Camp or tent heater?

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Postby Teresa » Dec 19, 2006 8:29 am

Husbands work better than wives for heaters. They're usually fuzzier.
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Dec 19, 2006 8:39 am

Teresa wrote:Husbands work better than wives for heaters. They're usually fuzzier.
Well that may well be, but for my personal preference I'd take a smoother wife than a fuzzy hubby.


But that's just me. :grin:

But seriously while winter camping can be fun no matter where you go; whether it be TAG or in the Rockies (try THAT on for size you TAG folks)... staying warm is a key element the enjoyment.
I haven't camped down in this elevation for a long time so I may "over-do-it" the first time I get talked into it.
All of my winter-camping had been at elevations ranging somewhere between 4,000 to 8,000 feet.
I normally try to have a few packets of those air activated heating pads and get them going as I'm trying to settle into my bag. It's enough warmth to put you to sleep while your bag is warming up inside.
Unless you got someone to constantly keep the stove(s) going you're gonna wake up in a cold tent regardless and groan and moan as you unzip your bag to get out of it.
I've found thus: a 20 degree bag, a wool blanket to wrap around you inside the bag and a bivvy sac (yea even unto IN the tent) while wearing poly-pros and woolies ... that'll keep ya warm enough with or without a fuzzy hubby or a smoothie wife. Oh and a balakava or knitted cap helps out in preventing heat-loss from the head.
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Postby Andy Shoun » Dec 19, 2006 10:26 am

Personally, I would never take a space heater into a tent or truck cap. Too many people have died in their sleep from poisoning. It is forbidden in Boy Scout policy because of deaths (yes, I’m a leader). If you must have a heater please read:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml02/02179.html
Anyway, I enjoy camping in the winter when the leaves are off the trees and the views are more expansive. My advice:
- must have a pad underneath your bag, air mattresses allow the cold air to circulate, you need foam. Thermorest pads use foam and air for comfort and insulation.
- sleeping bags; use an overbag or double up with a light weight mummy and a rectangular summer bag or extra blankets…. My wife and I have left and right handed mummy bags that zip together. That is the best!
- Warm hat and stuff around your neck (my jacket) to keep cold air transfer into your bag to a minimum.
- Pee bottle keeps you from having to get up to go in the middle of the night (hey another use for the ‘bottleâ€
-Not all who wander are lost.
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Postby graveleye » Dec 19, 2006 10:53 am

It looks like the heater with the tubes on it is the one my frined was talking about. I guess that also means carrying a car battery camping too...

I'm not too keen on space heaters either, but from what I hear, the new ones are much more safe.
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Postby David_Campen » Dec 19, 2006 12:07 pm


It says that this is a 10,000 BTU/hr heater, propane contains 22,000 BTU per pound. So while they show this with a 1 pound propane cartridge, it seems that that would last only about 2 hours.
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Postby David_Campen » Dec 19, 2006 12:58 pm

Personally, I would never take a space heater into a tent or truck cap. Too many people have died in their sleep from poisoning. It is forbidden in Boy Scout policy because of deaths (yes, I’m a leader). If you must have a heater please read:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml02/02179.html

Thanks for the link. From the Coleman web site I cannot find if any of their heaters that I had mentioned earlier have an Oxygen Depletion Sensor.

I did some quick calculations:

500 grams of propane will require 1,800 grams of oxygen for complete combustion.

My 10ft X 8ft X 6ft tent has a volume of 14,000 liters.

At 21% oxygen by volume in air this is 2,900 liters of oxygen.

At sea level and 70 deg F this 2,900 liters of oxygen would weigh 4,100 grams.

So, burning a 500 gram propane cartridge in a perfectly sealed tent this size would reduce the oxygen concentration from 21% to 11%.

As a side note, burning 500 grams of propane produces 1,500 grams of water.
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Postby VACaver » Dec 19, 2006 3:14 pm

I have a Coleman tent heater that ran me about 70 bucks and I must say that it was the BIGGEST waste of 70 bucks I have ever seen.

Yep, it will raise the inside temp of your tent...about 5 degrees. In my case (in a BIG tent) it took about an hour. Plus you can't sleep with it on. So, five minutes after turning it off, it's cold as hell inside your tent again, so why bother?

For the next Spring VAR, the heater gets left at home. Hell, for that matter, ALL the camping gear may be left at home in favor of a hotel room :-)
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Postby David_Campen » Dec 19, 2006 6:24 pm

I have a Coleman tent heater that ran me about 70 bucks and I must say that it was the BIGGEST waste of 70 bucks I have ever seen.

Yep, it will raise the inside temp of your tent...about 5 degrees. In my case (in a BIG tent) it took about an hour. Plus you can't sleep with it on. So, five minutes after turning it off, it's cold as hell inside your tent again, so why bother?


I find 2 of the Coleman SportCats will keep my 8 ft X 10 ft tent nicely warm in weather right at freezing with wind. When I sleep I turn one off, leaving just one on while sleeping. But, yes, it is not going to heat a tent instantly.
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Postby VACaver » Dec 19, 2006 7:28 pm

David_Campen wrote:
I have a Coleman tent heater that ran me about 70 bucks and I must say that it was the BIGGEST waste of 70 bucks I have ever seen.

Yep, it will raise the inside temp of your tent...about 5 degrees. In my case (in a BIG tent) it took about an hour. Plus you can't sleep with it on. So, five minutes after turning it off, it's cold as hell inside your tent again, so why bother?


I find 2 of the Coleman SportCats will keep my 8 ft X 10 ft tent nicely warm in weather right at freezing with wind. When I sleep I turn one off, leaving just one on while sleeping. But, yes, it is not going to heat a tent instantly.


My tent is 10 x 17, so it's probably too big for a single SportCat. I refuse to sleep with it on, so having it is kind of a waste to me.
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Postby GoHighGoDeep » Dec 20, 2006 12:35 am

I'll stick with my -20degree bag, fleece blanket and thick thermarest :-) no where near as flamable as propane, and a lot less likely to produce CO!

But a wife/girlfriend/significant other is certainly a wonderful heater on cold camping trips!
c'mon, you can fit through that
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Postby barcelonacvr » Dec 20, 2006 5:55 am

Why heat the tent ... http://www.gerbing.com/
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Postby George Dasher » Dec 20, 2006 12:52 pm

I think GoHighGoDeep has the right idea.

:exactly:
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Postby coferj » Dec 20, 2006 11:43 pm

David_Campen wrote:

It says that this is a 10,000 BTU/hr heater, propane contains 22,000 BTU per pound. So while they show this with a 1 pound propane cartridge, it seems that that would last only about 2 hours.


Well, I always take a large tank with a stem that runs my lantern, and I have a hose that connects into the stem...so I could run it for quite a while.
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Postby paoconnell » Dec 28, 2006 11:57 pm

When winter camping, I use a synthetic fill mummy bag, a long, closed cell Ridgerest sleeping pad, and a 4 season backpacking tent. She usually sleeps in a down barrel bag with another closed cell pad. If it's really cold, I add a synthetic comforter on top of us.

If it's pretty cold, wear a balaclava style cap to bed to prevent heat loss from your head and neck area. Forget tent heaters--they make me nervous.
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Postby Martin Sluka » Dec 29, 2006 4:39 am

[quote=So, burning a 500 gram propane cartridge in a perfectly sealed tent this size would reduce the oxygen concentration from 21% to 11%.[/quote]

It will not because the catalytic oxidation of propane/butane will stop much earlier because too low level of oxygen for it.

It is the reason you may NOT be poisoned too. There is no chance to produce the poisonous carbon mono oxide from catalytic process like this one.

We used many years ago old Russian versions of catalytic ovens fueled by pure petrol or better n-hexane named "grelka". Very good heater under overall or into sleeping bag.
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