As the seasons change and the outside temperatures begin to plummet, for some outdoor enthusiasts this signals the end of this year’s camping season. For the hardcore camping purists, the cold weather brings an opportunity enjoy an exhilarating camping experience, hot tent camping.
While hot tent camping is gaining in popularity, it isn’t for everyone. At first, it might be a bit intimidating for some. There is a lot of work that goes into creating a cozy, warm place to tent camp in cold weather.
However, if the thought of extending your camping season well into the winter gets you excited, and if you’re ready to possibly face freezing temperatures, you’re in the right place.
In this article we are going to take a closer look at hot tent camping. We will explain what it is exactly and cover the benefits and drawbacks of camping in a hot tent. Plus, we will cover some basic camping gear that is essential for a successful trip.
Let’s jump in…
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What Is A Hot Tent?
Hot tents are a popular solution among those who dare to brave the cold and frigid winter months to enjoy a cozy camping experience.
These tents are specifically designed to accommodate a wood-burning stove or heater which allows campers to stay warm and comfortable, even in freezing temperatures.
Hot tents are typically made from durable, heat-resistant canvas, which makes them able to withstand the high temperatures generated by the stove inside. There are other models available that are made from fire-resistant synthetic materials. These hot tents offer a lightweight option for those who enjoy hiking to their winter camping destinations.
Hot tents will also feature a chimney vent, or stove-jack, to safely let out smoke and other harmful gasses. Without this very important feature, the tent would fill up with smoke making it completely useless.
In addition to proper ventilation, the ideal hot tent will feature a removable floor. This allows you to use the tent during any season. In the winter months you can detach the floor to prevent it from freezing to the ground.
The Benefits Of Hot Tent Camping
Hot tent camping can be an exciting outdoor activity for solo campers or for an entire family. Not only does it combine the thrill of traditional camping with the warmth and comforts of a heated tent, but it also offers a unique outdoor experience, especially for young campers.
Hot tents are designed to keep you warm, cozy, and protected from the elements. The heat from the stove creates a comfortable environment, allowing you to relax and enjoy your camping experience regardless of the outside temperature.
A hot tent can also be used in any season, making them a versatile camping option. Whether you’re camping in the winter, spring, or fall, it can provide the warmth and comfort you need for a successful camping trip.
When camping in a hot tent, you can cook your meals right inside the tent, eliminating the need for separate cooking areas. This added convenience allows you to prepare warm, delicious meals no matter where you set up camp.
Because the tent has to be large enough to accommodate a wood stove or heater, hot tents are generally more spacious than modern camping tents.
The Drawbacks Of Hot Tent Camping
Now that you can see yourself cozying up next to the stove with a cup of hot chocolate or a hot toddie, you need to aware of the drawbacks of hot tent camping.
The main drawback to hot tent camping is the amount of work involved to get everything set up. First of all, some of the canvas tents can be quite cumbersome and difficult to erect. For these larger tents, it will take at least two people to set up.
There are, however, more lightweight options available that are designed for hiking and backpacking.
In addition to the weight of the larger tents, there is also the wood-burning stove to deal with. Not only can they be a hassle to get to the campsite, but there is also the issue of firewood to gather.
Further, hot tents can be quite costly. Depending on the tent size you need, you could easily drop a few hundred bucks on the tent, plus a few hundred more for the stove. You can save a few bucks by buying the tent and stove as a unit.
Hot Tent Camping Safety Tips
While hot tent camping offers a fantastic and unique experience for the entire family, there are certain safety concerns to be aware of.
- Proper Ventilation: Always ensure the tent is adequately ventilated to prevent buildup of smoke and other harmful gasses. Check the pipe seals and vent connections for proper fit every time you set up camp.
- Fire Safety: When using a stove or heater inside the tent, fire safety is extremely important. Always keep flammable items away from the heat source. In addition, never use a tarp or other ground cover underneath the stove, unless it is specifically made for that purpose.
- Monitor For Carbon Monoxide: Make sure you have a quality carbon monoxide and oxygen depletion monitor inside the tent to alert you if levels become dangerous.
- First Burn: Always do a “first-burn” before taking your wood stove camping for the first time. New stoves tend to have a chemical residue left behind from the manufacturing process that will need to be burned off before using it. It is ideal to perform this burn in a safe place outdoors, away from the tent.
As you can see, the biggest safety concern when hot tent camping is the wood-burning stove. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a safe camping trip.
There is, however, just one more safety tip. As tempting as it might be to curl up in your sleeping bag or quilt and drift off to sleep, never do so when you have a fire burning.
While hot tents are fire-resistant and feature stove jacks or pipe vents, there is still a risk of fire and a potential for carbon monoxide to build up. While these accidents are rare, they do happen.
Choosing The Right Hot Tent
When it comes to hot tent camping, choosing the right tent is crucial. The last thing you want is to spend your hard-earned money on a tent that isn’t suited for your needs.
Some things to consider when choosing a hot tent for cold-weather camping are:
- Size – Choose a tent size that suits your needs and the number of people that will be camping with you. Plus, make sure the tent you choose is large enough for your camping gear.
- Ventilation – Look for a tent that provides adequate ventilation to prevent condensation and to ensure proper airflow. Above all, make sure the tent is equipped with a stove-jack or stove vent.
- Stove Compatibility – Make sure the hot tent you choose is specifically designed to accommodate a wood-burning stove or heater. In addition, check the recommended stove size and clearance requirements.
- Materials – Look for tents that are made with fire-resistant, waterproof, and durable materials that can withstand the harsh elements.
Hot tent camping allows you to enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer, even in the coldest of temperatures. With the ability to cook and stay comfortable, these tents are a great option for individuals and families who don’t believe in a camping “off-season”.
Other Essential Gear for Hot Tent Camping
While the hot tent provides the shelter needed for a warm, dry place to sleep and relax, it’s important to pack the right gear to enhance your overall camping experience.
Although the temperatures inside a hot tent can get quite warm, it’s always a good idea to prepare for what “could” happen, especially when camping in the winter months.
Invest in a high-quality sleeping bag that is made for cold weather camping. Consider the temperature rating and insulation type to maximize comfort and warmth.
In addition, if you aren’t going to be using cots, you might consider a lightweight sleeping pad that is designed for cold climates.
For a lightweight pillow option, consider something like the Trekology 2.0. It is designed to be compact and compressible, while offering plenty of support for your neck.
Since hot tent camping allows for cooking inside the tent, be sure to bring the essentials needing for cooking your favorite camp grub. For example, a cast-iron Dutch-Oven for camp stew and a small pot for heating water.
In addition, don’t forget to bring things like coffee mugs, utensils, and mess kits.
Keep in mind that although a hot tent provides a warm retreat from the cold weather, it is still vital to dress in layers for maximum comfort.
Include moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and waterproof outer layers to protect against wind and rain. Warm socks, gloves, and beanie hats will keep your extremities warm and cozy.
Other Useful Gear
In addition to the essential gear listed above, below are some gear recommendations for a comfortable, relaxing camping experience for the whole family.
- Lightweight Camp Chairs
- Foldup Camping Table
- Titanium Double Walled Coffee Mug
- Foldable Saw For Cutting Wood
- Hatchet For Splitting Firewood
- Cut/Fire Resistant Gloves
- Portable CO2 Detector
- Portable Air Pump + Camping Light (mini)
Hot tent camping offers a thrilling and comfortable way to experience the great outdoors in colder climates.
By choosing the right hot tent, packing essential gear, and following safety guidelines, you can embark on unforgettable adventures while staying warm and cozy.
Are you ready to face the frigid temperatures embrace the wonders of hot tent camping?