winter tent camping


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Old 01-25-04, 04:04 PM
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winter tent camping

I am interested in tent camping in the winter but i wonder what people do for heat inside the tent while relaxing and sleeping at night.
I don't wanna go to sleep and never wake up,lol.
thanks
 
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Old 01-25-04, 08:34 PM
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One of the warmest winter camps I ever made was in an old army surplus pup tent. We cleared the snow away and spread a bed of leaves covered with a tarp. We built a small fire in front of the tent with a flat rock set up as a heat reflector. Woke up a couple of times to stoke the fire, but slept warm and toasty.
 
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Old 02-01-04, 02:41 PM
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How about camping in like a regular nylon dome tent.
Is there any safe way to use propane or any other electric battery type heaters.
thanks.
 
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Old 02-05-04, 04:17 AM
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Question

Aproximately where would you be campnig and at what temps.
Also, would this be a long hike in, in a campground, near public facilities, etc???
 
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Old 02-06-04, 07:44 AM
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the temps around here usually are around 20's and 30's.

This would mainly be campground camping, mostly primative but there are water and electricity available if needed.

I have wondered alot about what do people do for heat when they are climbing up mountains in the snow and freezing weather.
 
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Old 02-08-04, 08:23 AM
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My experience with cold weather camping would be to have clothing, sleeping bag and techniques that would make it uneccesary to have a heated space.

It's a nice luxury to have a warm space but even if you do use some type of heater it's not always safe to have some types of heat source going while sleeping.

20 to 30 degF is fairly cold but not that cold where it would be too expensive to outfit yourself properly.

You shouldn't have to stoke a fire to remain warm during sleep, if you do you don't have a good enough sleeping bag.
Things that make for survival at sub-zero temps would help you stay warm.
Don't wear your day clothing to bed. Put on a complete set of dry clothing.
Don't wear any cotton. Cotton will absorb moisture and retain it, causing your body heat to quickly be transfered away from your body. (Don't believe the package. Cotton can quickly drain your heat.)
Use a thin synthetic garment next to your skin. The next layers can be wool or a high tech fabric that isn't cotton.

A close call with a warming camp fire helped me choose the methods I use.
You sleep way better when not having to worry about your heat source.

The last several times I slept outdoors in the winter was to help man a back-up/emergency tent at the end of a 10 mile, overnight snowshoe marathon.
Snowshoers would trek out, spend the night using whatever was on their backs and head back in the morning.
I supplied the Boy Scouts 10 x 16 canvas trappers tent complete with a large wood stove.
Luck would have it that whenever this event were held the temps were in the -20 to -30 degF range.

Evenings were great around the fire but after the six of us went to bed, the night was spent trying to keep the helpers who didn't come prepared, warm. Our problem was the fire only lasted a short time and at those temps someone almost had to stay awake to keep the fire going.
One fellow thought that two cheap sleeping bags stuffed into each other would make one good one!

Good thing we didn't have any serious issues with the trekers.


I could go on, but I guess what I'm saying is that you would do well to concentrate on gear and clothing and not really worry too much about a heat source.......... That's what motels are for.

Any more questions, fire away.
 
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Old 02-08-04, 04:46 PM
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thanks alot, that sounds like good advice.
I guess i wanted to make it alot like a outdoor motel,lol.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 06:54 PM
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I live in Colorado and have slept outside, in winter, at over 13,000' and stayed completely warm inside a snow cave, with nothing more than a 1" sleeping pad with a 0 degree down bag. Sometimes, I've put a bivy sack over my sleeping bag to prevent moisture on the down....down looses it's insulating ability if it gets wet.

It takes time to build a nice cave, but is very quiet, warm and if ventilated properly you can even cook inside using a butane cartridge or similar stove. And the best part is, that you don't have to carry a heavy tent.

Hope this helps.
Kevin
 
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Old 02-27-04, 12:59 PM
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thanks
 
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Old 05-21-04, 08:28 PM
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....down looses it's insulating ability if it gets wet.

The ducks I see in the pond out back in winter don't seem too cold to me. lol
 
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Old 06-09-04, 08:40 PM
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Rule #1 -cover your head at night; either a wool cap or balaclava. . . .

Rule #2: Cotton kills- as somebody wisely stated earlier, don't wear anything cotton.

Rule #3: Get a self inflating matress pad to put under your sleeping bag. This is very important, as sleeping bags are rated assuming you use one of these pads. They range from the cheap $25 Wal-mart pads (which are surprisingly good) to the $75+ Therma-Rest pads. The main difference is weight, which is critical to us backpackers. Do not use the foam pads, as they will compress to the thickness of a tortilla below 20 degrees, and you will get very cold very quickly.

Rule #4: Get a zero-degree bag, and try it out by getting inside it in the store! Some mummy bags are toasty-warn, but you will be claustrophibic after one weekend if you get one that is too small. Too big is just right! Down is light but expensive, so stay with synthetics. Also, if down gets wet you have a real danger if freezing to death. And remember, sleeping bag makers are liars, just like tent makers who sell "3-man tents" that are just big enough for 2 people. If you will be out in 25 degree weather, get the ten degree of zero degree bag.

Rule #5. Carry a very large plastic trash bag and a couple of blue Wal-mart bags for extreme temps. This is called "vapor barrier gear - you put the small bags underneath your wool sox and one underneath your hat to preserve heat, and then get completely inside the other, except for your head. Draw the opening up over your shoulders and you will sleep soundly.

Rule #6 For really cold or windy weather, get a good 4 season tent.

It is critical to get a good nights sleep in the mountains or in cold weather to prepare your bod for the day ahead. I have slept warmly at 25 below and 13,000'. My friends and I have also nearly died when not prepared, so I learned a few of these things the hard way.

And never have a flame in a tent. The above will keep you warm and toasty, without a flame, heater or campfire.
 
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Old 06-10-04, 11:47 AM
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thanks alot loggerone, those are good tips.
 
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Old 06-18-04, 11:33 AM
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A little experiment...

As many have noted, you won't need a flame to keep warm in a tent. When you do go, take a small thermometer (there are small keychain ones and you should have one winter camping anyway). Before you go to bed, check the outside temperature. Then check the temperature inside the tent after an hour or so. You'll be surprised at how much warmer it is inside that slinky sheet of nylon.
 
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Old 10-28-04, 06:19 PM
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I'ved used mine in my tent for two years now....WONDERFUL!! Just sit your Propane outside your tent and run the hose into your tent, attatch it to this jewel....and sleep the night away!

TAG
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 10-30-04 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Post commercial link
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Old 10-28-04, 06:30 PM
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Smile

That sounds good, i have always worried about the carbon monoxide fumes though.
Maybe it's not as big a deal as i thought.
I just want to make sure we all wake up the next day after using one.lol
 
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Old 10-28-04, 06:34 PM
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No smell or anything of that nature with this heater. I camp up in north Georgia and Alabama when it's in the teens and low twenty's and I sleep like a baby.

TAG
 
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Old 10-28-04, 09:57 PM
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Where to begin?

wwc,

Many people use unvented heaters, but you should really consider the potential hazard in using these.
When these heaters burn, when new, and under ideal conditions, they emit poisonous carbon monoxide but in quantities that have been determined to be safe during short exposure.
I'm not sure about the specific one that TAG linked to but the mfr's of ventless heaters for home use recommend that their products should not be burned for more than four hours to keep carbon monoxide within the safety guidelines.
The method mfr's use as a safety, is a sensor that senses a depletion in the oxygen level in the air space, to shut down the heater in the event of a malfunction of the unit.
This method of safety, and its potential of failure, is the main reason that these heaters, for in home use, are banned by several States and in Canada.

Another problem of a practical nature is the fact that when propane burns it gives of a large quantity of water vapor.
Depending on the outdoor temperature, you will have moisture problems ranging from damp clothing to heavy frost forming on the inside surface of the tent.

So, people do use them, but I would encourage you to do further research to decide if the risks are worth it.
 
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Old 10-29-04, 01:34 PM
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4,000 or 9,000 BTU radiant propane heater

Low-oxygen shutoff system operates automatically

Designed for indoor/outdoor use

Uses the standard 1-pound disposable propane cylinder

Runs for up to six hours on one disposable propane cylinder


Details:


The lightweight and portable Mr. Heater MH9B propane heater is a must for anyone looking to stay warm in cold conditions. Designed for use indoors or out, the MH9B heats up 2,000 square feet of space quickly, safely, and efficiently. A spark-to-light ignition and automatic low-oxygen shutoff system make the MH9B a safe alternative to other heaters. Use it in the garage or workshop, while camping, at the cabin, in the fish house, while hunting--anywhere you need to stay warm. Pack it in your car trunk for roadside emergencies, or fire it up as a backup heater on those cold nights when the power goes out in your home. Freestanding or wall mounted, this is one heater you'll feel confident using for years to come.


I use mine in a tent that is also vented so I'm no enclosed. I wouldn't recommend using one in a canvas tent, but conventional tent I would say safe and good to go!

TAG
 
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Old 10-30-04, 07:09 AM
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The problem I have with using an unvented heater in a tent is the co is about the same density as oxygen. So if you don't have regular air changes in your tent and the heater malfunctions you and anyone in the tent is in trouble.

Like Tag said make sure your tent is vented if you make the choice to use one of these yet they illegal for use in some states because of the dangers.

If I was tent camping in the cold for extended times I would look into a tent made for a stove in it vented to the outdoors or look into using a small generator and utilize electric blankets.
 
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Old 10-30-04, 10:24 AM
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Final word on ventless heaters.

I would thank tag for his experience with ventless heaters but will have a final word about these.
These units are a known hazard and anyone using them should do so by being aware of the facts, so they may make an informed decision.

They are banned in some States as mattison has said and are banned in Canada.
There is a reason for this.

I would encourage anyone interested in these heaters to do their own research before they make up their minds.

When looking for information on ventless heaters you must keep in mind that they are lawfull in some areas and there are alot of manufacturers sites that have information that doesn't tell the whole story.
Also, when looking for info on tent heaters, unvented heaters for homes work pretty much the same way.

Here are some links with ventless info:

Dept. of energy: Link
Trade publication:Link
Google search for the term "tent heater safety": Link

Hopefully wwc's question has been answered and this thread will now be closed.
If anyone has any more questions about tent heaters you may start a new thread.
 
 

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