LNT Canada is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships.

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

12/21/2017 8:19 am  #1


Cold camping with a propane heater

I have recently purchased this heater - https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B000JT7IGQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The main reason for purchasing is for use inside my portable ice hut on the cold days. I received the heater yesterday and tried it out, and boy does this thing produce allot of heat! Apparently on the low setting the propane canisters last around 6-7 hours which is pretty decent considering how much heat it throws off.
While testing it out yesterday I was thinking about how well it could potentially work on a camping trip. I use a solo tent and was thinking I could leave the heater inside the vestibule to heat up my bedding before bed, and use it to stay warm while changing, or even for drying wet clothes. It says it's safe for use indoors and doesn't give off any fumes, it does consume oxygen so there has to be a way to replenish the air but that's it.
I think I am going to try it out for an overnighter somewhere not too far in the interior this weekend before Christmas and see how it goes.

Has anyone done anything similar? Recommendations? Thoughts? 
I've also considered just camping inside my portable ice hut, but the thing is huge and hard to transport, and obviously it doesn't have a floor. It holds heat amazingly well though.


Cheers,
Drew

 

12/21/2017 8:56 am  #2


Re: Cold camping with a propane heater

I have a Coleman Black Cat heater and I have used it in the past just as you suggested.  I'd leave it out in my vestibule with the door to my tent interior open.  I would never sleep with it going but it was great to warm up the tent when you first get in and read etc and first thing in the morning to take that frigid edge off!  I was actually thinking of upgrading to the one you got as they are very well rated.  I both cold camp and hot tent but sometimes it's nice to have that instant source of heat without having to get a fire going.  Also good in an emergency situation if you need warmth fast...

I'm sure you know this but just make sure there is a bit of ventilation when you use this....

 

12/21/2017 10:48 am  #3


Re: Cold camping with a propane heater

Steve E wrote:

I have a Coleman Black Cat heater and I have used it in the past just as you suggested.  I'd leave it out in my vestibule with the door to my tent interior open.  I would never sleep with it going but it was great to warm up the tent when you first get in and read etc and first thing in the morning to take that frigid edge off!  I was actually thinking of upgrading to the one you got as they are very well rated.  I both cold camp and hot tent but sometimes it's nice to have that instant source of heat without having to get a fire going.  Also good in an emergency situation if you need warmth fast...

I'm sure you know this but just make sure there is a bit of ventilation when you use this....

Hey Steve, that's exactly what I was thinking. I wouldn't sleep with it on, but if I was lounging around reading or something I'd probably set it a ways back from the tent on the low setting (it would honestly be way too hot inside the tent anyways). My tent is so small if I was using the heater the vestibule would be unzipped no matter what, not only for ventilation but I'm afraid the heat from the heater would damage the nylon (it would only be about 10 inches away), but I think with it outside pointing towards the mesh tent door it would provide plenty of heat. And besides this is much safer with my dog. The heater is also equipted with an auto shut off incase oxygen levels are too low but I wouldn't rely on that, but again not like I'd use it inside the tent or while sleeping.
Considering how light-weight and portable it is I'm actaully surprised they aren't talked about more on here. I imagine it would work great for drying gloves and socks and such, and there isn't a direct flame which makes it easier and no smoke smell.

Now for my next question : I've never winter camped before, so where would be an ideal spot to start my trip? Ideally I want to be far enough from the highway that it's not overly loud (I know that can be hard this time of year), but yet close enough to the car that I can easily bail in-case something goes wrong or I get too cold. I have a -7 mummy bag and a -5 full-size bag, so my plan is to put the mummy bag inside of the bigger bag for extra warmth, I know this isn't ideal but its all I have to work with right now and with the heater as a backup I SHOULD be okay. 

Last edited by ATVenture (12/21/2017 10:57 am)

     Thread Starter
 

12/21/2017 1:07 pm  #4


Re: Cold camping with a propane heater

I might have to check that heater out, it sounds like it really pumps out the heat!

As for a spot to try winter camping, there are lots of good spots however it can be a bit of a hike to get away from the Highway (if you're going along that area).  The airfield at Mew Lake is a great spot.  It's far enough away that you do feel very secluded however it's close enough to Mew Lake that you can use the heated comfort station and even buy firewood if you want.  It's also a good spot in case you just get too cold you can always retreat to your car.  You can get further away from the highway there as well depending on where you set up.
The 2 bag setup should work ok for you.  It's good that the bigger bag is on the outside so it doesn't compress your down.  The heater will help too in the event you get a chill.  Do you have a decent sleeping pad rated for winter use?  That's just as important as the bags you use as the ground will suck the heat from you for sure.  The hot water in a Nalgene bottle trick is awesome as well and will add a few degrees of warmth in your bag, and ensure you have water in the morning for coffee that isn't frozen solid!  I sometimes use 2 Nalgenes..I keep one down by my feet and another up near my mid section...works great!

 

12/21/2017 6:40 pm  #5


Re: Cold camping with a propane heater

Drew, I used the same heater this fall, but in a large canvas 9x12 wall tent. Outdoor temps only dropped to 8 Celsius. The heater really kicks out heat, even at the lower setting. I've considered using it with lighter nylon 3 and 4-season tents, but haven't done so yet. Many winter campers are wary of them due to CO gas risk. That said, many RV-ers use them in their vehicles. Basic precautions: 1) never leave it on during sleep, and don't fall asleep accidentally while it's on.  2) Don't depend on the built-in O2 detector  to shut down the heater in case of oxygen depletion. Use a separate CO gas detector and ensure that its batteries stay good, i.e. warm.  3) Keep it away from any fabric.   4)  Plan an escape (i.e. sharp knife handy) in case you have to escape a burning tent.  5)  ensure that there is air flow (window or door slightly open)
A downside mentioned by many is that these types of heaters create a lot of dampness, i.e condensation inside nylon tents. 
 

 

12/22/2017 3:29 am  #6


Re: Cold camping with a propane heater

ATVenture wrote:

I have recently purchased this heater - https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B000JT7IGQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The main reason for purchasing is for use inside my portable ice hut on the cold days. I received the heater yesterday and tried it out, and boy does this thing produce allot of heat! Apparently on the low setting the propane canisters last around 6-7 hours which is pretty decent considering how much heat it throws off.
While testing it out yesterday I was thinking about how well it could potentially work on a camping trip. I use a solo tent and was thinking I could leave the heater inside the vestibule to heat up my bedding before bed, and use it to stay warm while changing, or even for drying wet clothes. It says it's safe for use indoors and doesn't give off any fumes, it does consume oxygen so there has to be a way to replenish the air but that's it.
I think I am going to try it out for an overnighter somewhere not too far in the interior this weekend before Christmas and see how it goes.

Has anyone done anything similar? Recommendations? Thoughts? 
I've also considered just camping inside my portable ice hut, but the thing is huge and hard to transport, and obviously it doesn't have a floor. It holds heat amazingly well though.


Cheers,
Drew

More than similar.  That's exactly what I do - and its awesome.  I lug my pop up ice hut and heater and a cot lol.  I don't trust the heater to sleep with it on but it sure is nice on those frosty mornings to just reach your hand out of the bag and click the heater on.  Wait about five minutes and you'll be getting out of your bag in to a toasty warm tent.  You stand up to get dressed and it's even warmer up there.  You can also use hot rocks effectively because you don't have a floor to worry about.  

As to where?  Personally I wouldn't even think about Algonquin because of the ice fishing ban and there being so many other great alternatives outside the park.  

Steve makes a good point about the ground sucking the heat out of you and your pad.  I use a blue closed cell foam mat to insulate my pad (Neoair xtherm) from the ground and it makes a big difference.

 

12/22/2017 3:33 am  #7


Re: Cold camping with a propane heater

BTW pretty sure they are on sale at Canadian Tire for $89.99 this week.

 

12/22/2017 7:17 am  #8


Re: Cold camping with a propane heater

a word of caution! Do not trust amazon listings, they are 3rd party ads. According  to Mr. Buddy- "CARBON MONOXIDE HAZARD This appliance can produce carbon monoxide which has no odor. Using it in an enclosed space can kill you. Never use this appliance in an enclosed space such as a camper, tent, car or home."
http://www.mrheater.com/downloads/dl/file/id/1086/portable_buddy_heater_manual_canada_2017.pdf

 

12/22/2017 8:17 am  #9


Re: Cold camping with a propane heater

scoutergriz wrote:

a word of caution! Do not trust amazon listings, they are 3rd party ads. According  to Mr. Buddy- "CARBON MONOXIDE HAZARD This appliance can produce carbon monoxide which has no odor. Using it in an enclosed space can kill you. Never use this appliance in an enclosed space such as a camper, tent, car or home."
http://www.mrheater.com/downloads/dl/file/id/1086/portable_buddy_heater_manual_canada_2017.pdf

They have to write that on anything sold in Canada that burns any sort of fuel. That's the law. In all reality this unit emits so little carbon monoxide when operating properly that it's not even close to being enough to be concerned about, the issue is the fact that the burning of the fuel consumes oxygen which NEEDS to be replenished, but all you have to do is make sure there is a small opening somewhere allowing fresh air to be sucked in. Again the unit has an auto-shut off for when oxygen levels are at a dangerous level, which I still wouldn't rely on, but for since I don't plan on using it directly in my tent or recommend doing so there is no need to worry.
I have used the Mr.Heater buddy heaters (2 at a time) that screw on to the top of the little propane cylinders inside my fully 100%enclosed ice hut for 12 hours steady with 2 people inside and never had an issue. One day it was -35 outside and my buddy decided to try and use his MSR stove inside the ice hut with the heaters on and within 2 minutes we were both so lightheaded we had to get out. No more of that!

Last edited by ATVenture (12/22/2017 8:18 am)

     Thread Starter
 

12/22/2017 8:22 am  #10


Re: Cold camping with a propane heater

Chuck Enwinde wrote:

ATVenture wrote:

I have recently purchased this heater - https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B000JT7IGQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The main reason for purchasing is for use inside my portable ice hut on the cold days. I received the heater yesterday and tried it out, and boy does this thing produce allot of heat! Apparently on the low setting the propane canisters last around 6-7 hours which is pretty decent considering how much heat it throws off.
While testing it out yesterday I was thinking about how well it could potentially work on a camping trip. I use a solo tent and was thinking I could leave the heater inside the vestibule to heat up my bedding before bed, and use it to stay warm while changing, or even for drying wet clothes. It says it's safe for use indoors and doesn't give off any fumes, it does consume oxygen so there has to be a way to replenish the air but that's it.
I think I am going to try it out for an overnighter somewhere not too far in the interior this weekend before Christmas and see how it goes.

Has anyone done anything similar? Recommendations? Thoughts? 
I've also considered just camping inside my portable ice hut, but the thing is huge and hard to transport, and obviously it doesn't have a floor. It holds heat amazingly well though.


Cheers,
Drew

More than similar.  That's exactly what I do - and its awesome.  I lug my pop up ice hut and heater and a cot lol.  I don't trust the heater to sleep with it on but it sure is nice on those frosty mornings to just reach your hand out of the bag and click the heater on.  Wait about five minutes and you'll be getting out of your bag in to a toasty warm tent.  You stand up to get dressed and it's even warmer up there.  You can also use hot rocks effectively because you don't have a floor to worry about.  

As to where?  Personally I wouldn't even think about Algonquin because of the ice fishing ban and there being so many other great alternatives outside the park.  

Steve makes a good point about the ground sucking the heat out of you and your pad.  I use a blue closed cell foam mat to insulate my pad (Neoair xtherm) from the ground and it makes a big difference.

For some reason I completely missed your reply!
So you do lots of ice fishing while camping obviously which is something I really really want to get into this year. Last year I slept on Nipissing a few times in my hut but it's kind of boring basically being in the city but on the ice.
I have been thinking about a trip into Kawartha Highlands for some serious fishing this winter. Maybe 3-4 days, sleep on the lakes and fish fish fish!
If you have any siggestions AT ALL send me a PM! This is my first year getting really into it.
What kind of portable do you have? Size? Do you use it as a hot tent on land, or strictly camp on ice? 

Last edited by ATVenture (12/22/2017 8:24 am)

     Thread Starter
 

Board footera