Camping can be a fantastic experience full of wonderful memories, and who wants to spoil those memories by shivering through the night because your tent is too cold? Don’t worry! There are several strategies and products that can drastically improve the warmth of your tent, and leave you feeling positive about your camping excursions.
Your primary source of warmth in your tent is your sleeping bag, so make sure to select one that is rated for the appropriate temperature. If you plan on camping in a place that gets very cold at night, you will want to spend the extra money on a bag that can withstand very low temperatures. This will be your primary defense against the cold. Check the EN Comfort Rating of the bag to determine the lowest temperature it can withstand while keeping the average person warm.
Use a thermal blanket to reflect any existing heat inside the tent. If you use duct tape to secure the blanket to the tent ceiling, the heat inside the tent will be reflected downwards and will increase your personal warmth. Thermal blankets, also known as the lightweight emergency foil-like blankets you find in first aid kits, are inexpensive and easy to transport, and an efficient way to provide warmth in your tent.
Consider purchasing a tent heater. There are a variety of electric tent heater options on the market today, including choices that run on electricity or propane. A tent heater is the easiest way to quickly increase and maintain the warmth inside your tent, and there are selections that work well for both small and large tents. Choose heaters with wide bases and safety features to prevent the heater from tipping over and accidentally damaging your tent. Note: Be careful NOT to use portable gas heaters in a tent. Gas heaters in an enclosed space can be very dangerous. Follow the manufacturers advice for any heater.
Use insulation under your sleeping bag. There is a large amount of heat lost through the ground, so you want to make sure that there is something else between your sleeping bag and the tent material. You can either simply put a large blanket underneath your sleeping bag, or you can purchase a self-inflating or foam sleeping pad that will also increase your comfort while sleeping. Sleeping bag liners help trap heat too.
Bring along a tent carpet. A tent carpet is another way of adding a layer of insulation and protection from the cold ground, but instead of just going underneath your sleeping bag it is designed to cover the entire bottom of the tent. Most tent carpets are also soft and waterproof on the back to keep the inside of your tent dry.
Use an old-fashioned trick – warm rocks! This may seem a bit odd, but heating up rocks and keeping them near you is a technique that people have used for hundreds of years. You can heat up larger-sized rocks by your campfire for about an hour, then place them in the center of your tent on a pan (for safety) after they have cooled down enough to handle.
Snuggle up to a hot bottle. This can help you warm up fast and can be comforting as well towards a good night’s sleep.
Buy some disposable heat packs. Don’t want to use warm rocks or a hot water bottle? Than consider investing in disposable heat packs.
Don’t forget to ventilate! This may seem counterproductive, but it is necessary to keep at least one tent window or door slightly unzipped to allow a bit of air to come through. This ventilation with prevent condensation from happening, keeping moisture from accumulating and avoiding the dampness that will make you feel colder.
Wear warm clothes. Fleece PJ’s aren’t stylish but they do keep you warm. Also, consider a hoody, wool bed socks, and long underwear.
Right size your tent. It may be tempting to get a 12 person tent for 3 but if you’re looking to stay warm it’s better to sleep closely together in order to share warmth.
Get a mammoth sleeping bag. Consider sharing a double wide sleeping bag with someone to share the warmth. These extra large sleeping bags can often fit two adults and a child.
Keep the tent dry. A wet tent is a cold so if it’s raining add a waterproof tent tarp over the tent. Before packing a tent away make sure it’s not wet. Let it dry out before packing and it will also extend the longevity of the tent.
Keep warm before bedtime. It’s hard to get warm when you start out cold. Have a hot chocolate, decaf coffee, or a warm milk or water by the fire before bed. Consider some sort of physical activity to get your body moving and warm. Also, make sure you take that restroom break prior to bed. Getting out of warm tent and into the cold is not a pleasant experience.
There are a variety of methods you can choose from to enhance your tent’s warmth during your next camping outing; pick a few or use them all and ensure that you will never be cold inside your tent again!