Candle & oil lanterns for "cold tenting"

2:49 p.m. on January 16, 2017 (EST)
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714 forum posts

I have never hot tented in a cotton canvas tent with an interior wood stove. Maybe someday.

But I've spent many winter nights in double walled nylon tents and learned quickly that a candle lantern or Candoil oil lantern can warm up even a 3 man tent very nicely. With two of us in my 3 man dome at -5 F. outside we were warm enough that we could sit and read a book with no need for gloves. My thermometer said it was 40 F. inside the tent near the floor.  That's an amazing temperature differential.

I was using plumber's "dripless" stearene candles or, at other times, a Candoil oil lantern. (I think Candoil lanterns are no longer produced.)

Has anyone here who winter camps used candle lanterns and found they warm up the tent nicely? 

Eric B.

3:53 p.m. on January 16, 2017 (EST)
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I haven't used one in a while but used to use the collapsing REI candle lantern in my tent for trips with lows between 0 and freezing. Never measured it but it was always warmer...Couldn't tell if it was my heat or the candle.

I bought a tea candle lantern recently  and will be taking that on future trips. I am not confident it will give off enough to heat or prevent condensation, but my goal is to provide a more natural light than the headlamp for general activities (no reading etc).

7:03 p.m. on January 16, 2017 (EST)
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A candle puts out heat about the equivalent a single human body.

If it is cold enough I need that additional heat I prefer to shelter in the snow pack where it is both warmer and quieter.  I don't use candles for heat but do camp with others who insist on it.  But I will use a candle to improve ventilation, thereby reducing condensation/frost inside the shelter.  Place the candle 18" below a roof vent.  The convection will generate a draft that expedites air circulation, evacuating humid air out the tent.


7:27 a.m. on January 20, 2017 (EST)
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No open flame in my tent.

9:37 a.m. on January 20, 2017 (EST)
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Works great until you burn down your house.

February 16, 2020
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