Tent Heater

10:42 a.m. on January 10, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. AdamS

The past couple of years I've gotten more and more into winter hiking but sometimes I really stuggle with the bitter cold when I first emerge from my sleeping bag in the mornings. I've considered purchasing a small, butane canister powered heater for use in my tent but I'm not sure how effective it would be. Also weight and condensation are concerns. Any advice out there on using one? What about manufacturers? I know Coleman has a line of them.

11:44 a.m. on January 10, 2003 (EST)
30 reviewer rep
1,240 forum posts
What temps do you consider bitter?

Jim S was telling me about a heater that you put outside the tent and pump hot air inside. As far as safety, I think that may be the way to go.

I just went camping two weeks ago and the temps went down to about 27 degrees - bitter for this Boy living in Florida.

I was pretty comfortable when I got out of the sleeping bag by doing the following.

0 degree polarguard 3d sleeping bag.

Boiled water in a bottle (with my pants wrapped around the bottle) inside the sleeping bag.

Laid out my warm clothes between the sleeping bag and my mattress.

Down jacket inside a stuff sack for a pillow.

When I woke up, I put on the warm pants and my clothes weren't that cold from sleeping on them. Down jacket wasn't that cold either from heat from my head.

My body temp was warm enough to be comforatble until I got the coffee ready.

2:22 p.m. on January 10, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. AdamS
Re: What temps do you consider bitter?

This winter I've hiked/camped in temps down to about 20F. Last year down in the teens. I have a Moonstone down sleeping bag rated to 10F and I'm very comfortable sleeping (my dog, wrapped in my midweight fleece jacket probably couldn't say the same) but I wouldn't mind warming the inside of my tent while reading and after waking if condensation isn't a concern and a portable heater doesn't weigh too much or take up too much room in my pack.

 


Quote:

Jim S was telling me about a heater that you put outside the tent and pump hot air inside. As far as safety, I think that may be the way to go.

I just went camping two weeks ago and the temps went down to about 27 degrees - bitter for this Boy living in Florida.

I was pretty comfortable when I got out of the sleeping bag by doing the following.

0 degree polarguard 3d sleeping bag.

Boiled water in a bottle (with my pants wrapped around the bottle) inside the sleeping bag.

Laid out my warm clothes between the sleeping bag and my mattress.

Down jacket inside a stuff sack for a pillow.

When I woke up, I put on the warm pants and my clothes weren't that cold from sleeping on them. Down jacket wasn't that cold either from heat from my head.

My body temp was warm enough to be comforatble until I got the coffee ready.

5:59 p.m. on January 10, 2003 (EST)
30 reviewer rep
1,240 forum posts
IIRC, Jim S said Cabella's has a decent tent heater. nm

nm

6:52 p.m. on January 10, 2003 (EST)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts
Jim S Answers

Nope - I never said anything about it being good (decent).
Anyway the item does have some merit - it might even be reasonable in a sled supported winter trip. I don't see it in a quick look at the spring Cabela catelog, but as I recall - this was a heater that screwed onto a propane bottle (so it would work in the cold better than butane). It sits outside and has a battery powered fan that blows air down a flexible pipe like those used on clothes dryers and into the tent. To make it more efficient it has another "cold air return" pipe that brings air from inside your tent to the heat exchanger outside.
It might be a nice thing to have if your girlfriend wanted to wear lingere in the tent some evening. Or on those really cold mornings you could direct the heat into your boots...
Please folks - all of this is in jest - The device is real but who would be crazy enough to pack it in? Maybe put it on your inflateable igloo? However I wonder how long the batteries would last and I don't think the heater should be buried in snow either, though it sits outside.My wife MIGHT go snow camping with me if I could warm the tent now and then...
Hey have fun - I sometimes take a small smokey joe tied to my sled and 10 pounds of mesquite charcoal. Two small boards tie to the legs to keep it on top of the snow.
Jim S (;->)

1:42 p.m. on January 16, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. AdamS

Just bought the Coleman SportCat portable heater. Weighs 2.45 lb + 1 lb butane cartridge. It's bulky for my Gregory Forester pack but I'm gonna squeeze it in anyway and try it out next weekend (1/25 - 1/26) on an overnight to Red River Gorge, KY. I'll follow up here with feedback after my trip in case anyone's interested.


Quote:


The past couple of years I've gotten more and more into winter hiking but sometimes I really stuggle with the bitter cold when I first emerge from my sleeping bag in the mornings. I've considered purchasing a small, butane canister powered heater for use in my tent but I'm not sure how effective it would be. Also weight and condensation are concerns. Any advice out there on using one? What about manufacturers? I know Coleman has a line of them.

4:07 p.m. on January 18, 2003 (EST)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts
Re: Tent Heater be careful!!!

Quote:

Just bought the Coleman SportCat portable heater. Weighs 2.45 lb + 1 lb butane cartridge. It's bulky for my Gregory Forester pack but I'm gonna squeeze it in anyway and try it out next weekend (1/25 - 1/26) on an overnight to Red River Gorge, KY. I'll follow up here with feedback after my trip in case anyone's interested.

I checked out that heater at Sport Mart yesterday. Its a catalytic unit (as you know), but I'm sure it gets quite hot. I noticed the heavy propane bottle, and sure enough it will work at lower temps running off that bottle, and heat for some time, but you gotta be real careful.............!
Oh yes - this heater is rated on the box for tent and indoor emergency use. I hope that means it doesn't create much carbon monoxide, still using it over an extended period of time in a closed tent could be fatal. If I were in a large family tent I would prop it up sort of near a corner with lots of venting for the tent.
In a backpacking tent I wouldn't turn it on for more than ten minutes and then with the door wide open as well as any vents. This could get hot enough to melt a sleeping bag or a tent or to burn you severly. I would use it to dry out any condensation from the night and enjoy sitting in my long underwear for a few minutes.
That said.............. I will tell you that I personally love to light the stove in my tent and cook breakfast. So here is how I do it. First off I clear the vestibule door of any snow accumulation from over the night. Then if there isn't driving snow I leave the doors open and open the roof vents (I have a single layer tent). Next I arrange myself and my sleeping bag etc for the next phase because excessive moving around with a lit stove is dangerous. Then I collect some snow in a pan and add some water from a canteen. Next I hang my bibler stove from the ceiling of my tent - it has a chain on it so it hangs rather low and prevents too much heat from hitting the nylon above. When the stove is arranged I light it and put on the snow pan. Be aware that when the pan is cold and wet the flame in the stove may be producing more carbon monoxide, keep the pan fairly warm vs icey cold and dripping. (The laws of thermodynamics would imply that the larger the difference in temperature of the pan and the flame, the greater will be the heat transfer, however if the pan is too cold and wet the flame temperature will be lowered).
Anyway as I was saying - the heat and steam of making coffee and instant oatmeal warms the tent nicely and I can take off my big coat and sit in my long underwear and have breakfast. Then its time to turn out the flame, zip up the tent and quickly change. I do wish I had a way to blow some of the heat into my boots...
Jim S
Hey Bill lets go ski camping. I have a warm up trip the first of May then I'll be ready. Tell us about your trip to the Sierras...

8:49 a.m. on January 24, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. AdamS
Re: Tent Heater be careful!!!

Quote:

Quote:

Just bought the Coleman SportCat portable heater. Weighs 2.45 lb + 1 lb butane cartridge. It's bulky for my Gregory Forester pack but I'm gonna squeeze it in anyway and try it out next weekend (1/25 - 1/26) on an overnight to Red River Gorge, KY. I'll follow up here with feedback after my trip in case anyone's interested.

I checked out that heater at Sport Mart yesterday. Its a catalytic unit (as you know), but I'm sure it gets quite hot. I noticed the heavy propane bottle, and sure enough it will work at lower temps running off that bottle, and heat for some time, but you gotta be real careful.............!
Oh yes - this heater is rated on the box for tent and indoor emergency use. I hope that means it doesn't create much carbon monoxide, still using it over an extended period of time in a closed tent could be fatal. If I were in a large family tent I would prop it up sort of near a corner with lots of venting for the tent.
In a backpacking tent I wouldn't turn it on for more than ten minutes and then with the door wide open as well as any vents. This could get hot enough to melt a sleeping bag or a tent or to burn you severly. I would use it to dry out any condensation from the night and enjoy sitting in my long underwear for a few minutes.
That said.............. I will tell you that I personally love to light the stove in my tent and cook breakfast. So here is how I do it. First off I clear the vestibule door of any snow accumulation from over the night. Then if there isn't driving snow I leave the doors open and open the roof vents (I have a single layer tent). Next I arrange myself and my sleeping bag etc for the next phase because excessive moving around with a lit stove is dangerous. Then I collect some snow in a pan and add some water from a canteen. Next I hang my bibler stove from the ceiling of my tent - it has a chain on it so it hangs rather low and prevents too much heat from hitting the nylon above. When the stove is arranged I light it and put on the snow pan. Be aware that when the pan is cold and wet the flame in the stove may be producing more carbon monoxide, keep the pan fairly warm vs icey cold and dripping. (The laws of thermodynamics would imply that the larger the difference in temperature of the pan and the flame, the greater will be the heat transfer, however if the pan is too cold and wet the flame temperature will be lowered).
Anyway as I was saying - the heat and steam of making coffee and instant oatmeal warms the tent nicely and I can take off my big coat and sit in my long underwear and have breakfast. Then its time to turn out the flame, zip up the tent and quickly change. I do wish I had a way to blow some of the heat into my boots...
Jim S
Hey Bill lets go ski camping. I have a warm up trip the first of May then I'll be ready. Tell us about your trip to the Sierras...


Thanks for the info Jim. I'll make sure to keep my tent well ventilated and I'll refrain from using it for an extended period of time.

Adam

12:07 p.m. on February 10, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Adam S

Quote:

Tried out the Coleman SportCat heater this past weekend at Red River Gorge in Daniel Boone NF. Temps got down to high teens at night. I made sure I had adequate ventilation and used the heater inside my tent. I don't necessarily recommend doing this as the label warns against it but if you do, definately turn it on outside your tent as a flame shoots up upon ignition. After that there is no flame. It did raise the temps in my tent by about 15 degrees, but required a lot of space in my backpack as well as the additional weight. I won't use it again except when temps dip down to around 20F or below.

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