Camping is a relaxing, invigorating hobby for many people. So much so, that camping season never seems to last long enough. Camping during the fall – or even the winter – is not at all unheard of these days.
There are a number of different ways to stay warm on a cold night when camping, which many people know. A good insulated padding between you and the ground is essential. Wearing heavy socks and a hat to bed will also help you retain body heat. What many people never think about, however, is bringing along a portable heater.
With today’s technology, staying warm on a cool autumn night – or even a blustery winter night – is easy. There are a number of camping heaters on the market today. Finding them is easy, but deciding which one to choose is the hard part.
Electric Camp Heaters
Electric camp heaters are probably the easiest to use, if you have the luxury of an electrical outlet on your campground. Like miniature space heaters, these provide fast heat at the touch of a button. Many electric camp heaters even have a thermostat to control the temperature inside your temporary dwelling.
Portable electric space heaters have no open flame to worry about, and they don’t give off dangerous fumes. Many public campgrounds today offer campsites with electricity, so bringing an electric space heater for your camper is a possibility.
There are some dangers when using an electric camping heater. While some of the better models may have a device that prevents the contraption from overheating, many of the less expensive models do not. This can cause serious burns or a fire. Also, if you get a model that needs to be plugged in, there is some risk of electrocution and tripping.
Propane Catalytic Heaters
Propane catalytic heaters run off of propane to heat your space. Many models use one pound propane canisters, and they can provide up to eight hours of heat. These are also flameless, so they are considered safe to use in tents and campers. Since heat is generated by a chemical reaction between propane, oxygen, and platinum, there is no need to ignite a propane catalytic heater. It is also flameless, and the main byproducts are carbon dioxide and water vapor.
Since they are flameless, there is less chance of starting an accidental fire with a catalytic heater. They are very easy to use, and they cost a small price for the convenience. There is also no need for an electrical outlet all that’s needed to run the fan is a couple batteries.
Although many brands claim that their model puts off little to no carbon monoxide, there is always a chance. It is best to leave vents in your tent or a window in your camper open when using any type of gas heater. Even though this heater is flameless, the heater surface gets very hot and can cause serious burns.
Hot Vent Camping Heaters
Probably the safest way to heat your tent during cold nights is a hot vent camping heater. This type of heater also runs off of propane, but the heater part itself stays outside. A fan, run by a twelve volt battery, blows hot, dry air through tubes that are run in through the door of the tent. The smaller versions are perfect for tents, but there are also larger models on the market that will work well for RVs and campers.
Since there is no gas inside the tent, there is no possibility of dangerous and deadly fumes getting trapped inside when you’re sleeping. With this type of heater, it is safe to keep it running and stay toasty warm all night long.
The only downside to this option is the price. It is more expensive than most other types of camping heaters on the market today. Of course, if you are an avid camper worried about safety, a little extra money spent on a hot vent heater could be worth every penny.