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How to Use an Electric Heater in a Tent

by Aaron Kopf
Avoid frigid nights while camping.

Avoid frigid nights while camping.

For centuries, campers in cold environments had to bundle up to avoid painfully low temperatures while camping. The promise of a warm fire assuredly got many campers through cold nights. In modern times, campers have a selection of heating appliances that are safe for use within tents as long as proper precautions are taken. One type of heating appliance is an electrical heater. These devices do not require burning propane, making them attractive to some campers.

Clear an area in your tent for the electrical heater. There needs to be at least two feet of open space in front of it to prevent melting, or worse, accidental fire. Refer to the instruction manual that came with your heater for specific distances regarding your appliance.

Place your heater in an area where it will not be jostled or bumped during the night. For most active sleepers, placing the heater by the feet is a bad idea. If your tent doesn't have any room, you will need to buy a larger tent to accommodate the heater and its required empty space.

Place the heater on a raised platform. The flip-side to this space-saving technique is that it's easier to knock the heater over. Fasten the heater to the platform by wrapping duct tape around the heater and the platform several times. This technique can cause the structure to be top-heavy and topple, so ensure that the base is properly weighted.

Plug in the heater to the campsite electrical source, using an extension cord if necessary. Wrap the plugs in duct tape to prevent any water from shorting the connection. Make sure the cords are clearly visible and out of the way to prevent any campers from tripping.

Check any cords for any tearing, holes, or cracking before turning the heater on. While the heater does enjoy the benefits of not requiring propane, you do need to ensure the electrical components are safe and secure before use.

Items you will need

  • Electrical service near your campsite
  • Duct tape (optional)
  • Extension cord (if necessary)

Tip

  • Some campers hang their heater from the roof of their tents with secure cordage, thereby allowing for unhindered nighttime movement. Use this technique at your own risk.

Warning

  • Improper use of any tent heater can cause serious injury.

About the Author

Aaron Kopf graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with honors in 2009, holding a Bachelor of Arts in communication. While enjoying his time at college, Kopf was published in The Echo and Vortex magazine.

Photo Credits

  • tent site image by Mike & Valerie Miller from Fotolia.com