How To Heat A Tent Without Electricity?

Do you want to know how to heat a tent without electricity? If you will go camping in the cold period of the year, you will need to warm yourself.

how to heat a tent without electricity

With my tips, you can sleep and relax in a warm tent without a struggle.

Tent heating ideas without electricity

What are the best methods to heat a camping tent which don’t need an electricity source?

Heating tent with hot rocks

One of the most common methods is to warm it with the help of a well-heated fire cobblestone.

This method has one important trick. If the stone is simply heated in the fire and then placed in the tent, after an hour the stone will gradually cool down and the interior will be cold again.

But you can place the stone in a pot with a lid; this will increase the time up to three hours. However, this is still not enough for the whole night’s comfort, so what to do?

heating rocks

It is necessary to increase the thermal inertia of the stone so it will be warm for 8-10 hours,  and gradually cooling down. For this purpose, use non-combustible, lightweight and compact thermal insulator – simple aluminum foil.

Wrapped in several layers of foil, a stone will be cooling down more slowly. It will not cause stuffiness in the tent in the first few hours.

When the stone starts to cool, it is best to remove the foil layer by layer, and the interior will be warmer. The heat is retained due to the air between the foil layers.

In order not to burn the bottom of the tent with hot rock, it should be placed in the pan (it is the best if the stone has the size of a human head, and is firmly placed in the pan). Put an inverted pan or a wooden board under the pan.

Watch out so the stone won’t burn your tent’s floor.

An important note

You need to heat the stone gradually to prevent its destruction because of the extreme temperatures on its surface and inside of it.

If possible, heat a 4-5 gallon canister with water and place it inside. Such canister will grant the effect of the battery for 3-4 hours.

Use Burned-out Campfire Place

A burned-out campfire place is another way to heat a tent without using electricity. It is a valuable tip for all campers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Another no less widespread variant is to install a tent on the spot where the campfire was burning.


Ideally, the campfire should have the size of the shelter and it should be placed in a small deepening. The campfire should burn for several hours.

When the large coals are burned, put a layer of earth on the fireplace. Put spruce branches or dry grass on the top of the earth where the tent will stand. With this method, it will stay warm until morning.

Duralumin collapsible tube

The more advanced method of heating a tent with the help of a campfire is to use a duralumin collapsible tube.

For such a natural heater you need a 20-foot long dural tube with a small diameter of 2 inches and a small sheet of asbestos. A fire should be placed 15 feet from the tent. 

The place where the pipe is contacted to the fire is being wrapped in asbestos. One end of the tube is directed to the shelter, and the second one to the outside fire, so that the smoke couldn’t get inside.

The incoming fresh air near the tube is heated and then passed through the tube into the tent.

The distance between the lower and the upper pipe end should not be less than 6 feet. The steeper slope – the better air circulation.

Entering air temperature depends on the level of pipe heat. If it is too hot, you can close the deducing end in the tent or decrease the fire.

Other warming methods

There are a few more methods that can help you to warm the interior, but some of them are quite complicated. It is often advised to clear the snow and make a campfire to warm the earth under the tent.

If you have a kerosene stove, candles, or dry alcohol, then it is possible to warm the shelter with them. At the same time, you need to be very careful; because the tent can burn in seconds.

Candle heater

If you are interested in an easy method of warming up the interior of the tent take a look on how to heat a tent with a candle.

Warming Your Tent with Heater

All the mentioned methods are time-consuming and not very convenient when you go camping with children or move from one place to another.

Sometimes you don’t have enough time to make a large fireplace. Safe tent heaters for camping can help you here. They can be of gasoline, kerosene, or gas type.

The heaters are very popular in recent years, as everyone can choose what he wants from a wide range of specimens on the market. It is especially convenient for beginner campers.

tourist heater stove

Such a stove can combine not only a heater but also a tile for cooking, and illumination of the tent.

Such burners are usually compact, reliable, and quiet. However, when using such heaters in the tent, you need to take care of the fresh air inside.

It is best to have an oxygen sensor in the device. And of course, your heater must be certified for residential use.

Use hot watter bottles

The procedure for this method is easy. You will need to have water, a heating source like a backpacking stove, a boiling pan, and hard plastic or metal bottles. Forget about those from a supermarket, they won’t handle the high temperature.

Heat the water almost to the boiling temperature and slowly pour it in the bottles. Close tightly and spread them across the tent.

Additional tips to stay warm

These are smart ways that you can opt for to stay warm inside the tent.

Sleeping arrangements

In order not to freeze in a tent, you need to choose sleeping options wisely. If you want a comfortable winter overnight stay, use the high-quality gear.

Sleeping bags

This is the most common sleeping arrangement for most campers, backpackers, and other outdoorsmen. What is better than jumping in a cozy and warm insulating bag that keeps you comfortable the whole night?

best Sleeping Bags

Outdoor sleeping bags come with different insulating levels, materials, and features so consider all of them before making a purchase.

Sleeping cots

How about lifting your bed off the ground? In winter, the grounds are cold and I am sure that you would rather sleep on elevated bed instead directly on the ground. For this purpose you have sleeping cots that are elevated and offer a comfortable sleep.

Camping mattress

Mattresses are great because they are padded enough to bring you warmth and comfort. They come in different sizes, materials, and features so take time before choosing yours.

Sleeping pads

Sleeping pads are also a good alternative. They can be placed on the ground or on a camping cot to offer warmth and comfort. Choose an inflatable pad that will fit you.

sleeping pads for side sleepers

Warm clothes

Warm and insulating clothes are very important. Since you will be staying inside the tent I advise that you dress up in cotton and wool gourmets.

These two types are not recommendable to use outside in the bad weather but inside they won’t get wet and will keep you warm through the night.

Think about dressing up from head to toes properly. Bring your wool socks, scars and hats and take care of the nose and ears that are most exposed.

Insulate your tent

This is a clever option that demands some material and work. The insulation will keep your shelter cozy as the warm air won’t escape through the fabric.

You will use air bubble reflective foil, and reflective foam to do it. How to insulate a tent? If you are interested in this method look at this video that shows how a man insulated his camping model.

A space blanket

Did you hear about space blanket yet? It is an emergency blanket that offer insulation. It is lightweight, foldable, and made of heat-reflective material. There are plenty to choose from and can be stored as a small package.

If you wrap in it it will prevent body heat loss so you will sleep more comfortably and won’t wake up in the middle of the night because you feel cold. The blanket can be used for other purposes too, as for survival shelter or a survival bag.

Food and drink

Food is a fuel that warm us and give us the energy we need to do tasks over the day. When choosing food for your cold expedition, consider the ingredients that have a high nutrition value.

I always make soups and stews when camping in the cold as they make me feel good and warm me up. I don’t recommend you to bring sandwiches or other dry fast food.

camping soup

Take a camping stove with you and cook yourself a nice hot meal that will warm you and provide enough energy that will last for hours.

If you will cook inside the tent you will also heat it while cooking, so this is a great way to keep you warm. However, put some heat-resistant tarp under the cooker to prevent a burn out of the floors.

Which Heating Method will You use?

Now you know how to heat a tent without electricity and it is your choice which method will you try. If you will go winter camping, make a good plan on how will you stay warm outdoors and consider my advice.

If you are more adventurous then go for natural choices and have fun during preparation. However, you can also bring a heater with you and just enjoy your stay.

Also, consider my additional tips so your adventure won’t be a torture in cold and wet environment.

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