How to Heat a Tent without Electricity?

Winter camping is much different than summer camping, do you agree? In spring, summer, and fall the nights can be pretty cold so you will need to warm yourself inside the tent.

Heating is one of the essentials that you have to prioritize if you want to enjoy your stay and be cozy at that time.

The norm has always been to rely on electricity to warm up tents when camping, but this method is not without its own challenges.

Electrical appliances emit rays that can be harmful to your body, the environment and can be dangerous to use inside the tent and this makes them less ideal as heat sources for camping.

See how you can warm your shelter when winter camping and spending cold nights outdoors.

heat a tent without electricity

Tent heating ideas

Are you scared that an electric tent heater will make a fire in the middle of the night while you sleep? There is a risk of fire outbreaks with these appliances and this makes other heating methods more appropriate.

To help you find the best ways to keep warm while staying in a tent, here are a few ways on how to heat the tent without using any kind of electrical device and keep it warm.

Using rocks to heat a tent

Heated rocks are a great source of warmth when camping. When they are hot, these stones take in a lot of warmth and you can put them strategically in your tent to warm the place up.

How to heat rocks for warmth?

All you have to do get heated rocks for your heating needs is to find several sizable rocks and heat them up on your campfire.

Let the rocks warm-up for about an hour before allowing them to cool off. Once they are cooler, you can wrap them in a towel and put them in the middle of your tent so they will radiate the warmth.

What to do if I have a big tent?

The rocks will radiate heat within the tent and will keep you warm for some time.

If your tent is large, centrally-positioned stones may not heat up the place effectively so you will have to spread the stones across the place for effective heating.

Easy and simple tent heating idea

These rocks make for a simple and affordable form of outdoor heating. Rocks are readily available outdoors and I am pretty sure you know how to set up a fire.

You should, however, be careful when handling the stones so you won’t get burned.

Use insulated pads

If you are looking for a simple yet effective way on how to heat a tent then you can never go wrong with insulated pads.

They function just like the floor insulators in most of our homes as they trap the warmth within the home and prevent its loss by radiation. You are, therefore, able to remain warm in it without relying on electricity or gas.

Place it under the sleeping pad

I use them all the time and I can say that these pads are quite comfortable and they fit properly into most tents.

All you have to do is to place it at the base of your tent and then set your camping sleeping pad on top of it and you are good to go. The insulated pad will radiate heat inside and keep you warm throughout the night.

Which insulation pad should I get for a tent?

When choosing one for your outdoor activities, you should pick one that covers the entire floor area of the tent. Bigger tents allow more warmth to radiate within them so you will need a bigger piece to keep your shelter warm.

However, if you can’t afford to pay for a bigger pad, you should get one that provides maximum heat per the area.

Gas heaters

Gas heaters are a great alternative to electricity when it comes to outdoor tent heating. They are easy to use and any camper who has used them before will tell you that all you need to achieve as much warmth as possible is a gas bottle that contains gas.

Gas heaters and carbon monoxide poisoning

You should, however, be careful when using a gas heater to heat up your tent as there is the risk of a fire breakout if you get careless when handling it.

They produce poisonous substances such as carbon monoxide when they are left running for long so they should not be running all night long unless you have proper ventilation.

These heaters are also heavier than other tent-heating alternatives such as insulated pads so you may put too much effort if you have to carry them over long distances.

However, their weight shouldn’t be a problem if you will go to a camp place with a car.

Set up your tent on a burned-out fireplace

A burned-out campfire is another great way of warming up your tent easily. If you had put up a campfire, let it cool off and set the tent up in the exact same spot.

Pour a layer of earth to cool off the large pieces of wood before installing your unit. Using a burnt-out campfire is also a great way on how to keep a tent warm without electricity.

open fire heating tent

Use dry grass or spruced up branches

You can also use dry grass or spruced up branches to level the place up and make it ideal for setting it up. The heat from the fireplace will radiate within the tent and this will keep you warm throughout the night.

How big should be the campfire?

The place may heat up excessively if it’s not that cold outside so you might consider digging the fireplace and pouring earth in.

Your tent should be the size of your fireplace for effective heating. If you use a large shelter on a small fireplace, the warmth radiated won’t be enough to keep you warm until the morning.

You should also be careful when setting up the tent over the campfire to not to burn yourself and your camping gear. Make sure that the fire is completely out before you proceed.


Camping in the colder days is almost not possible if you don’t know some tent heating ideas that could provide you much-needed warmth and protect you from freezing.

Now you know which tent heating methods to choose to have a pleasant outdoor night.

Electric appliances have been used for heating for some time now but non-electric sources are the best since they are gentle and more friendly to the environment.

Use the above-mentioned tips on how to heat a tent without electricity to stay warm when you are spending your free time outdoors.

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