unconducive stuffy air.
Things you should consider when buying tent heaters for camping:
There are certain important things that you can’t overlook while buying a tent heater. These features will ensure your protection in terms of safety and efficiency. Let’s have a detailed look at each of them.
Automatic cut-off – There would be times when you may fall asleep without turning off the heater. It may lead to some unfortunate events. The auto cut-off mechanism is specifically designed to turn your heater off after a few hours of continuous usage. This way, it reduces any chances of fire accidents.
Tip-over switch – This feature prevents against the possibilities of fire from your appliance. With this advanced feature, you can avoid a fire if your heater tips over accidentally. This is an important function to have in these devices because accidents can’t be predicted. It is better to remain safe than feel sorry afterward.
Overheat protection – Since these heaters are prone to overheating, it is good to have some kind of protection. To get rid of a situation where the item may damage or cause fire accidents, almost every tent heaters comes along with an overheat protection. It has a dedicated temperature sensor that triggers the auto shut-off function for the entire unit.
Ease of operation – Almost every tent camping heaters have an owner’s manual attached from the manufacturer. You should read the manual carefully before operating the device. Not only you get to know how to use the device, but you can do it in a safe way. Most importantly, never take a heater inside your tent when it is meant for outdoors only. The main goal is to remain with the said parameters as described by the manufacturer.
Versatility – You should know that the best tent camping heaters have the ability to serve many purposes. They can serve you while camping, and you can use them indoors as well. It depends on you how to make use of the appliance. Hence, find out if it can serve your purpose. If you want heaters for outdoors, choose the products intended for doing so. There is no need to rush into things before buying. Consider your options carefully before choosing the one that is perfect for you.
The built quality – These heating appliances are like the ones that are part of your camping equipment. So, ensure that you are buying only a durable product that can withstand frequent transportation from camps to camps.
It should have the capability to bear extreme weather out in the wild. The type of tent plays an important part in it. Hence, look at your tent specifications before buying. You can look for the positive feedback left by past users of those heaters to have a clear understanding.
Size and weight – This is pretty important to consider because you would be hauling the unit in and out of the wild on your own. So, the key point is to pay close attention to all the specifications for the size and weight of the heater. All you need is a seamless trek in the woods.
Noise – Are you a light sleeper? If so, you may have a rough night while sleeping listening to the noise from your heater. However, don’t take your noise-canceling earbuds into the woods. Rather, select a model with a low noise level, and find a way to deal with it.
Certifications – There are certain certifications that make a great tent heater. It is crucial because this device must provide some sense of safety. They common certifications made for these heaters for camping include CSA, ANSI, and CE. When you have any one of these certifications, you can take a breath of relief that the appliance is safe for use. But, don’t ignore the safety features that are discussed above.
BTU Rating – Another crucial thing is to watch out for the BTU rating in your heater. When you have a good BTU rating, your appliance can warm a sizeable space. The best devices have adjustable ratings for easy adaptability.
Tent heaters for camping safety tips
Although after knowing that tent heaters can release toxic gases or cause fire, you may decide not to buy a tent heater. But, don’t worry, that’s not what the article is meant for. Rather it is very important for you to know about the dangers of these appliances.
This way, you can be able to make use of these devices in a proper way. And, remain safe from any kind of undesirable circumstances. That being said, it is a bit challenging to choose a tent heater. Here are some safety tips that you should have in your mind while using them.
Have a clear understanding of propane and electric tent heaters – Try to understand the basic difference between the two types of tent heaters. In general, these devices depend on propane gas or electric current to generate the kind of warmth you want on a cold night.
Both of them have their advantages and disadvantages that you need to understand first. Propane heaters heat your tent without the need for electricity, which is good in old campsites. However, this versatility comes along with a price. It has higher risks of toxic gases and fires.
Electric heaters don’t emit toxic gases and have lower chances of catching fire. But, it can still happen. Electric heaters need a power supply to run, which can’t be found on all the campsites. Also, you need to understand that modern tents are equally equipped with the necessary safety features.
Make an endeavor to buy only tent-safe heaters – This is a safety tip you can’t ignore. Heaters that are specifically made for your particular type of tent should be used. That’s because tent-only heaters are designed keeping in mind of the confined space. They have added security features that can avoid a catastrophic event.
Position your heater in a proper way – Almost every propane-fueled and electric devices don’t create a flame. Propane heaters depend on the chemicals that are involved in a catalytic converter to generate warmth. But, they can cause a fire.
Tent heaters can become hot. Hence, flammable objects near them may catch fire on them. Before using them, make sure to place them in a way so that they can’t come in close contact with any inflammable objects. It should be kept in a position where it doesn’t get knocked off by accident.
Ensure to have proper ventilation – If you choose a propane-powered heater, you should keep your tent ventilated in a proper way. In a circumscribed space, carbon monoxide and other harmful gases released by these heaters can reach toxic levels very fast. It can cause severe illness, or even death by cutting the absorption of oxygen.
Hence, before installing a propane heater, make sure to have sufficient ventilation in your tent. There must be a way for toxic gases to escape the tent. And, at the same time allow fresh air to make way to the tent.
You can ensure proper ventilation when you find that there is airflow in the tent body and underneath the tent fly. If there is less wind, you may even have to leave open the tent zipper by about 6 inches for some air circulation.
The main objective of tent heaters is to provide you with a comfortable and memorable camping experience. There are plenty of models available on the market that can suit your camping needs. However, you should consider the aforementioned things before buying one.