Survival Failed: Why Not to Heat Your Tent with Candles?

Out in the wild in the shivering cold, you might be tempted to heat up the tent with a candle. However, that could be one of the most dangerous things you could do.

With a few small candles, it is definitely possible to raise the heat in your tent, but it is vital to know that this can be very hazardous and is not encouraged. A candle is basically an open fire, and a number of things can happen – you can drop the candles on the floor when you’re sleeping, a fire could spread, etc.

Camping in Winter: How Not to Do It

Camping in the winter has its perks as you enjoy the beauty and peace of a snowy winter wonderland. However, if you’re not prepared, it can be hard and cold too. To set yourself up for a successful winter camping, you will want to build on your fair-weather camping knowledge as well as adjusting to the extra challenges of chilling temperatures, snowy hills, and unpredictable weather conditions.

The climate is colder, and the hours of daylight are shorter, but winter camping has benefits you certainly cannot get any other time of the year. You can admire the views and serenity that comes with camping in the snow, with some extra gear and preparation.
When planning your journey, follow those general winter tenting rules of things you should and should not do.

Nature is unrewarding, as alluring as the lonely wilderness may sound. That’s why you should never do it alone. Always share the journey with one or two camping buddies, preferably people with a variety of winter skills like exploring through snow, discovering routes, and sheltering.

Study maps for getting the lay of the land. Physical maps show rivers and lakes as well as mountains and elevations. Never go camping blindly.

Examine track conditions and road conditions. Are there any reviews from those who have camped in the area? What about Company Support? Most importantly, what are the emergency services? How long does it take emergency teams to meet you? Never embark on your camping trip without having the important contacts at hand.

tent candle use
When your plans include areas of deep snow, learn how to identify and prevent areas of an avalanche. Test local avalanche forecasts, and if the hazard is high, stay out.

Let others know where you are going to be and when you are going to return. Include details of your vehicles, and fellow campers’ names and contact details.

Insulate yourself, particularly around your stomach, back, and chest and for this reason, you shouldn’t feel awkward for wearing too much clothing. This time the saying is appropriate: the more you have, the better. And if it gets too hot, and you start to sweat, you can always take off a few layers. But make sure your sleepwear is loose-fitting and clean (meaning, that you have separate thermal clothes for the night). Tight fitting clothes limit the airflow, making it more difficult to stay comfortable while being warm.

Never go to bed with wet feed. For this reason, always pack a few pair of extra socks just for a comfortable and clean sleep. Wet socks will always cause you to lose valuable body heat through your feet.

Don’t sleep in your tent without covering your head. If left exposed to the cold through the night, your head will conduct 40% to 50% of your body heat to the air.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated and eat adequate amounts of calories! The liquids you take in are used by your body to regulate body temperature, so make sure to never go camping without the right snacks!

Use a decent sleeping pad with insulation between you and the ground. What you sleep on might often count more than what you cover yourself with to keep you warm. Specially designed sleeping pads with closed-cell foam provide a far more efficient layer of insulation than regular air mattresses, that will certainly fill with cold air through the course of a chilly night. On its own, an air mattress provides no adequate barrier between your body and the chilled air within the pad, even though it’s an air mattress. Place your air mattress under the sleeping pad if you want warmth and comfort.

Winter Tenting Gear and Gadgets

Camping in the snow requires winter-specific equipment apart from clothes. During winter, Mother Nature can get violent, but the right equipment will help to hold her at bay. This includes equipment to shelter you from a storm. If you’re going camping to a place where a storm is a possibility, then take a 4-Season Tent along as it is heavier and provides greater protection from strong winds than regular 3-season tents.


Aim for a dome shape for stability in windy weather, with extra-strong poles and lines. Pick solid fabric over mesh, double doors for easier entry, and a wide vestibule for sheltered storage of wet gears. A couple of add-ons can also make a significant difference. For instance, a ground cloth helps to prevent melting snow from reaching the shelter.

Insulating the Tents for Winter Camping

Adequate insulation will keep away the cold. Isolation is a two-way street; it keeps out the cold air while keeping the warmth inside. Cold temperatures present a real danger of hypothermia, so proper insulation will ensure that you have a pleasant camping experience.

Much of the cold air comes into the tent through the tent ‘s walls. You’ll want to capture as much warm air as possible for this purpose. A smart technique to use is using reflective foil to line up the tent walls. Placing the reflective foil on the walls and roof of the inner tent should bring the warm air back down as it rises.

However, the interior process can be time-consuming and needs to be repeated every time you set up your tent. You may also use a reflective blanket that is tied to the tent cover. Put it down with the reflective side to bounce the moisture from your body heat back to you. These blankets are useful in emergencies as well, so pack more than one.

You can use a simple wrap to cover the roof of your tent to insulate the exterior. This will offer you many benefits. It’ll protect you from getting dew, frost, and snow on your bed. Also, it will help trap the heat in your tent.

Also, a good tarp can be used outside your tent as a windbreaker. You should support it against the wind’s blowing course. It will minimize the cold wind blowing at your tent and can improve the air temperature in your tent.

You can insulate the tent floor with reflective foam, which will help to separate the area inside the tent by reflecting the heat back into the room from the ground. If at all possible, you would want to do that early in the day. As the ground refreezes later in the day and into the evening, finding a dry surface on which to sleep would be more difficult.

Ensure double-sided reflective foam is used for flooring. This will allow you to reflect your body heat back to you, while also reflecting the cold air back to the ground. Use an air mattress to minimize floor space if you don’t want to sleep directly on the ground.

Safe Option For Heating Your Tent

Inside your tent, there are other secure heaters you can use. One choice is electric tent heaters, which require the use of an electrical source. Such outlets will only be accessible at RV campsites unless you packed an electric generator.

tent camp

Propane heaters need no external source of fuel. We are also built without a flame to emit heat, which makes them healthy. One precaution is that propane emits CO2. When using a propane heater, make sure that the vent flaps or gaps are opened to allow CO2 to escape.


Keeping in mind all the safety precautions and all the necessary gear for winter camping, you need to take care of these little measures as well. Place extra socks in a Ziplock bag and place them. Keep extra pairs of long socks and glove liners in your bag. Pack extra batteries for your torches, and have at least three ways to create a fire. Plus, make sure you have adequate items for heating up the tent instead of candles as they can risk your life.

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