Keeping warm while camping or trekking in the wilderness involves much more than just being cozy.
It’s important to be able to keep warm in order to avoid frostbite and hypothermia, especially if you don’t have access to an electricity hookup point.
Here are some quick and easy ways to keep your tent warm without electricity.
Choose The Right Campsite
Before we explore the different methods of heating a tent naturally, it’s a good idea to choose a campsite that is suitable for heater-less camping.
While this may seem unnecessary, the location of the campsite can have a huge impact on the temperature inside your tent and what approaches you’ll be able to take to keep it warm.
You’ll want to reduce external weather conditions as much as possible, as this will help to increase the temperature inside your tent, or at least prevent it from getting any cooler.
It’s best to avoid pitching your tent at the bottom of valleys or slopes, as cold air tends to settle in these areas. Pick a point a little higher up, but not too high that you experience strong winds.
Avoid exposure as much as possible.
So if you see any hedgerows or dense woodland, see if there’s anywhere to pitch your tent there instead. Even large boulders can do a great job at keeping icy winds at bay.
Take A Hot Water Bottle
We consider a hot water bottle to be a camping essential, but even more so if you don’t have access to electricity.
Use your stove to boil some water, let it cool a little, then fill up your hot water bottle.
This can be used to warm up your bed before you get in it, which will in turn help to heat the tent so long as you keep the door zipped.
If you don’t own a hot water bottle or have left it at home, you could always use a metal drinks flask to achieve the same results.
Just remember to remove it from your sleeping bag before sliding into it as the metal can burn your skin.
Doing this won’t just keep you warm, but it’ll also prevent your drinking water from freezing overnight. This means that you’ll always have water ready in the morning for your much-needed brew.
You may be tempted to melt snow on your stove for water, but you should take caution doing this and only add it to the pan when there’s a little water already in it, to prevent scorching.
Grab A Heating Pack
Chemical heating packs are a great alternative to electric blankets and heaters.
They can be bought from most supermarkets and outdoor supply stores and come in individually sealed packages.
Once you remove them from their package and they’re exposed to the air, they will begin to heat up.
The heat from such packages should last for around 6-12 hours all depending on how big they are and the quality of the brand.
While these are unlikely to warm up your entire tent, they do a great job of regulating your body temperature.
They come in all shapes and sizes; smaller packs can be placed inside your gloves or socks to keep your extremities nice and toasty, or inside your sleeping bag and pillowcase to prevent you from waking up in the middle of the night chattering your teeth.
You can get extra-large heating pads to layer on the floor of your tent or to wrap around your entire body like a blanket.
If you have a limited supply of heat packs, we recommend prioritizing areas of your body with lots of blood flow, such as your kidneys, inner thighs, and armpits.
The blood warmed in these areas will circulate throughout your whole body, helping to keep you warm.
Heat Some Stones
If you have limited supplies and find yourself without a hot water bottle or metal flask, nature can be your remedy.
Stones can be heated on a campfire and will stay warm for hours after you’ve pulled them out. However, never use stones that you found in a river or could have moisture in them, as these can explode when exposed to extreme heat.
Also, if your tent is made from nylon or another synthetic material, the hot stone method isn’t suitable as it will melt the tent if it comes into direct contact with it.
You could always wrap the hot stones in a blanket or towel or prop them up on something inside your tent, but this won’t be as effective at heating your tent.
Of course, you should never attempt to move hot stones with your hands.
When removing them from the campfire, use cooking tongs or heat-proof gloves. The same rules apply when moving the stones around your tent.
Use A Propane Heater
If you don’t have to lug your gear around and are heading to your campsite in a vehicle, your best bet is to take along a good-quality propane heater.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have enough space inside your tent to fit a chunky propane heater.
You can get a smaller model, but these are less likely to keep your tent as warm as you’d like it.
Propane heaters are safe to use inside a tent providing that you have the correct ventilation.
To be as safe as possible, you should have two vent points inside your tent; one low down and one higher up.
It’s important to keep your propane heater far away from the walls of your tent, especially if it’s made from a synthetic material, as it could melt it.
Propane heaters are powered by small canisters of gas.
If you’re using propane canisters to power your gas stove, you can even buy a handy adaptor that will transfer the gas into your heater.
We recommend using a 20-pound tank as this will keep you warm for extended periods of time and they’re generally better for the environment.