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Winter Tent Camping
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Joined: Apr 12, 2005
Posts: 201
Location: Bethel, AK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:35 pm    Post subject: Winter Tent Camping Reply with quote

This November during the South Dakota east river deer season I m thinking about camping out rather than drive the 100 mile round trip twice every weekend.

1) I know there are propane heaters that can be used in enclosed spaces, ( ice shacks ) can these be safely used in a tent?

2) If they are safe, are they quiet?


I know I should buy a trailer, but it's not in the card this year.
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Joined: Jan 18, 2005
Posts: 3573
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Winter Tent Camping Reply with quote

First off YES GET A HEATER FOR A TENT... I nearly froze to death in one one night... brrrr! Bought a cheap camper from then on LOL!

Secondly yes there are alot of options available for tents... too many to list but hit up Google and search for "tent heater". They make some nifty stuff now a days, the most impressive looks like this

But they make some simpler stuff too. IMO anything is worth it to keep warm at night.

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Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:08 am    Post subject: Re: Winter Tent Camping Reply with quote


I used to hate anything inside a tent that would get much above the temperature of my armpits. Canvas and nylon are pretty terrible things to be inside when they're burning.

Outside a tent's a different thing.

A good reflector fire can be made with some sticks and a piece of heavy weight aluminum foil. Sticks alone if you're out there accidentally.

Don't use stones unless you REALLY know your geology: Some of them are porous enough to absorb water over the years, but NOT porous enough to let steam escape overnight. It's an explosively bad combinaiton.

Also: Some sedimentary and metamorphic rocks produce nasty gasses when heated.

Set the fire several feet from the entrance of the tent - enough to be able to operate around the fire and not trip over the tent lines and pegs. Set the reflector back from the fire a couple of feet so the reflector doesn't burn, then set it to reflect the radiated heat back into the tent.

You can keep the inside of a well-sealed tent (pile rocks and branches around the edge of the tent to keep out the breeze or get one with a sewn-on bottom) with an open front pretty cozy!

When you're aiming to go to bed, rearrange your firewood (HARDwood, please...) into a wheel-spoke form so's to keep the heat going all night.

My first camp out with the Boy Scouts was a -20 degree Massachusettes winter night.

It was NOT my first camp-out!

I was the ONLY camper with a reflector fire. It was so warm in my tent that I slept in my cotton skivvies ON TOP of my sleeping bag!

I was also the ONLY camper that stayed up, after the hard hike in, the late camp set-up and supper, long enough to dry out my boots, socks and undies.

The next morning, I was the ONLY camper with boots and socks that weren't frozen solid.

Man - I really miss camping.

"Al's Postings," from the, "Good Eats Fan Page."
At the heart of evey complex problem lies a graceful solution involving explosives.
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Joined: Jul 05, 2005
Posts: 105
Location: Vermont

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Winter Tent Camping Reply with quote

DallenC.......That one nifty tent heater,might have to get one ! Hooked up to a 30lb bottle should last a week, plus... it should get a tent hot enough to dry clothes. Thats the biggest problem if you hunting with a tent.
Wall tents with a wood stove, fix that problem,but they are heavy.
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Joined: Apr 21, 2005
Posts: 240
Location: London England

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Winter Tent Camping Reply with quote

Longwalker, get yourself a little 20yr old dollybird! Finest thing I know to keep a man warm at night! Smile

There are few problems in life that cannot be solved with sufficient high explosive........
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Joined: Aug 26, 2005
Posts: 20
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Winter Tent Camping Reply with quote

Get yourself a good sleeping bag and go for it. We camped in the U.P. of Michigan one winter. Cots are a good thing. When we woke we turned the lantern on and it warmed the tent in no time at all. I love to camp out in the winter.

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Joined: Jun 12, 2005
Posts: 11395
Location: Ava, Missouri

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Winter Tent Camping Reply with quote

Better idea over a cot...An insolated 2" padded mat. Cots do not insolate you from the cold as air travels beneath them...

I have one nerve left and yer standin' on it...

DEMOCRACY Two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for lunch...
LIBERTY A well armed sheep contesting the outcome of the vote...
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Joined: Apr 09, 2005
Posts: 389
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:21 am    Post subject: Re: Winter Tent Camping Reply with quote

wtf Please listen to AI in the above post!!!!! Then you won't look like running firefly at 2am!!

As a prior Survival Instructor I can only Highly Caution you NOT to use any flame or high heat device within your tent, PERIOD!!! Not only is it possible (PROBABLE) that you will ignite/melt your tent due to the high heat rising directly above the heat source you will also be decreasing the available oxygen withing the confines of your tent along with building up carbon monoxide.

I have used tents in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Canada & Alaska in the dead of winter. The lowest temp I was in was -48F in Alaska during an Exercise. The warmest it got for that 2 weeks was -28F. I never used any heat source within the tent and I too had dry boots & socks every morning, due to a reflector. I also had walls that I built around the tent to keep out the wind.

Anytime you are out in cold weather use the following to guide you.


C = Clean, keep your clothing clean, dirty clothing looses its insulating properties and acts as a path for cold to reach your body.

O = Organize & Plan, Set up your campsite so everything is in its place. Insure that your shelter entrance is not facing the prevailing wind nor 180 from the wind, place it 90 from the wind. Place windbreaks to keep the wind from directly hitting your tent/shelter.

L = Layers, dress in layers also sleep in layers. Use a pad under your sleeping bag. Only dress in your normal underware when sleeping. If you overdress in your bag you WILL sweat and then get very uncomfortable/cold at night and you will wake up!

D = DRY, Dress in layers/Sleep in layers so you ration your sweat. Don't sweat soak your clothing or let it get wet from snow or any other source. When you come into your camp, brush off any snow on your clothing before you get next to a fire. If not it will melt and you will get WET! When you get wet you set yourself up to get cold. This will lead to Hypothermia where your body cannot generate the heat you need and your body core temprature starts to drop, YOU DON'T WANT THIS TO HAPPEN!!

Please stay smart and winter camping can be the most enjoyable there is and one of the best things is there are no BUGS!!! Pack accordingly and check out some info on the web you will enjoy yourself.

P.S. - Be sure to be careful with the rocks they can be a killer, during one of my trips in Michigan another group of campers had a rock explode while they were gathered around the fire, one lost his eye, others were cut & burned and they lost two tents due to embers being thrown into them. Have fun but use your head & be safe. Knowledge is Power!!! Very Happy
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Joined: May 25, 2005
Posts: 15744
Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:53 am    Post subject: Re: Winter Tent Camping Reply with quote

Love camping at any time, summer or winter, although summer is pretty uncomfortable with the heat and bush flies.

Coldest I have camped in was -10 deg C. Not sure what that is in F, but it was bloody cold. I "prepared" myself for bed by sitting around the open fire, ocassionally turning around to warm up the "hole" of my body, and most importantly partaking of a few Ports, well maybe more than a few. Found the Port to be an excellent belly warmer, but be careful not to overdo it. Nothing to be gained by getting pissed as a nit and falling over to sleep under a tree and waking up frozen stiff!

For my bed I use a closed cell foam mat (about 1/2" thick), a self inflating mattress (1/2" thick) and two sleeping bags, one inside the other and a poncho liner inside the whole lot. Sleep in underwear only and I am as warm as anything.

Nothing better than getting away from the city and communing with nature. It is very sobering, lets you know how insignificant we really are on this planet.

Cheers, Vince

Cheers, Vince Cheers

Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
(Without Commitment, Nothing Gets Done)
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Joined: Aug 22, 2005
Posts: 1032
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:39 am    Post subject: Re: Winter Tent Camping Reply with quote

OK, endure a few questions about reflectors and fires . . .

The reflector is made with aluminum foil and sticks, but, how? I mean how high should it be and should it be curved or flat?

and, I presume, the tent entrance is kept open?

and, finally, reference material?

Previous posts and comments are appreciated, I just need to get a better visualization.

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Joined: Apr 09, 2005
Posts: 389
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:51 am    Post subject: Re: Winter Tent Camping Reply with quote

For a reflector all I do is build up a log wall @ 2' high and @ 4" long. Use green wood so it won't ignite and I set it up @ 3" back from the fire. It doesn't sound like much but it works very well. You don't need foil for it to work. Cool

To hold up the wall of logs I build a couple of high A frames or drive a couple of long stakes at a slight angle away from the fire so the logs don't fall down. It really is that simple. If you do use metal on a reflector and a shelf you can even make an imporvised oven and bake some of the best biscuts in the world! Very Happy Cool

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