Depending on your campsite location, chances are you will need to take some extra steps to stay warm once the sun sets. Nights can be considered harsh in the outdoors as temperatures can drop extremely fast. Sometimes, staying inside your tent will do little to stave off the cold which is why it is best if you know some handy tips in terms of staying warm and keeping the heat inside your tent while preventing the cool breeze from coming in.

Tips on Keeping your Tent Warm

One of the biggest hurdles for campers is sleeping on the cold hard ground. Sure, getting a tent will help make thing manageable but it will still get some getting used to for some. There’s also the huge drop in temperature at night and if you’re not well-prepared for that you will find the nights to be considerably long. 

How to heat tent 1

This is exactly why it is important that you come prepared when going camping. Check the area and read about some key details such as the average temperature shifts between day and night. Let’s go through the easiest ways to stay warm inside the tent first then I’ll give you some tips and tricks to further improve the temperature inside your tent.

Bring a Heater

There are several heaters available in the market to choose from. I’ll list your choices below while also giving you a quick rundown of their features.

Electric Tent Heater  

Probably the most common and widely used heater by a lot of campers, you can never go wrong with the electric tent heater. As the name suggests, it uses electricity. If you have your vehicle in tow you can hook up the electric heater to your it easily. Some even have auto-shut off and on the feature if the temperature reaches optimum levels or if it starts to drop again.

Electric Fan Heater 

Easy to use and can warm up the tent in no time, the electric fan heater is highly recommended if you have access to an electrical source or if you are staying in an RV. It is basically a fan but comes with a heater attached to it. It blows warm air inside the tent which helps warm up the interior in a jiffy. Some models also have a timer or auto-off feature which is a great inclusion if you will be sleeping through the night.


This one is still a valid option for those looking to help heat up their tent but the size of it makes it the least plausible option.

You will also need to refuel it with oil which is a whole different expense altogether. 

If you can, just go for the electric heaters.

Underfloor Heater 

As the name implies, this heater is placed under the tent or sleeping bag. Once turned on it generates heat via electricity. It’s safe and will also heat up the whole tent, not just your body.

Underfloor heaters were originally used as heaters installed under tables (kotatsu from Japan) and on chairs. It has since started to gain traction as a popular outdoor heating equipment. The underfloor heater can maintain a comfortable 35°C temperature within your tent. It features high-quality quilted top for longevity and anti-slip mat underneath. It also comes with its own carry bag for added convenience.

Halogen Heater 

Not only is the halogen heater a good choice for heating up your tent, it can also be used as a light source. Due to its lightweight design. It has become one of the most popularly used heaters for outdoor enthusiasts. If you are interested in a halogen heater then I highly recommend you get one that you can hang on hooks. Standing halogen heaters can easily fall over which can be a hazard.

Heating Up Your Tent Without the Need for Electricity

Now, in the instance where you have no readily available access to an electrical source, you will need to go about things old-school. Below are some tips I have compiled to help you heat up your tent without the need for electrical equipment or gadgets.

Gas Heaters

One of the most common heaters around. The Gas heater uses, you guessed it, gas in order to generate heat. However, I don’t really recommend you use this in your tent as it is a fire hazard and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is present. If you have no choice but to use a gas heater then I recommend you turn it on for a few minutes then turn it off before going to sleep. Don’t leave it on overnight.

Catalytic Heaters

Similar to the gas heater but significantly safer. Catalytic heaters are compact and easy to carry around making them ideal for outdoor use. You use it in conjunction with a propane cylinder which it uses to generate heat. It does not produce any flame which makes it a non-fire hazard. It also doesn’t produce any noxious gas. However, I still suggest that you do not leave it on overnight as the heat it produces can become so intense that it melts nearby items and even break your tent. It’s easy to use but safety should always be taken into account.

Insulated Paddings

Simple and easy to use. Insulated paddings help trap heat within your tent. No need for batteries or electricity to use this one and it’s also quite easy to transport. I usually take around 2 or 3 insulated pads if I can in order to save on electricity. Simply put, the more insulated pad you place in your tent the warmer it will get.

Additional Tent Heating Tips

Tents are designed to give optimum comfort outdoors, if you find that you are actually doing additional preparations to the tent to make sure that happens then you might have the wrong gear. Some tents are designed for specific uses. There are those that are perfect for camping out in the hot summer days while there are tents designed to be quite toasty.

Having a selection of tents for specific camping needs is imperative. That being said, the nights can be particularly harsh in some areas and take additional steps will be necessary to ensure you stay safe and comfortable. Below are some extra tips you can apply on the go.

  • There will be instances when even the most well-insulated tent will fail to keep the cold chill at bay. This is the reason why you should always gather all relevant information on your campsite before heading out. If you feel that your tent won’t be enough to keep you warm then bring the necessary tools to do so. Add more insulation such as air beds and insulated paddings. Simply put, be informed and be ready.
  • A traditional and simple way to help heat up your tent is by heating up a couple of water bottles and placing them inside your sleeping bag. Prepare the bottles during dinner and place them inside your tent and within your sleeping bags before going to bed. At the very least, your tent already has a solid head start from the cold.
  • Build a small bonfire a few feet from your tent. Create a rock wall on one side to help reflect heat into your tent. Obviously, this also increases the risk of fire hazards so I suggest you sleep light and check on the bonfire from time to time. The only time I did this was during a considerably chilly evening. I try to avoid this method as much as possible as I usually don’t get a good night’s rest from worrying about the open flame beside my tent.

Final Thoughts

It goes without saying that camping out will need the appropriate preparations. You can never underestimate mother nature, that is a rule you should never forget as an outdoor enthusiast. The nights can be oppressively harsh and cold outdoors so make sure you come prepared. Hopefully, the tips I’ve given you should help you prepare your tent to face the bitter chill of the night. As always, keep safe and always come prepared when it comes to camping activities.

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Kevin Smith
Ahoy there! The name’s Kevin Smith, the proprietor of this little travel and outdoors blog. Since I was a kid, the outdoors has always been a passion, as my parents were avid campers themselves. They taught me everything I know about camping, hiking, etc. I would like to do my part by imparting my know-how to like-minded individuals who enjoy the same hobby. I started this website in the hopes of helping other people when it comes to answering questions, giving tips and recommendations focusing on the camping niche. Along with some close friends of mine, we are here to help you make the most out of your outdoor experience. Enjoy your stay and enjoy the wild side!

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