How to Heat a Tent: 4 Practical and Affordable Ways

Tell me if this scenario is familiar: it is 50 degrees F outside, but your heart is yearning for the mighty outdoors. You cannot keep your mind from wandering into that campsite that is now deserted and lonesome. Your kids (because they share your free-spiritedness) are itching for free running space too.

Now, you and your partner have two options: you could watch the season go by and wait for summer to take them to a crowded campground, or you could live in the moment and take your munchkins out now.

How about the biting cold? You ask. Well, learn how to heat a tent!​

How do you heat a tent?​ What methods are available? Is it affordable?​

In this article, we will address all those concerns.​

4 Affordable Ways to Heat a Tent

  • Wood Burning Stove
  • Electric Halogen Heaters
  • Electric Fan Heaters
  • Electric Radiators

Wood Burning Stone

I am willing to bet that our ancestors would approve of this method of heating tents. It is uncomplicated, tested, tried, efficient and inexpensive.

To heat your tent using a wood burner, you only need a few vitals: a fire retardant canvas tent with a flue pipe, a good ole stove, and wood! That simple, or is it? Most common family tents are not fire retardant, and this poses a problem. If they are, they lack a flue, but that is rectifiable.

How to Use It​

As long as you have your canvas tent well set and the flue pipe in place to carry the smoke out of the tent, you are set to go. Light it as you would an open fire and be cozy. Oh, and you can cook all your meals on the stove.


  • Reasonably priced
  • Heats the tent quietly for a long time
  • Leaves the tent hot


  • You will need to manage the carbon monoxide emission from the burning wood.
  • You need a canvas or polycotton tent with a chimney.
  • The stove is bulky

Electric Halogen Heaters

Halogen heaters consume little amounts of power, but their output is quite impressive. Apart from heating the tent, they also put up a glow that you can use for your lighting. Two birds, one stone, no?

As good as they are, you would need to be cautious of the kind that is placed on the ground as they pose a danger. Consider, instead, the type that is suspended from the ground, as there will be no chances of knocking it down.

How to Use It​

Well, an electric halogen heater is pretty easy to use. You just need o connect it to our power source and start using. You will need an Electric Hook-up (EHU) fitted to your tent, and the downside is that it is limited to 5aMps of electricity. Worry not, though; I found the capacity in this baby to suit my family just fine.


  • Lightweight for hauling around
  • Warms the tent sufficiently
  • Does not consume much energy


  • It requires an EHU
  • You cannot leave it on all night
  • Stand-u heaters (which are easily available) are easy to knock down especially with kids.

Electric Fan Heaters

An electric fan heater is small and easy to carry when you go camping it also radiates heat almost immediately and so you do not have to wait for minutes inside a freezing tent.

It needs an EHU, which you can have fitted in your tent once and for all if electricity is your preferred mode of heating.​

How to Use It​

Once you connect it to your power source, all you will do is turn it on. The fan is easy to use and provides sufficient heat. I found it hard to leave it on at night when we used it for camping. What I did was leave it on for long to heat up the living area and let-in enough warmth into the sleeping quarters.

Even though the heat from this fan does not penetrate too much into the distant parts of the tent, it will you keep you stay cozy and warm enough.


  • It is light and heats the area up immediately you turn it on
  • Affordable
  • The fan goes on and off, which reduces condensation inside the tent
  • This reasonably priced Lasko Oscillating Ceramic Heater is excellent. And it has a thermostat for regulating the heat. Very important factor!!!


  • I would not recommend leaving it on all night for fear of overheating the tent
  • The fan going on and on is annoying

Electric Radiators

How about bringing along a radiator for camping? Not such a crazy idea, yes? Okay, let me confess I am a light traveler and so I try to bring as few items as I can on my camping trips.

This little device here is not friendly to my terms. It is quite bulky but less annoying than the flicker of the electric fan. For this reason, I vote in favor.​

How to Use It​

The same way you do the EHU heaters. It just needs connection and a touch on the ‘on’ button. It takes a bit of time to heat up, and so you will be cold for a little while as you wait for miss sunshine to radiate heat.


  • As long as you stay within your amp limits, she heats up well
  • It remains warm several minutes after you have switched it off
  • No fans going on and off so it doesn’t make noise


  • The size is rather bulky
  • Takes long to heat up

Those four heating options have made it possible for our families to spend beautiful days and nights outdoors even when the weather would not allow. Don’t forget to check out our reviews of best tent heater if you look to buy one for your next camp!

Please let me know in the comments section below whether this article was helpful, whether you have tried any of these heating methods, and if you are willing to. Do not hesitate to share with your friends and family. Happy camping season!​