Outdoor GearsTents

How to Make a Tent Warmer – Camping Guide 2020

It is actually exciting to camp and rests the whole night in a tent. Yet, a novice camper needs to consider some key points, most likely, when it comes to keeping the warmth inside the tent. Basically, this may not be an issue for most campers as they already have experience of this. However, for novice campers who like to come up with an extraordinary experience, knowing the way on how to make a tent warmer is one of the essential things that they may take into account.

As we go along, we will share some helpful tips on keeping the tent warm all throughout the night of your stay inside your tent on the camping site. Moreover, we also have here some DIY tent heaters that may be of great help for keeping you warm. If this sounds interesting for you, then check them out below!

Helpful Ways on How to Make a Tent Warmer

Basically, camping on the outdoors may make you feel chilly yet; those sleeping bag and sheets of blankets are not enough to keep you warm. In order to safely produce warmth inside the camping tent, you need the follow the ways on how to make a tent warmer. Regardless of the device that you use or the method that you follow, doing the right thing on keeping your tent warm and comfortable for you is the most important.

During a cold night on a camping site, here are helpful ways on how to make a tent warmer:

1. Opt for the right tent

Basically, before anything else, after you plan to camp, you must have to prepare all the essential things that you need to bring. One of these is the tent where you will have to rest and sleep over the night. In case you are a newbie in camping, the most important thing is to buy the right tent.

Most of the tents available in the market today have a feature of 3 season or 4 season. Generally, if you want a tent that can withstand any conditions even the cold weather, the 4 season tent is the best option. There are actually lots of 4 season tents that have unique features.

You must have to make a good buying decision. This way, the right tent might contribute to how to make a tent warmer on your cold camping night.

2. Look for a good spot to set up your tent

Generally, the location on where to put up your tent is a big help on how to make a tent warmer. This factor is essentially something that campers must have to consider. Actually, setting up your tent on a hill or mountainside where the tent will be hampered by the wind is not a good idea. This place is usually cooler thus hinders to make the tent warm during the night camp.

how to make a tent warmer

Moreover, open fields do not also have something to block the wind. Meaning, this area is also not the ideal place to put up your camping tent. Ideally, the best spot to put up your tent is on an area surrounded by trees or somewhere against the hill. This way your tent will have some protection from the wind and it can help on how to make a tent warmer.

3. Insulate your tent

Basically, there are numbers of ways on insulating your tent thus helping on the way on how to make a tent warmer. One of which is to line up carpet designated for all weathers over the floor. A tent mat that is designed for camping on a cold-weather may also do the work.

Aside from that, another cool strategy on how to make a tent warmer by tent insulation is the use of a foam sleeping mat. It is generally advantageous because it also helps you to keep off the ground that is also cold. You can have a better sleep at night and, at the same time, make you warm.

Moreover, you can also consider adding a thicker tarp or a rain fly outside of the tent to have an extra layer of protection and stability from the wind. The 4 season tents already feature thick materials that are actually snow-resistant that’s why it is good for cold weather camping.

However, if you tend to use the regular summer tent, its material alone doesn’t help in warming up the temperature. So, incorporating additional layers outside can basically do the same job as that of a 4 season tent.

4. Heat some stones

Another cool thing on how to make a tent warmer especially when there is no electricity around is to heat some stones around. Once done, you can place those stones in the tent. Some campers usually take the heated stones on the ground near to their tents. On the other hand, you may also consider putting the heated stones on an aluminum baking pan before placing it on the tent corner.

how to make a tent warmer

Generally, river rock stones are ideal for this purpose. Moreover, select stones with sizes of about 1 to 2 pounds. These stone sizes basically heat up more quickly and are easier to bring to the tent.

5. Have a portable gas heater

Obviously, a portable heater can generally contribute to how to make a tent warmer. They actually perform well on this job yet they need extra effort. Just ensure getting one that is highly-designed for a tent.


Generally, a catalytic heater is the most suitable portable heater that can help on how to make a tent warmer. Catalytic heater works through the help of a good quality gas such as propane. It basically depends on the chemical reactions to break the molecules apart thus producing heat.

The catalytic heater has the ability to heat up the tent for a period of 7 hours within one pound of the gas cylinder. Actually, this is around twice the capacity of other heaters available in the market. Moreover, always keep in mind not to run the heater all throughout the night.


The radiant heater is actually a traditional type of heater that you can use for camping and helps a lot on the way on how to make a tent warmer. Yet, there is actually one downside in using this type of heater, you are required to bring sufficient amount of propane. This is because a small canister of this radiant heater basically lasts for only 4 hours. That’s why you have to pack up several canisters during your camp to warm up the tent.

Aside from the portable heaters, you can also use DIY tent heaters to warm up your camping tent. Below are some DIY heater suggestions for tents and their respective step-by-step procedure on how to do it.

How to Make a Tent Warmer – Use DIY Tent Heater

The way on how to make a tent warmer is actually not a difficult task. You can actually use some tea lights or clay pots to have an effective DIY tent heater. But, don’t expect too much as these tent heaters cannot produce the same amount of heat. Yet, it will generally help a lot.


Basically, this tent heater works by lighting up the candle itself and letting the bulk of the heat to radiant but it will suddenly get lost. Once you put a clay pot over the candle, the thermal mass via the clay pot will capture the radiant heat. Eventually, it is heated up.

Moreover, the inner side of the pot will generally get very hot. Due to this, the heat and convection current will be formed rapidly by putting off a bigger pot. Generally, it is the convection current that distributes the heat coming from the pot via the hole on the top.


Gather around 4 sets of tea lights and put them inside a container. Make sure that the container is fireproof. You may also consider placing these lights on a flat surface provided that the ventilation space is sufficient for the candle to get oxygen.


Get a small-sized clay flower pot. Basically, put it in an upside-down position over the candles. In case there is a hole present at the base, cover it to prevent the escaping of heat through it. You can actually use a coin or light’s metal bases.


Put a bigger clay pot over the smaller pot. Meanwhile, do not attempt to cover the hole at the base of this one.


Finally, it’s finish.


This DIY tent heater version is similar to the Candle Method. But, rather than using a candle, a lantern is the one to be used. Moreover, opting for this tent heater method will generally require increasing the thermal mass.


Collect the following materials:

  • Ceramic pot – 1 pc of 4”; 1 pc of 2”; 1 pc of 1 ½”
  • Washers – 2 pcs of 1 ½” x¼”; 3 pcs of 1 1/4”x1/4”; 3 pcs 1”x1/4”; 8 pcs ¾” x ¼”
  • Nuts – 7 pcs of ¼”
  • Bolt – 1 pc of 3×1/4”

Cut and make a lantern out of those cuts.


Put a chain over the top of the rod and eventually hang it. Moreover, place a chain to the base of the rod using the last nut. On it, basically, hang the camping DIY tent lantern heater.


Finally, you’re done!

NOTE: A similar convection effect may not be achieved here, yet the thermal mass from all the assembled clay pots will capture the radiant heat.


Generally, most camping gear packs up with tent heater supplies. For the alcohol tent heater, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Toilet paper – 1 roll, unscented
  • Isopropyl alcohol – 70% to 90% concentration; 6 bottles, unscented
  • Metal can – empty; generally taller compared to the toilet paper
  • Metal can of coffee or popcorn can tub – empty; about 3 lbs
  • Pot or pan – aluminum material which is wider compared to the top of the largest can
 STEP 1:

Fill stuff into the smaller can by peeling off enough toilet paper sheets. Basically, take off the cardboard roll at the center of the toilet paper. Inspect the can and make sure that the toilet paper fully stuffed into it. Only stop when the toilet paper stuff reaches underneath the rim of the can.


Generally, put the can stuff with toilet paper into the bigger can. Eventually, place the heater in a spot that measures about 18 inches of the surrounding space. Ensure that you open the window tent or the tent door for proper ventilation prior to lighting the alcohol tent heater.


Using isopropyl alcohol, saturate the toilet paper by pouring the alcohol into it until the toilet paper absorbs all the liquid.


Basically, ignite the saturated toilet paper by using a match or a lighter. Witness the development and burning of a small flame. Put a pan or tin lid on top of the flame once the tent already warms up.

  • Generally, clear out all items surrounding the heater since the alcohol tent heater uses a flammable substance. Moreover, it is also helpful to carry a small fire extinguisher on your camping and undergo fire safety training.
  • Basically, store flammable items like alcohol in a place far from the matches. It is also important not to forget separating the cardboard core from the center part of the toilet paper. Keep in mind that the cardboard will burn more quickly compared to the toilet paper and this will pose a fire hazard.
  • Moreover, remember that the alcohol tent heater is prone to danger when used inside a small tent. That’s why it is generally advisable to use it within larger tent areas. It is also ideal to put the tent heater outside the tent when not in use.

Final Thoughts

How to make a tent warmer actually requires strategies and techniques that may let you relax and enjoy your camping. Aside from that, the right and appropriate devices are highly important to successfully keep you warm inside your camping tent. In case you are just a newbie in the camping world, just simply follow all the tips and the instructions in doing such devices so that you will have a memorable camping experience.