Hot tent camping is probably one of the most luxurious ways to camp in the winter. If you’ve camped during the winter, you know how much of a challenge it can be to keep yourself warm in frigid temperatures. A hot tent allows you to enjoy your camping trip without getting too cold.
Keep reading to find out how to master the art of hot tent camping, including all the gear you’ll need to bring along and how to stay safe with a wood-burning stove in your tent.
Hot Tent Camping Explained
Hot tent camping involves a shelter that is designed to accommodate a wood-burning stove. If you choose a pre-fabricated hot tent, it usually comes with removable floors in place as well.
They generally have a fire-resistant ‘stove jack’ sewn into the tent wall so you can put your stove inside it. These tents also make it possible to run a chimney or stove pipe through the jack.
You’ll find hot tents in a variety of styles, including ti-pi tents and other interesting styles, but most of them resemble pyramid wall tents that come with just a center pole for setup.
Although a fabric tent with a source of fire inside of it seems to be something you definitely shouldn’t do, hot tents are not like regular tents. They are made with a few different modern fabrics like sil-nylon, which is lightweight and durable, and canvas, which is more durable and spark-resistant than the former but is heavier.
Look for a tent that is made with fire-retardant material or treated with fire-proofing agents for your safety. A hot tent can be packed away, or it can be left standing. They are designed for winter nights and for incorporating a wood-burning stove.
- The biggest benefit of hot tent camping is that you will have a warm base camp to come back to after spending the day enjoying nature. Whether you’re out snowmobiling, ice fishing, hiking, or ice climbing, you’ll be able to get warm and cozy in your hot tent.
- Another benefit is how much bigger a hot tent is than a regular backpacking tent. Bring along your family on your hot tent camping trip, with plenty of living space and room for cots at night.
- As long as someone is awake, your wood-burning stove can be stoked throughout the night to keep you so warm you probably won’t need winter sleeping bags.
- Being able to cook on a wood stove is another benefit of hot tent camping since you can cook full meals on these stoves.
Keep in mind that these tents will be bulkier, cost a bit more than a regular camping tent, and will take more time to set up but the outcome is more than worth it!
Essential Gear for Hot Tent Camping
When hot tent camping, the hot tent itself is the most important piece of equipment you’ll need. A large tent is best suited for this form of camping so that you can keep a safe distance between yourself and the heat source.
In general, most tents can be used with a wood-burning stove with the correct precautions, but it’s best if you choose a tent that is engineered specifically for hot tent camping. This is because these tents are manufactured using fire-resistant weaved canvas or other materials that have been treated with a fire-resistant coating.
When you’re looking for the best hot tent for your needs, you’ll need to consider the size and weight of the tent, as well as the durability of the material it’s made from.
You’ll also want to consider the type of heat source you plan to use inside the tent so you’ll be able to determine the amount of space needed for the stove and how much heat the stove will generate.
The expected temperatures in your camping environment will also come into play when choosing a hot tent for camping, determining the type of additional insulation and weather resistance you may need.
Hot Tent Stoves
The wood-burning stove itself is a piece of hot tent camping gear you can’t forget!
When it comes to fire inside of a tent, remember that a stove can deprive the tent of oxygen as it burns fuel, so you’ll need to make sure to ventilate your tent when you’re hot tent camping. You’ll want a fireproof mat or some other type of fireproof flooring beneath your wood-burning stove as well.
It’s also important to keep the hot stove pipe insulated from contact with the tent fabric by adding a double pipe section or tent protector where the flue exits your tent. The flue needs at least one meter of clearance above the tent. You should use a spark arrestor on the last section of the pipe chimney, with an anchor to keep it in place in high winds.
Consider how the stove chimney exits the tent as well. The area where the stove flue exits your tent should be engineered using fireproof materials or treated with a fireproof coating.
Make sure you keep a check on the pipe sections and regularly clean them to remove any creosote that blocks the chimney because exhaust fumes can escape the system and into the tent if there is a blockage in the pipes. This can happen as a result of strong winds blowing directly into the exit pipe as well.
Always make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand as a safety precaution in case the fire gets out of control.
Your sleep system is crucial when camping in the winter because separating yourself from the ground will prevent the cold ground from sapping the heat out of your body. The most important thing to look for with winter sleep systems is the “R” value, which is the insulation rating.
Sleeping bags, on the other hand, are rated using a temperature rating. Generally, these temperature ratings are created with the idea in mind that you will be using a sleeping pad underneath your bag. For this reason, make sure to aim for a temperature rating around 5 to 10 degrees below what has been forecast for your area.
For hot tent camping, you should look for a sleeping bag with a draft collar and a hood because they play a large role in keeping you warm. Generally, with sleeping bags for winter camping, these features are included.
Keeping yourself warm and dry is the key to enjoying hot tent camping, so choosing the right clothing is vital. Managing moisture is a significant component of choosing the best clothing.
Ideally, you should dress in layers that aren’t too constricting so you can control your temperature effectively while moving around. Getting too cold is a problem, but being too hot and sweating leads to the bigger issue of your body temperature dropping from being wet.
Materials like polyester and wool are usually the best at wicking moisture away from your skin to the outside of the insulated clothing to allow the air to dry it out. Material like cotton isn’t well suited because it loses its insulation properties once it gets wet.
Footwear is an important aspect of hot tent camping since you’ll be exposed to winter conditions outside of your tent. A good pair of waterproof boots with some extra removable liners are crucial. Generally, boots with a rubber construction and added insulation are the best for camping in cold weather.
You can lose 10 percent of your body heat just with your head uncovered. Cold hands make it difficult to set up your tent or handle things with your fingers, so wearing insulated gloves when you’re setting up your hot tent and while you’re out and about near the tent is crucial.
One of the most important parts of keeping warm in the winter is to eat and drink. Your body burns calories to regulate your core temperature, so your caloric limit during the winter is much higher than it is in warmer temperatures.
Your activity level plays an important part in how many calories you need to maintain your body’s core temperature. So, if you’re planning to lounge in your hot tent for most of your trip, you won’t need as many calories as you would if you were more active.
Being able to cook regular meals is one of the things that makes hot tent camping unique. You can use full-sized pots and pans to cook a full-sized meal. You can place your pots and pans directly on the stove, or you can use a large sheet pan as a skillet to cook your food on one big pan.
Another advantage of cooking while hot tent camping during the winter is that you can bring along cold ingredients that need to be refrigerated, which you can’t usually do when tent camping.
The biggest issue with hot tent camping is staying safe with a fire going inside a tent and making sure the tent is properly vented to prevent the risk of fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Both of these things are rare, but it’s crucial to take precautions.
Never fall asleep with the fire going if there is nobody else there to watch and stoke the fire throughout the night. Make sure you have extinguished the fire thoroughly before you go to bed. You should also make sure the stove pipe is drawing correctly so the fumes from the fuel escape upwards and out of the tent.
Look for a hot tent and a heater that has an extra long flue that draws the fumes and smoke from the fire away from the inside of your tent, dispersing them out into the open air. Always read the safety guidelines and installation instructions thoroughly and ensure that your wood-burning stove is installed properly.
You should also invest in a portable carbon monoxide detector and make sure the stove pipe is drawing the fumes upwards and out of the tent before falling asleep. You’ll need to routinely check the batteries and make sure the detector is working properly as well.
No matter how experienced of a camper you are, remain cautious when hot tent camping because even the most experienced campers have been burned by a stove while camping.
Wrapping Up Mastering the Art of Hot Tent Camping
A properly set up hot tent with a plentiful supply of wood provides you with a comfortable and cozy shelter to curl up in and get warm at the end of a long trek in the wilderness.
Whether you prefer a prefabricated hot tent with a removable floor already in place or you prefer to build your own hot tent, we hope this guide on mastering the art of hot tent camping has been helpful.
If you’re interested in more information about cold-weather camping, including essential gear and supplies you should bring along, check out the winter camping guide on our page!
- About the Author
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Brittany Tedford is a post-apocalyptic fiction author, an aspiring English teacher, and a writer for Apple Pie Media.
She currently lives in a small town in Northern Mississippi with her two children Anna and Eli, and her two cats Salem and Leo.
With a bachelor’s in Creative Writing and English and a master’s in the same discipline, Brittany is passionate about learning how to live off the land for camping trips, which is why she loves writing for Beyond The Tent. From the best camping gear to camping survival tips and tricks, to finding the perfect campground, there is so much information to share with others!
Brittany can be reached at email@example.com