Camp or tent heater?

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Postby JoeyS » Dec 29, 2006 10:15 am

sluka wrote:Very good heater under overall or into sleeping bag.


*repeats to self in best thick-russian accent*

Well I am going to use my Coleman Sportcat again in my truck camper this weekend. I'll report back if something terrible happens to us. :tonguecheek:
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Postby coferj » Dec 29, 2006 12:03 pm

to this day we still use our "Mr. Heater", and have had no problems...
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Postby chh » Jan 2, 2007 10:40 am

I use a synthetic 0 degree mummy bag for the winter. It gets cold sometimes if you are alone in your tent, but if you have people with you it's not that bad. I use a thermarest pro-lite inflatable because I like the packing size. However, I took the padding out of my pack and cut a 3/4 length 1/4" closed cell foam bivy pad and use it for the padding in my pack. I find that using the inflatable in tandem with the foam bivy pad that I have with me all the time anyway works quite well. I've used the RidgeRests and like them, but since I already had the inflatable, I found other things to spend my money on.

The 0 degree synthetic mummy bag works great for most cold weather as would a down bag as long as you keep it dry. A balaclava or hat is a must. Also, I get undressed in the bag and usually keep any extra clothing in there with me to cut down further on the air inside the bag. Chemical handwarmers that you can buy at just about any highway rest stop or gas station are cheap, small, and nice for the bottom of your bag if it's cold or in between two socks if it's REALLY cold. My feet are usually what get cold enough to bother me.

I have double bagged it a couple of times, but if I'm in a decent tent with another person or two I usually end up getting too warm. You just have to wait through the cold for a little while while everything warms up. A dog will help too if you don't have a person, their body temp is around 101F I think. They're little heaters and don't mind laying on your feet :-)

A fleece insert or wool blanket is great for the inside of the bag if it's terribly cold. Santa just brought me a 40 degree bag for christmas that packs down substantially smaller than a fleece blanket (I can get it inside a nalgene). I'm actually anxious to try that as a liner, but it just hasn't been cold enough yet.

The only kind of heater I've ever used in a tent was a foil wrapped candle that we jury rigged from the tie points for the gear loft in the tent. I know, open flame, tent, etc. The tent was vented well enough and at the right distance it didn't do anything to the tent and made us feel warmer, although it's gain may have been marginal because there were three bodies in the tent. It also could be my imagination but I think it DID help in cutting down the condensation that freezes on the inside of the tent when you have three people breathing inside. Not to mention offered us some pleasant light to play cards by.

I guess as far as heaters go, I've been around them in unheated bunkhouses in the winter, and they are wonderful, but they were all electric. I guess if you are car camping and want to lug all that stuff around you have tons of options. I can't imagine even considering it otherwise. I hadn't considered the moisture that one of those propane heaters could produce. Certainly something to think about. I hate condensation on the inside of a tent, frozen or otherwise. It's a constant battle...
Your words of caution are no match for my disaster style!
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Postby Martin Sluka » Jan 12, 2007 6:13 am

JoeyS wrote:
sluka wrote:Very good heater under overall or into sleeping bag.


*repeats to self in best thick-russian accent*


Image

Just an old photo - from 1985.
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Postby adleedy » Jan 12, 2007 6:41 am

for winter camping, ive been using one of them coleman black cat propane heaters for a couple years now, and can only say good things about it.
it really heats a tent up good so i imagine a truck would be the same way
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Postby Mike Cato » Jan 12, 2007 10:07 am

Hey Sluka, could you post some more pictures? (Don't mind Joey. He's just, um, different.)

About heat: Here's a reliable and relatively safe solution (user dependent, kids don't try this at home) to make a backpacker tent or small truck cap warm when you initially get in or for a quick warm up first thing in the morning. It's also great if you're soaking wet or freezing by the time you get into the tent.

Take your cook pot and set it on the lid (if it's flat) on top of a piece of aluminum foil that's been folded several times to make it thicker and to match the footprint of the pot. Take a spoon or something metal and put it under the pot to tilt it slightly. Pour in a single capful of puregrain alcohol. The liquid should pool in the lowest point, the idea being to minimize the surface area of the alcohol. Light and enjoy a minute or so of high BTU heat. Just enough to bring the tent up to a toasty temperature and the heat will persist for several minutes. Repeat as necessary. Just be sure to keep the pot tilted or you'll get all of the BTUs in seconds instead of the flame lasting a minute or so.

I've used this method for 30 years after setting up the tent in rain or snow and it's amazing how so little puregrain can warm you up. (Insert flaming tent pun here.)
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Postby JoeyS » Jan 12, 2007 10:21 am

Mike Cato wrote:Hey Sluka, could you post some more pictures? (Don't mind Joey. He's just, um, different.)

About heat: Here's a reliable and relatively safe solution (user dependent, kids don't try this at home) to make a backpacker tent or small truck cap warm when you initially get in or for a quick warm up first thing in the morning. It's also great if you're soaking wet or freezing by the time you get into the tent.

Take your cook pot and set it on the lid (if it's flat) on top of a piece of aluminum foil that's been folded several times to make it thicker and to match the footprint of the pot. Take a spoon or something metal and put it under the pot to tilt it slightly. Pour in a single capful of puregrain alcohol. The liquid should pool in the lowest point, the idea being to minimize the surface area of the alcohol. Light and enjoy a minute or so of high BTU heat. Just enough to bring the tent up to a toasty temperature and the heat will persist for several minutes. Repeat as necessary. Just be sure to keep the pot tilted or you'll get all of the BTUs in seconds instead of the flame lasting a minute or so.

I've used this method for 30 years after setting up the tent in rain or snow and it's amazing how so little puregrain can warm you up. (Insert flaming tent pun here.)


That's sort of like the toilet paper coffee can heater. Will this method produce carbon monoxide? I loves me some sleepy sleep gas.
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Postby Mike Cato » Jan 12, 2007 10:23 am

One capful at a time, dude. You'd have to work to poison yourself but you could probably do it. I've got confidence in you. :grin:
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Postby Martin Sluka » Jan 12, 2007 12:42 pm

Mike Cato wrote: could you post some more pictures?


I'll find more - just sketch:

Image
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Postby Mike Cato » Jan 19, 2007 2:23 pm

Sluka,

Pretty nice design. It reminds me of an old hand warmer I found at my grandfather's house. You soaked the inner fiber with lighter fluid, lit it, then put the cover back on. Worked great although it felt weird putting something in your pocket that was essentially on fire.

Your design looks to be the ultimate for maintaining warmth in a cave.

Thanks for the diagram.
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Postby VACaver » Jan 19, 2007 2:59 pm

Mike Cato wrote:Sluka,

Pretty nice design. It reminds me of an old hand warmer I found at my grandfather's house. You soaked the inner fiber with lighter fluid, lit it, then put the cover back on. Worked great although it felt weird putting something in your pocket that was essentially on fire.

Your design looks to be the ultimate for maintaining warmth in a cave.

Thanks for the diagram.


I had one of those as a kid...it was made by the Jon-E company (still makes them). Zippo also makes a model.
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Postby Mike Cato » Jan 19, 2007 3:38 pm

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Postby Mike Cato » Jan 19, 2007 3:41 pm

Here's a larger one the vendor says is better than the Jon-E and supposedly lasts 24 hours on one filling of lighter fluid:

http://www.amazon.com/Large-Platinum-Fl ... 73-3985569

But, these are just toys compared to Sluka's version...
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Postby Martin Sluka » Jan 21, 2007 10:18 am

Mike Cato wrote:But, these are just toys compared to Sluka's version...


But it was regular commercial product, time from time you may buy it here in "army shops".

We used pure n-hexane for it - because no smile and constant heating compared to benzine.
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Postby knotty » Jan 31, 2007 1:55 pm

One of my favorite things to do here in Idaho is to put On the skies and go solo for a couple of days. I have an old north face down bag that has been overstuffed(really loftey), a closed cell ground pad, and some of that egg crate foam.all this goes in a nylon bottom fleece top bag I made. I sleep in my under ware with a hat(both important to a warm nights sleep).
I have a Mr Heater i use for car camping(my wife loves it). MY caving buddy's call my tent "the palace",because of the throw rug the cots the chairs and tables lantern and the heater. The last cave trip we took(3 days and nights), it was cold, wet, and we woke up to about six inches of snow. The palace was the place to be. meals were cooked there and proved a good place to get warm and dry.
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