Best Heaters for Tent Camping

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Sure, the very essence of camping in the great outdoors is to experience nature at its fullest. However, it is unwise not to take the needed precautions should something terrible occur. You could be stuck in a blizzard, get wet from heavy rain, or contract an illness. In such situations and others, a reliable source of heat is essential for preventing hypothermia, cold sores, and many other ill-health effects.

In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Choices

The 6 Best Heaters for Tent Camping

Here in this blog post, we’ll present 6 of the best heaters for tent camping.

1. Mr. Heater Buddy 4K/9K BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Heater

Solidly built and light enough to carry with one hand, the Mr. Heater Buddy Portable Heater is one of the best heaters for tent camping on the market. A cause of concern when using heaters inside tents is whether it could start a fire when tipped over, or asphyxiate the occupants in their sleep by burning up all the oxygen. However, this is not an issue with this heater. Thanks to its excellent duel sensors, the heater switches off automatically should either of these situations occur. Because of this very feature, however, the heater will also refuse to work in a low oxygen environment such as on high altitudes. The heater is very efficient and can run on a small gas canister for up to 6 hours on the low setting. With a very affordable price, it is a great value purchase for your tent heating needs.


  • Great value for money
  • Efficient clean burning
  • Excellent auto-shutoff feature


  • Doesn’t work on high altitudes

2. Mr. Heater Little Buddy 3.8K BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater

Another great heater from the same company, the Mr. Heater Little Buddy is a smaller but equally reliable tent heater. Like its bigger cousin, the Little Buddy also comes with dual sensor auto shutdown feature in case it tips over or detects low oxygen levels. Its size, however, is a bit deceptive. While it is compact, lightweight, and easy to carry, it is not small enough to fit inside your backpack. The heat it gives off is also potent, and can heat a small single person tent rapidly. Therefore, it is best for small camping groups of 3-6 people and medium-size tents, rather than for taking along for solo camping. Also, a distinct lack of heating adjustment tarnishes some of the convenience of this otherwise excellent tent heater.


  • Great value for money
  • Efficient clean burning
  • Excellent auto-shutoff feature


  • Too large for backpack carry
  • No heating adjustment setting

3. Honeywell Surround Heat Heater

While not made for minimalist campers, the Honeywell Surround Heat Heater is undoubtedly a great choice for those who value comfort when in the outdoors. Since the heater requires 750 watts on low setting and 1500 watts on high, you will need a reliable power source to keep it running. The heater provides an even 360-degree surround heating, and comes featured with an adjustable thermostat. It comes with tip-over and overheat protection. Since it is an electric heater, you won’t need to worry about any carbon monoxide built-up in your tent. The heater comes with a convenient handle, and is light enough to be easily carried by a single person. This heater is best for small camping groups as the heating it gives off is not potent enough to adequately heat up a large tent.


  • Affordable
  • Even surround heating
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Good safety features
  • Lightweight and portable


  • Doesn’t blow a lot of heat
  • Requires a reliable power source

4. Mr. Heater 10K/15K BTU Cooker

For super large tents or for quick emergency heating when stuck in frigid conditions, the Mr. Heater Cooker is a powerful heating aid. It has an extensive heat coverage area – around 375 square feet to be exact. Its heating capacity is so potent that you can warm up your breakfast close in front of it! The heater is also quite efficient. While connected to a 20 lbs canister, the heater can work for up to 25 hours straight on medium setting. The built is somewhat flimsy. However, if properly maintained, you can expect this heater to function without any issues for years.


  • Efficient
  • Adjustable heat level setting
  • Wide coverage area
  • Doubles as a food warmer


  • Flimsy
  • Low setting can still be too hot

5. Honeywell Heat Bud Ceramic Heater

The Honeywell Heat Bud is a tiny electric heater no taller than a Starbuck’s Venti cup. Running on a low wattage of just 250 W, it can be powered by a small car battery or a large Power bank when you are outdoors. It is very lightweight, and can be stored in your backpack for solo camping trips. Do note before you buy it though that the Heat Bud is a personal heater, not an interior heater. It works great in helping you keep warm but doesn’t have the capacity to heat up an entire tent. The heater comes with tip-over and overheat protection, and its heat resistant plastic frame remains cool to the touch even when the heat is on high setting.


  • Good auto-shutdown safety features
  • Low wattage usage
  • Small and easily portable
  • Quiet when running
  • Lots of great color options


  • Very low heat capacity

6. Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater

Despite being marketed as an outdoor heater, the Texsport Heater is equally great for use inside a tent, provided, of course, that the said tent is well-ventilated. It is a simple, reliably designed heater that gets the job done effectively. It features an auto shut off valve, which closes the fuel inlet the moment the flame on the burner goes out. It runs up to 6 hours with a regular 16-ounce propane canister. While the heat it gives off is great, the heater is also very loud, so for the sensitive sleepers, this may not be the best option to cozy up with on a cold camping night.


  • Sturdy, reliable built
  • Auto shut off value when the flame goes out


  • Noisy
  • Not good for unventilated interiors
  • No tip-over protection

Our Final Thoughts

A heater may keep you safe from the cold, but can also be a source of danger itself. Negligence with a camping heater can result in a fire or asphyxiation. To avoid such risks, it is crucial to take some safety precautions while leaving the heater switched on for the night.

Firstly, make sure that the tent is well-ventilated if you are using a gas heater, to ensure that carbon dioxide does not start to accumulate inside. Secondly, ensure that the heater is not placed anywhere close to the edge of the tent to reduce the dangers of the tent’s fabric catching fire. Thirdly, if you are sleeping in a floorless tent, make sure to brush away the deadwood, dried leaves, or anything lying around that can easily catch fire before you start the heater. Lastly, be sure to only use the stand that your heater comes with.

Putting it on top of a crate or woodblock may be convenient for you, but also increases the risk of it tipping over and causing problems. Fortunately, most of the heaters featured on the list have built-in safety features against such scenarios, allowing you a safe and warm night’s sleep.

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