BC9696

HEATING A TENT

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We had a guy up here in Nevada archery hunting this year fall asleep in his tent while reading(gas lantern) and never woke-up! only 28 years old father of two Young one. be careful what you put in a tent.

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It is just beyond me why anyone would want to put anykind of a device that burns fuel inside a closed up space. Sure you may do it over and over without a problem, but the killer gases are there and it only takes once. Just bundle up, or buy something other than a tent. Don't take a chance.

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Lots of good info already given. Beside having the best sleeping bag you can get used with a good ground pad another thing is to keep your sleeping area as small as possible. I used to a lot of backpacking...a small 2 or 3 man backpacking tent used with a good bag is really warm, much warmer then a large tent...less area to heat. Large tents are made for fair weather..or used with a heating source.For years I've used a small propane heater in my large "family" tent and never had an issue. I always make sure the tent is ventilated...but definitely use at your own risk...just saying "I" never had a problem with it and will continue using it.

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Dude, just build yourself a camp fire IN the tent. Just leave a window cracked so the smoke will go out. You should be fine and warm. :two-cents:

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There has been plenty of good advice here, as a fireman I can say it's not a smart idea to put a heater in a tent or closed in space with little venting. As someone stated here for the cost of a couple of nights in a motel ...invest in good sleeping bags and mats and your problem goes away. I have slept out in the snow with a good mummy bag and been warm and toasty. It pays to invest in good sleeping bags and mats. The hardest part is always getting up in the morning, you can always use your tent heater for that or stand by a good fire. Don't take chances with your family, it's not worth the cost as Braz and others stated. Cabelas and others have very good sleeping bags at reasonable prices.

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Hipshot,Would you agree that if you DO sleep with a carbon monoxide-leaking heater in your tent, then the problem of the 'hard part of getting up in the morning' kind of cancels out, right. You get to sleep in for eternity.Couldn't resist.

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Ah forget them all Bruce, just do it and get it over with. You and your family will be another statistic that we all will have to hear or read about. Sorry if this sounds harsh but most everyone has given you the do's and don'ts. It's up to you! :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow:

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I've tried to find some truckbed sized closed-cell pads but nothing yet. Apparently i need to place this ABOVE the air matteress and/or on both sides of it? Is that what I'm reading here? For mornings I figure I can stand by a fire or just hop in the cab and run the heater awhile. It seemed like a heater would be a good idea if the unit was placed well away from the tent...I didn't think gas would be an issue then but dying would ruin the outing for sure so I guess I will consider alternatives. I've got a couple 4lb & 5lb sleeping bags (Coleman Autumn Trails http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/...020&brand=) but really dislike mummy bags. I get claustrophobic in those. Is there a truckbed sized self inflating mattress?

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Bruce, for my money, the Thermarest is the best sleeping pad on the market. It is self inflating and very comfortable. It looks thin, maybe an inch or so, but you don't need anything else. You can get rid of the air mattess and just use this. Believe me, it is the best. they have verious sizes and thickness, so shop around. This is all I use for years of camping when riding the motorcycle. I use the short one, only knee lenght, because I wanted to save room. Why pad the feet?

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You should be able to find the thicker rolls of foam in any size, I've bought big rolls (as in six feet wide, and around 20' long) at an industrial supply store.Really, are you planning on sleeping more than one person in that tent? I'd think that thing looks like a pain in the behind. I've got a couple of 3-5 man dome tents that go up quick. And it leaves your vehicle free. I've slept in them many times below freezing in a rectangular bag without a problem, but on the ground on a thermarest pad.If you really want to have a heated tent, the only ones I've seen that could be safely done is our canvas outfitter tent we use at elk camp. It has a chimney so you can put a woodstove inside the tent. You can actually get the inside of the tent warm enough to be very uncomfortable, and the nights generally run around 0 where we hunt. But they are a pain, tent and hardware weighs several hundred pounds, takes a long time to set up, and somebody has to bring chainsaws and spend some time cutting trees up everyday rather than hunting... it isn't for everyone. ;)But I think your missing most of the point of camping... aren't you supposed to get cold, sleep on a rock sticking in your back, have creepy crawly's come visit your sleeping bag, accidentally make camp in the poison oak, have a bear come chew on tent... it is all supposed to be part of the adventure right? :signs1180lq: :signs1180lq: :1rock1oo:

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Pogo, you hit it right and it's what I said in an earlier post. Get rid of the tent in a can and go with something else. If you want to tent camp, get a tent and go for it. It can be small, like the one Pogo's talking about, or an 8x10 for the family. Easy to set up, more room and your vehicleis free. Or, go with a tent trailer. Lots of room, lots of convience and may even have a heater. Or go with a hard sided trailer. For sure will have a heater, sink, stove, lights, maybe toilet, maybe shower, and being hardsided, much safer than any of the above. But for sure, dump the tent in a can. Just my opinion. By the way, if you were to go with a tent trailer, or a small hard sided trailer, under 6K pounds, that jeep will pull it. I know, I pulled my 25 foot trailer with it.

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There has been plenty of good advice here, as a fireman I can say it's not a smart idea to put a heater in a tent or closed in space with little venting. As someone stated here for the cost of a couple of nights in a motel ...invest in good sleeping bags and mats and your problem goes away. I have slept out in the snow with a good mummy bag and been warm and toasty. It pays to invest in good sleeping bags and mats. The hardest part is always getting up in the morning, you can always use your tent heater for that or stand by a good fire. Don't take chances with your family, it's not worth the cost as Braz and others stated. Cabelas and others have very good sleeping bags at reasonable prices.
Amen hipshot. Good bags with insulation under them and a heater (like Huntress uses) that you can fire up in the morning (while awake) to take the chill off while ya'll get dressed.

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I've tried to find some truckbed sized closed-cell pads but nothing yet. Apparently i need to place this ABOVE the air matteress and/or on both sides of it? Is that what I'm reading here? For mornings I figure I can stand by a fire or just hop in the cab and run the heater awhile. It seemed like a heater would be a good idea if the unit was placed well away from the tent...I didn't think gas would be an issue then but dying would ruin the outing for sure so I guess I will consider alternatives. I've got a couple 4lb & 5lb sleeping bags (Coleman Autumn Trails http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/...020&brand=) but really dislike mummy bags. I get claustrophobic in those. Is there a truckbed sized self inflating mattress?
I would suggest getting rid of the air mattress all together. I have a double height queen airmattress that I use in summer. Its just not effecient in winter. The large volume of air that you sleep on seems to sap the heat out of your body, or at least it does to mine. I found that getting rid of the mattress and using a pad helps a ton. The problem is that you loose the bedheight when you go to the 1-2 inch pads so sitting up might be a little harder if you have a belly like me :lol: The pads are a little harder than I prefer as well, but its a good trade for body heat. Maybe 2 pads would be perfect. If your issue is one of height you can always get some bricks and a 3/4" plywood and make a raised bed section in the back you can lay your pad on.The other alternatives is to use a battery converter and bring a electric heating unit, probably one of the smaller ones, Im not sure how long you can do it but there are many people who have build little battery generators to run small things out in the field. You might be able to get a few hours of runtime on a heater off maybe a large Boat Marine Deep cell battery. (ive always wanted to try this but never have) Just hook up the converter to the battery and plug in your heater. Or maybe try using a heating blanket instead since those probably use alot less electricity than a heater having to power a fan, You might actually be able to power a heating blanket for a couple days off of a marine battery.

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http://www.rain.org/~philfear/how2solar.htmlThis is one link to a page I saved when I was researching how to build a portable battery generator. It shows the idea of a deep cycle battery hooked up to a inverter and running small appliances. The neat idea is the solar charging system which means pending sunlight you should be able to use the heater each night. Obviously the more you can conserve the power the longer you can use something which is why I think a heating blanket would be better than a portable heater. If your deadset on using a portable heater your best bet would be an electric one.I would start by getting the smallest inverter you need and maybe taking out the fan. Keep it outside at night and maybe the temperature will keep the inverter cool? This will save some the power used by the inverter itself for your heating. If not then I guess get the largest inverter that uses the least power to run. If your interisted in solar chargers GoGreenSolar.com is one of the places I found that I felt made genuine quality charges compared to the 29.99 bass pro shop special. They are on the more expensive side and have some really cool things if you browse around.The charger I was looking at was http://www.gogreensolar.com/collections/so...trickle-chargerIt sounds like alot but really the dimensions of all this gear is quite small. The solor pannel being around 3ft by 1 1/2 ft, could easily store in the backseat during travel and in the sun at camp charging your battery for the next night. Or if you cannot leave stuff outside in your car window charging the battery.

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The reality is that a deep cycle battery won't keep any kind of electrical heater going very long. Check out how many amps they draw and compare it to the available amps in a battery. And remember, you can really only use a max of about 1/2 the available in the battery. Check with any RV dealer and they can bring you up to speed real fast. After all, most RV's run on battery power.

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This is what I use. We just got back from 3 days skiing in Mammoth and stayed in my 4 Wheel Pop up camper. It has a built in propane heater w/thermostat but when I run it most of the night it tends to draw the battery down quite a bit...especially when it gets down to zero like it was. You probably don't want to use a propane heater at altitudes much over 7000 ft (Mammoth town is about 7500)...most MFG recommend not using it over 7000ft mainly due to the lack of oxygen in the air. If you do use one (at any elevation) make sure to keep your tent ventilated.Mr Heater

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You say you used a built in heater in your trailer. That has exhaust vents built into it and also it uses air from outside for the flame. That is different than the one you show in the link.

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You say you used a built in heater in your trailer. That has exhaust vents built into it and also it uses air from outside for the flame. That is different than the one you show in the link.
Exactly.I don't run the one in my camper all night cause it tends to drain the battery. If it's really cold and I want a heat source throughout the night I usually run the one in the link setup next to a open window. True, there are/can be dangers in running a propane heater in a non-ventilated tent and it's wise to understand the dangers associated with using one...same as being aware of the dangers with driving on the freeway... or truthfully, just about anything. If propane heaters were that dangerous MFG's wouldn't be able to advertise them as "tent safe".If someone is really worried about using one they probably shouldn't use it.

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WOW, Great advice guys, I was actually thinking about getting one of those tents. Cause i didnt want bugs or snakes to get into my ground tent. Just warm up the bed of the truck by backing up on top of the fire. lol

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I sometimes use a Coleman Catalytic heater in my tent when I go snow camping. Just keep a window or two open slightly and it's enough to evacuate harmful fumes and keep oxygen circulating. The only difficulty or concern I've ever had was how to ensure that the heater stays right side up at night.

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For condesation use one of those pop up shelters with some leg extensions to go over thetop. That will keep the moisture off the tent. As for underneath, go to a moving equipment supplier and get a dozen of the best moving blankets they have or can get. they will run $120-$150 per dozen. You can line the bed of your truck with as many pads as you need. I find 3-4 work quite well. You can take them for something to lay on while shooting. Take them to the beach, the weave is such that sand can't get through. You can wrap up stuff that you don't want damaged while heading out so they don't take up as much space. If it's really cold you can put them over you as well. They are heavy and quilted. They are made to be used thousands of times on furniture and are very durable. Also they come in camo or any color you may want. Trust me on this though, they do have a tendency to walk away.Air mattresses are just to cold. I think they are to cold in a home let alone camping.Stay warm and alive while camping.Karl

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I'm still considering the Bedrug option for a few reasons:1. Stuff won't slide around the bed 2. It will make the truck look a little nicer since my bed is pretty scratched up from use & abuse3. It provides a measure of insultation all around and not just the bed floor (goes to the top of the bed)4. Would give the truck tent a cozy finished look and feelBeyond that I have chosen NOT to purchase a heater and get better sleeping bags for cold weather. If that doesn't work then I'll just zip a couple of sleeping bags together and grab somebody for the night. :P

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